The capital of Denmark and the largest city in Scandinavia, Copenhagen, is also one of Europe’s most favoured tourist destinations and is visited by millions every year. People mainly flock to the city to enjoy its Latin Quarter, shopping on Stroget and landmarks including Hans Christian Andersen’s mermaid statue. With car rental, an abundance of daytrips out of the area are also possible.
Who to Book With
Copenhagen is home to three well-known international car hire firms that are all located in the city centre. Specifically, these companies are Avis, Sixt and Europcar, although competition is provided by the locally-run Udrive Group Denmark. Online bookings of vehicles from these outfits are often much cheaper than turning up in person and making reservations.
Best Time to Go
May to late August, which the locals refer to as ‘the warm period’, is the best time to visit Copenhagen. As the vast majority of holidaying Europeans take their breaks during this time though, making advance reservations on vehicle hire and Copenhagen hotels is advised.
Need to Know Essentials
In order to collect a rental car in Copenhagen, you must bring the following:
- A valid British driving license or International Driving Permit
- Photo ID other than driving license, such as passport
- Booking credit card
- Printed confirmation of rental
For more info read our FAQ's.
The centre of Copenhagen isn’t always fit for drivers given the amount of one-way streets, alleys and squares that abound. It goes without saying though, that a vehicle is often required for taking daytrips out of the area or to the suburbs. Parking zones are split into three colours – red, green and blue. The cheapest of the three is blue, in which it costs £1.15 per hour to leave a vehicle. Additionally, green parking costs £2 per hour and red is the most expensive at £3.35 per hour.
See our guide to Denmark for more information on driving in this country.
For those that don’t have their own rental vehicles, there are plenty of options when it comes to public transportation in Copenhagen. The S-train, Metro, buses, boats, rented bicycles and taxis can all be relied upon. A Copenhagen Card costs around £27 and gives access free access to all forms of public transport and more than 70 museums and attractions. Even those with car rental should considering purchasing a Copenhagen Card for inner-city travel.
The S-train is clean and modern and equipped with a free Wi-Fi service. It runs from the early morning until late in the evening, and connects practically every part of central Copenhagen and most of the suburbs. The Metro is also useful, but really only operates in the centre of the town and isn’t as well-developed as the S-train. Trains from Danish cities and others in Scandinavia are run by DSB, the Danish state railway company.
Taxis are easy to find anywhere in the city except on Friday and Saturday nights, when long waits should be expected. For an extra £1.50-£1.75, taxis can be pre-arranged as opposed to hailed on the street. A credit card that will be used to pay for a trip must be presented upon entering a taxi. Some of the main companies operating in the city are Amager-Obro Taxi, Codan Taxi, Taxa 4x35, TaxaMotor AVS, Taxinord and Vest-Taxa.
Copenhagen’s extensive and efficient network of buses is operated by Movia and separated into divisions such as A, S, E and N. A buses run along six different lines and arrive every 2-6 minutes throughout the day. S buses are express services and stretch far into the suburbs, while E buses run in rush hours and N buses operate between 01:00 to 17:00 every day. Due to the complexity of the network, tourists are advised to ask bus drivers or friendly locals for help if they run into any problems.
Those with car rental have plenty of options when it comes to destinations to explore on daytrips. Many of the places are regarded as being within the greater metropolitan area of the city. Frederiksberg, most famous for its castle, is one of the more upscale areas of the city. Vestegnen, one of the largest suburbs to the west and the south of the city, is often visited for its Arken art museum, its beaches and its campsites, which offer a nice rustic contrast to the hotels of Copenhagen.
Malmo - The third-largest city in Sweden, Malmo is perfectly accessible from Copenhagen. It is among the most historic cities in Scandinavia, and best-known for its cosy squares, perfect places to relax, shop and consume fine cuisine.
Humlebaek - This is just 35kms north of the city via the E47 and E5. It is worth embarking on the 35-minute journey if only for the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, regarded as the best of its kind found anywhere in Denmark.
Roskilde - This is the country’s ancient capital, deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site some time ago. Aside from the tombs of ancient kinds and a famous Viking museum, tourists enjoy Roskilde for its music festival, which is one of the largest in the world, held here in July.