The Ultimate Green Traveller’s Guide to Copenhagen

According to the city’s climate strategy Copenhagen is to be the world's first CO2 neutral capital by 2025 and this has the full support of the Copenhageners as a green vibe flows through every corner of the city. Whether you are looking to eat, drink, shop or sleep with a clear conscience, Copenhagen has an eco-friendly option for you.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Green Eating

One take on green eating in Copenhagen’s culinary scene is seasonal cooking with local products, with the world’s best restaurant Noma leading the way. Noma’s success has had a profound trickle-down effect on other restaurants practicing New Nordic Cuisine. Among them is the fully organic restaurant Geranium with head chef Rasmus Kofoed, winner of Bocuse d’Or 2011, giving him the title of World’s Best Chef. At the Michelin starred restaurant Herman, located within the Nimb complex, they serve radical interpretations of Danish classics and whether beast, fish or fruit, every last bit is made use of – a practice that is becoming the norm in Copenhagen.

But green eating in Copenhagen does not necessarily mean opting for a gourmet restaurant as there are sustainable choices in all price ranges, such as the gastro pub Nose2Tail in the meatpacking district. As the name indicates the concept is to use everything from the animal to avoid waste. At Nose2Tail the menu is determined based on which products are supplied by local organic producers on the day.
Around the corner in the meatpacking district is the large organic restaurant BioMio with room for 250 people. Here they serve organic, healthy and tasty food at reasonable prices in a laid back atmosphere.

For a fast food option try eating at an authentic Copenhagen hot dog stand, with a green twist. By Copenhagen’s Round Tower you can find the city’s only organic hot dog stand – Den Økologiske Pølsemand. Here you can order hot dogs and fried sausages made from organic pork or beef. Side orders and drinks are also organic.

Green Drinks

Besides organic soups, Soupanatural in Nørrebro specialises in healthy organic smoothies - or “Vitaminas” as they call them – and organic cocktails to-go. HarboBar café on Blågårdsgade makes spectacularly good organic coffee and cupcakes, and turns into a cocktail bar in the evening, where you can chose from a selection of organic beer, wine, cocktails and schnapps.

Green Sleeping

Lots of Copenhagen hotels tick the eco-friendly box, in fact 58 % of hotel rooms are certified with the official Green Key guarantee. Scandic Hotel Webers close to the main train station and Tivoli Gardens is particularly impressive. Not only is all the food and drink organic, the hotel’s furnishings are made from environmentally sound textiles and a programme aimed at making the building 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2025 is in place.

The four star Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers is built to be one of the World's greenest hotels. It has Denmark's only CO2 neutral hotel building and meets EU requirements for green construction and all of the hotel's energy consumption comes from renewable energy sources. The hotel's CO2 neutral technologies include an advanced climate system, which uses groundwater for cooling during Summer and stores the heated water and recycles it to heat in Winter. The result is a reduction of energy consumption for cooling and heating by nearly 90 percent.

Axel Hotel Guldsmeden, situated in the trendy district of Vesterbro, sets a high standard when it comes to sustainability and ecology. The breakfast buffet is 100 % organic with homemade yogurt, French cheeses and rustic bread and pastry from Emmery's, an organic bakery. Furthermore, the hotel offers organic beauty products such as shampoo, body lotion and soap especially made for their rooms.

Green Experiences

That Copenhagen cares about the environment is clearly visible in the street scene. The water in the inner harbour is so clean, you can take a dip in it and the city is sprinkled liberally with green spaces. When the sun is out, take a break from the busy city-life at the Assistens Kirkegård park in Nørrebro - a historic cemetery, which is the burial site for prominent Danes such as Hans Christian Andersen and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.     

For a convenient and eco-friendly sightseeing tour of Copenhagen take the CityCirkel buses, route 11, which run all day on electricity from batteries charged during night time, thus emitting less CO2 and exhaust fumes than ordinary cars and busses. Or if you want an alternative means of transportation take a guided tour of the sights of Copenhagen on an environmentally friendly Segway. The special vehicle runs on rechargeable batteries and lets you glide around Copenhagen's sights in a CO2-friendly and fun way. At Experimentarium in Hellerup, just north of Copenhagen, you can explore everything green in their permanent exhibition on energy use and production; on climate and the future. The exhibition provides a tangible picture of the opportunities provided by both yourself and technology.

Green Shopping

Consumers in Copenhagen demand both organic and environmentally friendly products and retailers have been paying attention. You will find a growing number of shops exclusively selling organic products and services. Noir, Ecoture by Lund and Jackpot are just some of the high style, high sustainability brands available. Eco Ego on Nørre Farimagsgade is a lifestyle store with clothing, shoes, bags, maternity wear, skin care products, glass, toys and things for the garden. Everything is organic, fair trade and/or sustainable. The mini department store K29 sells trendy sustainable eco clothing, shoes and silver jewellery, from among others, the three owners’ own brands Maxjenny, Margareta Forslund and Owe Johansson. Pure Shop on Grønnegade in downtown Copenhagen sells just about every organic beauty treat you can think of. It is Denmark's first organic perfumery specialising in organic beauty care, hair treatment and make up. Copenhagen also has some of the best vintage shops in the world, including, Time’s Up on Krystalgade.

Green Transport

Getting around in Copenhagen in an eco-friendly manner is easy – do as the Copenhagers do: take the bike! Over a third of the city’s 1.1 million people regularly cycle to work, making Dronning Louise's Bro [Queen Louise's bridge], the busiest cycling spot in the western world. An estimated 35,000 cyclists stream across the bridge during morning rush hour, a seriously impressive figure. 37 percent of commuters going to work or school in Copenhagen use their bicycle. The ambition is that it will be 50 percent in 2015. Choose between a bicycle taxi, a guided bike tour, rent your own bike or use one of the free city bikes. See the joys of cycling in Copenhagen in this award-winning video.

If you prefer a little more comfortable way to get around the city, you can book a CO2 neutral taxi through Amager-Øbro Taxi, they neutralize the CO2 that your car causes by buying certified European CO2 quotas.

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Further information on green Copenhagen (external links)

Bike-city

Green City

Organic Copenhagen

Further information about Copenhagen at Visit Copenhagen's media site