Scandinavia’s largest city is one of Europe’s liveliest, not to mention one of its most picturesque. And it needn’t be expensive, as many of the best sights are free and free bike rental is available with the City Bike scheme. The city has plenty of attractions including the usual assortment of museums, the Tivoli Gardens, the famous statue of the Little Mermaid and fascinating neighbourhoods including the Latin Quarter, Nyhavn, Christianshavn and Christiania. Don’t miss the free tours of the Carlsberg Brewery which includes free beer!
There are several information centres in Copenhagen. The Danish Tourist Board offer the usual tourist office fare, although Use It is a better alternative for budget travellers.
Copenhagen has several tourist publications including Copenhagen This Week and Use It News as well as numerous free listings papers in Danish which are available from bars and cafés.
Tipping is not customary except in upmarket hotels and restaurants. The prices are high enough already without having to follow the North American custom of bribing restaurant staff and taxi drivers for good service.
Copenhagen’s public transport comprises buses and two metro systems.
Metro & S-tog
Copenhagen has two metro systems; the S-tog and the new metro.
The S-tog (tel 33 14 17 01) is run by Danish Railways and provides a comprehensive service to the suburbs and it runs underground through the city centre. Holders of InterRail, Eurail and ScanRail passes can travel on S-tog trains (but not on buses or the metro) during the days that the pass is valid.
The new metro (tel 33 11 17 00) has been in operation only since October 2002. At the moment there are only a couple of lines although it is a handy way to get to the airport and two new lines (lines three and four) are currently under construction.
Copenhagen’s extensive bus network takes you to all the places not covered by the metro and S-tog. The main terminus is at Rådhuspladsen.
The bus, metro and S-tog networks operate on the same fare structure and you can transfer between different modes of transport on the same ticket.
Although Copenhagen is divided into 95 zones, a two zone ticket should be sufficient for travel in the central area and a three-zone ticket is needed to travel between the airport and the city centre. Individual tickets are valid for one hour of travel – a two zone ticket is 24 DKK and a three zone ticket is 36 DKK.
You can also buy a City Pass ticket which is valid for unlimited travel in the Greater Copenhagen area during a 24 or 72-hour period. This pass costs 80 DKK for a 24-hour City Pass and 200 DKK for a 72-hour City Pass ticket.
The Copenhagen card – available from tourist information centres – entitles the holder to free travel on buses, metro and S-Tog trains in addition to free admission to 73 museums and other attractions. The Copenhagen Card costs 379 DKK for 24 hours, 529 DKK for 48 hours, 629 DKK for 72 hours and 839 DKK for 120 hours.
The fine for travelling without a valid ticket is 750 DKK.
Although there are many companies offering bicycle rentals, the best deal is the free Bycykler (City Bike) programme (tel 35 43 01 25). This programme allows you to borrow bikes from 150 points throughout the city for a 30 DKK for one hour. There is also a monthly subscription for 70 DKK, which includes your first 140 minutes. You can also pre-pay 300 DKK for 10 hours or 500 DKK for 20 hours.