A few years ago a business trip took me to Copenhagen for the first time, and I discovered what a great place it is for running. The city has a safe reputation, gorgeous historic and modern architecture, cute neighborhoods with cafes and canals, guarded palaces, grand churches, and a view of Sweden across the Straight of Øresund. You just have to take care on the cobblestones and watch for bikes at every intersection–no jaywalking! As I made plans for a return trip last week, I was looking forward to a week of running in Copenhagen.
Running In Copenhagen: Day 1
It was really hard to get out of bed my first morning in Copenhagen. Although I technically had gotten plenty of sleep, it took all week to make up for the 2 hours and 40 minutes of “sleep” I managed on the plane the night before. I knew getting out for a run would be the best way to adjust to the time zone, but it still took a few SNOOZEs before I could drag my body out of bed. After all that, I only had time for a short run, but it was worth it.
I decided to start with familiar territory, and ran from my hotel around one of the lakes. When I got back to my hotel and saw ~2.5 miles on my Garmin, I kept going and ran “around the block” to hit 3 miles.
St. George’s Lake
It was a brisk morning–I wore my thickest top–but the blue skies and sunshine were energizing. Although I had cut it close, I had just enough time to shower and meet my colleague at breakfast before we had to head out to our first meeting.
Running In Copenhagen: Day 2
I was surprised that it wasn’t any easier to get out of bed on my second morning in Copenhagen. I guess jet lag is real! I also may have let myself SNOOZE a few times because our first meeting started a bit later, so I felt like I had plenty of time for my run.
I started out in the same direction as my first run, and planned to run by all the lakes and then try to find the Kastellet and Little Mermaid statue. None of the roads in Copenhagen are straight, and most take sharp turns or end somewhere between point A and point B, so getting “lost” was a real possibility. I may or may not have intended to run that loop around Amalienborg palace.
She’s really quite small!
I only made one wrong turn on my way to the Little Mermaid, and was the only tourist around taking pictures. Although she is right by an entrance to the Kastellet, I wasn’t sure I had enough time to complete that loop, so I opted to save that for my next run.
One of the buildings at Amalienborg.
Note the guards on the left–I was too shy to take a closer picture.
I tried to find Nyhavn on the way back to my hotel, but was off by a few blocks. That taught me to study the map better and consult it en route so I wouldn’t get
lost turned around again. This run ended up at about 6.25 miles and I was late for breakfast–but not my meeting!
Running In Copenhagen: Day 3
I had a really rough time sleeping my third night in Copenhagen, so once again it was a struggle to get out of bed. I was looking forward to running around the Kastellet and finding Nyhavn, though, so I made myself get up and head out the door.
The Kastellet is so cool! It’s a star-shaped fortress surrounded by a double ring of moats. There are two entrances over bridges, barracks and other buildings in the middle, and a path along the top. It seems to be mostly a tourist site now, but I did see people in uniform arriving to work there.
Despite the military purpose, the setting is quite park-like.
There’s even an old windmill near one corner.
This church is across the moat from the Kastellet.
And this church–St. Alban’s–is near one of the entrances.
I enjoyed my run around the Kastellet–it’s about a 1 mile loop–
and then consulted Google Maps to find Nyhavn on my way back.
For some reason my Garmin would not upload the data from this run. 🙁 I really wanted to see the star shape of the Kastellet path on the map, so I decided to repeat the same route for my fourth–and last– run in Copenhagen and hope my Garmin cooperated.
Running In Copenhagen: Day 4
On my last morning in Copenhagen, I finally was ready to get up with my first alarm. I was on a mission to map that star!
Doesn’t it look cool!
I also took more pictures in Nyhavn.
It’s only a few blocks long, but it is so pretty!
I don’t usually run so many days in a row, but how could I go to the hotel gym knowing these sights were just outside the door? Plus, these runs were at an easy, touristy pace with lots of photo stops.
It probably will be a few years before I get back to Copenhagen again, but if you have a chance to visit make sure you bring your running shoes–and lookout for bikes before crossing the street!
What’s your favorite city to run in?