Arriving into Copenhagen’s sprawling airport can be a surprisingly nice experience; as you walk through the automatic doors and into the arrivals hall, there’s a good chance you’ll be met by a sea of locals waving little Danish flags for their returned comrades.
The abundance of red-and-white Dannebrog (because obviously, a flag must have a name) can be quite a sight, and it makes for a heartwarming welcome to the Danish capital.
This guide will help you decide how to get from the airport to the centre of Copenhagen, a short distance away. You can hop to a specific mode of transport using the links below.
So how far is Copenhagen from the airport?
Strictly speaking, Copenhagen’s airport is actually located at Kastrup, on the island of Amager. It’s about 10km south of downtown Copenhagen and that usually means that whichever mode of transport you opt for, you should be able to make it into the city within 30 minutes or so.
There are three airport terminals and they are all linked together. If you’re fit and healthy you can walk between them fairly quickly, and there’s also a bus linking the train station with Terminals 1, 2 and 3, just in case you’re pressed for time. This bus is free and runs every 10–20 minutes around the clock.
All of the good transport options to Copenhagen leave from Terminal 3, so that’s where you’ll want to head first (depending on where you’re flying from, you might actually enter the arrivals area there).
Is the Copenhagen Card worth buying?
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The cheapest and fastest way: use public transport
Copenhagen’s airport is extremely well connected, with trains, buses and metro services all travelling between the airport and the city centre.
The cost of a train, metro or bus trip to the city centre is the same regardless of which option you go for, and you can expect to pay about 36 DKK for a one-way ticket. In fact, when you buy a ticket at the red DSB ticket machines inside Terminal 3, it will be valid on all three modes of transport for one hour.
But which is the best option? Well that really depends on which part of Copenhagen you’re staying in. If you’re aiming for the very middle of the city, the train is hard to beat, while bus and metro services may be quicker for suburban areas like Amager East.
The train and metro platforms are located inside the airport building, at the end of Terminal 3. The bus stations are located outside Terminals 2-3, and outside Terminal 1. Just follow the signs, which are in Danish and English.
The Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen train
If you want to get to Copenhagen’s Central Station from the airport, regional trains run by DSB are your best bet; they will whizz you to the city centre in about 15 minutes. These trains are perhaps the most luxurious of all the public transport options, with clean and spacious carriages, plus free wifi.
You must buy a ticket inside Terminal 3 before you board the train from track two (trains on track one will take you over to Sweden, so be careful not to get on the wrong one, unless you are trying to get to Malmö!). Trains to Copenhagen Central Station (also known as København H) leave from here roughly every 10 minutes.
NB: depending on when you arrive, this route might be covered by one of the Öresundståg trains travelling from Sweden (they’re light grey with red writing on the side). Tickets are valid on both services, and the service is pretty much the same, but you might have to go without wifi on Öresundståg trains.
The metro from Copenhagen Airport
If you want to be smack bang in the middle of the action, take the metro straight from the airport to Kongens Nytorv (around 19 minutes). This is where you’ll find the picturesque houses at Nyhavn and the shopping street Strøget. Other stops available on the same metro line include Nørreport, Frederiksberg, and the old maritime area of Christianshavn.
The metro is also a great option if you have kids. At the end of each metro train there’s a fake dashboard with control buttons where kids young and old can pretend to drive. The cost is the same as taking the train, so take a look at the metro map (available here) and see which stop is nearest to wherever you’re going.
Metro trains run every five minutes during the day and every 15 minutes at night. The airport is right at the end of the yellow line, so jump on any of the metro trains and you’ll be downtown in about 15 minutes. Again, you can’t buy tickets onboard, so get one from the station or from the DSB ticket machines in Terminal 3.
Public buses from the airport
The longest of the public transport options, the bus ride to downtown Copenhagen will take you about 35-40 minutes. It’s really only worth considering if none of the other options are working.
If you decide to take the bus, the one you want is #2A, which leaves from just outside Kastrup metro station every 20 minutes or so – it’s a 1km walk north of the airport on Ved Stationen. This bus will take you directly to Copenhagen Central Station, the City Hall square (Rådhuspladsen) and Nørreport. You can buy a ticket on the bus if you have cash.
The laziest way: grab a taxi
Airport taxis are expensive in Copenhagen, but you might want to consider taking one if you’re in a group or if you have a lot of luggage that you don’t want to lug around on public transport. You’ll find taxi ranks outside Terminals 2 and 3.
It’s normally a 20-minute journey that’ll set you back about 200–300 DKK. The taxis have meters, so setting a price before the journey isn’t an option. You can pay by card and there’s no need to tip the driver.
What about Uber?
The DIY option: rent a car
There’s no real need to have a car if you’re only visiting Copenhagen, as using public transport is far cheaper and easier. That said, if you plan on travelling further afield it can be cheaper to hire a car at the airport rather than in the city centre.
This page on our site checks dozens of local providers to help you find the best deal. Once you land, a free airport bus will take you to the car rental centre where most of the big name companies are located.
The fancy option: take a VIP transfer
Bonus option for the brave and truly Danish: cycle to Copenhagen
If you don’t have much luggage you could bike to the city centre in about 30 minutes, but there aren’t any permanent bike rental options at Copenhagen airport. You could try your luck with bike-sharing app Donkey Republic, which usually has a few bikes stationed outside the airport. There’s more on renting a bike in Copenhagen in this guide.
Getting from Copenhagen to Malmö