When it comes to exploring your new Danish hometown, there is one tip that is more valuable than anything else:
GET A BIKE!
It’s cheaper and more flexible than busses, often quicker too, and gives you exercise and fresh air on top of that. And it’s what all your fellow Danish students will also be riding, so it makes hanging out with them much easier.
The ‘biking the same way home from classes’ is a time-tested classic when it comes to getting to know your classmates.
If you have only just learned how to ride a bike upon coming to Denmark, do be careful so that you don’t hurt yourself. In some Danish cities, Red Cross occasionally organises ‘bike schools’ for foreigners who would like to learn.
How to get a bike
Cheap bikes can be found at second hand bike shops, through dba.dk and similar pages or through some of the Facebook groups for international students in your city. Many international students sell their bikes when they go back home and you can probably buy their bike for a cheap price if you keep an eye out for posts like this.
We suggest that you buy a used, but reliable bike from an official bike shop – it’s often cheaper than renting it (ask your classmates where they bought theirs). If you’re only here for a short while, you can rent out your bike from a specialized business, which often exist solely to rent bikes to exchange students at a favourable rate. Google it.
Get one that’s not too fancy (eliminates the risk of theft), but not too worn out (eliminates massive repair bills) and get a secure lock for it. Secure locks will be sold wearing the ‘Varefakta’ mark
Keep the number of your bike and lock in a safe place. If your bike gets stolen, you will need this number for the police and the insurance.
You should always, always use the bike lane when possible. If not, stick to the right side of the road, as close to the curb as is safely possible.
Signal when you turn and when you stop, stop for red lights and stay in the bike lane or as far right on the road as is feasible. Remember to get lights for your bike (white for the front, red for the back) to use at night, and to not bike on sidewalks or through pedestrian crossings.
It is not mandatory to wear a helmet in Denmark, but keep your brain safe and get a proper one that fits you and have the CE certificate (a sticker inside the helmet with CE, staing that it’s approved.). It can save your life.
For safety reasons, we recommend that you do not to listen to loud music or use your mobile phone while biking.
And since it gets cold in Denmark: Buy some lock antifreeze from a gas station. It will save you many tears once the temperatures get below zero and your lock suddenly won’t open.
If you or your friends can fix things on your bike, great! Otherwise the second hand bike shops normally do cheap repairs, or you might be lucky and there’s a volunteer run bike repair shop in your city. Ask around or google it.