Copenhagen: Free bike rental

Posted in: Copenhagen


bike piles

Things can get pricy pretty quickly in Copenhagen, but you can still grab some wheels for free. The city’s free bike program, called “Bycyklen Kobenhavn,” was a pioneer in the urban bike program phenomenon. The city provides 1,300 free bicycles to anyone to zip around the city center.

The program is popular with visitors and residents alike, doubles as a rehabilitation program for locals, and is environmentally progressive. (The city even gave a city bike to Bill Clinton, when he visited in 1997.) In short, the program is just another example of why the Danes are so cool.

It’s a straight-forward system:

1) Find your way to one of the city’s 125 bike parking areas. They’re all located in the city center.

2) Leave a small deposit (a DKK 20 coin, worth about $3) and ride off with your bike.

3) Stay in the city center. The bikes are easy to identify, and you might get some looks if you’re outside the central zone. According to the official website, “If you ride on a city bike outside the zone, you might get fined by the police.” Also, remember not to ride on any of the city’s pedestrian-only streets (you can walk the bike, however).

4) When you’re finished, return the bike to one of the 125 bike parking areas, whereupon you’ll get back your deposit.

The free-bike zone.

For more information on the program, visit the city’s official website for the free bike program.

So simple.

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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10 thoughts on “Copenhagen: Free bike rental”

  1. hi,

    i’m looking for bike for 1 week, but my location is over the central zone, please give me some advice, where to get cheep bike, i can ever repair it if it is needed,

  2. Pingback: Copenhagen Freebie: The Little Mermaid statue beckons | Budget Travel Tips - EuroCheapo

  3. I agree with Andrew, I live here and have watched the system go to pot. The idea is great, but other cities, Geneva springs to mind, have far better arrangements, not to mention, properly equipped, maintained and comfortable bikes, which you can ride everywhere without worrying about getting a fine. Better to rent from a bike shop or for stays of a week or more, simply buy a one-month unlimited bus pass. It works out cheaper than those ten-clip bus cards, and you can hop on and off buses and the metro at will. Remember to bring a photo for the card.

  4. This system is an absolute disaster! If you want a bike….pay money and rent one! My wife and I thought after viewing this site, “what a great idea!”. Well after 3 hours of searcing streets we found 1 lonely bike. paid our 20K and went in search of another. After another 1.5 hours found one abandoned because of a broken chain. After a makeshift repair we thought her we come Copenhagen! Rode 7 minutes to a nice looking canal side bar. Parked the bikes and as per rules you can not lock them as no one is supposed to take them with the money still in place. 5 minutes later …..bikes GONE! What a waste of time!!! Take a cab or walk ….it’s a lot cheaper!!

  5. Is it possible to rent a stroller/baby buggy inCopenhagen?
    We have an 8-month old baby and our buggy is too big to travel with.

  6. Hello Mogens Petersen,

    i am planning a trip to Copenhagen i think bike will be helpfull.
    Where can i get these bike closest to the airport?
    Are there electric scooters or “patinettes”?

  7. Melvin,
    Yes you can rent scooters. Just “google” it. All though Id recommend the bikes. They are by far the easiest way to get around Copenhagen, and the distances are very short.

  8. Preciate the post Tom. This a great way to save money as well. I like riding bikes but I don’t know if I would want to while on vacation. Do they have scooters that you can rent? I ask b/c I’m headed out to Copenhagen next year.

    Also, This blog is truly becoming the standard for me when it comes to looking for the latest
    budget travel tips and strategies for taking that dream getaway for two or for my family. And when you’re not talking about travel tips, just being able to read about your adventures is a treat for me b/c a lot of times I determine my trips around where you’ve been. So thanks for your insight, stories, and budget travel tips.


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