How to get around Denmark with public transport

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen - Copenhagen Media Center

Getting to and around Denmark by public transport is easy, fast and convenient. We're a small country with hundreds of islands, so there is a myriad of interconnecting transport routes by land, sea and air. Here's all you need to know about how to find your way around Denmark. 

Take to the skies: Flying to Denmark

Most people flying to Denmark will head for Copenhagen Airport. Only fifteen or so minutes by metro or train into the centre of Copenhagen, the airport is ideally placed for those wanting to visit the capital. And it's often very quick to get through with minimal waits compared to other big city airports.

From here you can also purchase other types of tickets for onward travel. Check out the Copenhagen Airport website for flight information as well as disability access and other facilities. There are several daily flights from Copenhagen to cities around Denmark. For example, SAS have direct flights to AarhusAalborg and Billund, while Norwegian flies direct to Aalborg, Billund and Karup.

Airlines such as DAT provides comprehensive domestic and international flight services to smaller airports like Bornholm, Odense, Esbjerg and Sønderborg.

Not sure where to fly to in Denmark? Here's a handy list of airports in Denmark to help you decide!

Public transport in Copenhagen

The Copenhagen public transport network operates 24 hours a day, with special train, metro and bus services covering the night and early hours. Most ticket types can be used on all forms of public transport in and around the capital, including Metro, rail, buses and harbour buses. 

How to get to Copenhagen from the airport

The quickest route from the airport to Copenhagen is via regional train or Metro. Take the train if you want to head to Copenhagen Central Station quickly, or jump on the driverless Metro system if you want to go to the equally central Nørreport Station. 

Copenhagen's driverless Metro

The Metro runs frequently throughout the day, sometimes as often as every three minutes. Sundays to Thursdays between midnight and 5am the Metro operates a less frequent service, with trains running every 20 minutes or so. 

Getting around Copenhagen by bus

Buses in Copenhagen run frequently and allow you to cover big areas of the city in relatively short time. All local transport runs on the same ticketing system, so transfers from train to bus are easy. If in doubt, just ask the friendly bus drivers if they are going to your destination. The buses also operate night services on certain routes.

Cruise around Copenhagen in a harbour buses

If you want to see Copenhagen from a different perspective, you can always take the Harbour Bus. The network has three "bus" routes, serving 10 different stops around the harbour front, six on Zealand-side and four on Amager-side. These boats are operated by the same carrier as normal buses, and all ticket types are valid here too. 

Harbour buses are a great way to see Copenhagen from the various waterfronts and they go past many of the city’s well-known sights, including The Little Mermaid, Nyhavn, Christianshavn and the Royal Opera House.

Copenhagen City Pass

If you don't want to worry about calculating zones and time, you could buy a City Pass. They are available in 24-hour and 72-hour versions, and they allow for unlimited travel in zones 1 to 4 for the designated period. a 24-hour ticket ticket (DKK 130) covers all zones including the airport.

You simply stamp your City Pass the first time you get on public transport in Copenhagen, and it will be your valid travel ticket until the 24 hours or 72 hours have passed.

Rent a bike and cycle around our bike-friendly capital

Talking of bikes, Copenhagen's City Bike project (Bycyklen) is a network of brilliant 'intelligent' electric bikes all over the city, available 24/7, 365 days a year. Each bike has a touchscreen tablet which can be used for navigation, payment and tourist info. Find out more about Copenhagen City Bike hire right here.

If you're an avid cyclist, most trains allow you to bring your bike on board, which is handy if you want to explore on two wheels. Please note that bikes are not allowed on the Metro in Copenhagen during rush hours and that you must buy a ticket to take a bike on regional trains, otherwise, it's free. 

Venture outside Copenhagen with public transport

Planes, trains, buses, ferries and boats - there are plenty of modes of transport when navigating across Denmark. This means you can fit in many more more sights and experiences during your trip than is possible in many other destinations.

Hit the rails: Train travel beyond the capital

DSB is the official Danish national rail operator but there are other now trainline companies operating such as Arriva. It's easy to travel by train beyond Copenhagen to the rest of Denmark. A train from Copenhagen to Aarhus will take three hours, to Aalborg four hours and to Odense an hour and a half.

You can see train routes, find times and book train tickets with DSB by calling +45 70 13 14 15, and there is also the option of booking via the DSB website.

InterRail and Eurail passes

Non-European travellers in Denmark can take advantage of the Eurail Denmark Pass, for cheap train travel in and around Denmark. Eurail also offers a Europe-wide Eurail pass which includes travel in Denmark.

If you are a European citizen, you can use the InterRail Denmark Pass instead for cheap rail travel around Denmark or the InterRail Pass around Europe.

Hop On: Coach Travel in Denmark

A cheap and convenient alternative to travelling by car or train is by coach. If you want to explore more remote areas of Denmark in this way, the country has an extensive network of long-distance coach routes.

Denmark is part of many coach companies’ network, which is why you can book inexpensive bus trips from many European cities.

The bus connections are operated by providers including Eurolines GermanyFlixBus and Swebus. Note that not all of them have English-language websites. 

Ride the Wave: Ferries in Denmark

As you'd expect from a country made up of so many islands, boats and ferries provide an essential service. It's also a refreshing way to travel, especially if you are not used to travelling across water.

Several major tour operators run ferry and cruise services to Denmark from other destinations. Companies such as ScandlinesColor LineFjord Line and Stena Line can whisk you across the ocean from major European destinations to and from Denmark.

Within Denmark, there are numerous ferries and passenger boats that will take you to the many smaller Danish islands. Click here for a full rundown. 

So there you have it.

However you choose to travel to and around Denmark, you will find a method of transportation to suit your budget and preferences. Safe travels and see you soon!