- Download our Moving to Denmark Guide (PDF)
Taking public transport and driving in Denmark is convenient and efficient. Denmark’s roads are in excellent condition and congestion isn't a major issue. There is also a comprehensive public transport system in Denmark comprising trains, buses and ferries, so expats who choose not to drive will have plenty of ways to get around.
Denmark has a reputation as one of the world's cycling capitals, and new arrivals will soon find that this is well-earned. Copenhagen, in particular, is exceptionally bike-friendly, and the government is constantly extending the existing cycling infrastructure.
Public transport in Denmark
Public transport in Denmark is an efficient way for expats to reach almost any part of the country. Many Danes use public transport daily, and the Danish government encourages residents to give public transport preference over driving.
Buses, trains and the metro are all covered by Rejsekort, a central electronic ticketing system. Commuter passes and discounted fares can also be accessed via Rejsekort.
The national rail network in Denmark is operated by Danske Statsbaner (DSB). It also operates the S-train rail network in Copenhagen. Expats can use the train to travel between the major cities on all of Denmark’s islands.
Smaller towns and rural areas in Denmark are serviced by regional trains. Long-distance trains run frequently throughout the day and are a relaxing and safe way to travel between cities in Denmark. The country also has international railway links to Sweden and Germany.
Copenhagen is home to Denmark's only metro system, which is well integrated with other public transport links throughout the city. The metro offers 24/7 services and has four lines, with more currently under construction. The metro is designed to have a train leaving the station every 90 seconds, making it among the most rapid and efficient in the world.
Denmark has a good system of long-distance buses that makes travelling between Danish cities painless and easy. Express coaches are also available. Travellers can purchase bus tickets on the bus itself using exact change, or they can purchase them in advance.
Denmark is an archipelago, so ferries are one of the best ways to get around. This is especially the case for expats who want to explore some of the smaller islands. There are also international ferry connections to destinations such as Sweden, Norway, Germany and the UK.
- Visit the Rejeskort's website to learn more about Denmark's central ticketing system.
- DSB Train has more information on train schedules, routes and operating times.
- The Copenhagen Metro offers detailed travel information.
Taxis in Denmark
Large cities in Denmark will have an abundance of taxis run by many different companies. Smaller cities might only have one or two local operators. Taxis can be hailed off the street, or can be booked online or via phone.
All taxis in Denmark have meters and the fares are regulated. Ride-hailing apps are not commonly used in Denmark, but Uber and Bolt are available and are a great way for expats to mitigate potential language barriers.
- Taxa and Dantaxi are the most popular taxi companies in Denmark.
- Visit Uber or Bolt's websites to learn more about ride-hailing in Denmark.
Driving in Denmark
Expats driving in Denmark can expect a fairly easy, stress-free experience. The roads are in excellent condition and traffic jams are not a major issue. The Danish government has invested in extending the country’s road network and expats will find that, due to the building of bridges, more and more areas and islands of the country are accessible by car. Expats can also use ferries to transport their cars between Denmark’s islands.
Expats can drive in Denmark with their foreign driving licence for a total of 180 days after receiving their permanent residency status. Thereafter, they must exchange their licence for a Danish one. Expats who are from EU countries, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein can legally drive in Denmark, provided their licences are still valid.
Most expats from outside these regions will need to exchange their foreign driving licence and take theoretical and practical driving tests. Expats whose driving licences are not in the Latin alphabet must have them translated into either English or Danish.
- Expats can learn more about driving on foreign driving licences and international licences here.
Cycling in Denmark
Cycling is an extremely popular mode of transport among the Danish population – in fact, in the city of Copenhagen, there are more bicycles than people. The country has a huge network of bicycle routes that extends for more than 7,000 miles (over 12,000km), making cycling an easy and safe way to get around. Additionally, Denmark has several bicycle-sharing programmes in its major cities to make commuting by bicycle easier for cyclists.
- Donkey Republic is a 24-hour bike rental programme available in Copenhagen.
Air travel in Denmark
Denmark’s cities are situated fairly close together, so it's rarely necessary to travel by plane within the country. That said, there are numerous domestic airports around the country, with the main hub being Copenhagen Airport. The national carrier, together with Sweden and Norway, is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
What do expats say about public transport in Denmark?
"Who needs public transport? You can get everywhere with your bike! But still, if you want to use public transport, there is a wide network of buses, metros and trains; so you can get pretty much everywhere in the city and the region." Read our interview with Spanish expat Astrid to learn more about her expat experience in Denmark.
►For information on the Danish schooling system, see our page on Education and Schools in Denmark
Photo credits: Buses in Copenhagen by Ihor Frolov from Unsplash; Driving stock image by Maurício Eugênio from Pexels.
Are you an expat living in Denmark?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Denmark. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance. 20% off premiums booked before 31st March
Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.
International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.