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Denmark

Getting around

Boat

There’s an extensive network of ferries linking Denmark’s many populated islands. See local listings for details.

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Hitching

Hitching is never entirely safe anywhere in the world and we don’t recommend it. Travellers who decide to hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk.

At any rate, hitching is not a common practice in Denmark and generally not a very rewarding one. It’s also illegal on motorways.

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Bus & tram

Bus

Long-distance buses run a distant second to trains. Still, some cross-country bus routes work out to about 25% cheaper than trains.

Daily express buses include connections between Copenhagen and Århus (250kr, 2¾ hours) and Copenhagen and Aalborg (280kr, five hours). There’s also twice-daily express-bus service between the Jutland port cities of Frederikshavn and Esbjerg (290kr, five hours). See local listings for details.

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Car & motorcycle

Denmark is a pleasant country for touring by car. Roads are good and almost invariably well signposted. Except during rush hour, traffic is quite light, even in major cities.

Access to and from Danish motorways is straightforward: roads leading out of town centres are named after the main city that they lead to (eg the road heading out of Odense to Faaborg is called Faaborgvej). Petrol stations, with toilets, nappy-changing facilities and minimarkets, are at 50km intervals on motorways.

Denmark’s extensive ferry network carries motor vehicles at quite reasonable rates. Fares for cars average three times the passenger rate. It’s always wise for drivers to make ferry reservations in advance, even if it’s only a couple of hours ahead of time. On weekends and holidays ferries on prime crossings can be completely booked.

Unleaded and super petrol as well as diesel fuel are available. You’ll generally find the most competitive prices at petrol stations along motorways.

The Danish Road Directorate (70 10 10 40) offers a helpful 24-hour telephone service that can provide nationwide information on traffic conditions, road works, detours and ferry cancellations; available in English.

Hire

Rental cars are relatively expensive in Denmark – you could even pay as much to hire a car for just one day in Denmark as it would cost to hire one for a week across the border in Germany; some visitors do just that…and then drive across the border.

If Germany’s not on the cards, a little research can mean big savings. You may get the best deal on a car rental by booking with an international rental agency before you arrive in Denmark. Be sure to ask about promotional rates, pre-pay schemes etc. In Denmark, walk-up rates start at about 650kr per day, somewhat less for longer rentals.

Rental companies’ weekend rates, when available, offer real savings. About 1000kr allows you to keep the car from Friday afternoon to Monday morning, including VAT and insurance. Be sure to request a plan that includes unlimited kilometres; some plans tack on an extra fee after 250km.

Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz are among the largest operators in Denmark, with offices in major cities, airports and other ports of entry.

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Train

Denmark has a reliable train system with reasonable fares and frequent services. Most long-distance trains on major routes operate at least hourly throughout the day. DSB (70 13 14 15; www.dsb.dk) runs virtually all trains in Denmark. DSB trains include the following:

InterCity (IC) – ultramodern comforts, cushioned seats, reading lights, headphone jacks, play areas for children. DSB1 (first class) – 50% more than standard fares. Reservations not required, but recommended if you want a guaranteed seat.

InterCityLyn – on certain well-travelled routes. Same facilities as InterCity, but with fewer stops.

InterRegional (IR) – older, slower, simpler. Reservations not accepted.

Standard fares are about 2kr per kilometre, with the highest fare possible between any two points in Denmark topping out at just 390kr. The reservation fee for seats is 20kr. Discounts include the following:

Seniors (65 and over) 20% discount on Friday and Saturday and a 50% discount on other days.

Children (aged 12 to 15) half the adult fare at all times.

Children (under 12) free if they are with an adult.

Group discounts for eight or more adults travelling together.

Youth (aged 16 to 25) can buy a DSB WildCard (youth card) for 200kr; it allows half-price train fares Monday to Thursday and Saturday.

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Local transport

Taxis are generally readily available for hire throughout Denmark in city centres, near major shopping centres and at train stations. If you see a taxi with a lit fri sign, you can wave it down, but you can always phone for a taxi as well.

Fares average around 23kr at flag fall and 11.50kr per kilometre (15.80kr at night and at weekends). Tipping is not needed because a service charge is included in the fare.

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Air

Denmark’s small size and efficient train network means that domestic air traffic is quite limited, usually to business travellers and people connecting from international flights through Copenhagen. Still, domestic carriers offer frequent services between Copenhagen and a few of the more distant corners. The good news is that the competition driven by the budget air revolution has ensured that flight prices have in many cases actually come down.

Cimber Air (70 10 12 18; www.cimber.dk) flies from Copenhagen to Aalborg (from 695kr), Karup (Central Jutland, 620kr), Rønne (Bornholm, 921kr) and Sønderborg (695kr).

Scandinavian Airlines (70 10 20 00; www.scandinavian.net) flies from Copenhagen to Århus (1140kr one way) and Aalborg (637kr). Ask about discounts such as youth fares and weekend getaway fares.

If you’re holding an international ticket on the same carrier, you may receive a discount even if you travel one way to Copenhagen, connect by land with the other city and then fly back through Copenhagen (or vice-versa).

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Bicycle

It’s easy to travel with a bike anywhere in Denmark, even when you’re not riding it, as bicycles can readily be taken on ferries and trains for a modest fee. Be aware on DSB trains, reservations should be made at least three hours prior to departure because bikes generally travel in a separate section of the train.

Cyclists are well catered for in Denmark and there are excellent cycling routes throughout the main islands.

If you prefer to leave your bike at home, it’s easy to hire bikes throughout Denmark. Prices average around 60/300kr per day/week for something basic. Note that helmets are not included with most hired bicycles.

Always lock up your bike, especially if you’re travelling with an expensive model, as bike theft is common, particularly in larger cities such as Copenhagen and Århus.

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