Copenhagen launches new green experience economy initiative, CopenPay

Photo: VisitCopenhagen

To get tourists to act more sustainably, Wonderful Copenhagen is launching a new initiative: Pay for a variety of Copenhagen attractions with climate-friendly actions.

There is a need to change the mindset of tourists and encourage green choices. Data show a large willingness as 82% say they want to act sustainably, but only 22% have changed their behaviour.

This is why Copenhagen’s official tourism organisation introduces CopenPay - a new initiative transforming green actions into currency for cultural experiences. It is Copenhagen’s ambition to inspire visitors to make conscious green choices and help bridge the large gap between the desire to act sustainably and their actual behaviour. 

CopenPay rewards actions such as cycling, participating in cleanup efforts, or volunteering at urban farms with access to a variety of enriching experiences and everyday wonders of Copenhagen. This includes complimentary guided museum tours, free kayak rentals, and even a free vegetarian lunch made from local crops.

For instance, visitors arriving at the National Gallery of Denmark with plastic waste are invited to a workshop to turn it into a piece of art. Similarly, taking public transport or a bike to Copenhagen's iconic heating plant grants a unique experience of skiing down its slope on the building’s roof.



“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. It might sound simple, but it is not. We want visitors to make conscious, green choices and hopefully end up getting even better experiences while they visit. Through CopenPay we therefore aim to incentivize tourists' sustainable behaviour while enriching their cultural experience of our destination. It is an experimental and a small step towards creating a new mindset amongst travellers and one among many initiatives we are doing to make travelling more sustainable”, says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen, CEO at Wonderful Copenhagen.

The simplicity of the system allows easy participation: tourists can show a train ticket, arrive on a bicycle, or present other simple proof of green actions to redeem their rewards. This summer, all tourists are invited to partake in CopenPay, with regular updates on available attractions and rewards at

Launching with over 20 attractions this summer, CopenPay not only aims to enhance the guests' local experience but also to inspire other destinations.

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“We must turn tourism from being an environmental burden into a force for positive change, and one important step in this transformation is to change how we move around on the destination, what we consume, and how we interact with the locals. With CopenPay we want travellers as well as local attractions to focus on the change and the choices, we need to make” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen and concludes “Since travelling is international, our success is dependent on the choices of people and destinations elsewhere. We therefore also strive to inspire sustainable behaviours and cultural appreciation worldwide,” says Mikkel Aarø-Hansen.

“I am thrilled to see an initiative like CopenPay that combines our rich cultural life with a strong commitment to sustainability. By converting green actions into currency for cultural experiences, tourists are given a unique opportunity to explore Copenhagen in a way that benefits both the environment and the local community. This aligns perfectly with our values and ambitions to promote sustainable solutions in Copenhagen,” says Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Sophie Hæstorp Andersen.

The hope is not only to continue the pilot project, but also to inspire other cities around the world to introduce similar initiatives.

Facts about CopenPay

Facts about Copenhagen

  • Population in Copenhagen: 602 t. residents
  • Bicycles: 750,000 (4 times more than cars)
  • Commuting: 62% of all citizens commute by bicycle
  • Copenhagen drew 12 million international overnight stays in 2023.
  • Cycling infrastructure: 382 km of cycle lanes
  • Hotels: Majority of hotel rooms in the city are eco-certified
  • Tap water: Potable and safe to drink
  • Canals: Clean enough for swimming
  • Electricity: More than 70% sourced from renewable energy
  • District heating: Primarily powered by biomass

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get in touch with the individual attractions?

A: If you have questions about rewards and actions, you should contact the individual partner directly by finding their contact information on the complete list of attractions.

Q: What is the purpose of CopenPay?

A: The purpose of CopenPay is to encourage sustainable behaviour and enrich the cultural experience of visitors and residents in Copenhagen by transforming green actions into currency for cultural experiences.

The campaign about CopenPay only runs in Copenhagen, and it is not intended to increase tourism.

"With CopenPay, we’re empowering people to experience more of what Copenhagen offers while placing less burden on our planet. It's about creating meaningful and memorable experiences that are enjoyable and environmentally responsible.”

Mikkel Aarø Hansen, CEO of Wonderful Copenhagen

Q: How can one participate in CopenPay?

A: Participation is simple. Tourists and residents can redeem rewards by showing proof of green actions, such as train tickets or bicycles. These actions include cycling, participating in cleanup efforts, or volunteering at urban farms. Click the map on this site to find all participating attractions and which action they reward. Some attractions have limited availability, so remember to check if you have to book in advance.

Q: What proof is required to show someone has participated in a green action?

A: Participants can show proof, such as train tickets or photos of themselves biking or participating in cleanup efforts, but generally, CopenPay is built on trust, just as Danish society is the most trusting in the world, according to PEW Research.

Q: Is Copenhagen a sustainable destination

A: According to the Global Destination Sustainability Index, Copenhagen is ranked the third most sustainable destination in the world. The list of the most sustainable destinations in the world can be found here:

Q: How does CopenPay specifically contribute to reducing Copenhagen’s carbon footprint?

A: CopenPay encourages the use of bicycles, public transportation, and participation in environmental activities, which collectively reduce the city’s carbon emissions by promoting greener modes of transportation and waste reduction.

However, the environmental burden of transportation to and from Copenhagen is much more significant than that of local transportation. Consequently, CopenPay is marketed only in Copenhagen to encourage both visitors and locals to make more sustainable choices.

Q: When will CopenPay work in Copenhagen

A: CopenPay is a pilot project launched on July 15 and runs until August 11. Based on the evaluation, we hope to reintroduce CopenPay as a year-round, green payment experience within the economy and broaden the concept to other parts of Denmark and the rest of the world.

Q: Where can I find press releases, photos, videos, and quotes about the project?

A: You can find all press-related information, including press releases, photos, videos, and quotes, in our Copenpay Media Kit. Click here to access the media kit.

Press Photos and video material

Download a selection of pictures and video material related to CopenPay. Press photos - CopenPay. The photographer must be credited.



Press photos

Photo: VisitCopenhagen

Further information - Copenhagen and sustainability

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Giuseppe Liverino

Senior Manager – Press & PR