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Copenhagen rewards eco-friendly travelers with free kayak tours, ice cream and more

Travelers to Copenhagen can soon pay for perks at some of the Danish capital’s coolest attractions by going for a bike ride, showing a train ticket and partaking in other climate-friendly activities.

The barter system is part of a new initiative called CopenPay, which the city is piloting this summer from July 15 through Aug. 11, Wonderful Copenhagen (the city’s tourism organization) shared with TPG. As part of the project, travelers can trade sustainable actions for free perks at dozens of attractions throughout the city, including complimentary ice cream at the National Museum of Denmark, free coffee at the Museum of Copenhagen and more.

“It is a core task for us to make travelling sustainable. And we will only succeed if we bridge the large gap between the visitors’ desire to act sustainably and their actual behaviour,” Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, the CEO of Wonderful Copenhagen, said in a statement shared with TPG. “We want visitors to make conscious, green choices and hopefully end up getting even better experiences while they visit.” 

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The pilot project aims to showcase Copenhagen’s extensive sustainability efforts (Denmark was TPG’s most sustainable destination in 2022) and allows travelers to use green actions as currency. 

It also comes as Copenhagen is easier to get to than ever thanks to a pair of new nonstop flights launched last month on both American Airlines, which will fly to the city from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), and Scandinavian Airlines, which will fly from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Here is what travelers need to know to take advantage of the CopenPay program.

Which green actions count as currency?

Tourists and residents are eligible to redeem rewards when they ride public transportation, walk or bike to an attraction. Other eligible actions include volunteering in an urban garden, collecting trash and helping with cleaning up a beach. Different attractions require different actions.

How do you show proof of a green action?

VISIT COPENHAGEN

Travelers can show proof of train tickets or photos of themselves biking or participating in a cleanup effort, but Wonderful Copenhagen said mostly “CopenPay is built on trust.”

What can travelers score?

Travelers can get a variety of different free perks that vary by attraction. The full list is available online. Some highlights include: 

  • A free vegetarian lunch by volunteering in the urban garden Oens Have
  • A free glass of rosé and a free rental of petanque balls when arriving on foot or by bike at the Skurets Vinsalg wine store at Langelinieskuret, the city’s historic former customs house
  • A free kayak rental when collecting waste on the water with GreenKayak
  • Free admission to the Karen Blixen Museum when helping to tend the historic garden
  • A free cup of coffee with the purchase of an entry ticket to the Museum of Copenhagen when arriving on foot, by bike or by metro
  • A free ice cream with the purchase of an entry ticket to the National Museum of Denmark when arriving by bike or by metro

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