Life in Denmark

Discover Copenhagen the green way

If you are fed up with the traditional way to discover the city, Green Bike Tours might be exactly what you are looking for: they offer bicycle and walking tours for individuals and groups throughout the year with various themes: Sustainability, Social or Architecture & Design. Cycling through the city also makes you feel like a Dane and let you realise how brilliant the cycling infrastructure is and makes you wonder why it is not like that everywhere else…

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I had the opportunity to do Tour 1: a 3 hour long bike tour which takes you through Copenhagen’s goals to become the sustainable capital of the future. Although I had been living in the area for a bit more than 2 years when I took the tour, I learnt a lot of interesting facts about the city and I can now show off in front of my friends with my newly acquired knowledge.

They also offer tours in Malmö. Check their website as I am sure more cities will be offered soon.

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Amager

Just moved to Amager? Useful websites

Just moved to Amager? welcome to the club…

You are either living in 2300 København S, 2770 Kastrup or 2791 Dragør. Below here are the key websites for the area that will give you an overview and a starting point.

If you cannot read in Danish yet, hope is not lost: on your laptop/PC: right-click and choose ‘translate to English’. The app google translate is very good if you are on your tablets or mobile phones (it can also translate text from pictures!!).

Amager vintage poster

Your ‘kommune’ one-stop-shop websites
Communal websites here in Denmark are very thorough so if you are looking for something, check the sites below and I bet you’ll find what you are looking for, be it around how to get your cpr number, which club you want to join, recycling or just what’s on at the local cinema.

All these very comprehensive sites offer a calendar to help you find an event that matches your interests. For Dragoer and Taarnby, it is usually called (Det sker i Taarnby/ Dragoer) and linked to the kultunaut.dk site and app. For Copenhagen, slightly different setup use the section BRUG BYEN and click on Se alle under Det sker i København.

Taarnby (Tårnby) kommune http://www.taarnby.dk/.
Calendar can be found on the homepage on the bottom left Taarnby calendar

Dragoer (Dragør) kommune https://www.dragoer.dk/borger/
Calendar a bit more tricky to find. Calendar Dragør

Koebenhavn (København) kommune https://www.kk.dk/
(english site https://international.kk.dk/)
Calendar is trickier to find but you can click here to find it too. Calendar København

AMAGER_Sneglen.lowres.Grafisk

Visitor websites

Taarnby (Tårnby)
Find the brochure here in Danish here

Dragoer (Dragør)
Check the website Visit Dragoer

Koebenhavn (København)
South Copenhagen has no dedicated site but VisitCopenhagen has pages dedicated to some of Copenhagen’ southern parts
– East Amager according to Visitcopenhagen
East amager according to visitcopenhagen
– Ørestad on Vestamager according to Visitcopenhagen
Orestad according to Visit Copenhagen
– Copenhagen
visitcopenhagen.com

Watch out for my next article on places in Amager to get your social life going….

You can order the Amager poster here

 

Amager

Humans of Amager: Melanie Haynes and her Nine Amager Favorites

Melanie from Dejlige Days kindly accepted my offer to be the first “Human of Amager” on my blog. I met Melanie via a common friend a while back and have always been impressed with how she has been able to turn her expat experience into a popular blog and a successful business.

Here she introduces herself and tells us about her 9 Amager Favourites.

Before I moved to Amager from Østerbro on 2017 the most I had seen of the island, unflatteringly known as Sh*t Island, was the beach and the airport. When we lived in Frederiksberg and also Østerbro I felt that heading south to Amager was something of a trek, which if course it really isn’t. However, we wanted more space and peace and quiet so started looking for a little villa to buy and Amager seemed to have the best selection for our budget. I was still a little negative about the area at that stage if I am honest but after a few weekends of looking at houses I started to really like it.

So two years on I have discovered some favourite places on the island. So here are my nine favourite places and things about living on Amager. I am alway discovering more places!

1. Number One – Vestamager Nature Centre

Although I live in a capital city I am still a country girl at heart and Amager certainly lives me the chance to get close to nature. The Nature Reserve, a short walk from Vestamager Metro station, is a real treat. My son had his birthday party there one year and it is possible to have the use of a hut, a fire pit area and equipment to use to toast marshmallows and also to cook snøbrød. You can’t book the huts in advance but if you turn up early you can usually find one available.

The Nature Reserve covers the wide open space of Kalvebod Fælled with its free roaming
sheep. The main nature centre has a cafe and an activity centre where you can borrow or hire nature spotting equipment or take part in organised events. There are also ponies to hire for children to ride around the area. It is a wonderful place to spend a day, walking or cycling, enjoying nature and fresh air. To find out more: Vestamager Nature Reserve

nature centre

2. Number Two – Amager Strandpark

Still on the subject of nature, Amager is probably best known for Amager Strand, a man-made beach easily reached by a number of Metro stations, less than ten minutes from the city centre. You can swim, kayak, roller blade, cycle, picnic, sunbathe — in fact any type of typical beach activity can be found here. All along the beach there are toilets and shower facilities as well as cafes and ice cream shops, yet it is still very uncommercial. You can get off the Metro at Øresund Metro and walk the length of the beach to either Femøren or Kastrup Metro stations to head back into the city. We live a short walk from the beach and last year, during the heatwave, we were up there every evening wwimming in the sea. There are some parts of the beach with life guards for supervised swimming. Read more about Amager Strand, activities and faculties here Amager Strand

3. Number Three – Amager Hospital

This may seem an odd one to add to the list but since we have lived here my son has managed to crack his head open on our stone floor and break his arm so we have experienced the emergency room at Amager Hospital a few times. We, of course called 1813 in advance, but we have always been seen at our appointment time and have been seen by wonderfully kind and compassionate doctors and nurses there. When he broke his arm he had a consultation, x ray and was plastered up, ready to go home in just under an hour. Although the emergency room is not open 24 hours here (you go to Hvidovre Hospital after that), it is amazing to know we have a relatively quiet hospital just on our doorstep.

4. Number Four – Excellent public transport

One of my reservations about living on Amager was that I felt it was a little too removed from the city centre and how wrong was I! My son travels to school in Vesterbro everyday and it takes us less than fifteen minutes on the Metro to get to Frederiksberg Station and when the new ring line opens in Summer 2019, this will only speed up the journeys into the city centre. The 5C and 2A bus routes run frequently from the centre out to Amager, giving more opportunities to reach here easily.

5. Number Five – Prismen Leisure and Cultural Centre

Located on Holmbladsgade, close to Amager Centre and on the 2A bus route, is Prism, a leisure and cultural centre run by Københavns Kommune, which offers tons of events, classes, clubs and much more. You can really engage with the local community here. You can find out what they offer here

Now onto some food and drink recommendations. Over the last ten years Amager has developed more of a food scene than before and some of the more hipster type places are opening up here. I’d like to concentrate on what I see has more ‘Amager’ type places in my recommendations. I also wrote about some of the generations’ old businesses on Amager, which I hope will continue to flourish (you can read the article here)

6. Number Six – Rooty

This is a newish salad bar on Amagerbrogade with a ecological twist. The food is locally sourced and in the main plant based, although they do also do a delicious chicken salad made from free range birds. They also use recycled and recyclable packaging where they can. Not super cheap but very tasty! Rooty

7. Number Seven – Shamyat

If you love ‘Baklava’ then this is the place for you and if you’ve not tried these delicious sticky Mediterranean treats then now’s your chance. Shamyat is the kind of place you might miss as it is located on Amager Boulevard, a little before the main parades of shops start on Amagerbrogade.

On my first visit as soon as I walked in the door the man behind the counter offered me a taster and that was enough to know that this was the place to get some delicious Mediterranean delicacies. I asked for a selection box and he popped in two of each type. In my excitement to order I hadn’t really looked closely at the prices. As he presented me with the box below I was astounded only to be charged 50dkk. And it was 50dkk well spent! Shamyat-Halawiyat Facebook page

shamyat

8. Number Eight – Riccos, Holmbladsgade 52

I know there are Riccos coffee shops all over the city so this is not a unique recommendation for Amager. I find all Riccos coffee shops very friendly and the coffee is great but this one has a real community feel and is not dominated by cool hipsters but caters for a variety of people. They offer an amazing breakfast plate, baked goods and delicious coffee. I can really recommend the muesli rolls, made on the premises. Riccos website

9. Number Nine – Wefood

Wefood, located on Amagerbrogade (and now also in Nørrebro) is Denmark’s first supermarket selling surplus food and was officially inaugurated by Princess Marie back in 2015. It is also thought to be the first of its kind in the world as it isn’t just aimed at low-income shoppers but is a supermarket for anyone who is concerned about the issue of food waste.

They have limited opening hours as they are reliant on volunteers so if that sounds like something that interests you, you can find out more here More info on Wefood
weefood

A bit more about Melanie Haynes

Melanie Haynes is the founder of Dejlige Days Welcome, a consultancy which helps people planning to move to Copenhagen or already living there to have a positive relocation experience. She offers personal consultations, bespoke written guides, talks and guided visits to key amenities and ebooks. She regularly writes about expat life, sustainability, social issues and more in The Local Denmark and the Huffington Post as well as on her popular blog, Dejlige Days. Have a look, I really recommend all her resources…
Dejligedays blog
You Tube Dejlige Days
Instagram Dejlige Days
Dejlige Days Welcome services

Simpler Living

Want to “be the Green” in Denmark? Here some sites to get you started for thriving biodiversity in your garden.

Amager Village just organised a biodiversity event at Taarnby bibliotek along with two great associations where each talked about how to save the wilds bees and to look after honey bees, we ended up the event teaching participants how to build a bee hotel (see bottom of the article for tutorials)

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These key associations were:

  1. Wild Bier i Danmark You will find loads of information about the association and the work they do on their website to save wild bees
  2. Amager Bi (called Tarnby Bi before) (previoulsy called Taarnby Bi) – If you want to become a beekeeper, they organise theory and practical courses in Danish.

Many other associations/organisations helped us by providing sample of their products or information on their associations.

You can read about them below and start being the change one seed at a time 🙂

Www.bioproduction.dk Instead of using pesticides, Bioproduction provides beneficial organisms  for the biological control of pests you find in your gardens, greenhouses etc facebook page: @bioproduction.dk

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Www.spirekassen.nu selling seeds to grow plants for whoever want to start growing their own in the city or the countryside. @spirekassen.nu

Image result for spirekassen

Www.naturbutikken.dk online shopping website where you can get everything you need if you want to be in nature. They provided the birds houses you see in our pictures. @naturbutikken.dk

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www.planbi.dk Association educating on bees, also selling products  @planbi.dk

Www.biavl.dk Danmarks Biavlerforening Danish association of beekeepers – Links to build bee and bug hotels @danmarksbiavlerforening

www.greenandblue.co.uk UK based shop selling items to protect birds and bees. Also selling seeds. (see bee brick, bird feeders, bird houses, bee houses and seeds) @greenandblueuk

bee brick perfect christmas gift shown with solitary bee

Www.wildlifegarden.info Website educating on birds and butterflies (pictures, sound and characteristics of birds and butterflies) but also selling decorative wildlife items. Click on their tab ‘Living Garden’ then ‘Bird school’ or ‘Butterfly school’ to learn about all the species we can protect by doing little changes in our gardens and balconies.

Tutorial for building hotels for wild bees

You can see more pictures of the event on the Facebook page. Biodiversity event by Amager Village