This post is also available in: Dansk
Copenhagen’s most vibrant districts, Nørrebro and Nordvest feature lots of thought-provoking new architecture, public spaces and emerging cultural communities, small creative businesses, entrepreneurs, – and of course hipsters.
But they also embody the rise of the Danish welfare society since the early 20th century.
Blending into local everyday life on the bike lanes, our Architecture & Community bike tour covers a wide range of housing schemes, cultural buildings and public spaces.
We’ll ride detours on the backside of town with plenty of graffiti and street art to enjoy as well.
We’ll visit buildings of prominence, such as the Grundtvig’s Church, public spaces like Superkilen (by Bjarke Ingels/BIG) and contemporary building design, such as the local library (by COBE Architects).
In addition, we’ll pass residential project developments, and social and affordable housing ranging in time from the mid 20th century to today.
These buildings and places all relate to one notably Danish phenomenon: universal welfare.
Since their initial development, Nørrebro and Nordvest are districts for the less affluent people, from workers during the industrial revolution to the immigrants of the last decades.
So here, embodied by bricks and concrete, we’ll trace the history and present of a social-democratic movement, that has shaped the Danish cities and minds.
“Phenomenal experience – probably my favorite in CPH / of all time! We got a high level of insight from the supremely clever and knowledgeable Alice and loved the tour. Highly recommend over a walking tour. “Yvonne, Paris, France
Why would this be interesting?
Because architecture and urban spaces reflect all sides of society. And this is even more true for Danish architecture, which almost always takes social issues and community into account.
That is what shapes ‘liveable’ Copenhagen, and that is what you’ll encounter first-hand on this bike tour.
Architecture relates to topics as diverse as for example:
- Everyday life
- Historical background
- Welfare politics
- Climate and sustainability
- Values and religion
- … well – in fact – everything!
Furthermore, we take pride in addressing these relations in a straightforward language without pretentious archi-lingo.
We also never shy away from taking a critical standpoint by addressing also the mistakes and unintended consequences.
Starting from the central city the route will take you to places such as:
- Nordvest (NorthWest) area
- Superkilen Public Spaces
- Affordable Housing Schemes
- Bispebjerg Hospital
- Grundtvig’s Church*
- Street art and gable paintings
- Sjakket Youth Club
- … and much more
* The Grundtvig’s Church is occasionally closed for funerals or other closed events. Those are not likely to take place at the time of this tour, but there’s a minor risk, we can’t have access.
Your guides on the tour are:
Alice Lempel Søndergaard
Alice has worked in various positions in urban planning and strategy and is commenting on and reviewing new architecture.
She has a degree in philosophy and modern culture and she has a profound interest in how our built environment and city planning are influencing everyday life in the city.
Asser has a background as a building designer on smaller, very diverse projects and as a teacher at the School of Architecture in Aarhus.
Asser is an architect by trade, and since 2020 he is studying construction engineering at the DTU (Technical University of Denmark).
You can read more on his blog: copenhagenarchitecture.dk.
Occasionally, on busy days, we make use of freelance architect guides, who are also professionals from the building and planning industry.
Small group size
We treasure the personal connection and the opportunity to exchange views and experiences along the way. Our maximum group size is 10.
It’s not a fitness session, but all participants should be fairly experienced on a bike and fairly comfortable in traffic. The pace is comfortable and we make plenty of stops.
The tour is suitable from 12 years up, the route mainly follows bike routes, and avoids heavy car traffic.
For someone new on a bike or uncomfortable on the bike lanes, we’ll be happy to offer a custom tour at a slower pace, choosing quieter routes. Please let us know at email@example.com.
Bikes and equipment
On this tour, you can choose between a cool STRiDA design folding bike or a traditional bike.
The STRIDA is a real urban eye candy – and a great ride!
Our Danish Winther high-quality bikes offer a classy, traditional biking experience. We have different sizes, and the seats are adjustable.
Optional helmets are included as well as a bottle of tap water that we bring on the tour.
Can I take my kids?
Yes, kids 12 years+! Cycling is a great family activity and much more kid-friendly than bus and boat tours.
BUT (important!): since we don’t know your kids and their skills on a bike, they will ALWAYS join on the responsibility and supervision of their parents. Helmets are included and recommended for all kids.
Before and after
Please meet us 15 minutes prior to the tour to get you equipped and ready, so we can start on time. In consideration of other tour guests, we cannot wait for latecomers.
We start and finish the tour at the beCopenhagen basecamp, Fortunstræde 1, 1065 Copenhagen.
You can store your luggage here during the tour, and after returning you can rest with a cold soft drink. Feel free to use our WiFi and charge your phone/device.
You can find additional and practical information on our FAQ page.