Public transport in Denmark

Getting from A to B

Made up of numerous islands, Denmark has long had to ensure that it is well connected. Now not only are Denmark’s towns and cities linked, but Denmark is easily reached by numerous destinations in Europe and around the world.   

Public transport in Denmark

Whether travelling to or from Denmark, or exploring the country itself, the Danish public transport network can accommodate any type of journey. 

Air

Due to the extensive road and rail networks, domestic flights are not really necessary and therefore somewhat limited in Denmark. However, for travelling to and from Denmark, the country’s airports are extremely well connected.

Copenhagen airport is the largest airport in the Nordic countries, and the busiest, serving 60,000 passengers each day. It is easily accessible from the city centre by both the metro and the local trains. The airport operates as a transport hub for the wider Scandinavian area, offering flights to destinations as far-flung as Singapore and San Francisco.

There are numerous other airports outside of the capital, details of which can be found here .

Trains

There are three main types of trains in Denmark: Regional (Re), InterCity (IC) and InterCity Lyn (ICL). Regional trains link local stations to the main national network. IC and ICL trains serve the same routes, ICL are just quicker and do not stop at as many stations. Ticket prices for both types are, however, the same.

Originally opened in 1897, the Coast Line railway is the busiest route in Denmark. It links Elsinore, of Hamlet fame, to Copenhagen with 14 stations along the way.

Intercity trains run every half an hour from Copenhagen central station to Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Thisted and Sonderberg. Trains to the south and west of Sweden also run every 20 minutes, you should note a special fare system is in place for the route.

Trains to international destinations can also be caught at Copenhagen Central Station. There are direct routes to Stockholm, Hamburg, and Berlin regularly during the day. Euronight also operate services to destinations further afield like Prague, Amsterdam and Basel.

Purchasing tickets in advance can make rail travel a lot more cost effective, the closer to your departure date the more expensive they will be. Tickets bought online (Orange tickets) also come with a considerable discount.

The majority of Denmark’s trains are operated by DSB  (Danish State Railway), whose website is available in both Danish and English.

There is also a local rail network in Copenhagen that connects the suburbs to the city. These S-trains serve the Greater Copenhagen area.

Buses

Travelling within Denmark by coach is considerably cheaper than going by train and tickets do not need to be purchased in advance. It is also possible to travel to and from Denmark by coach, with services connecting it to various destinations in Europe. Eurolines  offer a comprehensive list of routes.

Public buses are not as common or used anywhere near as frequently as they had previously been in Denmark. However, Aarhus, for example, still operates a well-used local bus service. For information and timetables for Denmark’s public buses, consult the Movia  website; it is available only in Danish though.

Copenhagen Metro

Copenhagen is the only city in Denmark with a metro network. It currently consists of 2 lines (M1 and M2) serving 22 stations, only 9 of which are underground. However, 2 further lines are being constructed along with 17 additional stations which will be in operation by 2018.

The Copenhagen metro is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as unmanned, automated trains are used on the network.

Tickets can be purchased from machines in all metro stations. It is important to bear in mind that travelling without a ticket can incur a fine of DKK 750 (€100).

A Copenhagen City Pass can be purchased which allows unlimited travel on the metro, buses, local trains and even the city’s water buses.

Taxis

Getting a taxi, as may be expected, in Denmark isn’t cheap, but you are unlikely to get ripped off as a foreigner unlike in some other countries. Due to the high fares, you will also not be expected to tip the driver.

Cycling

The culture of cycling in Denmark is comparable to that of the Netherlands, it is popular as both a recreational activity and a means of getting around. There is an extensive infrastructure in place in both Danish towns and cities as well as the countryside, with some 10,000km of designated bicycle routes.

Copenhagen was recently voted the best city in the world for cyclists and, therefore understandably, 37% of Copenhageners commute to work by bicycle.

The Danish attitude to cycling is unique however in the way that bikes are present within the law; it is mandatory that all bikes are protected by the VIN-system, a unique code is embedded within the bike frame, as a way of identifying and insuring for theft.

Boat

Copenhagen harbour still operates regular ferry services linking the Danish capital to the countries near-by. Oslo can be reached by boat by the daily service run by DFDS Seaways. Furthermore, Swinoujscie in Poland can be reached 5 times a week by boat.

Copenhagen even offers a waterbus service, with 4 lines serving 10 stops along its harbour. These serve as both leisure trips and commuter ferries. They are operated by Movia who also run the local buses, and are therefore fully integrated into the public transport network of the city and tickets for the buses and metro are transferable to the water buses.

Whatever trip you are planning in Denmark, Rejseplanen  is an excellent resource that combines the different public transport network to organise your journey; the website is available in Danish, English and German.

Whether travelling to or from Denmark, or exploring the country itself, the Danish public transport network can accommodate any type of journey. 

Air

Due to the extensive road and rail networks, domestic flights are not really necessary and therefore somewhat limited in Denmark. However, for travelling to and from Denmark, the country’s airports are extremely well connected.

Copenhagen airport is the largest airport in the Nordic countries, and the busiest, serving 60,000 passengers each day. It is easily accessible from the city centre by both the metro and the local trains. The airport operates as a transport hub for the wider Scandinavian area, offering flights to destinations as far-flung as Singapore and San Francisco.

There are numerous other airports outside of the capital, details of which can be found here .

Trains

There are three main types of trains in Denmark: Regional (Re), InterCity (IC) and InterCity Lyn (ICL). Regional trains link local stations to the main national network. IC and ICL trains serve the same routes, ICL are just quicker and do not stop at as many stations. Ticket prices for both types are, however, the same.

Originally opened in 1897, the Coast Line railway is the busiest route in Denmark. It links Elsinore, of Hamlet fame, to Copenhagen with 14 stations along the way.

Intercity trains run every half an hour from Copenhagen central station to Odense, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Thisted and Sonderberg. Trains to the south and west of Sweden also run every 20 minutes, you should note a special fare system is in place for the route.

Trains to international destinations can also be caught at Copenhagen Central Station. There are direct routes to Stockholm, Hamburg, and Berlin regularly during the day. Euronight also operate services to destinations further afield like Prague, Amsterdam and Basel.

Purchasing tickets in advance can make rail travel a lot more cost effective, the closer to your departure date the more expensive they will be. Tickets bought online (Orange tickets) also come with a considerable discount.

The majority of Denmark’s trains are operated by DSB  (Danish State Railway), whose website is available in both Danish and English.

There is also a local rail network in Copenhagen that connects the suburbs to the city. These S-trains serve the Greater Copenhagen area.

Buses

Travelling within Denmark by coach is considerably cheaper than going by train and tickets do not need to be purchased in advance. It is also possible to travel to and from Denmark by coach, with services connecting it to various destinations in Europe. Eurolines  offer a comprehensive list of routes.

Public buses are not as common or used anywhere near as frequently as they had previously been in Denmark. However, Aarhus, for example, still operates a well-used local bus service. For information and timetables for Denmark’s public buses, consult the Movia  website; it is available only in Danish though.

Copenhagen Metro

Copenhagen is the only city in Denmark with a metro network. It currently consists of 2 lines (M1 and M2) serving 22 stations, only 9 of which are underground. However, 2 further lines are being constructed along with 17 additional stations which will be in operation by 2018.

The Copenhagen metro is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as unmanned, automated trains are used on the network.

Tickets can be purchased from machines in all metro stations. It is important to bear in mind that travelling without a ticket can incur a fine of DKK 750 (€100).

A Copenhagen City Pass can be purchased which allows unlimited travel on the metro, buses, local trains and even the city’s water buses.

Taxis

Getting a taxi, as may be expected, in Denmark isn’t cheap, but you are unlikely to get ripped off as a foreigner unlike in some other countries. Due to the high fares, you will also not be expected to tip the driver.

Cycling

The culture of cycling in Denmark is comparable to that of the Netherlands, it is popular as both a recreational activity and a means of getting around. There is an extensive infrastructure in place in both Danish towns and cities as well as the countryside, with some 10,000km of designated bicycle routes.

Copenhagen was recently voted the best city in the world for cyclists and, therefore understandably, 37% of Copenhageners commute to work by bicycle.

The Danish attitude to cycling is unique however in the way that bikes are present within the law; it is mandatory that all bikes are protected by the VIN-system, a unique code is embedded within the bike frame, as a way of identifying and insuring for theft.

Boat

Copenhagen harbour still operates regular ferry services linking the Danish capital to the countries near-by. Oslo can be reached by boat by the daily service run by DFDS Seaways. Furthermore, Swinoujscie in Poland can be reached 5 times a week by boat.

Copenhagen even offers a waterbus service, with 4 lines serving 10 stops along its harbour. These serve as both leisure trips and commuter ferries. They are operated by Movia who also run the local buses, and are therefore fully integrated into the public transport network of the city and tickets for the buses and metro are transferable to the water buses.

Whatever trip you are planning in Denmark, Rejseplanen  is an excellent resource that combines the different public transport network to organise your journey; the website is available in Danish, English and German.

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