Bus Transportation in Denmark

Denmark has a very good bus transportation system and with just a bit of knowledge you can quickly and easily master the system and avoid having to use your car or getting lost using the bus.

Important Note: The information contained below is based on the bus system in Copenhagen. When you get to other parts of the Denmark some of the information may vary. For example in Aarhus, you enter the bus from the rear doors and not the front. But the general rules are the same as those below.

In Copenhagen, buses crisscross the city, making it easy to get from most places. The buses also connect with the train stations helping you get about quicker.

They even have a harbor bus, which take you along the harbor and drops you off at such popular spots as the Opera House and Black Diamond Library. Very convenient!

You must have a ticket to ride the bus. Riding any public transport without a ticket will get you a fine of 750 kroner.

The bus transportation system works the same as the trains, tickets depend on the number of zones you travel through. You can learn more about zones here. The ticket system for trains, buses and metro are the same and can be used on any transportation system. One ticket gives you access to all public transport; trains, buses and metro.

Learn more about tickets, klippekort and tickets prices. To learn how to read a timetable, check out time table reading. (The example used on that page is for trains, but it works exactly the same for buses.)

On the bus, you can buy your ticket from the bus driver. Please note that drivers prefer correct change and not bills. If you pay with bills, the driver may not accept the payment, since it is a security issue with the bus lines. Also it is better to have a klippekort, especially during peak hours, when the buses have tight schedules to keep and selling tickets delays the bus.

bus transportation in denmark

Here are some of the major bus services in Denmark.

  • Copenhagen bus service is run by Movia at www.movia.dk
  • Arhus bus service is run by Midttrafik at www.midttrafik.dk
  • Aalborg it is Nord Jyllands Trafik at www.nordjyllandstrafikselskab.dk
  • Odense bus service is Fynbus at www.fynbus.dk
  • Southern Denmark is covered by Sydtrafik at www.sydtrafik.dk

I am only including the companies that run the public bus transport. There are many privately run bus companies too.

Riding the Bus

Stops are marked by signs with the route numbers on them. The signs are yellow. Underneath, you will see the timetable for each bus that stops there. You do not have to signal for a bus to stop. If you are standing next to the sign, they will stop. If there are several buses stopping at the stop, stand near the sign, so the driver knows you are waiting for that particular bus. If you are standing up on the sidewalk against a wall and the bus is coming by, the driver may not realize that you are waiting for him and drive on by.

Buses are not like trains, they do not stop at all stops. They only stop if a passenger has hit the stop button or if someone is waiting at the stop to get on.

Also different buses travel different routes and make different stops even when the route number is the same. Learn what type of bus to take and what all those letters mean after the route number. Check out bus types for all the low down.

Occaisionally, they will stop at a stop because they are ahead of schedule and need to wait a few minutes to get back on schedule.

bus stop sign denmark
  1. When the bus stops, you enter by the front door – not the back or middle doors, which are used for exiting. The exception is if you are taking a baby stroller with you. Then you can enter through the middle doors and once on and situated, go down the aisle to the front to buy your ticket or show the driver you have a valid pass/ticket.
  2. When you board, enter on the right sideof the front door if you need to buy a ticket. Enter on the left side of the front door if you have a pass or need to stamp your card.
  3. There is a small rail by the front doors. At the top of the rail there is a ticket machine, which you use to stamp your klippekort.
  4. If you have a valid ticket or pass, show it to the driver as you walk by. Make sure he/she sees the ticket. They will usually say “tak” or nod their heads in acknowledgement.
  5. There are no reserved seats, but some do have signs showing seats available for the disabled or elderly. You can sit there, but if an elderly person or handicapped person needs the seat, you need to relinquish it. It's best to choose another seat if it is available. Remember a valid ticket is for one seat, so do not place your belongings on the adjacent seat if the bus is crowded.
  6. Also, you can stand in the aisle when it is full. There are handles or straps above you, which you can hold on to. During peak hours the buses will be packed, and it will be necessary to keep moving towards the back at each stop. People get off and others are getting on, so you NEED to move towards the back.
  7. In the middle section, there is usually a wide space to stand. The problem with standing there is that people with strollers have first right to those places. If you are standing there, you have to move and give them the spot for their stroller or baby carriage. This can be a real pain when the bus is packed and 2 people with strollers try to get on. You just have to move. This is always fun during rush hour.
  8. You exit from either the middle doors or the back door. Along the bus you will see lots of little red buttons. These are mounted on the bars along the seats or sometimes above your head. Just take a look around and you will see plenty of them within easy reach.
  9. When you are ready to get off, you just push the red button and there will be a little "ding". Near the front above the drivers area, you will see a light that says “Standser”, meaning the driver will be stopping at the next busstop. If you see the light lit up, you don't have to push the button again.
  10. The driver won't stop between official stops. Press your button as soon as you know your stop is next. If you wait to push it right before the stop, the driver may assume you are pushing it for the following stop.
  11. Get up and stand near the door before you reach your stop. Sometimes it can be hard to get through the mass of people if it is rush hour. Drivers try to keep to a tight schedule, so if they have to wait for you to get out of your seat and get to the exit after they stop, this will cause problems. Be ready and help keep the system working.

Bus riding tips:

  1. Even though there are regular bus stops, buses do not have to stop at them unless there is someone to pick up or someone has pushed the button to get off. Do not assume the bus will stop. Make yourself visible to the driver, so they will stop.
  2. During peak travel times, a bus may not stop at your bus stop, even if someone is waiting at the stop. This is very common during rush hour. Basically, the bus is so packed with people that the driver cannot take any more passengers. You will have to wait for the next bus.
  3. In the city, there are so many buses that if you miss one, another one will be by shortly. Also, many bus lines travel similar routes, so plan alternatives if one bus is late or full.
  4. If you are furthur out in the country on a bus and the stops are farther apart, it is usually okay to ask the driver to make an unscheduled stop. Don’t ask him to drop you off 100 feet from the regular stop, but often you may need to get off a mile earlier, for example. You can also wave a bus down when in the country. Don’t try this in the city – they won't do it unless you are a regular customer and even then it might not happen.
  5. There are several different types of buses. The yellow buses are regular buses and stop at more stops than some of the other lines.

The rest of Denmark's transport system works on a similiar system. You may experience a few differences in different parts of the country.

For example, in Aarhus, you board the yellow buses from the back and depart from the front. You don't show your ticket to the driver; you are on the honor system - similar to riding the trains in Copenhagen.

Now if you take a blue bus (Rutebus) in Århus, it is like taking a yellow bus in Copenhagen: you enter from the front, exit from the middle, show your ticket to the driver, etc.

The best way to be sure is watch others who are boarding or just ask the driver. Most bus drivers speak Danish, English and, often, German. If you cannot speak with them, there will be people on the bus who can help. Just relax and follow the rules above and you should have an enjoyable experience.