The thought of using public transportation, especially in a foreign country can be a huge place of anxiety. The first week in Denmark can feel pretty daunting and while Copenhagen is a walkable city if you try to walk everywhere, you’ll be exhausted. While renting a bike is a great idea, public transportation is way easier to navigate than you’d think. DIS provides transportation passes to allow you to get to and from class on public transport at no cost. The great thing though, is that these passes will take you pretty much wherever you need to go in and around Copenhagen. When all else fails, use google maps. It will tell you exactly which bus or train to take and how exactly to get there.
Understanding Zones // The hardest part of transportation in Copenhagen is understanding the zones. The city is set up into sections and each place in town lies within one of these sections. You buy transportation tickets based on which zone you are trying to access, so knowing how to count where you are going is essential for getting where you need to go. The metro and train stations all have maps of the city split into these zones so as long as you know where you’re going, you’re good to go.
The Metro System // The Copenhagen metro is quick and efficient. The same pass you use for busses also works on the metro. While you don’t scan or show your pass getting on to the bus, there are metro workers that walk around checking the passes. An invalid pass results in a pretty substantial fine. You are able to purchase inexpensive additions to your metro pass to use it for longer distances.
The Bus System // The busses in Copenhagen are great. There is most likely at least one stop within a coin-toss of your front door and they run almost all hours of the night. Make sure you show the driver your pass when getting on and that your finger is not placed over the ticket information. If possible, try and sit within eye view of the bus screens. Turns out Danish sounds nothing like what it looks and being able to follow your stops on google maps is much easier when you can see the names pop up on the screen.
The Train System // The trains are great at work the same way pass-wise as the metro. They are clean, easy to understand and will take you literally anywhere you need to go. Copenhagen Central Station sells tickets for longer trips including day-trip tickets to Sweden. The trains are quick and reliable and while it can be challenging to figure out which track you need to go to, the workers at the train stations are always more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Biking and Walking // If you really want to embrace Danish culture, biking and walking is the way to go. Copenhagen is an extremely walkable city. One of the best ways to explore is to get lost on foot. Aside from walking, biking is definitely the most common Copenhagen transport method. Make sure you know the rules BEFORE taking to the roads though. Those bikers mean business and it’s pretty easy to get hurt if you don’t follow the rules of the road.
As far as manageable transportation, Copenhagen is about as easy as it comes. The locals are always willing to point you in the right direction and Google Maps works 99% of the time. Follow the maps, take your time and before you know it, it’ll feel like second nature.