Thanks to its compact size, Copenhagen is fairly simple and convenient to get around, and travelers have a multitude of options for exploring the city, from hopping on a bike or putting on comfortable walking shoes to jumping on the metro or a Harbor Bus boat. 

Leave the car behind and embark on a sustainable journey around the Danish capital. Here are the best ways to get around Copenhagen.

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Japanese cyclist in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is one of the world's most bicycle-friendly cities © petekarici / Getty Images

Copenhagen is a cyclist’s paradise

Copenhagen is one of the world’s best cities for a bike ride, and cycling is deeply ingrained in the city’s culture. In the Danish capital, bicycles outnumber cars, and Copenhagen has 382km (237 miles) of bike lanes.

If you want to explore Copenhagen the local way, jump on a bike. It’s the most convenient, quick and sustainable mode of transportation, and you’ll get a workout while sightseeing. Rent a bike from a local bike shop or by signing up for city-wide bike-share services such as Donkey Republic or the city-run Bycyklen. Many hotels offer bike rentals as well.

Cycling in Copenhagen is serious business, and it’s how many residents commute to work. Always follow local cycling rules, such as signaling and sticking to the right in the bike lane, if you want to avoid angry looks from residents.

Take in Copenhagen on foot

Copenhagen's small size makes it a walkable city, and few of the main sights or shopping quarters are more than a 20-minute walk from the city center. Walking around Copenhagen allows you to find hidden gems and interesting detours that you might have missed otherwise.

Walking is a big part of Danish culture, and it’s thought that the country’s biking and walking habits are closely linked to the fact that Denmark scores high on the World Happiness Report

Red Copenhagen Metro train arrives at Nørreport station
The Copenhagen Metro continues to grow with new stations added to the network © carstenbrandt / Getty Images

Ride on Copenhagen’s expanding Metro system

Copenhagen’s metro added 17 new stations in 2019, making this mode of transport an even faster and more reliable way to get around much of the capital. The self-driving Copenhagen Metro consists of 39 stations across four train lines and runs 24/7, with trains arriving every few minutes. The Metro travels to and from the airport and takes you to the city center in just 13 minutes.

For the best views, head to the front of the train for a ride that usually only the driver gets to enjoy.

Use one ticket – or the Copenhagen Card – for access to all of Copenhagen’s public transportation

Copenhagen’s public transportation system consists of buses, Harbor Bus boats, trains (called S-trains) and the Metro. A ticket is required to ride the public transportation in Copenhagen. A one-hour ticket for the central city zone costs 24kr. You can buy tickets at train or bus stations, purchase a reloadable Rejsekort travel smart card or use the DOT Mobilbilletter app.

The Copenhagen Card, which offers discounted entry to attractions around the city, also includes free access to public transportation.

Uber does not work in Denmark – here’s how to get a taxi

You might not need a taxi in Copenhagen because public transportation is efficient and getting around by foot is easy, but sometimes jumping into a cab is the best solution if you’re tired from a long day of sightseeing or after a late night out on the town. 

Uber is not available in Denmark because of national taxi laws, but the city has other app-based taxi services, such as Viggo. It’s also possible to hail a cab in the street, especially in front of train stations and nightclubs.

Copenhagen Harbor Bus on the water in Copenhagen at dusk
Take to the water on the Harbor Bus in Copenhagen © ValleraTo / Getty Images

Admire Copenhagen from the water aboard the Harbor Bus

Copenhagen includes a network of boat routes as part of its public transportation system, and they offer gorgeous panoramic views of the city. Taking the Harbor Bus is a quick way to get around, with a total of nine harbor stops from the Royal Library to Nyhavn and Islands Brygge. These electric boats are a green mode of transportation, and they are wheelchair accessible, too.

Accessible travel in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s public transportation network is accessible, and the sidewalks are wide and straight. All Copenhagen Metro stations have elevators, and the stations are the same level as the Metro, meaning wheelchairs and strollers can roll straight on the train from the platform with no ramp required.

For more tips about accessible travel, check out Lonely Planet’s free Accessible Travel Online Resources.

Why cycling is my favorite way to travel in Copenhagen

Born and bred in Copenhagen, I learned to ride a bike almost at the same time as I learned to walk. Cycling is my favorite way to get around Copenhagen because I get to pair my commute with a workout, breathe the fresh air and focus on the task at hand (which is good for the brain – it’s hard to multitask while biking) while exploring my city. I get around quickly, conveniently and sustainably. And it’s almost cost-free (apart from bicycle repairs).

Riding a bike is a must when in Copenhagen. You get to experience the Danes' unique biking culture firsthand, and you might even be inspired to bring some of it back home.

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