Public transportation is the cheapest way to travel to the passenger boat cruise terminals in Copenhagen from the airport, station or downtown. Self-guided port day excursions are easy and cheap by walking or using buses in Copenhagen.
Getting to the cruise terminals in Copenhagen is cheap and simple on public transportation from the city center, central train station and the airport. It is also very easy and cheap to use public transportation to explore Copenhagen on cruise port days at a fraction of the price of cruise excursion tours. Taxis are a sensible option when arriving or departing with luggage but luggage transfer services from the airport are worth exploring for a baggage-free day of sightseeing in Copenhagen. From some terminals, it is simple to walk or cycle to the city. Hop On Hop Off buses call at the cruise terminals when passenger ships are in port. Uber and similar ride-share services do not operate in Denmark.
All routings are valid until the new metro circle line starts operating – currently expected in September 2019.
Public Transportation to Copenhagen Cruise Terminals
Public transportation is fairly simple and cheap to use to the various cruise terminals and ports in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen has four major passenger ship cruise terminals:
- Oceanskaj (Ocean Quay) – the largest cruise terminal, the furthest from the city and the main port used for cruises that start or terminate in Copenhagen.
- Langelinie – just to the north of the city center with walking into the city a possible option.
- Nordre Toldbod – very close to the city with walking a very pleasant option.
- Ferry terminal for Oslo – see Transportation to the DFDS Oslo Ferry Terminal in Copenhagen for details
There are fairly limited facilities at the various cruise terminals in Copenhagen. It is generally not that pleasant to arrive much too early as there is very little to do, especially when weighed down by luggage.
Public transportation tickets are valid for all forms of Copenhagen transportation – buses, harbor boat bus, trains and metro trains – and allow for unlimited transfers during the period of validity. A DKK24 (two-zone) ticket is valid for 1h15 and covers transportation from any cruise terminal to central Copenhagen. A DKK36 (three-zone) ticket covers transportation all the way to the airport and is valid for 90 minutes from time of purchase. Single tickets need no further validation but must be shown to bus drivers when boarding buses. Tickets are available from vending machines at stations (cash or credit card) or from bus drivers (cash only).
From Copenhagen Airport to Cruise Terminals
Traveling from Copenhagen Airport to the various cruise terminals on public transportation is fairly simple, fast and relatively cheap. A three-zone ticket – DKK36 – covers all forms of public transportation from the airport to any of the terminals.
The fastest and simplest option is to take the metro from Copenhagen Airport. Change to the bus at Kongs Nytorv for ships departing from Nordre Toldbod or Langelinie and at Nørreport Station for ships departing from Oceanskaj.
If traveling directly to the terminal with luggage, a taxi may be worth the splurge but expect to pay around DKK500 – the fare is by the meter unless pre-booked and pre-paid. Alternatively, shave around DKK250 off the taxi fare by taking the metro to Nørreport station and continue from there to the boat by taxi.
It is possible to check luggage at the airport for check through to many ships – a great way to spend a day in the city before / after a cruise. See bottom of this article for details.
Cruise shuttle buses are often available for transfers but may not necessarily be cheaper than taxis and never as cheap as public transportation.
See Cheap Transportation to Copenhagen Airport for more details.
Public Transportation to Ocean Quay Cruise Terminal
Most cruises departing or terminating in Copenhagen use the purpose-built Ocean Quay cruise terminals to the north of the city. The area is perfectly safe but a bit windswept and desolate with a lot of dusty building activity in the region. Distances are too far to walk to Nordhavn train station (45 minutes) and cycling here is not particularly pleasant, even if there is a Bycyklen city bike rental station at the terminal.
Fortunately, two public buses stop directly at the Oceanskaj terminal:
- Bus 27 connects Oceanskaj with Østerport Station two to four times per hour in ten minutes.
- Bus 25 connects Oceanskaj with Nørreport Station via Østerport Station up to three times per hour during the cruise season. Nørreport station is the best option for walking into the town center, or for transfers to more buses, trains and the metro.
Preferably, buy tickets at Town Shop or machines in the terminal before boarding bus 25 at the cruise terminal. (Bus 25 only runs when ships are in port with the last bus around an hour before the last boat departs.)
To reach Ocean Quay cruise terminal from the airport, use the metro to Nørreport and change to bus 25. Alternatively, take the regular train to Østerport and continue on bus 27 or 25. Traveling time is around 45 minutes. A taxi from the airport to Oceankaj is by the meter – expect to pay around DKK500. A taxi from Nørreport station to Oceankai cruise terminal should be around DKK250.
Public Transportation to Langelinie Cruise Terminal in Copenhagen
From Langelinie quay, it is easy to walk to the Little Mermaid statue and then on to the city center of Copenhagen. It is around 5 minutes walk to the Little Mermaid, another 5 minutes to Nordre Toldbod and then 10 minutes more to the city center – a pleasant walk along the waterfront or through the Kastellet fort.
The closest public transportation option is bus 26, Indiakaj. (During most of the cruise season, bus 26 does not stop at the Langelinie itself.) From the city center, only bus 26 with Søndre Frihavn Indiakaj as final destination stops at Indiakaj. (Buses with Søndre Frihavn Færgeterminal as destination stop at the nearby Søndre Frihavn Folke Bernadottes Allé stop.)
Bus 26 runs up to six times per hour, with three buses per hour stopping at Indiakaj.
Østerport station is around 15 minutes walk from Langelinie – not the most picturesque part of the city but perfectly safe for walking. A taxi from Nørreport station should be around DKK125.
To reach Langelinie from the airport, use the metro to Kongs Nytorv and change to bus 26. A taxi from the airport should cost around DKK350 – more in heavy traffic.
Public Transportation to Nordre Toldbod Cruise Terminal in Copenhagen
Nordre Toldbod is the closest to central Copenhagen of all the passenger ship terminals. It is mostly used by smaller and luxurious ship lines that stop over in Copenhagen for day excursions and thus transporting luggage is less of an issue.
Nordre Tolbod is directly next to the Kastellet fort to the immediate north of central Copenhagen. From here, it is a pleasant ten-minute stroll along the waterfront to Amalienborg or Nyhavn, or a few minutes walk northwards to the Little Mermaid statue.
The easiest public transportation is on bus 1A, stop Esplanaden:
- Take bus 1A (direction Avedøre) to Kongs Nytorv (for the metro to the airport) or to Hovedbanegården stop in Tietgensgade (to the immediate south of the main train station / København H).
- Take bus 1A (direction Hellerup) to Østerport station for S-Tog trains, and easy access to Nørreport station (regional trains to for example Helsingør and metro to the airport). Walking to Østerport may be faster than waiting for the bus.
To reach Nordre Toldbod from the airport, use the metro to Kongs Nytorv and change to bus 1A. A taxi from the airport should cost around DKK350 – more in heavy traffic. A taxi from Nørreport station should be around DKK125.
Cheap Self-Made Shore Excursions in Copenhagen
It is easy and cheap to use local buses for sightseeing in Copenhagen on the day before or after a cruise or on port days.
Bus 26 is ideal and pass by many top sights in Copenhagen – from the cruise terminals, it is easiest to join bus 26 at Østerport station (or Indiakaj from Langelinie).
From Østerport, bus 26 (direction Valby Ålholm Plads) goes through the city center and is great for sightseeing in Copenhagen: stop Georg Brandes Plads (SMK National Gallery and Rosenborg Palace), Kongs Nytorv for Nyhavn, Strøget pedestrian street and the metro to the airport, Stormbroen (National Museum of Denmark & Thorvaldsens Museum), Rådhuspladsen (Tivoli), Hovedbanegården (central station), Frederiksberg Runddel (Frederiksberg Gardens) and Bjerregårdsvej / Valby Langgade (visit Carlsberg).
All number 26 buses running north, stop at Østerport Station but may have Østerport, Søndre Frihavn Færgeterminal or Indiakaj as final destination.
Hop On Hop Off buses are useful alternatives and call directly at cruise terminals when passenger ships are in port. Private guided tours and group tours are also easy to arrange a great alternative to the more than 30 shore excursion buses that often line up at Langelinie when large boats are in port.
Left Luggage Lockers and Bag Transfers
Airluggage.dk is a handy luggage service that allows passengers to drop bags at Copenhagen Airport for transportation and check in at many ships, or in reverse to the airport, allowing a luggage free day in Copenhagen. The service is in many cases cheaper than a left luggage locker at the airport or train station.
Many shops in tourist areas also do left luggage for a small fee – look for the left luggage signs or book in advance at Luggagehero.com.
See Cheap Transportation to Copenhagen Airport for more details.