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’. Try this guided tour from Copenhagen to Sweden if you’d rather not go it alone.
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:
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 10–20 minutes, taking around 40 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 start from around 122 SEK each way.
You may be able to get across the bridge ever-so-slightly faster (like, three 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 at around 145 SEK.
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.
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.
Reliable private bus company Flixbus runs 10–15 buses across the bridge each day, with prices starting at about 79 SEK.
The buses depart from Copenhagen’s main train station, arriving at Malmö Centralstation around one hour and 15 minutes later. Tickets are available to book online in English.
There’s free wifi onboard all Flixbus services and, depending on where you sit, you might have access to a plug socket which you can use to charge your phone or laptop.
Another alternative is Nettbuss, which runs around five services a day from Copenhagen to Malmo. Prices are slightly more expensive than Flixbus, but there’s free wifi, decent legroom and electrical sockets next to every seat.
The buses leave from the Nettbuss/Bus4You stop on Ingerslevsgade, near the centre of Copenhagen, and arrive at Norra Vallgatan in central Malmö around an hour later.
The Nettbuss website loads in Swedish but you can easily translate it to English: just click the menu in the top right corner of the screen and then choose English (it’s the same process on mobile and desktop).
Many Flixbus and Nettbuss services 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 three departures per day from Copenhagen Central Station, Bådehavnsgade and Copenhagen Airport, six days a week (Mon–Sat only). The buses run all the way to Gustav Adolfs Torg in central Malmö. The timetable is here.
Day return tickets cost around 120 DKK – 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 €62 for a one-way trip in a small car (or €58 if you book ahead online).
If 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.
If you are making a return trip or planning to cross the bridge more than once within a year, you’ll save money by buying a BroPas (Bridge Pass). The pass costs €43 a year and cuts the price of the toll to €23 per car per trip.
It also allows you to register your number plate in advance so that you can drive straight through the toll station. For more information on tolls, the BroPas and the prices charged for larger vehicles, see the Öresundsbron website.
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 no longer operate in Denmark.)
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.
Since the opening of the bridge in 2000, the nearest ferry route between the two cities runs from Helsingør in Denmark to Helsingborg in Sweden on Forsea ferries, a 20-minute journey.
However, it’s a 45-minute train trip from Copenhagen to Helsingør, and a similar journey time from Helsingborg to Malmö, so only true ferry-fanatics would chose this option over crossing the bridge.
If you do want to take to the waters, a better bet might be to do a guided tour which includes time in Helsingør, the ferry trip, a visit to Lund in Sweden, then onto Malmö before returning to Copenhagen via the bridge.
Since bikes aren’t allowed on the bridge, a pilot ferry scheme for bikes and pedestrians was set up in 2017 from the Copenhagen suburb of Dragør, across the Öresund to Limhamn in Malmö.
Despite its success, it was not continued in 2018 due to funding issues. However, it is hoped to restart the ferry in the future: check the website for the latest updates on its progress.
Passport checks between Copenhagen and Malmö
There are currently no formal border checks on the bridge, however valid ID is required to enter Sweden, so always take your passport with you, even if you’re only visiting for the day, and regardless of which mode of transport you use to make the crossing.
Swedish police still make ID checks on buses and trains entering Sweden, and do so sometimes at the bridge toll booths too, so always have your passport with you.
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