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The Best 1-Day Copenhagen Bike Tour, from city to small towns

Sarah Lempa

Chicago, IL, USA

Copenhagen and cycling are essentially synonymous— the two exist in harmony, a match made in heath heaven. Believe it or not, there are more bikes in the city than actual residents. The bike scene is brimming with enthusiasts, structural innovators, and people like me who enjoy leisure exercise and saving a few bucks from skipping the metro. We’re talkin’ exploring Copenhagen on a serious budget.

Copenhagen’s neighborhoods have endless miles of trails, but that doesn’t mean you should relegate yourself to city limits. If you really want to see Denmark, you should hit the road for a 29-mile day bike from Copenhagen to the northern port city of Helsingør. With plenty of sights to see and cozy Copenhagen cafés along the way, this is an unforgettable way to spend a day in Denmark.

Here’s our favorite one-day Copenhagen bike tour:

Head North to Bellevue Beach

Bellevue Beach, Klampenborg, Denmark.
Bellevue Beach, Klampenborg, Denmark.

New riders in Copenhagen might feel a bit intimidated by the organized professionalism of other riders, lanes, and social norms of riding. Rest assured, after a few trips through town you’ll be feeling like a local— or at least a little bit less of a blatant tourist. The infrastructure for cyclists is impeccable, making inexperienced riders feel welcome and safe on the roads. Bikes take precedence over cars, making your exit from city limits an enjoyable and uneventful experience.

Your first Copenhagen bike tour stop will be Hellerup Strand, a beach about 25-minutes into your ride. This spot is popular with locals and can attract quite the crowd on a sunny day. Sunshine is unpredictable in Denmark, so when it peeks through the clouds you can count on everyone to be outside making the most of it. Take a water break here, and grab a smoothie or ice cream from a beachside vendor.

If you simply can’t get enough of the beach, Bellevue Strandbad is on the way up the coast right after Hellerup. This beach has a park area, if you’re already hungry for a picnic lunch. Bike rides and beach hopping – what more do you need in life?

Grab a bite at Café Rosenhuset

Café Rosenhuset, Vedbæk, Denmark. Credit: Café Rosenhuset
Café Rosenhuset, Vedbæk, Denmark. Credit: Café Rosenhuset

As soon as you pass city limits, you’ll be in awe of the charming Danish countryside towns. Although they’re fairly close to the capital, towns along the way such as Skodsborg and Vedbæk will make you feel like you’re in an old-timey Scandinavian storybook.

Café Rosenhuset is a casual, airy café right on the beach in Vedbæk. They have a light lunch menu, along with a rotating variety of pastries. This endearing café is a perfect place to rest your legs – you’ve made it halfway! Take a seat on the second level and bask in the views of the cool blue waters of the Øresund straight. A slice of midday cheesecake (if available) won’t hurt either.

Stop at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Helsingor, Denmark. EQRoy /
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Helsingor, Denmark. EQRoy /

If you haven’t lingered too long at the beaches, take a break from your Copenhagen bike tour and stop to wander around the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. This waterside art museum changes exhibits frequently, but always maintains an impressive collection of funky, avant-garde art. One of the more popular ongoing exhibits comes from Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist with a knack for mind-bending pieces. 

After checking out the indoor exhibits, make your way outside to the outdoor sculpture garden before jumping back on your bike.

Arrive in Helsingør for Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark. Dennis Jacobsen /
Kronborg Castle, Helsingør, Denmark. Dennis Jacobsen /

After a long bike tour around Copenhagen with breezy beach stops and artful ventures, you’ll simply have to take a seat in front of one of Denmark’s magnificent 15th century castles. Helsingør is Hamlet’s hometown, if you’re one of those Shakespeare types. Kronborg Castle can be explored from the outside, or you can go inside for a reasonable fee.

Helsingør’s cobblestone streets are a relaxing final destination, with colorful homes peppering the streets up and down. This historical hotspot is best explored on foot – so take a break and lock up your bike.

Trek it Back to Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark.  Nikolay Antonov /
Copenhagen, Denmark.  Nikolay Antonov /

Ready for 29 more miles back to the city? You bet! If you’re lucky, you might catch some sunset shades while you meander back down the coast. If you’re feeling a bit exhausted from the day, you can hop on the train with your bike and ride back as a passenger, with ease. Get on the Öresundståg Line at Helsingør Street, and you’ll arrive at Copenhagen’s Central Station in a little under an hour.

The last item on your Copenhagen bike tour agenda is to enjoy an ice-cold Carlsberg or Tuborg beer back in city center – two of Copenhagen’s finest!