Home → Resources

Biking rules for Denmark

Excerpt from "The Worktrotter's guide to Denmark".
Always observe the traffic regulations – the penalties are severe.
Even if you aren’t stopped by the police, you will often be put in place by other people, because Danes don’t suffer fools gladly when it comes to traffic – particularly on the cycle paths.

To help prevent you getting into awkward or unpleasant situations, here are the most important rules (I have not seen them written down anywhere in English):

1.  Cyclists indicate their intention by means of hand signals:
 –  Hand signal to the left: left turn
 –  Hand signal to the right: right turn
 –  Hand signal upwards: stopping

2.  When turning left at an intersection a cyclist may not use the turning left lane for cars, but must cycle across the intersection, stop (indicating this in advance by means of a raised hand), then ride in the desired direction when the lights turn green again.

3.  Cycling against the flow of traffic is forbidden.

4.  If a bus stops at a bus stop, cyclists have to stop until the bus doors have closed again.  Bus passengers who cross the cycle path when boarding and alighting have priority, unless there is a bus island.

5.  Pavements/sidewalks are no-go areas for cyclists.  If there is no bike path, you must ride on the road.  Similarly, cycle paths are out of bounds to pedestrians, and if you are walking alongside your bike, you must do so on the pavement.

6.  Obey the red light at intersections even when you're on a bike. If there are no cycle traffic lights at the road junction, it is the car traffic lights that apply to cyclists, and not the pedestrian ones.

7.  When riding your bike you must have both feet on the pedals and at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.

8.  Cycle helmets are not compulsory, either for children or adults.

The following components of your bicycle must be in good working order:
–  Front and rear light.  However, you will notice that only very few cycle lights are strong enough to light up the road, and are really only “alibi” lights, allowing the cyclist to be seen.  Lights are often set to flashing mode to improve visibility, particularly in the dark winter months.
–  Reflectors must be fitted to the wheels, or the tyres must have built-in reflector strips.
–  The cycle must be fitted with a white reflector at the front and a red reflector at the rear.
–  The cycle must have functioning brakes, both on the front and rear wheel...
–  …and a bell!
Read more in "The Worktrotter's guide to Denmark".


#1 John Robbins 2012-08-17 20:16
I am confused. Must I have all these reflector and lights when riding in broad daylight? I don't have any on my "racing" bike. I am in Norway heading for Denmark.

Add comment

Security code

Share with your friends

Denmark seen with international eyes

The Worktrotter books

Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish work cultureBusiness-Dances with Danes

For those working with Danes and those trying to find work in Denmark.
This book is also aimed at those Danes who want to become conciously aware of the Danish workplace culture.

Find out how to decode Danish work culture, avoid pitfalls and know how you can bring your messages across when working with Danes. 

The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

For current and future newcomers to Denmark.

A practical step-by-step guide about living and working in Denmark. Save time, nerves and money. Be smart and do things right - right from the start.

No shipping fees worldwide!

Follow on Google+

SpeedNetworking event, Copenhagen

Our Partners

The Worktrotter web site was developed by
jfb Webdesign, who provide web design and developement services

Foreigners in Denmark is a social network for foreigners / expats living in Denmark, cooperating closely with Worktrotter

 Photojournalist and event photographer Matthew James Harrison