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Getting Around in Copenhagen

This Danish metropolis combines the history of royal Denmark with a fresh, modern lifestyle. As a well-prepared expat moving to Copenhagen, you’ll be in for a treat. Read our guide to learn all about moving to Copenhagen, including visas, local transportation, and basic info about the city.
Travelling by bicycle is an easy way to avoid traffic.

Copenhagen’s public transportation system is exceptionally efficient and reliable, allowing you to explore the city largely without a car. The transportation network is constantly being improved and developed, thus ensuring a high degree of mobility for the city’s citizens. Copenhagen is divided into nine different zones, which determine the fare for your trip. You can buy your ticket at a ticket office or a vending machine at train stations or on the bus from the driver.

For those who would like to travel outside of Copenhagen via train, Copenhagen Central Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård) is the place to go. Located near Vesterbro, in the heart of the city, the Central Station is the main stop for buses and taxis as well as the local S-trains and regional trains.

Travel Made Easy by World’s Greatest Metro

Copenhagen’s metro system was declared the world’s best metro in both 2008 and 2010. Indeed, the network allows for a safe and efficient commute on one of the two lines throughout Copenhagen. The green line, M1, runs from Vanløse Station to Ørestand and West Amager, while the yellow line, M2, takes you from Vanløse to Copenhagen Airport on East Amager. Both lines lead through the city center by way of Kongens Nytorv.

Copenhagen’s metro is driverless and runs automatically every four to six minutes throughout the day and every fifteen to twenty minutes at night. It is thus easy to get around town, be it during your daily commute or at night after leaving a party. On the Metro website, you can check the next couple of departures from each station.

One Ticket for All

As an alternative to the metro, you can also explore Copenhagen via normal trains. The ticket system is based on nine geographical zones of Greater Copenhagen, which, as mentioned, determine fares. Aside from single-journey tickets, you can also purchase a Rejsekort, a reloadable travel card you simply scan as soon as you get on the bus or the train.

A standard ticket allows for a one-hour journey by bus, train, metro, or S-train. S-trains in particular make it easy to get around Greater Copenhagen, and DSB (the Danish railway network) offers a comprehensive document for S-train timetables and a map.

Buses and trains in Copenhagen usually run between 05:00 and 00:30. There are a few exceptions, however; movia busses offer a year-round all-night service at the usual fare. You can find more information on movia online (Danish only). For information on regional trains and the S-trains, visit DSB.

Other Options: Cars, Taxis and Bicycles

There are lots of other ways to explore Copenhagen, of course. Some expats may prefer to travel by car, which is particularly advantageous for those living further outside the city center. However, as in most other cities, driving is usually not the most convenient way of getting around in Copenhagen. Parking spots are in high demand, and gasoline is rather expensive. For this reason, many expats prefer public transportation.

Taxis are available as well, and can be hailed on the street or found at various points around the city center especially. There are various independent taxi companies, and fares can, for example, start at DKK (4 USD) with each kilometer adding 15.25 DKK (approx. 2.30 USD). Of course, fares vary depending on the time of day. As a rule of thumb, they are higher on the weekends than during the week.

Expats who love spending time outdoors, and prefer cycling to going by car, train, or bus, will be happy to hear that the Danish capital is also well-equipped with bicycle paths. While it is indeed possible to explore almost all of Copenhagen by bike, you should keep in mind that you are not allowed to cycle through pedestrian-only areas, such as Strøget. Cycling maps and other bicycle-related information is available at the Cyklistforbund (Danish Cyclists’ Federation).


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