Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, and acts as a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. The city was founded more than 800 years ago by Danish archbishop and statesman Absalon who built a castle on the site to protect the emerging settlement. The city has stood as the capital of Denmark for over 500 years and by the 16th century was serving as the country's commercial centre. It has endured wars, sieges, fires and a bubonic plague over its history, and is now a large, modern city at the forefront of Europe. Copenhagen is a modern metropolis with excellent shopping, culture and nightlife opportunities, yet still small enough that it's easy to navigate and retains a cosy community feel.

How to Get to Copenhagen

Flying into Kastrup Airport

The airport gets consistently high marks for both design and function. It's the hub for Scandinavia's largest international carrier SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) and is served by a number of low-cost carriers, including easyJet, Air Berlin and Norwegian. It is the busiest and largest airport amongst the Scandinavian countries with over 25 million passengers flying to or from here in 2014. The airport is also one of the oldest in Europe.

Getting from Kastrup Airport to the City Centre

It takes just over 10 minutes by mainline train to get from Kastrup (Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup Station) to the Central Station (Hovedbanegården, abbreviated København H) in the city centre. You can also take the metro to or from central Copenhagen with trains leaving very regularly during the day (every 4-6 minutes), and taking around 15 minutes. Copenhagen Airport is located in zone 4, which means that metro, trains and buses all require a 3 zone ticket to get to or from inner Copenhagen, and this costs 36 Kr for a single. Bus number 5A also connects the airport to Copenhagen’s Central Station and the city centre.

Taxis are usually waiting outside each terminal and take around 20 minutes into downtown Copenhagen. The cost for this is usually around DKK 250-300. If driving to or from the city centre, you can access the airport via the ‘Amagerbrogade' road with a travel time around 15-20 minutes.

Trains to Copenhagen Central Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård)

Copenhagen Central Station is located right in the centre of the city, bordering the trendy district of Vesterbro. It is the main and the largest railway station in Denmark, and it serves as a gateway to all public transportation in and out and around Copenhagen. The station is also a main hub for rail provider DSB.

Getting from Copenhagen Central Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård) to the City Centre

Though the station is not connected to the Copenhagen Metro network, all S-train services except the F-line stop at the station. Tickets for the metro and S-trains are purchased on the platform or in the train terminal, while bus tickets can be purchased on the bus. You'll probably need a 2 zone ticket which costs around DKK 25 and can be used on both buses and trains.

Buses to Ingerslevsgade

Copenhagen still lacks an intercity bus terminal, but most national and international buses that run through Copenhagen have their main stop at Ingerslevsgade, next to the DGI-byen complex near Copenhagen Central Station. Several bus routes run between Copenhagen and Jutland, Norway, Sweden and the rest of Europe. Long-distance buses operated by GoByBus, Swebus Express and Eurolines call here.

Getting from Ingerslevsgade to the City Centre

The stop is located right beside Copenhagen's Central Station in the city centre, which is connected by S-train services around the city.

Driving to Copenhagen

Driving in Denmark is generally easy as roads are well maintained and drivers are competent. Like much of Europe, cars drive on the right side of the road. Copenhagen is a very bicycle friendly city and anyone driving here needs to be extremely conscious of cyclists while driving here as cyclists have right of way. Leading into Copenhagen from the west is the E20 motorway, from south and north the E47.

How to Get Around in Copenhagen

Public Transport in Copenhagen

Copenhagen's public transport system is very reliable, punctual and extensive. In Copenhagen the trains, Metro and buses can be used with the same ticket - you just need to make sure how many zones you're travelling through on your journey. Public transport is popular but cycling is still the most common, fastest and most flexible way of getting around Copenhagen. Almost half of Copenhageners use bikes everyday and the city is really designed to cater for cyclists. Of course, the extensive public transport will get you pretty much anywhere you need to get in Copenhagen including through the eastern side of the city centre and out to the airport. The S-train network has 11 lines passing through Central Station, and its bus system is vast with great connections throughout the city.

  • Public Transport Provider: Copenhagen Metro (Metro Online)
  • Cost of a Ticket: You have to buy the amount of zones needed to get to your destination. Zones 2 and 3 tickets are valid for one hour, while 4, 5 and 6 zone tickets are valid for an hour and a half. Zones 7, 8 and 9 tickets are valid for two hours. Zone tickets cost between 24 DKK (for 2 zones) and 108 DKK (for all zones).
  • Discounted Ticket Types: Two children under the age of 12 can travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Children travelling alone pay a child fare until they reach the age of 16. Two children under the age of 16 can travel together on one adult ticket.
  • Availability of Public Transport at Night: From Sundays to Thursdays between Midnight - 5am, the metro operates a less frequent service, with trains running every 20 minutes or so. Buses operate night services on certain routes as well.

Cycling in Copenhagen

Discovering Copenhagen is really best on two wheels. Copenhageners are avid cyclists, and the city is infamously super cycle-friendly, making it an important means of transport and a dominating feature of the cityscape. The city itself is perfectly suited for cycling, with its dense urban proximities, short distances and flat terrain, combined with an extensive and well-designed system of bike lanes. Cycle paths in Copenhagen are one-directional, with one track on each side of street flowing the same direction as vehicular traffic. In addition to a city bike scheme that’s available 365 day a year and 24/7, There are loads of bike rental shops all across the city, including Copenhagen Free Bike Rental which does exactly that. This project 'salvages abandoned and broken’ bicycles and offers them to visitors so they can explore Copenhagen the way it should be done.

  • Official Municipal Bike Provider: Copenhagen City Bikes (Bycklen Website)
  • Rental Costs: 1 hour costs 25.00 DKK

Taxis in Copenhagen

There are loads of taxis throughout the city and of a very high standard (usually Mercedes or BMWs), though they are also pretty pricey. At crucial traffic junctures throughout the city, there are special areas where taxis line up to pick up customers.

  • Base Minimum Fare: 25 Kr
  • Cost: 11-16 Kr per km depending on the time of day

Driving in Copenhagen

Navigating Copenhagen by car can be quite difficult, even when using a gps, and you have the usual challenge of finding an empty parking space in the most popular places. That being said, except for the weekday-morning and evening rush hour when traffic can bottleneck coming into the city, traffic in Copenhagen is usually quite manageable. When it comes to parking there are 3 parking zones in the city, divided into red, green, and blue. They cover the Copenhagen city centre and the inner bridge areas, known as “brokvarterer” in Danish. The closer you get to the city centre, the more expensive its gets. In all zones, prices are 11 DKK an hour between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., and 3 DKK an hour between 11:00 p.m. and 08:00 a.m.

Walking Around Copenhagen

Copenhagen's considered one of the world's greatest pedestrian cities. It's blessed with narrow medieval streets but the city has also worked to improve the quality of its street life, for example by turning one of the main streets into a pedestrian thoroughfare. Sizewise, Copenhagen is just about perfect to discover on foot.

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About Copenhagen

Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, is compact in size but amazingly dense with experiences and acts as a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Famous for its world-class cafes and restaurants, intriguing museums, and stylish boutiques, Copenhagen is one of the best places to visit in the world. travellers can take in panoramic views of the city at the Vor Frelsers Kirke (Church of Our Savior) or explore the art museum Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. If travellers are on a budget, visit Copenhagen on Wednesdays and explore the city's best attractions for free!

Travel to Copenhagen FAQs

When's the best time to visit Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is beautiful all year round. The winter is atmospheric and snowy, and during the summer the city becomes perfect for being outdoors all day with many parks. The cheapest time to go is usually between february and April.

How do I get to the city centre from the airport?

It takes just over 10 minutes by mainline train to get from Kastrup (Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup Station) to the Central Station (Hovedbanegården, abbreviated København H) in the city centre. You can also take the metro to or from central Copenhagen with trains leaving very regularly during the day. Copenhagen Airport is located in zone 4, which means that metro, trains and buses all require a 3 zone ticket to get to or from inner Copenhagen, and this costs 36 Kr for a single. Bus number 5A also connects the airport to Copenhagen’s Central Station and the city centre. Taxis are usually waiting outside each terminal and take around 20 minutes into downtown Copenhagen.

What modes of transport are there in Copenhagen?

In Copenhagen the trains, Metro and buses can be used with the same ticket.

Discovering Copenhagen is really best on two wheels. Copenhageners are avid cyclists, and the city is infamously cycle-friendly, making it an important means of transport and a dominating feature of the cityscape. Copenhagen's considered one of the world's greatest pedestrian cities. It's blessed with narrow medieval streets but the city has also worked to improve the quality of its street life, for example by turning one of the main streets into a pedestrian thoroughfare. Sizewise, Copenhagen is just about perfect to discover on foot.

What are the main stations in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen Central Station is located right in the centre of the city, bordering the trendy district of Vesterbro. It is the main and the largest railway station in Denmark, and it serves as a gateway to all public transportation in and out and around Copenhagen. The station is also a main hub for rail provider DSB. Though the station is not connected to the Copenhagen Metro network, all S-train services except the F-line stop at the station. Tickets for the metro and S-trains are purchased on the platform or in the train terminal, while bus tickets can be purchased on the bus.

What is the cheapest way to get to Copenhagen?

The cheapest way to get to Copenhagen is to fly. On budget airlines such as Ryanair, easyJet and Norwegian Air, flights are usually cheaper than bus or train travel from most European countries. However, from neighbouring countries like Germany, it is cheaper to get the bus. FlixBus, in particular, offers cheap and direct services from Berlin, Hamburg, and Hanover.

How can I travel to Copenhagen by bus?

While Copenhagen lacks an intercity bus terminal, there are lots of bus services, both national and international, to the city. If travellers choose to travel to Copenhagen, they will arrive at the Ingerslevsgade, the city's central bus station. Since the bus stop is located right next to Copenhagen Central Station, it is very convenient, as it allows travellers to easily access S-train services around the city. FlixBus operates many services from most major European cities each day. travellers can even get a bus all the way from London to Copenhagen, via Frankfurt in Germany. Other bus operators include Eurolines and BlaBlaBus, though their services tend to be less frequent.

How can I travel to Copenhagen by train?

All international trains to Copenhagen arrive at the Copenhagen Central Station. This station is home to several stores and restaurants where travellers can enjoy Copenhagen's culinary delights. The railway station is located right in the city centre, and is the central spot connecting all public transport in, out, and around Copenhagen. All S-train services apart from the F-line link to this station. DSB, Denmark's national rail operator, runs all the trains to Copenhagen from within Denmark and Europe.

How can I travel to Copenhagen by plane?

All planes to Copenhagen land at Kastrup Airport. This airport, located on the island of Amager, receives direct flights from many countries, particularly mainland Europe. Various airlines such as British Airways, KLM, SAS, Emirates, and Air Lufthansa run flights to Copenhagen every day. If travellers are traveling to Copenhagen on a budget, consider low-cost airlines such as easyJet, Norwegian Air, and Air Berlin. When travellers land at Kastrup Airport, they can rest assured that they're well connected to the city centre: trains depart from the airport every twenty minutes and operate 24 hours a day. Trains take about 20 minutes to arrive at Copenhagen Central Station from the airport.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the airport and what is the best way to get there?
The Metro links the airport (station 'Lufthavn') to the city centre and is located at the end of Terminal 3.
Koebenhavn H
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Walking Around in Copenhagen

The city center of Copenhagen offers a beautiful setting for walking and exploring all that the city has to see. It is easy to see some of the main attractions of Copenhagen while taking a short stroll through the city center. The area is fairly flat, making it ideal for walking. The best starting point for a walk around Copenhagen is the Little Mermaid statue, which is the beloved symbol of the city. Take a few photos of the statue and enjoy the harbor scenery. Leave the Little Mermaid and go for a stroll on the well-maintained pathways of Kastellet Park. Head towards St. Albans church on the edge of the park. On the grounds of the church, you will find the Gefion Fountain -which is also a wishing well.  A short stroll from the fountain is the Amalienborg Palace, which is the winter home of the Danish Royal Family. You can visit sections of the palace on a guided tour or just enjoy the beauty of the buildings from the outside. Nearby, you will find Frederick's Church and in front of the church are a few lovely restaurants. Enjoy a delicious meal and reflect on the sites of Copenhagen.

Eating in Copenhagen

The culinary scene in Copenhagen features creative new Nordic cuisines and traditional Danish food for every traveler to sample. Although the city hosts many high-end restaurants serving international cuisines from around the world, nothing beats an authentic Danish gastronomic tour. Sample the signature street food, rød pølse, Denmark's most popular red sausage served as a hot dog. Add your own twist by choosing the ingredients, sausage, and bun type for your hot dog. For fine dining, one of the most popular Danish foods is Smørrebrød, an open-face sandwich. Served by nearly all food establishments in Denmark, let alone Copenhagen, this traditional Scandinavian dish features a slice of highly nutritious rye bread topped with meat or fish, vegetables, and a tasty sauce. Denmark is surrounded by sea, and the seafood scene in any Danish city is vibrant. Do it like the locals do, and go for fiskefrikadeller (fish cakes), a regional staple featuring white fish, onion, parsley, lemon, salt, and pepper. With a side of cucumber and remoulade, a Danish sauce, this is one of Copenhagen's must-try foods. Some popular restaurants include Noma, which is creatively redefining local cuisine, Amass, which embraces sustainability and a zero-waste policy in its kitchen, and Selma, an affordable Michelin star restaurant.

Public Transport in Copenhagen

The Copenhagen public transport system features an extensive network of buses, trains, metro, and ferry lines. Bikes are also available for hire at different stands throughout the city. The Copenhagen metro system is highly efficient and runs 24 hours a day. With a departure frequency of between two to six minutes, this system serves most parts of the city center. Copenhagen Central Station is the city's train hub. There are seven train lines (A, B, C, E, F, H, and Bx) that run from this station and serve the different zones within the city. Regional trains that serve as a link between Copenhagen and other cities in Denmark also operate from the Copenhagen Central Station. Seven buses (A-buses) serve the Copenhagen city center with a frequency of between three to ten minutes, depending on whether or not it is peak travel time in the city. Public transit tickets in Copenhagen can be purchased from any train or metro stations and on the buses. The tickets have a validity period of between 24 to 72 hours. The Copenhagen card has a longer validity period. This card is designed for tourists as it comes with discounts at various local shops and restaurants. It also allows access to museums in the city, as well as a lovely canal tour.

Best Time to Visit Copenhagen

The best time to visit the city of Copenhagen is in the summer months from June through to August. The summer in Copenhagen brings warm temperatures with daily highs in the 60s and 70s. Pack a jacket to protect against the cold winds that sweep in from the Baltic sea even on the hottest days of summer. July and August are also the wettest months of the year in Copenhagen, so pack an umbrella or rain jacket. The summer months bring a number of big festivals in the city of Copenhagen, and the city can get very crowded. The Copenhagen Jazz festival takes place in July each year and attracts artists from all over the world. Foodies will enjoy the Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival in August, where the best chefs in the city show off their talents. In the winter months, the temperatures can be bitterly cold, so remember to pack plenty of warm clothes. The Christmas season is another popular time to visit the city to see the Christmas lights and explore the famous Tivoli Christmas Market. The Copenhagen Lights Festival takes place in February and March each year with the whole city and the Tivoli Gardens filled with light displays.