Whether you’re visiting Copenhagen for a hot minute or planning to stick around for awhile, you’re probably going to have to get somewhere…from somewhere else. Right? We’ve already told you all about what transport is available. Now let us help you decide which ticket to buy:
Planning Your Trip
Go to Journeyplanner.dk (or Rejseplannen if you read Danish). Here, you can see your whole journey. There’s also an app for when you’re on the go: Rejseplanen. This is an extremely useful tool that includes a feature to send these journeys to your iPhone or electronic calendar. Handy!
If you are here for 1 to 7 days
For people simply passing through Copenhagen, the best option depends on how much you’ll be traveling and how far:
This is an easy one. If you just need to take the transport once or twice, buy a single ticket. These can be purchased at train and metro stations as well as on the bus. A 2 zone ticket, which covers all of Copenhagen (but not the airport – that’s 3 zones), lasts for one hour from purchase and is 24 DKK. Once bought, these tickets can be used on all forms of transport.
24 hour all zone pass
This pass costs 130 DKK and can be used for a full 24 hours on all transport, for all zones. Two children under age 12 can ride for free with you, while children 13-16 can buy the same pass for 65 DKK. When I say “all zones,” this means you can go outside of Copenhagen to areas like Roskilde and Elsinore. These passes can be purchased at the airport or train stations.
24-72 hour city pass, zones 1-4
A 24 hour city pass (which includes airport travel) costs 75 DKK, and a 72 hour pass costs 190 DKK. Again, special prices apply for those under 16. Can be purchased at the airport or train stations.
This card can be purchased in increments of 24 to 120 hours (prices range from 389 – 889 DKK). It includes all transport in all zones within Copenhagen and also includes entrance to a 75 museums and attractions. It even includes a canal tour! Get it here for the lowest price.
Heads up: This is an affiliate link! We only recommend products we love, and from our experience this card is a godsend when travelling. Plus, you’re guaranteed the cheapest price.
If you are here for 1 week to 1 month
See above. If you’re only using the public transport once in awhile, this is an easy option.
This is the future of Danish travel, so I suppose we will all have to get on board eventually (they will have to pry my month pass out of my claw-like hands, I swear to you). It is less expensive than individual ticket. The Rejsekort (travel card) is an electronic pass that you pre-programme and then tap in when you enter or out when you exit transport. It deducts your fare automatically and can be refilled online or at machines around the metro and train stations. If you forget to check out, you are charged over double the journey fare.
- If you have a CPR number the card itself is free and can be ordered online here, or can only be purchased at the Nørreport and Hovedbanegaard train stations in Copenhagen, as well as some other locations in Denmark.
- If you do not have a CPR number, you are allowed to obtain one under the Rejesekort Anonymous scheme, but need to pay 80kr for the card. You will still benefit from cheaper fares, but will not receive any accumulated special discounts like with a Rejsekort Personal. Also note, you will need to add a minimum of 70 kr to your card if you’re travelling in Copenhagen, and 750kr if you wish to travel regionally. There are more details here.
The system hasn’t been perfected yet so there are a few kinks. If you plan to travel often or are here for a month or longer, I suggest the easy-to-use month pass (periodekort).
If you are here for 1 month or longer
See above. Also a good option if you’re only using public transport occasionally.
If you plan to use buses, trains and/or metro on a regular basis (more than 2x week, or for your daily commute), this monthly pass will save you a lot of money. It’s a small booklet that you show upon inspection in the train and metro, or show as you enter the bus. When purchasing, you must bring a passport-sized photo and will be asked to provide an address. Please note that this ticket can only be purchased in increments of 30 days or more.First time purchase should be done at a DSB ticketing station (Hovedbanegaard and Nørreport are popular ones). Once you have the card, it can be refilled at these same counters or at ticket machines.
Seriously, buy a bike already.
Want to buy your ticket with your smartphone?
For the tech savvy, download the app Mobilbilletter Hovedstaden, where you can buy individual tickets. For the English version, click Indstillinger (meaning ’settings’) in the bottom right hand corner and choose English under Sprog (meaning ’language’). Then you can add your credit card information and select the fare and zones you want.
Want to buy your ticket with a text message?
This costs the same as a normal single ticket from a machine, plus the price of the SMS. You can only do this if you are with a Danish mobile phone company.
Simply send an SMS to 1415 (to add the cost to your phone bill) or 8415 (to use MobilPay) with the following information:
- Current zone number or station name or bus stop number starting with S
- Number of zones you will travel
- Type of passenger: “Voksen” for an adult, “Barn” for a child and “Cykel” for a bike. If you want to just pay for your bike, don’t include “Voksen” or “Barn”.
This means: THIS IS NOT A TICKET. Answer YES to buy 2 zones adult from zone 1 in the Central Station Area. Pris 24 kr. Kind regards, Bus&Tog Mobilbillet”
You then have one minute to reply to this SMS with “JA” (yes) and you’re set. You will then receive a confirmation SMS ticket, valid from that moment, which you can show the bus driver or the people who come check your ticket. Just make sure your phone is charged, because, oh man, I’ve been there.
Zones of Copenhagen
Although the Copenhagen public transport is reliable, safe and clean, the zoning system is a bit confusing. I’ve met Danes that admit to not understanding it themselves. Let us explain the system to you once and for all!
The easiest way to discover how many zones you need is to go to Journey Planner and put in your address. Select “See more” on one of the journeys, then click “See price for this journey”. You will then be able to see exactly how many zones your journey encompasses and a comparison of prices with the different ticketing methods.
The technical stuff
Copenhagen is divide into zones 1 to 9. Don’t get confused by all the 97 different zone numbers; they are needed in order to calculate fares for monthly passes. You only need to focus on the nine coloured zone rings because they are the ones that determine your fare.
You will find these maps at bus stops and stations, or here, this zone finder tool where you enter your current location to see how many zones you are away from your destination. On this site, you need to enter your current location where is says “Se zonekort for Hovedstadsområdet, then click the button “Vis Zonekort” meaning “see the Zone Map”. There it will show you the coloured zones beyond your own. Unfortunately there is no legend on this page to indicate how many zones per each colour, so have a look at the following legend below with prices.
Even if your mode of transport doesn’t take the most direct route, you pay for the least number of zones on the map. In the following map, this journey travels through 7 zones. You only pay for 3 zones, however, because that is the least number of zones from your location.
The tricky thing is you are expected to know that it’s three zones because it’s yellow!
Some stations are located right on the border between zones. Although this is visually more confusing, it’s been done so that these stations can be in either zone, making it even cheaper to travel there. Aw, Copenhagen, you shouldn’t have! Adorable.
Scandinavia Standard has updated the latest travel price list and provided you with an easy to read English version that includes Rejsekort prices. This is valid from the 18th January 2016.
1) Valid in all zones
2) Valid in zones 1, 2, 3 and 4
3) Prices for ‘Rejsekort Personal’ in the Copenhagen area
If you’re wondering why your Rejsekort journeys are sometimes cheaper than this, keep in mind that there is a 20% discount during off-peak periods, which includes weekdays 6pm to 6am, between 11am and 1pm, and weekends. There are more details on Rejsekort pricing in English here.
There! Was that so bad? It was just like ripping off a band-aid. A wordy, map-heavy band-aid.
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