Until a couple of decades ago, crossing the water between Copenhagen and Malmö always involved a flight or ferry ride. That all changed in 2000 with the opening of the vast Öresund Bridge, which fans of Nordic Noir know simply as The Bridge.
At almost 8km long and with an additional section that tunnels beneath the waterline, the bridge is an engineering marvel. But its wider impact on the area has been huge.
The bridge has drastically cut journey times between Sweden and Denmark, making it possible to hop from one country to another in lightning-quick time. Many locals now commute between the two countries each morning.
For tourists, there’s also an obvious advantage; day trips from Denmark to Sweden (or the other way around) are now a realistic possibility. Indeed, local authorities are now marketing Malmö and the rest of Skåne as a part of ‘Greater Copenhagen’.
The physical distance between Copenhagen and Malmö is surprisingly short – less than 30km as the crow flies. How long that journey takes depends on which of the following options you plump for.
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Going by train
The fastest option is to go from Copenhagen to Malmö by train.
Commuter trains depart from København H (the city’s central train station) roughly every 10 minutes, taking around 35 minutes to get to the centre of Malmö (our guide to getting to Malmö has more on what to expect when landing at the airport). Prices for the trains between Copenhagen and Malmö are set at around 110 SEK each way.
You may be able to get across the bridge ever-so-slightly fast (like, two minutes faster) by travelling aboard one of SJ’s fast trains (snabbtåg). Note that these trains are less frequent, however, and the tickets are slightly more expensive.
You’ll find times for these services, and the commuter trains mentioned above, on the ACP Rail website. Just use their simple booking tool and you’ll get an e-ticket delivered right away.
Before crossing the bridge to Sweden, almost all trains make a quick stop at Copenhagen Airport, where you will have to change platforms and show your passport. All trains headed to Sweden now leave from platform one (upstairs), where you will see a sign asking you to get your ID ready. You may be asked to show your passport again at Hyllie (on the Swedish side of the bridge) but you won’t need to leave the train again.
UPDATE: As of 4/5/2017, passport checks have been stopped on the bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen. That said, the checks may return – and we would always recommend that foreigners crossing the bridge carry ID, just in case.
Taking the bus
Taking a bus across the Öresund Bridge is almost always the cheapest option. There are a few different services to choose from.
Private bus company Swebus runs four services a day from Copenhagen to Malmo. These leave from the Swebus stop on Ingerslevsgade, near the centre of Copenhagen. Buses take around an hour to the express bus stop just across from Malmö’s main train station. Tickets and schedules are available on the Swebus website.
Rival firm Nettbuss covers the same route with around five departures per day. Tickets and schedules for these services are also available online. As the prices charged by these two companies are so similar (around 79 SEK one way), you’re best off just choosing the departure time that suits you best. Swebus and Nettbuss services all make a brief stop at Copenhagen Airport on their way towards the bridge.
The final option, bus-wise, is to jump aboard bus #999 (known as the Gråhundbus, or greyhound). There are between three and six departures per day from Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport St in Copenhagen, six days a week (Mon–Sat only). The buses run all the way to Gustav Adolfs Torg in central Malmö. The timetable is here. Prices for these buses are similar to the Swebus and Nettbuss options mentioned above, with day return tickets costing around 120 DKK or 150 SEK – buy from the bus driver when you climb aboard.
Whichever bus you go with, take your passport with you just in case and keep it in an easy-to-reach place.
Flying from Copenhagen to Malmö
It isn’t possible to fly direct from Copenhagen to Malmö – and even if it were possible, doing so would be pretty pointless. You’d spend more time getting to and from the airports than it would take you to simply travel across the bridge.
Driving from Copenhagen to Malmö
If you’ve been driving in Denmark and want to take a car into Sweden (or vice versa), you could consider driving across the Öresund Bridge. Just be aware that prices for taking vehicles across the bridge are high – around 460 SEK for a one-way trip in a small car. I
f it’s your own car you won’t have any worries but if you’re renting one then you should check with the hire company first. Some rental agreements allow you to cross international boundaries (often for an extra fee) but others will fine you for doing so. We have more tips on renting a car in Sweden here.
You can pay in cash at yellow tollbooths at the bridge using Danish kroner, Swedish kronor or euros. Credit and debit cards are also accepted. For more information on the prices charged for larger vehicles, see the Öresundsbron website.
Regular passport checks have now been stopped but if they are brought back in future expect them to take place on the Swedish side of the bridge.
Taking a taxi
If you’re really feeling flush, you can always get a taxi from Copenhagen to Malmö. Metered cabs in downtown Copenhagen and at the airport will take you across the bridge and into central Malmö, but you should be prepared to shell out a lot for the convenience.
Expect to pay 930 DKK / 1200 SEK for a one-way journey from Copenhagen Airport to Malmö – more if you’re coming from the city centre. If you’re stuck you may be able to team up with other passengers and split the fare. (NB Uber stopped operating in Denmark in April 2017.)
A word of warning if you’re getting a taxi – either book ahead or agree the fare with the driver before you get in! We’ve had reports of tourists being overcharged by unscrupulous drivers.
Passport checks between Copenhagen and Malmö
Border checks were introduced on the bridge back in November 2015 as a result of the ongoing migration crisis. These have now been stopped but we still recommend that you take your passport with you, even if you’re only visiting Sweden for the day, and regardless of which mode of transport you use to make the crossing.