Welcome to the guide on how to save money and time and avoid confusion when travelling in and from/to Denmark by train.
Taking the train is an ideal way to explore Denmark as the longest possible direct journeys take no more than five hours and its main islands are now connected by railway bridges and tunnels.
Express trains operate at least hourly on the routes they take, but if you want to travel by them AND save money, then it pays to plan your journeys in advance.
There are also a few things worth knowing before setting off to the station; particularly if you want to travel for the cheapest possible price!
This is the DSB Coronavirus page, DSB is the national rail operator in Denmark.
DSB had imposed a system of mandatory free seat reservations, but this has now been terminated, along with the mandatory requirement to wear face coverings on trains.
Though the discounted 'Orange' tickets can still be refunded in the event of cancelling travel plans; and this an exception to the usual T&Cs for these tickets.
The usual schedule of trains to and from Germany and Sweden has resumed.
Entry and travel requirements to Germany and Sweden can be looked up from the info provided on this page of the DSB website.
Eight things which are good to know about Danish trains:
1. DSB is Denmark’s national rail operator, but it doesn’t quite operate all of the trains in Denmark, including some the branch lines in Jutland.
2. The four main train SERVICES operated by DSB are:
Note that 'Lyn' refers to the service and not the trains.
Lyn services call at fewer stations than IC trains, particularly between Copenhagen and Odense.
The same trains tend to be used for both Lyn and the (slower) IC services.
3. The majority of long distance train services operate at hourly intervals daily.
Routes with an hourly service in the normal timetable pattern are:
*These train services used to continue beyond Aarlborg to and from Frederikshavn, but connections are now required in Aalborg.
4. Billund - the location of Legoland and the Lego House is currently is not served by trains, a new rail link is due to open in 2023.
5. Øresundståg trains operate every 20 mins on the Helsingor - Kobenhavn - Kobenhavn Aiport - Malmo - Lund route.
1 x train per hour is extended beyond Lund to/from each of these three destinations in southern Sweden; Göteborg, Kalmar and Karlskrona.
7. Daytime EC trains operate between BOTH Copenhagen/København and Arhus and Hamburg.
A change of train is required in Hamburg when travelling during the day to any other destination in Germany; and beyond.
8. There are no sleeper trains on routes within Denmark or on the international routes.
The national rail operator in Denmark is DSB and you can take folding bikes on any of its trains as hand-luggage, as long as when folded the bike measures no more than115x60x30 cm and you leave it on the floor of the train.
For non-folding bikes the ‘rules’ differ according to the type of train service you will be taking.
For journeys by the IC (InterCity) and Lyn express train services you need to purchase a ticket for your bike prior to boarding and these cost a flat rate of DKK 30 (approximately €4).
You cannot book these tickets online, so you’ll need to use a ticket counter or machine, but the bike ticket doesn’t guarantee that space will be available on the train – also bikes cannot be taken on board at all on some (the busiest) departures.
Booking a bike space on an IC or Lyn service is mandatory between May 1st and August 31st, but for peace of mind, ShowMeTheJourney’s recommendation is to book a bike space on these trains regardless of your travel dates, particularly as you will only pay the standard bike ticket price
ShowMeTheJourney's guide to booking these bike tickets is available here.
If you be will be travelling by Regional-tog services operated by DSB, or on local trains outside of Copenhagen also operated by DSB, you need to buy a ticket for you bike, but the price depends on the distance you will be travelling – they tend to be around 25% of the price of an adult ticket.
You can use the menus to jump to the Danish content
However, the ticket booking pages ARE on the English language version.
This is useful as it’s definitely worth making the effort to book tickets for express trains before you arrive in Denmark.
Aside from the core ticket booking pages, virtually all of the pages with useful travel information on the DSB website are only available on the site's Danish language version;that includes all off the pages linked to above.
But use Google Translate and you shouldn't run into problems, as the pages themselves tend to be easy to use.
I.D. is required for Danish train tickets to be valid; so if when making a booking you select 'passport', you will need to have it with you when making non-international train journeys.
These 'Orange' tickets can save more than 60% off the standard ticket price – so it’s worth tracking them down, though inevitably they can sell out quickly on the most popular trains.
Another plus of booking tickets online is that the majority of stations in Denmark don’t have ticket offices, in many location tickets can be purchased only at machines or 7-11 stores.
So booking in advance online gives peace of mind that you won’t have encounter problems when trying to buy train tickets when you arrive in Denmark.
Reservations are available, but optional on IC and Lyn services.
The international number is +4570131418
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 08:00 - 18:00
These guides will help you have the optimum journey
Thanks to some of the world's longest railway bridges and tunnels, there is a railway route across Denmark which links Germany to Sweden.
Though aside from the summer only Snalltaget overnight service between Berlin and Stcockholm, connections are required in Kobenhavn/Copenhagen.
Padborg > Flensburg:
Three train services now travel across this border in Jutland;
(1) Three IC (EC) trains per now take this route Kobenhavn > Ringsted > Odense > Kolding > Padborg > Hamburg
*the increased frequency operates in the summer,
The train which departs Kobenhavn at 07:26 usually has connections of under 90mins into trains on from Hamburg to:
The train which departs Kobenhavn at 11:26 usually has connections of under 90mins into trains on from Hamburg to:
The train which departs Kobenhavn at 15:26 usually has connections of under 90mins into trains on from Hamburg to:
(2) 2 x IC trains per day take this route; Aarhus (depart 09:37 and 13:37) – Frederica – Padborg – Flensburg – Hamburg
(3) 6 x Danish IC trains per day travel between Frederica and Flensburg and some of these trains have good connections in Flensburg with German Regio trains on to Hamburg.
Two train services cross the spectacular Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden.
(1) Up to six Snabbtag trains per day take this route; Kobenhavn H – Kastrup Airport – Malmo* – Lund – Hassleholm – Alvesta – Nassjo – Mjolby – Norrkoping – Stockholm
*=Tickets are not available for journeys to Malmo on these trains.
After Lund the train services splits and the trains continue 1 x per hour on these three routes:
If you will using an InterRail or Eurail pass you can avoid paying the rail pass reservations fees charged on the Snabbtag trains, by travelling to Stockholm via Goteborg.
This is one of more than 150 train 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.