When using any form of public transportation in Denmark tickets are necessary. This includes buses, trains, metro and harbor boats. The only exception are the free public bicycle, where you have to make a 20 kroner refundable deposit. If you use a public transport service without one, you will get fined and at present it stands at 750kr for an infraction.
First, let's discuss where to get tickets.
There are three basic types of tickets.
Single Trip: A single trip tckt is just that. One tckt bought for a specific trip and can only be used once on that specific journey. You can buy these from bus drivers, via vending machines, via electronic apps. You can also buy them at the train station office for other trips across Denmark and Europe, but I will be focusing on the S-Tog, bus and metro travel within the city.
Klippekort: The above option is probably the most convenient for many people, but it is not very affordable or useful. It is better to get a klippekort, which is 10 clip card. The klippekort can be bought in various forms depending on how many zones for want a card for.
There are klippekorts for traveling in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or all zones. For each clip on a 2- or 3-zone card, you get to travel for up to 1 hour in those zones. For 4-, 5-, and 6-zone cards, you can travel for up to 1-1/2 hours, and with 7-, 8-, and 9-zone cards, you can travel for 2 hour. You can learn more about zones here.
When you use the card in the machines on buses or at train stations, it is clipped and stamped with the date, time and the zone. If you clip a card twice, it can be used in twice that many zones. For example, clip a 2-zone card twice, and you can travel through 4 zones and it will be valid for 1-1/2 hours. Your time does not double, it will be same as if you clipped a 4-zone card.
You can also combine klippekorts if needing to travel in more zones. For example if you need to travel in 5 zones, you can use one clip on a 2-zone and 1 clip on a 3-zone. They must klipped at the same time. (not literally at the same time. Clip one card and than clip the other card). Two or more people can also travel on the same klippekort. If there are 3 people all traveling together and they each need a 2 zone ticket, you can just clip 3 times on a single 2-zone klippekort. Remember to stay together in case an inspector stops by to check your tickets.
Most seasoned travelers will have several klippekort in their possession in order to avoid having to pay single trip rates.
P.S. If you happen to have a klippekort and realize that you are short a single zone, you can stop by a ticket machine and buy a "tilkøbsbillet", which is a single zone ticket. You can NOT travel on a single zone ticket unless it is in combination with another ticket or klippekort (at least a 2 zone ticket).
When you have a single trip ticket, you just need to show it to the bus driver or train conductor (when he comes by). Just remember to keep it handy until your trip is over.
If you are using a klippekort, you will need to clip the card in one of the yellow or red ticket machines. Every bus has one as you enter the bus. At train stations they are located on the platform or inside the door out to the platform. Not hard to spot.
You push the klippekort into the machine with the bottom of the card in first. The front of the card should be facing you. If the slot is horizontal the klippekort will face upwards. If, as on most buses, the machine has a vertical slot, the klippekort is put in with the clips facing the left side, which makes the front of the card face you again. However you put the klippekort in, remember two things.
1. Card goes in bottom first.
2. The side where the clip is to be punched, must be on the left side.
If you need to do more than one clip, pull the card out halfways and than push down again. You will hear the clips. It is quite distinct sound.
When you pull the card out, you will see that a small chip has been removed from the left side of the card. There are 10 numbers representing each klip/clip. Notice that this card has been clipped twice. (see photo)
If you look carefuly, you can see this card was clipped on 17:45 on 1st of November in Zone 4 and again at 0500 November 2nd again in Zone 4.
HELPFUL HINT: Wait to clip your card until you know your train is just about to pull into the station. Sometimes trains can be delayed, and if you clip your card and the train is delayed for 20 minutes, you will have lost 20 minutes of your travel time standing on the platform. You will also notice that the time klipped on your tickets is not always the correct time. You usually get 10 -15 minutes extra time, since the clocks are set forward on many machines.
Generally, the trains and buses are very prompt and the government has actually enacted a programme where passengers can get refunds for buses that are significantly late. In 2012 there is also a program which allows you to take a Taxi to your destination if the train or bus is delayed by more than 20 minutes.
By waiting to clip until you are about ready to board, it may give you enough time to reach your destination and return on the same ticket if you are just running a quick errand.
Remember that when a train comes to a platform, it may only be in the station for 30 seconds, so you need to board quickly. At the major stations like Copenhagen, they may be there for several minutes. Not so for smaller stops. If others are also waiting to clip, you may miss your ride. Train conductors won't usually wait for you to clip.
To learn more about the passes mentioned below go to the denmark travel pass page.
You can learn more about various train passes in Denmark here.
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Do you have a helpful tip or comment on this subject that you would like to share? Please leave comments below.
Oct 18, 16 10:41 AM
How about actually showing web links to the site where you can pay online fines for the metro and the S-tog?
Oct 18, 16 10:39 AM
Hi I am a U.K. Resident and I was fined for having an invalid ticket. I followed the normal process by complaining to 'Metro Kundeservice' who upheld
Aug 28, 16 06:30 AM
Perhaps also worth mentioning that a referendum was held in 2000 to replace the Krone with Euro, but it was voted away by 53% of the population.