Frederiksberg Cycle Tour – explore this lovely place
If you have never really ventured into the prestigious enclave of Frederiksberg, find inspiration in our guide to a cycling tour following our reporter’s favourite route, perfect for a one-day tour of this enticing neighbourhood.
By Emily Bartosiewicz Pictures: PR, VisitDenmark
Most people’s first idea of Frederiksberg presents it as a place where wealthy elders or established families tend to live. It carries a reputation as being ritzy, and, considering the expensive shops lining Gammel Kongevej, the big houses tucked away in the residential side streets, and the regal architecture throughout, it’s no wonder Frederiksberg maintains this status.
Simply crossing the borders from the charmingly edgy neighbour districts of Nørrebro and Vesterbro, you immediately recognise this social shift.
Frederiksberg is an independent municipality with its own town hall and city service, an enclave in the middle of Copenhagen, so it’s no wonder there is a sense of prestige circling around this lovely place.
However, despite what could be mistaken as a seemingly pretentious image, Frederiksberg has plenty of charm, making it a wonderful place to visit and explore.
With plenty of cafes, restaurants, boutiques and green spaces, one can easily spend an entire day, discovering the nooks and crannies whilst riding around on your bike.
So that’s exactly what we’ll do.
An ideal place to start would be at Vesterport Station. Despite sounding like it would be a place to begin a journey into Vesterbro, this station actually lies right along Gammel Kongevej.
Upon exiting the station, you’ll see the historic and vibrant cinema, Palads to your left. But unless you’re desperate to go see the latest film, your best option is to turn right and away from it.
Gammel Kongevej is a long and very exciting street. You might find yourself stopping your bike a few times to visit all the shops and cafes along this stretch.
At the first part of the street, you’ll come across several design and furniture stores, like Kvik, Roomstore and BoConcept.
Be wary of the fact that you can’t really buy anything that will fit in your bike basket for the rest of your journey, but it’s worth a look nevertheless.
Further along on your right, you may have the chance to stop into Letz Shop, a gourmet food store by Daniel Letz, the mastermind behind the Michelin starred restaurant Le Saint Jacques. Here you can find speciality products from France as well as a tasty croissant to fuel you for the rest of your cycle.
Up ahead to your left, in the side street of Tullinsgade, you’ll find Central Hotel and Café.
Despite it’s outward appearance of a tiny building, it is, in fact, a hotel. And with only a single room available for booking, it’s Copenhagen’s smallest hotel at that. Here you can also enjoy a coffee and pastry at the bottom part of the building, which goes along with the building’s general premise of being small.
However, don’t get too sidetracked with this tiny and inviting street, because you still have quite a lot to see on Gammel Kongevej!
Shops like Soulland, Wood Wood, Ganni, Filippa K, Stig P, and Storm & Marie are waiting for your thick wallets!
Or perhaps, you’d rather take your chance at the designer secondhand shop, 2nd Rag, where many of these brands are also available, lightly used and at a reduced price. MiniBot and MiniMe are two stores to find a little gift for the kids while Naturligvis and Endurance Sport carry athletic wear and products.
If you’re hitting lunch hour, consider stopping at Meyers or Icelandic chain, the Laundromat Café. But if you want to build up your appetite a little more, there’s still plenty for your stomach up ahead.
When you reach Alhambravej intersecting Gammel Kongevej, you may notice mega health food store Helsam’s.
This is a great place to stock up on all of your superfoods, but also a sensible location to grab a healthy juice or snack in their cafe.
In contrast to that ultimate health, Social Foods is worth a visit for their chocolates and delicious ice cream. Ipsen & Co., is a cozy little corner nook for great brunch and coffee. Henckell is also a good stop, especially if you’re in the mood for a delicious avocado sandwich.
On the corner of Gammel Kongevej and Madvigs Alle you’ll see Klein’s Boghandel, where, from a vast selection, you can pick up a book to read for the rest at the park you’ll get to a little later in your journey.
Across the street you’ll see Sans Souci, and perpendicular to that you have Wok Shop and Sticks’n’Sushi, quite varying but delicious options for a sit down meal.
Past this point, you’ll begin to notice some smaller boutiques, carrying many speciality items.
Köst is a great shop of Scandinavian names for clothing, shoes and accessories, while the Garment Project is the perfect place to find your classic casual sneaker. Then there’s Bak, a nifty shop for soaps, knick-knacks, notebooks and the sorts, but with a secret garden room in the back of the shop.
Alternatively, you also have Ostespecialisten, the ideal place for all the cheese lovers out there, and Kodan Fisk, where you can pick up fresh fish for sale.
If you see some beautiful pottery along one of the windows, you must be passing Creative Space! Here you’re able to select your ceramic, be it a mug or cookie jar, and then paint it yourself. It’s a fun place for your children, but it shouldn’t be ruled out for adults – it also makes an optimal activity for a date!
Not too far away, you have Maude’s Salon. It’s a terrific spot, decorated like a cosy living room, for a coffee and very delicious cake. It’s also open conveniently late in the night.
Once you approach the street Falkoner Alle, you have a few compelling directions of travel. If you turn right on Falkoner Alle, you have a few more shops, restaurants, cafés, and most notably, the bakery Brødflov. You also have the very contemporary shopping centre, Frederiksberg Centret, where you have a collection of great stores to look through. But don’t take too long shopping away indoors – your bike ride isn’t over yet!
Retrace your steps and return to Gammel Kongvej. Just past this intersection, you’re at the Frederiksberg City Hall, where on Saturday you can find the parking lot occupied entirely by an antique market.
Just beyond this, you’ll find a secret path taking you south into Frederiksberg Have.
Along this path, you’ll pass Bon Bon Ice. It might be a good idea to get an ice cream cone as you enjoy the Frederiksberg Gardens. Within the park, you can go to the Copenhagen Zoo or Frederiksberg Palace, or simply wander around the large green space, with hedges trimmed to perfection.
When you’re done with your time in the park (and with your ice cream cone), try to find your way back to Falkoner Alle, to the big yellow entrance (or in this case, exit) of Frederiksberg Have.
This will take you to your next long street of the neighbourhood, Frederiksberg Alle.
The best part about taking this route is that cycling down Frederiksberg Alle from the park is quite down hill, which we all know is the easiest way to cycle.
It also is a beautiful street, with tall trees similar to the ones seen in the gardens on both sides of the road, framing your view elegantly.
While you cruise downwards, you’ll pass the Betty Nansen Teatret, Frederiksberg Chokolade, Engelhardt Konditori, Te Amo Kaffe, Den Goe Kaffebar, Café Tænk and Design Delicatessen.
You might also notice an interesting place called Kit Couture Copenhagen, a space with several artists of different fields (varying from clothing to light fixtures to jewelry to posters) presenting and selling their work.
At the end of Frederiksberg Alle, you’ll hit Vesterbrogade, but if you look to your left, you’ll notice another intersecting street around the Lagkagehuset, called Værnedamsvej.
Sometimes referred to as “the French street”, this is a charming little street that acts like a bridge from Vesterbro to Frederiksberg. Some claim it has a very Parisian feel to it, with speciality cheese and wine shops, delis, cafes and restaurants. The Playtype Concept store, started in Copenhagen has its founded location on this street.
You’ll also find Copenhagen’s first Aesop store across from it. Dora is a nice shop halfway through the street selling very interesting interior touches. The winebar Falernum is an excellent place to enjoy one drink, as you’re almost at the end of your journey.
When you make your way up this street, you may end at a place that looks familiar.
You are back at Gammel Kongevej, and not too far from Vesterport Station now, where your journey began.
From Værnedamsvej, turn right on Gammel Kongvej and go on until you see the recognisable sign of Vesterport station.
Take the train home and enjoy a nice long rest after your day of exploring Frederiksberg.
Hopefully, after this, you’ll consider it as more than the stereotype it carries and realise just how lovely a neighbourhood it is.