Best Transportation Options for Getting Around Copenhagen
By Contributor: Dawn Richardd
In Copenhagen, there is not just one way to get around. In fact, the city offers an abundance of travel options for locals and visitors alike. Their vast public transportation system can get you just about anywhere in the city, and you can still rent a car if you want your own personal form of transportation. Whether you’re traveling there in a few months or you are already in Copenhagen, you’ll have plenty of travel options to choose from. We’ve compiled a handy guide to help you get around the city, ensuring that you’ll have way more time for adventures.
Renting a Car
Copenhagen is famous for driving tours tht take you throughout the city and its outskirts. While you can do a driving tour using the area’s extensive network of public transportation options, you may find it easier to rent a car. Driving tours last anywhere from three to twenty days, depending on how much you want to see.
Most major car rental companies are available at the local airport, including Hertz, Budget Rental, Avis and other local rental car companies. But before you get behind the wheel and drive, you need to know how to drive in the area.
Speed limits are typically 50 km/h in the city and 80 km/h in the country – and this is the same for almost all Scandinavian countries. Your car’s lights must be on at all times, so if the vehicle doesn’t have automatic daytime running lights make sure you turn them on. Scandinavian drivers are required to have their seatbelts on at all times – just like other countries. You can be cited for driving without a seatbelt and the police officials in Copenhagen take safety laws seriously.
Drunk driving is not tolerated at all in the city. You will face extreme fines and a day or two in jail if you are caught drinking and driving.
In order to drive in Copenhagen, you will need a driver’s license, your passport and the vehicle’s papers. You may want to get an international driver’s license if you will be in the area for a while, but Copenhagen allows travelers to use their license from home during their visit too.
Using the Trains in Copenhagen
If your plans in Copenhagen go beyond just seeing the capital, the train is your best option. The train goes in and around Denmark and can even take you into Sweden if you want an international experience. On the train network known as the Eurail, you can visit up to three countries with the same ticket. Purchase the Scandinavian Pass and you’ll be able to travel freely between Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and parts of Finland. The passes are affordable, especially if you want to escape Copenhagen and see the rest of Scandinavia while you’re visiting.
Take a Ride with a Free Bike
You will see lots of people riding their bikes around Denmark – including men and women in business suits, heading off to work. Bicycles are highly popular and they are even encouraged in the city, which is why Copenhagen offers them for free. There are also over 110 different parking and pickup stalls for the free bikes, making it convenient to find one in the area. If you’re at the Freeport Terminal most of the bikes will be taken, so check out one of the other terminals.
If you are going to tour the city for long periods, a bike may not be the best option. However, they’re a great way to get from one point to the other. And Copenhagen takes bikes seriously, which is why they have their own cycling lane and traffic lights. Drivers also keep an eye out for cyclists.
To get a bike, you do need to make a deposit and receive your DKK 20 coin. You get your deposit back once you return the bikes.
Take Copenhagen Metro and the Bus
If you’re here to enjoy the sights, you’ll want to utilize the Copenhagen Metro system. The bus and light rail systems are cheaper than other forms of transportation (except bikes) and allows you to get around most of the city with ease. And they have such long, accommodating schedules that you won’t have to worry about being stuck in any portion of the city waiting for a ride.
There are one-hour trips available as well as 10-trip tickets. Always make sure you have a ticket before you attempt to board the metro. While they might not check when you get on, they will check as the ride commences.
You might be surprised at how far you can get on foot. While you may not be able to explore the entire city, walking is one of the best ways to see what is near you and your hotel. Many residents walk throughout Copenhagen, and you can even take a stroll between Metro stations and bus stops to get around a little more cheaply. It’s the perfect budget-friendly travel method, and it’s great exercise. Plus, if you’re walking, you’ll have more opportunity to find those unique shops, creative nooks and local cafes that aren’t in your travel brochures.
No matter how you choose to get around Copenhagen, you’ll be surprised at all of the options available to you. Try to take advantage of the public transportation as much as you can – Copenhagen has one of the most extensive and impressive systems you will ever see. Also, take advantge of the expertise of your hotel’s concierge to find out what the best way is to get where you want to go – sometimes they can suggest alternate bus routes that get you there faster and cheaper than your travel guide.