The Amager Nature Centre

Just five minutes’ walk from Vestamager Metro, a wilderness awaits – or at least the next best thing. West Amager, or Kalvebod Common, is the sort of natural area rarely found so close to the heart of a metropolis like Copenhagen. In less than 15 minutes, you journey from the downtown urban jungle of the city centre to a real savannah.

Twice the size of the more famous Deer Park, Kalvebod Common offers endless skies and wide vistas, rare birds, a host of insects and protected amphibians, droves of deer and grazing cattle and sheep.

The gateway to these wonders is Amager Nature Centre, where children and adults are able to derive inspiration and learn about nature all year round.

Equipment is available to hire or borrow for a range of activities, be it studying nature, lighting a fire, baking bread, making popcorn, bird watching or exploring by bike, scooter or even roller-skates if you fancy getting around a bit more quickly.

You might find that useful. The big skies and panoramic vistas stretch as far as the eye can see, and the roads are as straight as arrows – evidence of the fact that this area was once used as a military training facility. The flat landscape is interrupted only by a few areas of high ground, which also  date from the military era.

Close to the Nature Centre is a large adventure playground, Himmelhøj, which offers a variety of games and activities in four distinct areas created by the Italian landscape artist Alfio Bonanno. More sculptures are dotted around the verge of the modern Ørestad district and in the wilds of the common.

Photo: Scanpix/Kontraframe

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  • Bonfire sites
  • Wild camping
  • Bike rides
  • Horse and carriage rides
  • Hiking
  • Insect safaris
  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Nature instruction
  • Nature playground
  • Picnicking
  • Equipment is available for hire in the Nature Centre
  • Most of West Amager is below sea level.
  • The area was reclaimed during the First World War as part of a job-creation scheme designed to prevent Danish men being sent to do forced labour in Germany. It was then used for military training until 1984.

  • After the military left, the clean-up process began, and was completed in 2010.  It is now a conservation area.
  • More than a ton of old shells and ammunition were removed from West Amager before it was opened to the public. Some of the recovered munitions are on display in the Nature Centre.
  • A large number of bird species, many of them rare,  including the white-tailed eagle, the beautiful blue hawk and the world’s fastest animal, the peregrine falcon, are to be found here. This bird of prey has developed a special hunting technique that allows it to plummet from the sky towards its quarry at over 300 kilometres per hour.

  • There are also about 400 fallow deer. The canals and dykes are home to fish, frogs and the largest snake found in Denmark, the peaceful and (for humans) harmless grass snake.

  • A large number of insect species also flourish here.
  • The long, straight roads are suitable for wheelchair users, although the distances are potentially quite vast.

  • The Nature Centre has a bike taxi, suitable for transporting people with disabilities.

  • Access to Open Air House (Friluftshuset) in the Nature Centre, which also has a toilet for disabled people.
  • Bring a packed lunch.
  • There are plenty of beautiful picnic spots, and barbecues are permitted.
  • Amager Nature Centre features a small restaurant.
  • There is also a café in the striking ‘Number 8’ building at the edge of West Amager, near the Nature Centre
  • The Pinseskoven Forest
  • The dyke around West Amager
  • South Harbour Tip (Sydhavnstippen)
1 km

Get directions here