Shelter

Tour cycling in Denmark.

I have been tour cycling quite a lot in Denmark over the years. I am a native Dane. So I have been on many trips around the country.

Recently I took a cycling trip through all 98 municipalities of Denmark. My cycling tips in this article are based on that trip.

Denmark is a great cycling country.

Denmark is a very safe and easy country to cycle. Simply because most people do it. Cycling is not just a leisure activity for the Danes. Hundreds of thousands of Danes commute to work by bicycle.

Many kids use the bike to commute to and from school. They are not doing it because they can not afford a car. It’s simply easier to cycle most of the time. Especially in Copenhagen and the bigger towns around the country. Roads are created with bikes in mind. So you often have designated bike lanes.

Cars are aware that there are plenty of bikes on the road. So you are not expected to move out of the way, just because a car is approaching.

Bicycle Hillerød

Stopping by Hillerød castle on a bicycle tour.

Road conditions in Denmark for cyclists.

Denmark is a country where bicycles are being thought of when roads are constructed. So you mostly have either a bicycle path. If not, then the drivers are used to sharing the road with cyclists, making it quite safe to cycle there anyway.

You do not have bicycle paths everywhere though, as rural Denmark has only started to take bicycles seriously in the past 25 years. But compared to most other countries, Denmark is really good for cyclists.

Bicycles in Denmark are used a lot for commuting to and from work, school and so on. That can only happen if the road conditions are right for those on two wheels.

This means that you do not have any parts of the country where you should not ride your bicycle.

Island hopping by bicycle.

Nice bike trail in rural Denmark.

Getting spare bicycle parts in Denmark.

Because the bicycle is used a lot for commuting, as well for leisure, you have bicycle shops all over the country.

Any town with more than 5000 inhabitants will have at least one bicycle shop or bicycle repair place. So you do not need to carry lot’s of spare parts if you do not feel like having the weight of it.

Pretty much any spare part can be purchased quite easily within a few kilometres in Denmark.

Getting water in Denmark while tour cycling.

First of all I would like to assure you that tap water in Denmark is safe to drink. It’s actually of a better quality than most bottled water. So do not bother to buy water in Denmark. Just stick your water bottle under any tap.

One place that will always have tap water is village churches. They do so because graves in Denmark mostly have flowers or plants on them. So every village church will have a gardener to take care of the graves. The gardener will have running water. Often also a public toilet, should you need it.

Walking into a graveyard you should always be respectful of course. But I have gotten my water bottles filled at village churches for years. I have only met friendly attitudes from the gardener and the priest, if I have come across any of them when filling my water bottle by the church.

Hvilsom church

Danish churches are good places to load up on water.

water denmark

The water place usually looks like this at a Danish church.

You need to visit Copenhagen as a cyclist.

Copenhagen is famous for its cycling culture. There are a few good reason for that. It’s a city that over the past 20 years has been turned into one of the top 5 cities in the world for cyclists.

Bicycle paths are everywhere. There are several bridges that are for cyclists only. Even the kindergartens are giving the kids cycling lessons, so that they can get used to cycling around the city from a young age.

Only negative aspect is that Copenhagen cyclists are so confident that they can seem a little aggressive, cycling at very high speeds through the city. I sometimes get a little stressed from it. Even if I am a Dane myself.

But all in all, Copenhagen is a fantastic bicycle city. I hope that many more cities around the world will copy Copenhagen’s way of creating bicycle culture.

Cycling kindergarten Copenhagen

Copenhagen kindergarten having bicycle lessons.

These Danish islands are fantastic for cycling.

While I think that Denmark is all in all very good for tour cycling, I would like to give a few islands a mention. As they are in particular good to us cyclists.

The islands of Samsø. Bornholm, Als and Ærø are really favourites of mine. They are big enough to tour around for 2-3 days without getting bored. They have excellent bicycle paths and good facilities for cyclists.

You can see that bicycle tourism is a part of their tourism strategy. This makes it a true pleasure to be there as a tour cyclist.

Cycling around Denmark.

Cycling around Bornholm.

Public libraries are a tour cyclist’s best friend.

Libraries in Denmark are really useful for a tour cyclist. They are almost always equipped with an IT area where you can borrow a computer if you need to get online.

Public libraries in Denmark also have wifi if you have your own device. If you need to charge your phone or your laptop, then you can just go and sit in one of the many reading areas and plug your device in.

I have never had anyone telling me that was not allowed. I typically go there myself with my laptop and plug it in while I use the free wifi.

Public libraries in Denmark also have free toilets. Where you can also fill up your water bottles.

Don’t forget that librarians are mostly very educated people who know a lot about the area. They are often a great source of help if you need to find places in the area. And they are mostly very happy to help you if they can.

What about wild camping in Denmark?

Wild camping is officially forbidden in Denmark. But do not worry too much. There are several areas, often small forests, where wild camping is officially allowed. These are listed on the website from naturstyrelsen. The English version of the website is not as good as the Danish version.

If you turn on automatic translation on your browser, then you should be ok. On top of that you have many shelters where you can often sleep for free. as well.

Denmark is a shelter country.

Public shelters where you can stay overnight have become the new craze in Denmark over the past 2-3 years. There are shelters in a lot of places these days. They are mostly free, or very cheap to use. The shelters are typically made out of wood and have space for between 2 and 10 persons.

Sometimes you will find a fireplace or a public toilet by the shelters. But do not count on it. But that can often be found at a nearby church anyway.

Shelter Denmark

Shelters are common in Denmark.

You have a few websites and also an app to locate the shelters. The app is on this link. You also have two websites called Naturstyrelsen and Book en shelter. They are both very useful in terms of finding the shelters.

The naturstyrelsen website will also show you places where you can wild camp, which is normally not allowed. But it’s legal in the places that the naturstyrelsen website shows.

Sleep in people’s backyard.

There is a fairly new organisation in Denmark called Brug min baghave. This is a website where people offer to stay in their backyard for the night. You should call in advance before going to their places though. People put up their phone numbers or email addresses on the site, making it easy to contact them.

If you contact them in advance, then you can generally stay in peoples’ backyard all around Denmark. The site has hundreds of gardens listed. I have used it quite a lot myself and it has always been a positive experience.

Beware though that the website is in Danish only. But some browsers can translate websites these days. So you should be able to use it if you are a little patient.

Tent

Camping in a Danish backyard.

Sleep in my backyard.

If you are planning to go cycling around Denmark and happen to pass by the village Bøjden (it’s right by a ferry connecting the island Fyn with the island Als). Then you are most welcome to stay at my place.

But please write to me in advance, as I travel a lot myself. But if I am at home, then my backyard is open for tenting.

You can contact me by pressing the contact icon.

cyclist Thailand

This tour cyclist from Thailand is one of many tour cyclists who have stayed at my place.

The biggest ripoff for cyclists in Denmark.

The single biggest ripoff for cyclists in Denmark has to be the train from Nyborg to Korsør. This is a train that quite a lot of cyclists end up taking, as it’s forbidden to cycle on the big bride connecting the two islands Fyn and Sjælland.

A single journey ticket will set you back somewhere between 18€ and 25€ depending on what time you take it. And this is for a 12 minute journey!!!! My advice is to not use that train. Instead use some of the ferries to go between the islands when in Denmark. They are both cheaper and nicer. 

Taking your bike on public transport in Denmark.

Taking your bicycle on public transport in Denmark is actually not as good as you would expect it for a country that is so bicycle friendly in other terms.

The only exception is public transport within the Copenhagen  area, where you can bring your bicycle easily. Often for free as well.

But when it comes to trains and busses going around the country, then it’s not very good. So make sure to check in advance if you are allowed to take your bicycle, if you plan on transporting it by public transport around Denmark.

These were a few cycling tips from me. I am happy to extend the article with more info if it’s needed. So feel free to leave a comment for me with any suggestions for more cycling tips about Denmark.

If you want to read a little about my 4417 kilometer cycling trip through all 98 municipalities of Denmark, then you can do it on this link.

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