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Train Ticket and Rail Pass Guides Buying and using Tickets & Rail Passes in Denmark

Buying and using Tickets & Rail Passes in Denmark

This guidewill help you save money, time and confusion.

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Welcome to ShowMeTheJourney's guide to booking train tickets for train journeys within and to and from Denmark, the info covers the core basics of what you can expect to encounter when making bookings.
The intention is to privide context for the tickets and journey options you should encounter, in usual circumstances, when making a booking either online or at the station.
SMTJ has striven to ensure that the advice presented is as accurate as possible, but a guide such as this cannot cover every combination of journey options.

If you want to go right ahead with a booking, you can jump to the links for the booking agents in the Content menu, though before doing so, having an idea of what's available is recommended; hence the in-depth answers to questions you're most likely to be asking.

Good to know:

Nine things which are good to know about tickets for long-distance Danish train journeys and international train journeys to and from Denmark

(1) DSB is Denmark’s national rail operator and its website looks great, but it has a couple of quirks when using it to book train tickets.
One of which, is that when switching to the English language version, most of the site’s content disappears; apart from the booking path.
Hence the step-by-step guide to how to use the DSB website, which you'll find below.

(2) DSB uses the Danish spellings of cities/towns, but on the English language version of the website, the names the cities will be automatically translated.
(3) You can save money by booking discounted tickets in advance.
(4) Those discounted tickets are known as 'Orange Tickets'.
(5) Tickets are placed on sale two months ahead of the travel date.
(6) Seat reservations are optional on the express trains, so need to be added when making a booking.

(7) The core difference between Lyn and IC (Inter City) services is speed.
On routes they share with IC services the Lyn departures are faster because they stop at less stations, but tickets for Lyn services aren't automatically more expensive; what impacts on prices is that the discounted 'Orange' tickets are less likely to be available on Lyn departures

(8) You will receive a confirmation of your online booking by email; the ticket will be attached as a PDF, but you don't HAVE to print it.
If you save the PDF to your smart phone/mobile device, you can show the ticket on your phone to the ticket inspector/conductor.

(9) I.D. is required for Danish train tickets to be valid; so if when making a booking you selected 'passport', you will need to have it with you, even when making non-international train journeys.

Booking tickets for rail journeys within Denmark:

DSB is the national rail operator in Denmark and its booking service offers the best prices on Danish rail tickets.

Is it possible to save money by booking in advance?

There are two main types of tickets sold online for long distance train journeys in Denmark;

(1) Orange tickets
(2) Standard tickets
(Something to watch out for is that 'Standard' is also the name of 2nd class on Danish trains).

'Orange' Tickets:

In contrast to 'Standard' tickets 'Orange' tickets are discounted; the most heavily discounted Orange tickets can be around 3 x cheaper than the Standard (non- discounted) price

Limited numbers of these tickets will be made available on most IC (Inter City) and Regional (Regiontog) train services and on some of the faster Lyn train services.
So if you want to save money and/or reserve seats when travelling by long distance express trains in Denmark, it pays off to book online in advance and seek out these 'Orange' tickets.

Standard Tickets:

'Standard' tickets aren't discounted, the clue is in the name.
But the big plus of booking 'Standard' tickets is that they aren't train departure specific, so can be used on any departure on the date you have selected to travel by.
So if you want to make a day trip somewhere, you'll be free to return by whatever train you choose if you use Standard tickets.

What to look out for when searching for and buying 'Orange' tickets?*

When searching for journeys make sure the ‘Orange' tickets’ box is ticked, if it's not you won’t see any ‘Orange’ tickets at all.

Whether 'Orange' tickets are available on the departures you're looking at won't be immediately obvious.
Only ticket prices are shown in the search results and the type of ticket(s) available isn't listed.

You can only ascertain whether the ticket price is for an 'Orange' ticket by clicking on the price you will initially see.
Though prices that are 100 kr less than other departures, are a strong indicator of 'Orange' ticket availability.

‘Orange’ tickets are not available on all departures, no matter how far ahead you book; particularly on the most popular Lyn train services.
So try to be flexible re: departure/arrival times and search through the departures on the day you want to travel, no matter how far in advance you will be booking.

Some IC and Lyn departures may have Orange tickets available, even when most don’t, it can be a needle in a haystack scenario.

The pricing of 'Orange' tickets:

A sliding scale of prices is applied to ‘Orange’ tickets, you generally need to book around 6 weeks ahead to obtain the very cheapest price(s).
On your travel date some departures may have cheaper ‘Orange’ tickets available than others; another very good reason for searching through the departures.

The core terms and conditions for 'Orange' tickets:

These tickets are train specific, so Orange tickets can't be moved to a different train if you subsequently change your travel plans.

How far ahead can tickets be booked in advance?

Tickets are placed on sale online two months ahead of the travel date.
So the further ahead you can book, the more likely it is that discounted 'Orange' tickets will be available on a wide spread of departures.

Booking less than a week ahead:

Look up a journey a week or less ahead of the travel date and ‘Orange’ tickets will be most LIKELY sold out on Lyn train services on which they had been available.

However, it’s not unknown for additional ‘Orange’ tickets, at the cheapest possible price, to be made available for the slower IC trains a couple of days ahead.
Therefore you may be able to grab a late bargain; so it can be a good idea to hold back from paying the full (non-Orange) price for journeys by IC trains.
Keep checking as your travel date approaches, if additional Orange tickets are released the price will fall.

What about seat reservations?

Seat reservations are optional for journeys by IC (Inter City), Regional (Regiontog) AND Lyn train services.
If you don't add a reservation when making a booking seats aren’t guaranteed.
Reservations used to be automatically included when booking Orange tickets; but no longer.

However, when you do make a reservation, you can choose your seat(s).

When is it worth paying to add the reservation?

There are no rules around this, so these are suggestions as to when this will be likely to be worthwhile.
SMTJ particularly recommend making reservations on:

(1) Any departure from Kobenhavn H station between 16:00 and 18:30.
When boarding IC (Inter City) and Lyn train services at Kobenhavn H station, these trains will have previously picked up passengers at Osterport and Norreport stations.
Though if you will be boarding at those other stations in central Copenhagen, you'll be more likely to find seats available.

(2) All IC and Lyn train services departing Fridays and Sundays between 14:00 and 19:30.

(3) All journeys by Lyn services during the day from Fredericia and Odense TO Kobenhavn; these train services can fill up on rout

What about child tickets?

When travelling by train in Denmark the national rail operator is DSB.
Book discounted adult 'Orange' or non-discounted Standard' tickets on the DSB website for long-distance journeys which include travel over the Great Belt Bridge, and up to two children under 12 years of age, can travel with each adult ticket holder free of charge.
Seat reservations are optional if you will be travelling by Lyn or Intercity services, so make sure you add them to the booking, if you want to be sure of sitting together.

Though the rules around travelling with children vary according to region, but in general they equate to free travel for those aged 11 and under /under 12 and at around 50% of the adult rate for children aged 12 to 15.

Do I need a ticket for my dog?

The 'rules' set by the Danish national rail operator DSB are that if a dog can be fitted in a pet carrier / container measuring no more than 100x60x30cm, no ticket will be required for the dog.

Dogs that are too large for the pet carrier, or if you don't want to put the dog in the pet carrier you will need to buy a child ticket for the dog; only one dog can be taken by each traveller.
Child tickets for those aged 12-15 typically cost around 50% of the adult rate for a journey, so the cheapest method of travelling long-distance is to add a child aged 12-15 when booking with DSB.

Also good to know is that dogs:

  • cannot travel in 1st class;
  • can only travel in the marked areas on the trains;
  • these areas do not include the quiet zones and Family zones on the trains.

The travel info on the DSB also suggests that if you will be travelling long-distance on a Lyn or IC express service that you should make a seat reservation for your dog, it won't be able to sit in it, but it is so that you can ensure that there will be a space in front of the seat on the floor of the train, for the dog to occupy.

Agents in neighboring countries

Booking tickets for international rail journeys from and to Denmark:

DSB sells tickets online for train journeys from Denmark to Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Czech Republic and Austria.
Though on DSB the section of its site dedicated to international booking is in Danish, so you may need to resort to Google Translate.
Train tickets between Denmark and any other country not listed above have to be booked by phone, call DSB Customer International 70 13 14 1

DSB tends to have the cheapest possible tickets available from Denmark TO Germany, but the Swedish booking service SJ (see the link above) tends to have cheaper prices on trains between Denmark and Sweden.

However, DSB does NOT sell tickets for the Snabbtåg trains from Copenhagen/København to Stockholm; you will need to use Swedish rail operator SJ’s online booking service.

Using rail passes in Denmark:

The four key things to be aware of when using rail passes within and to/from Denmark.

(1) There is no pan-Scandinavian rail pass available that Europeans can purchase.

(2) Rail pass users can hop on any domestic train service within Denmark operated by DSB.
However, note that seat reservation information above; seats aren't guaranteed without reservations, particularly on the Lyn train services.

(3) Reservations are required prior to boarding if you want to take a Snabbtåg train to Sweden; and info on how these can be booked online is available on our Swedish train tickets guide.

(4) In summer months rail pass users also have to reserve in advance on the Kobenhavn/Copenhagen to Hamburg route;
Rail pass reservations for the trains between Denmark and Germany can be booked through the DSB website (the tech is provided by the B-Europe reservation system).
The German national rail operator is also once again selling these reservations on the the DB website

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.

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