Europe > Denmark > Copenhagen
See: Why rent a car in Copenhagen ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)
Your key questions for any destination:
Do I need a car in Copenhagen?
Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.
That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!
- The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
- How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
- Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
- Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?
Is it worth hiring a car in Copenhagen?
This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Copenhagen car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.
How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Copenhagen with other destinations locally and around the world.
This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.
Should I rent a car in Copenhagen?
This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Copenhagen, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.
Copenhagen is wonderful, and so are its cycling facilities, but we assume you knew that anyway.
Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season.
We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.
Copenhagen is in car rental price band: 1/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)
General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Copenhagen?
Yes. Economy rental can be surprisingly cheap, amongst lowest in world. Parking expensive if not provided with hotel.
Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Copenhagen between the peak and the off peak season?
6/10 (0 = stable prices)
Driving score: 10/10
Non car score:10/10
(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)
General comment -
Why? Visiting Copenhagen using a hire car
Why do you need a car in Copenhagen ?
For a slightly longer stay, is it worth picking up a hire car at Copenhagen airport?
- Expensive trains — if you are wanting to travel beyond Copenhagen, then Danish trains can be extremely expensive, unless you’re booking a longer distance trip well in advance, when some bargain apex fares are available. Car hire in Copenhagen is expensive too, but it will work probably out better value if you are travelling as a family or other group.
- Freedom and ferries — although the suburban trains around Copenhagen run regularly, if you want to start exploring a little bit beyond the fringes, trains aren’t so frequent, and they aren’t always as well coordinated with inter-island ferries as you might expect.
- Oresund crossing — engineering geeks will certainly want to head across the stunning Oresund crossing into neighbouring Sweden. Although this is a combined road and rail bridge and tunnel project, the road is on the top deck, so you get a better view.
- Southern Sweden — Copenhagen airport is also the main gateway for Southern Sweden, as flights to Malmo are limited to a handful of international routes. Lush pine forests and endless vistas of Swedish lakes and coastlines can be explored within a very short time frame from picking up a hire car at Copenhagen airport.
- Jutland and Legoland — the Jutland peninsular only has three main trunk railway lines, so a car is going to give you far more flexibility if you head out in this direction. To reach the town of Billund, which is home of Legoland, you would have to take the train to Vejle and then transferred to a slow and infrequent bus service. Note — if you want to visit this area in combination with Copenhagen, we would advise looking at a one-way flight to Billund, and returning from Copenhagen, or vice versa.
Why not? Visiting Copenhagen without a car
Why don't you need a car in Copenhagen ?
- Metro — the ultramodern Copenhagen Metro alone should be reason enough to not even need to think about getting a hire car. Not only is it super efficient, but the system is completely automated, giving an opportunity for geeks young and old to enjoy looking through the front window.
- Water — Copenhagen is home to the Little Mermaid, and has many vibrant dockland districts. Some of the city’s most iconic architecture is in the waterfront areas, and the best way to appreciate this is from a boat.
- Cycling — Copenhagen is one of the world’s leading cities for cycling, and an excellent way to see the city is by bike. Many hotels will provide bikes for their guests. There is also an automated city bike system, although it only operates during the summer.
- Malmo — we highly recommend an excursion to the southern Swedish city of Malmo, which is just across the Oresund link, even if you just pay an architectural homage to Santiago Calatrava’s superb “Turning Torso” tower.
For a simple city visit, the train will take you directly into the city centre without having to worry about parking. To explore the countryside beyond this, we would recommend getting a hire car, as mentioned above.
- Walking — Copenhagen is one of those cities where it is great just to explore casually on foot, as it has such a great variety of traditional and modern architecture. Copenhagen is also extremely pedestrian friendly, although locals tend to prefer getting to and from the outlying areas by bike.
- Odense — pop over to Odense to appreciate the Hans Christian Andersen story. Odense is another city that is really enjoyable just to walk or cycle around, and it is well documented for its network of linked parks.
Ratings: How does Copenhagen compare?
Is it worth hiring a car in Copenhagen? TBC
This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Copenhagen, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.
How does this compare if:
You are travelling:
Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc
Does car rental make sense on different budgets?
Do you need to hire a car in Copenhagen? TBC
This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Copenhagen (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".
Should you rent a car in Copenhagen? TBC
This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good.
See global comparisons
Hiring | Driving | Parking
Trains | Buses | Local travel
Car hire basics:
Public transportation basics:
Regular bus services: YES
Coach (inter-city): YES
High Speed Rail:
Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):
As you start ....
Does Copenhagen airport have a direct rail link?
(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No
Has our advice for Copenhagen car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?
2017 - 3
2019 - 6
2021 - 6
Average score - 5
Conclusion — Should you hire a car in Copenhagen? Copenhagen is well-known as a city where there is no need for a car, and because of this, our starting point is not so much how does Copenhagen compare with other cities, but whether or not there is a care to even consider getting a hire car. When should you hire a car in Copenhagen?When you look beyond the city itself, there clearly are places which are better to explore on your own four wheels, and for those reasons our verdict is to consider getting a hire car for at least some of your stay.
Do you or don't you need a car in Copenhagen ?