Bus transportation has for decades been an important part of the public infrastructure. Buses are used for city transportation in all larger cities, for scheduled local / regional transportation in smaller, rural parts of the country and of course for travel between larger cities. As Denmark has quite ambitious goals in relation to reducing CO2 emissions, large investments are being made in order to renew the city buses with the goal of lowering the emission. Travelling by bus in Denmark is generally very easy. The majority of public transportation (mainly buses and trains) has been unified on a platform called “Rejseplanen”, and below you can find more information about that one.
Table of Contents
Intercity buses in Denmark
The first intercity bus route in Denmark was “Linie 888” which went into operation in 1983 by the company Abildskou. The line became an iconic connection between Mid-North Jutland and Copenhagen, and was for decades the only real domestic intercity bus line competing with the rail network.
In 2012 Rødbillet (Red ticket) entered the intercity bus market. Initially Rødbillet had the same stations as “Linie 888” and the only difference was that Rødbillet’s travel route was via the Great Belt bridge as opposed to “Linie 888” which travelled from Jutland to Zealand with the ferry from Aarhus to Odden. Rødbillet soon started expanding and managed to establish a network within a few years connecting most larger cities in Jutland and Funen with Copenhagen.
In 2016 Abildskou started driving under the Flixbus brand and in 2017 the Flixbus acquired Rødbillet making them the largest Intercity bus provider in Denmark. However, Flixbus is not the only large intercity bus company in Denmark. A ferry company operating the ferries between Jutland and Zealand and from Zealand to Bornholm has established its own Intercity bus company called “Kombardo Expressen”. This company is very popular as all buses on this route first board a ferry, so the actual bus ride e.g from Aarhus to Copenhagen becomes very short.
Domestic bus routes
The domestic intercity bus network in Denmark connects about 50 cities, the majority of them being cities in Jutland. On most connections the buses are in direct competition with the Danish rail network, but since the buses are in most cases way cheaper, they have managed to attract a large number of passengers who prefer travelling on a budget as opposed to the comfort offered on a train. The most popular intercity bus in Denmark is undoubtedly the line connecting Aarhus and Copenhagen, but the routes listed below are also quite popular.
|Copenhagen – Aarhus||Copenhagen – Herning||Copenhagen – Vejle|
|Copenhagen – Aalborg||Copenhagen – Kolding||Copenhagen – Esbjerg|
|Copenhagen – Odense||Copenhagen – Viborg||Copenhagen – Horsens|
|Copenhagen – Middelfart||Copenhagen – Randers||Copenhagen – Silkeborg|
International bus routes
From Denmark you can of course also travel by bus to other countries. Several times a week there are scheduled bus departures to Poland, Czech, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, but obviously the majority of the international bus connections go to the neighboring countries such as Germany and Sweden. Despite there being good train connections to both Sweden and Germany, the lower fares on intercity buses still attract lots of travellers. Below you can find some of the most popular travel destinations from Denmark.
|Copenhagen – Stockholm||Copenhagen – Gothenburg||Copenhagen – Helsingborg|
|Copenhagen – Malmo||Copenhagen – Halmstad||Copenhagen – Lund|
|Copenhagen – Berlin||Copenhagen – Hamburg||Copenhagen – Bremen|
|Aarhus – Hamburg||Aarhus – Berlin||Odense – Berlin|
Bus from Airports
If you are arriving in Denmark by plane, you will probably land in either Kastrup airport by Copenhagen, Billund airport by Legoland, Tirstrup airport near Aarhus or Aalborg Airport. All 4 airports have an organized transportation to the nearby main city; e.g from Copenhagen airport there is a metro connection and city buses to Copenhagen, but there are also options to travel with the bus from the airport to other locations. Below we have listed some of the bus lines operating from the airports.
|Kastrup to Aarhus||Kastrup to Odense||Kastrup to Gothenburg|
|Kastrup to Esbjerg||Billund Airport – Copenhagen||Billund airport to Odense|
Bus companies in Denmark
Denmark has some very big bus companies and a lot of very small bus companies. Larger bus companies like Arriva mainly operate city buses based on a contract with 6 regional traffic companies. The smaller bus companies in Denmark often drive one or a few lines; e.g. school bus lines for the regional traffic companies. Many of these companies also do occasional domestic group trips and bus holiday tours. We have listed some of the Danish bus companies below.
|Ans Busser||Arriva DK||BAT|
|Bjert Busser||Bornholmer Bussen||Brochnersbiler|
|Centrum Turist||De Grønne Busser||Dit Busselskab|
|DK Bus||Edelskov||Egons Bus|
|Fladså Turist||Fynbus||Galten Turistbusser|
|Gråhundbus||Hanstholm Rejser||Herfølge Turistfart|
|Holger Danske||Iversen Bus||Iversensbusser|
|John´s Bus||Jyttes Bus||Kolls Turist|
|Kombardo Expressen||Koncert Bussen||Larsenbus|
|Midtbus Jylland||Midttrafik||Mortens Busser|
|Movia||Nordjyllands Trafikselskab||Olesens Busser|
|Per’s Turist||PP Bus||Silkebus|
|Skava Turistfart||Skovlunde Turistbusser||Solibus|
|Sørens Rejser||Sydtrafik||Thinggaard Express|
|Umove||Vejle Turisttrafik||Veno Bussen|
Bus stations Denmark
In most Danish settlements classified as a city you will find a bus station. In cities which also have train stations, the bus station is often located nearby. Interestingly the capital of Denmark – Copenhagen currently does not have a bus station (it is planned though). The most frequent departure location in Copenhagen is from the curbside on a street called Ingerslevsgade, located about 1 km from the central train station. The bus stations in other cities normally have facilities (often shared with the railway) like toilets, kiosks and a fast food place, also luggage storage option is quite common at the larger stations. Here you can find the address of the bus station in:
Hire a coach in Denmark
Renting a bus in Denmark is fairly easy. Throughout the country you will find bus companies offering bus rent with a driver. Be aware that renting a bus in Denmark is fairly expensive (as all other things :-)). To get the cheapest price it is important that you find a bus company located close to your starting point, as you will indirectly pay for empty km that the bus has to drive to pick you up.
The standard of buses for rent is very good – most buses are new, equipped with amenities like air conditioning, seat belts, toilet etc. In some areas of the country you can also rent buses suitable for parties or meetings.
City buses in Denmark
The public transportation in Denmark is handled by 6 regional traffic companies, Nordjyllands Trafikselskab, Midttrafik, Sydtrafik, Fynbus, BAT and Moviatrafik. These companies do not operate buses or trains themselves. What they do is that they manage the public traffic in the larger cities and the interregional traffic as well as manage various other forms of public transportation offered in the region. The traffic companies assign routes and networks to bus companies (and train companies) based on public tenders, and this is done in order to ensure the public interest in having the best and cheapest public transportation in each region.
Rejsekort & Rejseplan A/S.
The company Rejsekort & Rejseplan A/S is the company in charge of operating and developing Rejseplanen and Rejsekortet. The company is jointly owned by 6 regional traffic companies + Movia, DSB and Ørestadsselskabet. The actual operation and development is sub contracted to a company called East-West Denmark Aps which is owned by the French Thales Group.
Currently “Rejsekortet” and “Rejseplanen” are not integrated platforms, but a new law in Denmark has tasked Rejsekort & Rejseplan A/S to develop a better solution for the future, which more or less will integrate the two services into one, removing most of the issues that I will mention below.
Rejseplanen – The Travel Plan
Rejseplanen.dk is a state run search engine (website / app) containing timetables and prices for the majority of all public and private transportation offered in Denmark. When Rejseplanen.dk was first launched back in 1998 it contained the timetables from only a few companies, whereas today, Rejseplanen contains timetables for buses, trains, ferries, domestic planes, bike sharing and other mobility offers. Travellers can look up prices for any travel route, but they can not buy the ticket on the site. What happens is that travellers in most cases get redirected to the website of the transport provider to buy a ticket.
How to use Rejseplanen
On the homepage of rejseplanen.dk (or on the app) you simply pick from where to where you wish to travel, and Rejseplanen will then list you the travel options using multiple forms of transportation, e.g train – bus and ferry.
If you see a “Travel Plan” you would like to follow, you click “Price & Buy” which will display you the prices and ticket options. Note that ticket prices and buy options are not available for all trips. In some cases (If a single provider) you can buy a ticket for the whole trip, in other cases you have to buy two tickets (from different providers), and in some cases you can only see prices and buy a ticket for a part of the trip offered.
Also please note the tickets you purchase are from the transport provider and not from rejseplanen.dk it selves.
Rejsekort – Travel Cards
The Danish “Rejsekort” travel card was launched around 2010, and the idea behind the card was “If you make it easy – more people will travel”. The way they have managed to do this was having a unified payment system, which could eliminate the use of cash and card payment and at the same time could provide the cheapest possible price to the traveler, taking into consideration the many zone based fare prices available from the underlying transport providers.
After a very bumpy start with lots of technical issues, the card meanwhile works quite good, but there are still some major issues to solve.
The travel card is a physical card (Credit card style with RFID chip) which comes in two main versions. One is an anonymous card and the other one is a personal card. The personal card has to be ordered online and you need to have a danish NEM ID, which you would only have if you live in Denmark or are a Danish citizen living abroad. The anonymous card you can buy in the outlets listed here.
Do I need a Rejsekort as a tourist in Denmark?
No, If you only plan to travel a few times, you don’t. You can just buy a ticket online, at a sales outlet or at ticket machines at the stations. If you are staying with friends, and can borrow an anonymous card, you might as well do that as the travel card offers some discount when travelling in off peak times.
What are the benefits of having a Travel Card?
The main benefit of the Travel card is the following:
- Cash free travelling
- You should get the cheapest price (does not always happen)
- If you travel during the off peak period, you get up to 20% discount.
- If you have a personal travel card, you have automatic top up.
- Adults can bring children under 12 with them for free, they do not need to be checked in!
What happens if I forget to check in?
If you forget to check in, you will get a fine if the train or bus inspectors catches you.
What happens if I forget to check out?
With an anonymous card you may lose all your credit. What you meanwhile can do is to report a missing checkout here.
Can more people travel on one travel card?
Yes, more people can travel on one card. On the card reader “Extra” you can check in additional travelers or e.g. a bike.
Why does it not say the price of the trip when I check in?
When you check in, the system does not know where you are travelling to and therefore it can not give you a price. The price is calculated once you have checked out from your trip. If you want to know the price before travelling, you should check Rejseplanen.dk
Are there other things I should know about the usage of the travel card?
You can find more information about using the travel card here.
Bus travel Denmark FAQs
The payment option varies depending on where you travel in Denmark. For almost any trip you can buy a ticket online, and at the stations there are ticket machines and on some city buses you can pay with Danish coins. On Intercity buses you can also pay with cards.
A 2 Zone ticket which covers most of Copenhagen costs 24 DKK for a single ticket, if you are going to the airport you need a 3 Zone ticket which costs 36 DKK, each additional Zone costs additionally 12 DKK. And if you plan on traveling a bit more, you might consider buying a City pass, a 1 day (24 hour) pass for 1-4 Zones costs 80 DKK, 2 days 150 DKK, 3 days 200 DKK etc.
As in other countries, Denmark is constantly changing Corona rules and restrictions in relation to the current infection levels. Buses, trains and other forms of transportation of course have to comply with the at any given time valid rules. If you travel to Denmark at these COVID-19 times you should check this website for information.
Also before you travel to Denmark, you should consult your travel insurance company regarding coverage. And you should also check if returning form Denmark requires that you go in self isolation or you have to be tested, before returning to everyday life.
Compared to the general price level, buses are fairly cheap in Denmark, especially the intercity buses.
The standard of trains as well as buses is very high in Denmark. What’s exactly better is more or less a question of personal preferences and size of the wallet.
The majority of city buses in Denmark can be accessed in a wheelchair, also regional buses in some areas have a ramp and barrier free entry. In general the Danish society does a lot to avoid limitations for disabled persons.
For bus companies
If you operate a Danish bus company and would like to be included in the list, you are more than welcome to contact us. We can also offer you access to an easy platform for managing bus rentals in Denmark.