Safety Biking in Copenhagen
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The best way to see the amazing city of Copenhagen is by Bike.
Learn all about the local cycling rules to keep you safe as you bicycle through Copenhagen.
Copenhagen has over 450 km of bicycle lanes and paths, so you can assume most of the areas you cycle in will have them. Drivers in Copenhagen are very used to bikes and cycle lanes and will usually be very courteous and give you plenty of room.
Traffic Lights prioritise bicycles over cars at most intersections in Copenhagen. At most junctions, a blue bicycle path indicates which path you should use when crossing the road. Bicycles have their own set of traffic lights around Copenhagen. They are slightly smaller that the standard traffic lights and are easily recognisable with their bicycle logo. Always follow the bicycle traffic lights when available and the normal traffic lights when they are not.
Helmets are not a legal requirement to wear a bicycle helmet in Copenhagen, but we certainly recommend it. If you are new to the city then you will be making yourself safer if anything were to happen. You must have at least 1 hand on the handlebars and cannot use your phone whilst cycling. Bicycle lights must be used during hours of darkness. All of our bikes come with fitted lights and a working bell.
Bicycle lanes are to be used if available, otherwise stay to the right-hand side of the road. Stay to the right-hand side of the bicycle lane allowing faster cyclists to pass you on the left. If you hear a bell in the cycle lane then it means someone would like to overtake on the left-hand side. Move over to the right-hand side when possible. Do not ride side by side, as this will prevent other cyclists from passing you. Instead ride in a line behind each other.
Overtaking should be approached carefully. When overtaking another cyclist, look behind you to see if there are any other cyclists approaching and then overtake when it is safe to do so. Overtake on the left side and give considerable space to the other cyclist. When you want to come to a stop, signal to other rides by putting up your left hand. Then look behind you and find a safe spot to stop your bicycle. Dismount and leave the bike land as quickly as possible to not hold up other cyclists.
Right Hand turns are a potential hazard.Cyclists have to wait for the green light to make a right-hand turn. Pay attention that sometimes the traffic may turn right before the bicycle here. Be very careful with trucks, as they have a large blind spot and cannot easily see you. Indicate with your right arm that you intend to turn right and turn when the light is green.
As cars are driving on both directions then you cannot make direct left hand turns. You must cross the street first, before pulling up and crossing over again on the green light. Ensure that you signal to other cyclists that you intend to stop at the crossing by raising your left hand and pulling over to the right.
Bicycle Rush hour is a busy time. Please be aware that many Danes use their bicycle to commute to work. Therefore, expect the bike lanes to be very busy from 07.00-09.00 & 15.00-17-00 Monday to Friday, as people go to and from work. This can increase travel times and increase the chance of accidents. Please take additional care during these times.
Copenhagen Bicycles take the time to go over these rules before you rent a bike or join a bike tour. It is important to us that your cycle ride is enjoyable and safe for everyone. See our video above for a short briefing on the bicycle safety rules.
Fine for breaking the rules – If the police observe you breaking the cycling rules you can be fined 700-1500 DKK on the spot. Tourists have to pay this fine immediately or risk being detained.
- Crossing over a red light
- Cycling on the pavement
- Cycling without lights
- Cycling in a pedestrian area
- Using a phone whilst cycling
- Cycling against the traffic flow
- Being drunk on a bike (1500 DKK)
Mixing alcohol and cycling can be dangerous. Although there is no legal limit, you increase the risk of accident for yourself and others.