Copenhagen Card: is it worth buying in 2024?

Start planning a trip to the Danish capital and you’ll soon hear about the Copenhagen Card. It’s a kind of discount pass that aims to save tourists money.

How does the Copenhagen Card work, and is it worth buying?

Once you buy it, the card gives free admission to loads of the city’s best attractions and also includes free, unlimited use of the public transport network.

The question is: should you bother buying one? And will getting a Copenhagen Card actually save you money?

We’ve looked at what’s changed since our last update and whether the Copenhagen Card will still save you money in 2024.

How does the Copenhagen Card work?

The idea is that you pay for the Copenhagen Card upfront and then get free access to a whole bunch of attractions across the city.

What does the Copenhagen Card cover?

Buy a Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER (get it here) and you’ll get free access to more than 80 different attractions, including museums and galleries in and around Copenhagen.

You’ll also get free use of public buses, trams and Metro services across the entire Copenhagen area, including trains out as far as Roskilde and Helsingør and to and from the airport.

These are some of the attractions that are covered by the Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER:

  • Tivoli Gardens
  • Rosenborg Castle
  • Amalienborg Palace
  • Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
  • The National Museum
  • Kronborg Castle
  • Arken Museum of Modern Art
  • Christiansborg Palace
  • Guinness World Records Museum
  • Copenhagen Zoo
  • Danish Architecture Center
  • And many more

Apart from free entry to those places, the Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER also includes a variety of canal cruises and boat trips.

What is the Copenhagen Card – HOP?

The Copenhagen Card is also available in a HOP version, which includes entrance to a limited number of attractions in the city centre (around 40). 

It also includes the hop-on, hop-off bus tours which run on three different routes, but no public transport nor the airport transfer.

However, it costs more than the Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER, so unless you’re a really big fan of hop-on, hop-off bus tours we think the Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER is much better value.

So we’ve used the Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER for our comparisons below, as we think this is the most useful, and cheapest, option for most people.

How much does a Copenhagen Card cost?

There are five different types of Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER to choose from – they’re valid for 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, 96 hours and 120 hours respectively.

The Copenhagen Card – HOP is available for 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours.

Each paying adult can take up to two kids under 12 along with them for free.  Although children under 12 are free, you will need to order a card for each child when you buy the adult card.

 Kids aged 12–16 years old will need their own ticket which can be bought at a discounted rate.


24 hr48 hr72 hr96 hr120 hr
DISCOVER (adult)47969987910191,149
DISCOVER (junior; aged 12–15)259389469549619
HOP (adult)545745910n/an/a
HOP (junior; aged 12–15)300410495n/an/a
Prices (in Danish kronor) are correct at the time of publication.

Where do I buy the Copenhagen Card?

The Copenhagen Card is only available to buy online, or via the Copenhagen Card App. If you buy it online, just make your order and a reference code will be emailed to you, which you can enter into the app. 

Once you’ve entered the code, or if you buy your card directly through the app, all you need to do is activate it on your phone at the first attraction you visit. 

You then just scan the app on your phone at subsequent attractions.

Is the Copenhagen Card sold at the airport?

No, you can no longer buy a physical Copenhagen Card, just a digital one. But it is certainly worth buying the card online or via the app before you arrive, as you can then use the Copenhagen Card to get from the airport to the city centre for free, which is a big bonus.

However, if you are planning to have a relaxing first day when you arrive, you might find it cheaper to pay for the train from the airport into the city centre separately, then activate your card when you are ready to do some serious sightseeing.

When does the card start working?

Once you’ve got your card and are ready to use it for the first time, just activate it right before you enter the first attraction.  

After that, you can use the card to sightsee your way around the city until the end of the validity period.

In order to activate the card, just go to “My cards” in the app or press the green QR-logo, so that your Copenhagen Card appears. Then push the activate button and swipe “activate”. 

Make sure you only do this when you are ready to enter your first attraction, as it can’t be undone once you’ve activated the card.

You’ll need internet access to initially activate your pass, but once it’s activated you can use it even if your phone is offline or in airline mode.

Note that the cards are valid for 24 hours, not a single day, so if you validate it at 4pm in the afternoon, it will be valid until 4pm the following afternoon.

How do I use the Copenhagen Card on the metro, train or bus?

Just show your activated card to any ticket inspector who asks and you’ll be free to use buses, trains, ferries and metro trains across the entire Copenhagen region. You don’t even have to tap in before boarding.

The Copenhagen travel area is much bigger than you might think – and the card is valid for zones 1–99!

You can even reach some of the day trip locations mentioned in this guide for free, including the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and Kronborg Castle in Helsingør (the castle from Shakespeare’s Hamlet).

Unfortunately, you can’t use your Copenhagen Card to Malmö in Sweden, so check out our guide for tips on the cheapest ways to cross the bridge to Sweden.

So, is the Copenhagen Card worth buying?

Well, that depends on how long you’re staying in the city and what you want to see and do while you’re there. We’ve done some number-crunching to help you decide whether the card is worth buying.

If you're visiting big-ticket sights such teh Tivoli Gardens, buying the Copenhagen Card can save you money
Pic: Heather Cowper (CC)

We’ve looked at how much it would cost to visit some of Copenhagen’s top sights including transport and boat trips if you paid for each element individually – the DIY way!

And we’ve looked at how much it would cost using a 72-hour Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER.

Three days in Copenhagen: would you save cash?


The DIY option72-hr Copenhagen CardDISCOVER
Upfront costn/a879
Entry to Christiansborg Palace175n/a
Entry to Tivoli Gardens155n/a
Entry to ARKEN Museum of Modern Art140n/a
Entry to Kronborg Castle
125 (June to Aug 145)n/a
Entry to Copenhagen Zoo239n/a
Entry to Rosenborg Castle140n/a
A canal tour109n/a
Transport: ticket to/from the airport (DKK 36), plus 4 central zone tickets (DKK 24×4)132n/a
Return ticket to/from Helsingør (for Kronborg castle) 168n/a
Total cost (DKK)1403879
Costs (in Danish kronor) are for one adult and assume a three-day trip to Copenhagen. All prices correct at time of publication.

We’ve picked just a few of Copenhagen’s top sights, which are easily enough to keep you busy for three days: a couple of castles and palaces, a museum, a boat trip, the zoo and, of course, Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens. 

So, you can see that if you visited these attractions separately in high season it would cost you DKK 1103.

And once you’ve added in a few bus and train fares, plus the journey to and from the airport, the cost rises to DKK 1403.

The three-day Copenhagen Card – DISCOVER costs DKK 879, so it works out much cheaper than going it alone, and it also gives you the flexibility to add in more attractions if you get time.

Plus, it saves you the time and bother of buying individual tickets at each attraction.

So buying the Copenhagen Card for our three-day itinerary saves you a whopping DKK 524.

So, what’s the verdict?

Well, if you want to cram lots of activities into two or three days, including the top paid-for attractions like Rosenborg Slot and the Tivoli Gardens amusement park, there are big savings to be had and we would definitely recommend buying the card online before your trip. You can get it here.

Nick (CC)

However, if you’re planning a more chilled visit and want to just explore Copenhagen on foot or by bike, and to check out free attractions like Nyhavn, the David Museum, Freetown Christiania and some of the great food markets, the Copenhagen Card might not save you much.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, depending on when you visit, some of the attractions included with the card may be closed.

You may not want to use your Copenhagen card on a Monday, for example, as Mondays are the most common closing day. 

The Copenhagen Card website has a useful section detailing which sights are open on a Monday, so if there are any places that you particularly want to visit check the website first before you plan your itinerary.

Need more help deciding?

If you’re visiting for the first time and want to do a lot sightseeing, we reckon the Copenhagen Card will save you a nice chunk of cash. 

Reviewers agree that if you want to visit the city’s main sights, having the card provides “significant financial savings”.

Most people also found the card very “easy to use” and overall “a positive experience”.

So, ready to get the card and start saving? A good place to get the Copenhagen Card is Get your Guide: just click below to get it online.

Tips for getting the most out of the card in 2024

  • New attractions are added to the card each year, and some are taken off, so make sure you check the attractions list. 
  • Check which museums are free and when. If you want to visit any of Copenhagen’s free museums – see our guide – don’t go on a day when your card is valid.
  • Head out of the city centre. Since all transport is included it’s worth going further afield to visit  amazing museums such as the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark (both included on the card).
  • Check the closing days of any attractions you particularly want to visit. Some attractions are seasonal and don’t open/run in winter, while others close on one day of a week (often Monday).
  • If you’re having a chill-out day at the beginning of your trip, don’t activate your card until you visit your first attraction.

Pros and cons of the Copenhagen Card 

The only real reason we can think of not to buy to the card is if you’re planning to see just one or two of the city’s sights, and want a chilled trip walking round the city centre. 

The Copenhagen card – DISCOVER includes all public transport in and around Copenhagen

Copenhagen does have plenty of things that you can do for free – see our guide for 77 of them! – but if you want to see a few of the big-ticket attractions on your trip, then buying a Copenhagen Card will almost certainly save you money.

What we like best about the Copenhagen Card is that once you’ve bought it, pretty much everything is included. It makes it easy to budget, as you know exactly how much you’ll spend on sight-seeing and transport.

We also like the fact that it encourages you to visit places you might not have otherwise gone to. You can just pop into a museum for 10 minutes and, if you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted any money.

And you never know, you might just find a new sight or attraction fascinating!

It also helps you to get the most out of your trip. We all get that “we must get our money’s worth” feeling, so may see and do more than if we were paying for each attraction individually.

We also like that the app is really easy to use. You don’t have to faff around and waste time buying tickets for each sight or each bus or train journey – just waive your phone and you’re in!


FAQS

When does the Copenhagen Card activate?

The simple answer is, whenever you want it to! As soon as you have bought the card and downloaded the app, you can activate it. However, there’s no rush.

If you’re having a day or two without doing much sight-seeing or travelling, then don’t activate the card until you’re ready to enter your first attraction or board your first train or bus.

Does the Copenhagen Card include Tivoli rides?

No, the Copenhagen Card only covers the entrance fee to the Tivoli Gardens. If you wish to go on a ride you will need to buy individual ride tickets or an unlimited ride ticket. 

Does the Copenhagen Card give food discounts or restaurant discounts?

No, the Copenhagen no longer gives discounts at restaurants.

Does the Copenhagen Card include the zoo?

Yes, the Copenhagen Card covers the entrance fee to Copenhagen zoo.

Does the Copenhagen Card include the aquarium?

No, entrance to Copenhagen’s National Aquarium  (Den Blå Planet) is no longer included on the Copenhagen Card.

Does the Copenhagen Card include a canal tour?

Yes, it includes a canal tour, the (seasonal) Frederiksborg ferry, a trip on the famous open-top Netto boats plus a (seasonal) boat trip on the beautiful lakes outside Copenhagen. 

Does the Copenhagen Card include the Botanical Gardens?

Admission to the city’s Botanical Gardens is free, but you have to pay for entrance to the Palm House and the Butterfly House, both of which are included in the Copenhagen Card.

Can you get Copenhagen Card discount codes?

We haven’t been able to track down any discount codes for 2024. Watch out for spammy coupon sites that promise a ‘discount’ but actually just send you to the Copenhagen Card booking page and don’t save you any money.

See also:
60 cheap and free things to do in Copenhagen
Where to find cheap beer in Copenhagen
Free museums in Copenhagen
Is the Stockholm Pass worth buying?

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