A Week Of Running In Copenhagen

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
As usual, my running gear was the first thing to go into my suitcase. Since I wasn’t sure what the weather would be, I packed capris and longer tights, light, medium, and heavy weight long-sleeved tops, thinner and thicker gloves, and thinner and thicker ear bands. I probably put as much thought in my running gear as I did in my work clothes! 

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. 

Running In Copenhagen

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.

Running In Copenhagen Kastellet Entrance

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.  

Running in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

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.

Running in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

 It’s only a few blocks long, but it is so pretty! 

Running in Copenhagen - Nyhavn

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! 

I’m linking up with  Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap and hopping on a plane to Seoul, where I don’t plan to do any running. 

What’s your favorite city to run in?

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38 Responses to A Week Of Running In Copenhagen

  1. Darlene says:

    So great that you got in your runs while away. Great way to see the area.
    Darlene recently posted…Bacon Hill Bonanza RecapMy Profile

  2. Oh my, what amazing pictures!!! I’m a total tourist dork…so I’d be right with you running (and taking pics). So far, my favorite city to run in (while on vacay) has been San Fran….hilly, but so neat. I do love Chicago, though, too.
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Grey Skies, Blue Skies, and Lots of BlingMy Profile

  3. Wow I really enjoyed all of your pictures! How cool to run in Copenhagen! I’ve never been there and with three active children, we do not travel much. The beach is close by and we enjoy going there! Thank you for sharing your running adventure!
    Katie Shepherd recently posted…Weekly RecapMy Profile

  4. Zenaida says:

    Wow! Beautiful sights you got to see along your run.

  5. Awesome pics! I have never been to Copenhagen but it is definitely on my list! Looks like there are plenty of great places to run there!
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Weekly Wrap….April 9My Profile

  6. I have to be honest, I had to google where Copenhagen was. I knew it wasn’t here but I didn’t know where. I would be just like you, why stay in a hotel gym with all of that right out your door? I love all the pictures you do a great job letting us peek into the sights and such on your runs out of town.
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…Weekly Wrap 88 Taking a breatherMy Profile

  7. I’ve never been to Copenhagen but I’d love to visit someday. Glad you got your runs in. I was wondering how you were doing without your Starbucks

  8. I was in Copenhagen when I was 15, so I don’t remember much about it. But what I do remember is what a beautiful city it is! How great that you got to experience it on foot.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Where Did All the Endurance Go?My Profile

  9. So many great pics! Good for you for getting so many runs in – great way to see the city! Hope your trip to Seoul goes well.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Wrapping up Week 5 – BTDTMy Profile

  10. So cool. I loved reading this. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

  11. Lesley says:

    When I’m vacationing a new city, I do play the tourist and do a lot of walking. I’ve never run in a foreign city, but the walking allows me to get over the jet lag. I think I got an hour of sleep on the plane, tops, when I went to Italy 10 years ago.

  12. Carla says:

    you know me 🙂
    when I travel I WALK THAT TOWN.
    But after last weekend I may need to amend that to I GALLOWAY THAT TOWN.
    It’s so much swifter <3
    Carla recently posted…The importance of living with margins.My Profile

  13. Kimberly G says:

    What an awesome way to explore the city. I like to run whenever I visit a new city.
    Kimberly G recently posted…Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon Training Recap – Week 6My Profile

  14. We visited Copenhagen for 24 hours on my very first trip to Europe — 20+ years ago! And we actually did get to quite a few of the same places (but not the lakes). Good thing it’s a small country.

    We had a layover there on our way back from Greece. I insisted that we spend the night. And it was a great decision. Actually I flew home and my husband went on (because it was actually a business trip for him).

    Of course this was a long time before I became a runner!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Burning up the trails: 4/3- 9 Weekly WrapMy Profile

  15. What a great opportunity! I love running in unfamiliar places. What a wonderful way to explore the sites. I travel about once per month for business, and I too pack my running gear first.

  16. Marcia says:

    I’ve been to Copenhagen a few times but it’s been awhile…maybe 15 years since I’d last been there. Looks gorgeous as ever. Glad you got out and explored on foot. Running tours are the best!
    Marcia recently posted…Training Lately and My First Stitch FixMy Profile

  17. I will have to live through you on these runs! Copenhagen looks beautiful! I feel that I would do the same thing and run every day! I bet it was nice to sleep in though, haha!

  18. Chaitali says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos from your Copenhagen runs! They really do look like beautiful runs 🙂 I’m impressed that you managed to wake up for runs all of those mornings in spite of the jet lag.
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

  19. I love running through new cities. Copenhagen looks magical!
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (vegan, gluten-free)My Profile

  20. Gina says:

    Wow! What a beautiful place! So great you were able to get up all those mornings and fight the jet-lag to run! I would have asked a guard to take my selfie – LOL! 🙂
    Gina recently posted…Scheels Mankato Spring Half MarathonMy Profile

  21. Rachel says:

    Oh my gosh, how beautiful are these runs! I would love to explore that city while running.
    Rachel recently posted…Tossed Tofu Broccoli BowlMy Profile

  22. What a great way to see the city!

  23. Looks like a great place to run! Its awesome that you were able to do some much sightseeing on your runs!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…One More Piece of the Injury PuzzleMy Profile

  24. Jenn says:

    Jealous! I have never been to Copehagen, but it looks absolutely stunning! Running is such a great way to see new cities and explore new surroundings. It’s my favorite! Have so much fun on your upcoming trip!
    Jenn recently posted…weekly wrap: 4.2 – 4.8 + publix savannah women’s half marathon race weekMy Profile

  25. What a beautiful city to explore! Great job on taking advantage of the area while on a work trip! I love to explore new cities on foot- you are right, who wants to be in a stuffy hotel gym?
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Weekly wrap with a change in scenery!My Profile

  26. Ilka says:

    How awesome that you got to experience this beautiful City! I love running through areas and Cities I haven’t been to!

  27. I am like you, I don’t usually run that many days in a row, but I would have done the same thing and run every day to see all the sites – much more fun than lifting at a hotel gym.

  28. Jessica S says:

    What gorgeous pictures! I only visited Copenhagen once but these pictures make me want to return. 🙂

  29. Thank you for sharing your travels! I never knew how beautiful Copenhagen was!

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