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Denmark by train

Welcome to the guide on how to save money and time and avoid confusion when travelling in and from/to Denmark by train.

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Introducing Danish rail travel:

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!

Temporary Covid-19 alterations:

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.

The T&Cs for using booking ticket have also reverted to the usual conditions for booking tickets.

International services:

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.

The beautiful roof over the platforms/spor at København H station The beautiful roof over the platforms/spor at København H station
One of the newer trains used on some IC services One of the newer trains used on some IC services
The beautiful interior of Helsingor station The beautiful interior of Helsingor station
Crossing The Great Belt West Bridge Crossing The Great Belt West Bridge

Good to know about the trains:

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:

  • S-tog trains: the commuter train network in Copenhagen/København.
  • Regiontog: regional train services that link towns, some of these services used double-decked trains
  • Intercity (IC): long distance express train services
  • Intercitylyn (LYN): the fastest express train service on the København – Odense – Aarhus – Aarlborg route

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:

  • Copehhagen/Kobenhavn – Odense – Frederica – Arhus – Aarlborg *– by Lynn trains
  • Copehhagen/Kobenhavn – Roskilde - Odense – Frederica – Arhus – Aarlborg by IC trains
  • Copehhagen/Kobenhavn – Roskilde - Odense – Frederica – Arhus – Esbjerg by IC train
  • Copehhagen/Kobenhavn – Nykobing has 2 x trains per hour on Mon-Sat and at least hourly trains on Sundays

*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 Niva - 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.

6. Swedish Snabbtåg trains provide multiple services per day on the Copenhagen – Stockholm route.

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 and the only international sleeper trains are the Swedish Snalltaget services between Sweden and Berlin (summer) or Austrian ski resorts (winter), which during their journeys call at Hoje Taastrup station in the suburbs of Kobenhavn.

travelling with bicycles:

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.

Train ticket summary:

DSB is Denmark’s national rail operator, but comparatively few pages on its otherwise highly efficient website appear on the English language version.

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.

Discounted tickets:

DSB offers limited numbers of DISCOUNTED ‘Orange’ tickets on the routes taken by its long distance train services; IC and Lyn AND Regional trains

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.

Travelling with children:

Child Tickets for Train journeys within Denmark:

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.

Child Tickets for Train journeys to/from Denmark:

(1) Book tickets for the EC trains to/from Germany with DSB (these journeys are no longer sold by the German national ticket booking service, DB Bahn) - be sure to add reservations to the booking to be sure of sitting together (though seats are assigned when booking for summer journeys)
Children and grandchildren aged 14 and under travel for free when accompanied by a parent or grandparent.

(2 Tickets for the Snabbtag trains to/from Sweden can be booked on SJ - the Swedish national rail operator's ticket booking service - seats will be assigned when booking
An adult ticket booking on SJ on these trains enables up to two children, aged 15 and under, to travel for around 15% of the adult fare.

(3) On the Oresundtag trains to/from Sweden, up to two children under 12 years of age can travel free of charge with each adult ticket holder - reservations are not available on these trains.

Also worth knowing:

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 from ticket machines or at adjacent 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.

Contacting DSB:

The international number is +4570131418
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 08:00 - 18:00

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Journeys

# Jump to a city

København / Copenhagen

Journeys from København / Copenhagen
Jump to cities
København / Copenhagen to Aarhus by train
København / Copenhagen to Esbjerg by train
København / Copenhagen to Göteborg / Gothenburg by train
København / Copenhagen to Hamburg by train
København / Copenhagen to Helsingborg by train
København / Copenhagen to Helsingør / Helsingor by train
København / Copenhagen to Hillerød / Hillerod by train
København / Copenhagen to Lund by train
København / Copenhagen to Malmö / Malmo by train
København / Copenhagen to Odense by train
København / Copenhagen to Oslo by train
København / Copenhagen to Roskilde by train
København / Copenhagen to Stockholm by train
Journeys to København / Copenhagen
Jump to cities
Berlin to København / Copenhagen by train
Hamburg to København / Copenhagen by train
Köln / Cologne / Koeln to København / Copenhagen by train
Oslo to København / Copenhagen by train
Stockholm to København / Copenhagen by train
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This second version of ShowMeTheJourney is exciting and new, so we are genuinely thrilled that you are here and reading this, but we also need your help.

We’re striving not to let anything get in the way of providing the most useful service possible, hence a facility has been set up with DonorBox which can be used to support the running costs and make improvements.

Instead of advertising or paywalls, your financial support will make a positive difference to delivering an enhanced service, as there’s a lot of ideas which we want to make happen.

So if you have found the info provided here to be useful, please consider saying thank you.

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.