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. Get Your Guide often have tours aimed at cruise boat passengers but at far lower prices than the official shore excursions.
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 or train from Copenhagen Airport to downtown Copenhagen and then change to the bus or walk.
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. Taxi2Airport provide online quotations.
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 (Oceankaj) 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, public bus 27 stops directly at the Oceanskaj terminal. Bus 27 connects Oceanskaj with Østerport Station two to four times per hour in ten minutes. The return bus departs from the east side of Østerport train station – note only buses with Oceanskaj displayed as final destination stops at the passenger cruise boat terminals.
During summer, a further bus is usually available from Oceanskaj to Nørreport Station, which 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 the bus at the cruise terminal.
To reach Ocean Quay cruise terminal from the airport, the simplest option is to take the regular train to Østerport and continue on bus 27. Traveling time is around 45 minutes. A further option that might be a few minutes faster but requires more walking, is the metro to Kongs Nytorv, change to Metro M3 for Østerport.
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. Taxi2Airport gives online quotations.
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 easiest public transportation option is bus 27 from Østerport station but use only buses with Færgeterminal Søndre Frihavn as final destination. (Bus 27 with Oceankaj as final destination follows a different route.)
Three to four buses per hour run on the route with the stops on Langelinie the closest to the boats. Some buses do not run along Langelinie – as the driver when boarding – in such case use the Indiakaj, which is about a block from the start of the Langelinie dock.
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, the simplest option is to take the regular train to Østerport and continue on bus 27. Traveling time is around 40 minutes. A further option that might be a few minutes faster but requires more walking, is the metro to Kongs Nytorv, change to Metro M3 for Østerport. 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 stopover 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.
Following the opening of the new metro circle line in September 2019, no buses run in this part of Copenhagen. The closest metro stations are Marmorkirke or Østerport.
To reach Nordre Toldbod from the airport, use the metro to Kongs Nytorv and change to Metro M3 for Marmorkirke or Østerport station. (Simply walking from Kongs Nytorv is also a good option and passes by the popular Nyhavn area and Amalienborg.) A taxi from the airport should cost around DKK350 – more in heavy traffic. A taxi from Kongs Nytorv station should be around DKK125.
Cheap Self-Made Shore Excursions in Copenhagen
It is easy and cheap to use local buses and trains for sightseeing in Copenhagen on the day before or after a cruise or on port days.
Bus 26, which used to be ideal for self-made Copenhagen bus tours changed its route following the opening of the new metro circle line. Using the bus to Østerport station and then continue by metro is now the simpler option.
From Østerport, use the metro in the direction of Kongs Nytorv, the following stops are handy for sightseeing:
- Østerport station: SMK National Gallery and Rosenborg Palace.
- Marmorkirke: Marble Church, Amalienborg Royal Palace and Museum.
- Kongs Nytorv: Nyhavn, Strøget pedestrian street and the metro to the airport.
- Gammel Strand: Christiansborg, National Museum of Denmark, Thorvaldsens Museum, old town center (Royal Copenhagen shop)
- Rådhuspladsen: Townhall & Stroget pedestrian street
- Kobenhavn K: Hovedbanegården (central station), Tivoli
- Frederiksberg Allé: Frederiksberg Gardens Palace
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.