There Is No Better Way To Explore This Danish City Than Getting On A Cargo Bike Like A Local!
Copenhagen has executed a bold initiative to become the first carbon neutral city in the world by 2025. And as part of this plan, the Danish government are encouraging even more of its citizens to take the 2 wheeled option. At present, 50% of its population already commute by bikes not because it is the cheapest form of transportation but simply a way of life.
In 2013, the first “bicycle superhighway” – designed to connect outer districts and suburbs to the city centre – was opened, with 26 more set to be developed over the coming years. With 25% of families with 2 children owning a cargo bike to transport their kids, these dedicated roads will no doubt only increase its usage.
It was therefore fortuitous that Maike from Copenhagen Family Tours decided to take us for a whirl in a quintessential Christiania cargo bike. And boy were we glad we did this. This has got to be one of my highlights of our Danish trip! Here are 10 reasons why we loved our tour with Maike so much.
CARGO BIKE REASON #1
Very Danish. We loved experiencing life like a real local, carting our daughter around like a princess! This is especially convenient for families with young children as it is exactly how the Danish transport their own kids as part of their everyday routine.
CARGO BIKE REASON #2
Environmental. As a tourist in this country, it felt good to be able to contribute to their carbon neutral goals. It dawned on me however that as a visitor there were no visible strategies to educate us on how we wouldn’t be part of the problem. With over 10 million tourists holidaying in Denmark annually since 2015, I would hope tourism is very much part of their agenda.
CARGO BIKE REASON #3
Easy to Manoeuvre. I have to admit I’m not great on 2 wheels but I found the cargo bike, albeit a bit heavy, very easy to manoeuvre. No balancing required, easy to push off and stop. Maike hired 2 of the city bikes of which Andrew just hopped on the other one and followed us around. This is also a great way to enjoy a city tour if your kids don’t know how to ride a bike or are not so confident yet.
CARGO BIKE REASON #4
All Seasons. We visited Copenhagen in the dead of winter and the cold certainly doesn’t stop the Danish from getting on their bikes. So this tour is very doable no matter the season. In fact, we enjoyed biking in the cold whilst Hannah was all rugged up, feeling the winter breeze on her face. And we’re not just saying that because she really loves the cold!
CARGO BIKE REASON #5
Back Roads. One of the best things about going on this tour was we got to explore the city from the back roads. Tracks and trails which I would not have known to take or felt confident it would take me to the places I needed to go. This also meant we got to see many sites which we otherwise would not have, had we not moved away from the main streets of Copenhagen.
Coming from Australia, we are left hand drivers so trying to navigate roads on the bike in a right hand drive country was a very daunting prospect! So going on a tour was a good option as we could just follow Maike without having to worry if we were going to collide into any other bikers. Some of the riders were flying down roads and it got a bit nerve wrecking.
CARGO BIKE REASON #6
Great Guide. Maike is a great guide. A mother of 2 children, a local guide and a travel agent, she created Copenhagen Family Tours. Her tour company was designed to enable families to experience what a true Copenhagen family would normally do on a daily basis. She also is of the belief that the biking lifestyle is a strong contributor to Denmark being the happiest nation on earth. I think she’s onto something there! At the same time, she is super friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and very flexible in catering the tour to our needs.
Half way during the tour, we stopped for a quick break at 108, the sister restaurant to Denmark’s most famed restaurant, Noma. We enjoyed a cold beverage in this high ceilinged restaurant adorned with large hand blown glass bulbs and discussed in depth everything we had seen so far. I really enjoyed re-capping some of the points as sometimes I was too busy concentrating on the traffic to be really listening. This way we got to ask questions and it also gave us the opportunity to discuss where we would go for the second half of the tour.
CARGO BIKE REASON #7
Overview. We did our tour earlier on in the holiday which meant that we got a quick overview of the city. Copenhagen is not a very big city so it’s possible to see quite a bit in 3.5 hours! We also did our tour later in the afternoon so we managed to catch the sunset over the harbour as we cycled our way into the dark of the day. That also presented an interesting experience as we meandered through the streets at the end of the working day. Bike traffic increased substantially and it felt great to be part of it all.
CARGO BIKE REASON #8
Christiania. One of the many things we did on this tour was to stop in Christiania. Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares. It is a green and car free zone that was created by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government.
Freetown Christiania is an eclectic mix of art galleries, homemade residential houses, music establishments, workshops, cheap and organic cafes and restaurants and rugged nature. It is also home to Pusher Street, where ironically illegal hash dealings are! I found Christiania grungy, some parts just plain dirty and a neighbourhood filled with gypsies wandering their way through life. Very glad we got to see it and it presented Copenhagen in a whole new light!
CARGO BIKE REASON #9
Outdoors. I thoroughly enjoyed being in the wintry outdoors as the physicality of the tour kept me warm. I am a big advocate for taking trips to Europe in winter where everything is generally cheaper and less crowded. So taking this bike tour yet again cemented why I love travelling in super cold temperatures.
CARGO BIKE REASON #10
Fun. This was some seriously good wholesome fun. Hannah had an absolute ball as she documented her perspective with the go-pro. I heard her vlog, I watched her smile the whole 3.5 hours and I embraced her laughter and her giggles when I took a turn too sharply or didn’t slow down in time for a speed bump. She pointed out things she loved and there was a lot of “Mummy! Did you see that?” or “Mummy! That is so cool! Can we go there tomorrow?”. Well in my book if everyone had a great time, it’s got to be a winner!
Thank you Copenhagen Family Tours for sponsoring this wonderful tour of this magnificent Danish city. I cannot recommend this highly enough for all families with young children as it’s such a convenient and fun way to see the city without baby carriers and prams. For older siblings or other travel companions, they are more than welcome to join in the tour as Maike will just organise more bikes for everyone. And don’t forget it’s great to do it in the winter too. In fact, we encourage it! Thanks Maike!
Do you have any cargo bike stories to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below!
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