Denmark is a nation of cyclists and most people choose bicycles over cars whenever possible. The Danish Government has recently introduced measures, such as the costly car registration tax, to discourage driving and car ownership in favour of more eco-friendly forms of transport. However, despite negative attitudes towards driving, Denmark has a well-developed road and motorway network. There are no toll charges on Danish roads but you may be charged to use one of the country’s many bridges, such as the magnificent 16 km Øresund Bridge which connects Denmark and Sweden.
Speed limits range from 110km to 130kmph (70mph to100mph) on major roads and motorways, 80kmph (50mph) on country roads and 50kmph (30mph) in built-up areas. One peculiarity of Danish roads is that cyclists and pedestrians have priority over any vehicle at all times. This may come as a shock to those from countries where the car dominates the road. Drivers from the EU can use their own European driving licence in Denmark but those from outside the EU must exchange their driving licence for a Danish license on taking up permanent residence in the country.
Taxis are readily available across Denmark and can be hailed from the street or at a designated taxi stand. Taxing a taxi, as with everything else in Denmark, is not cheap. However, the good news is that Danish drivers are trustworthy and unlikely to take advantage of their passengers.
Buses and Coaches
Local and regional buses are not as common in Denmark as they used to be but most cities operate at least one efficient service. Danish cities are relatively compact so most people choose to get around on foot or by bicycle.
Long distance coach travel is considerably cheaper than train travel in Demark. Efficient and comfortable coaches connect Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg and tickets can be purchased on board. You can also travel by coach from Denmark to many destinations in other European countries, tickets can be booked through eurolines.
Denmark has a comprehensive rail network with regular connections to all major cities and towns, on most of the Danish islands. There are three types of train in Denmark, regional, which operate between all local stations, InterCity and InterCity Lyn. Intercity trains provide direct, fast connections to the larger cities and towns. Trains to international destinations can also be caught at Copenhagen Central Station, with direct routes to Berlin, Stockholm and Hamburg leaving regularly during the day. Denmark’s trains are operated by DSB (Danish State Railway) and booking tickets in advance though their website can work out cheaper.
Copenhagen is the only Danish city to have a metro network, which consists of two lines and 22 stations. The Copenhagen City Pass, covering all of the city’s transport system, is a cost effective way to get around.
Trams and light rail
Denmark previously had a number of tram systems in operation, however these fell out of use on the introduction of the metro and private car. However, a new Light Rail Transit (LRT) line, using advanced technology, is currently under construction in the city of Aarhus and is set to open in 2017. There are also further plans to introduce LRT lines in Odense and Copenhagen.
Copenhagen International Airport, located 8km sound of the city centre, is the largest and busiest international airport of all the Nordic countries. Over 18 million passengers use the airport each year, travelling to destinations around the world. Due to extensive road and rail networks, domestic flights are limited in Denmark. However there are flight connections between major cities such as Aarhus, Aalborg and Karup which are usually only a short hop of around 30 minutes. The largest airline is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) which operates 182 aircraft to 90 destinations around the world.
Other ways to get around
The Danes are known for their love of cycling, and Copenhagen was recently voted the world’s best city for bicycles. Cycling is the primary way to get around in Denmark, and the country has around 10,000km (6,200 miles) of cycle lanes and routes. Nearly half of Danish people travel to work and school by bicycle, and children as young as 3 can often be seen cycling alongside their parents. Bicycle rental shops are ubiquitous in Denmark and Copenhagen has recently introduced the new City Bikes Scheme where you can rent bikes fitted with GPS navigation by the hour.
Copenhagen also offers a water bus service, with four lines serving 10 stops along its harbour. Denmark has a widely used ferry network, with regular sailings to Oslo and Swinoujscie in Poland. Ferry tickets can be booked through DFDS Seaways.