Courtesy of MissPassionPhotography/iStock / Getty Images

Getting Around Copenhagen

The best way to get around Copenhagen is on foot and by bike, especially if the weather is cooperating. If you're tired (or cold), you'll find a modern public transportation system that features metro lines, extensive bus routes and an easy-to-navigate train network. Taxis are plentiful but come at a cost. Plus, waiting in the taxi lines is time consuming.

To get between the city center and Copenhagen Airport (CPH), you can use any form of public transportation or hail a taxi. If you don't fly into the airport, you can also reach Copenhagen by train or boat. The Central Station services destinations around Denmark and provides access to Austria, Germany, Norway and Sweden. Meanwhile, passenger ferries transport both travelers and cars to Copenhagen from Germany, Norway and Poland. Copenhagen is also a popular port of call for cruise lines.

On Foot & By Bike

Copenhagen is really just a small town wearing the britches of a big city. Surrounding districts are all within walking or biking distance of Indre By, making the city center a great place to explore on foot or by bike. In fact, many of the downtown streets are pedestrian-only, and several attractions (such as Tivoli Gardens , Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and the National Museum of Denmark ) sit a few blocks from one another. The very popular Bycyklen bike-share program provides access to more than 2,000 bicycles throughout the city for visitor use (they even include weather-resistant GPS systems so you'll never get lost). Just make sure to stay within the city bike zone to avoid a fine. Rentals cost just 30 Danish kroner (about $5) per hour. Another option is Donkey Republic, which lets you rent a bike from one of 20-plus locations through its mobile app. Rates start at 12.5 kroner ($2) for 30 minutes.

Public Transportation

Copenhagen updated its public transportation system to include the Metroselskabet metro system, which has made getting around even easier. There are also extensive public bus routes and a train network known as the S-tog. Both are operated by Din Offentlige Transport (DOT). Buses and the metro are available 24 hours a day, though S-buses and night buses offer more limited service. Trains only operate from 5 to 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, with additional trains between 1 and 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you purchase a Copenhagen Card, you'll receive free rides on buses, the metro and local trains. Otherwise, you'll need to buy a single ticket or a timed city pass. Fees for one-way single tickets vary by the number of zones you travel in but start at 24 kroner ($4) per adult and 12 kroner ($2) per child 15 and younger. Single tickets are valid for one to two hours of rides on any form of public transportation and are sold on buses and from metro and train station vending machines. City passes can be used for 24 or 72 hours of rides and cost 80 or 200 kroner (approximately $13 or $33) for adults and 40 or 100 kroner (roughly $6.50 or $16.50) for kids. Metro and train stations sell paper city passes, or you can buy a mobile version via DOT's website .


While you might want to explore more of Denmark or nearby Sweden in a rental car, you'll want to park it once in Copenhagen. International driving permits are not required, but you'll need to have your American driver's license on you at all times. If you do decide to rent a car, you'll find several agencies stationed at Copenhagen Airport and near Indre By. When driving, watch out for bicyclists. Also, keep in mind that distances are calculated in kilometers and gas is sold by the liter.


Taxis are one of the most expensive ways to get around Copenhagen. Meters start at 24 kroner ($4) for street hires and 38 kroner (about $6) for cabs booked in advance, with an additional 15.55 or 19.53 kroner (depending on the time of day) tacked on per kilometer traveled (or about $4 or $5 per mile). Rides from the airport to central Copenhagen are just as pricey: Expect to pay 250 to 300 kroner (approximately $41 to $49).


Another way to explore Copenhagen is by boat. Canal tours, which depart from areas like Nyhavn and Gammel Strand, offer hour-long guided excursions around the harbor and canals. Fees (listed in kroner or euros) vary by operator but generally range from $4 to $6.50 for kids to $10 to $13 for adults. Stromma Denmark also provides hop-on, hop-off services through one of the many waterways for 99 kroner (about $16) per adult. For a list of boat tour operators, check out Wonderful Copenhagen's website .

Explore More of Copenhagen

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.