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 enroute.
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 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. They 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 any public transportation. Riding any public transport without a ticket will get you a fine of 750 kroner.
The bus transportation system works the same as the train and metro system, tickets depend on the number of zones you travel through. You can learn more about zones here. One ticket will give you access to all public transportation systems.
On the bus, you can buy your ticket from the 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. Also it is better to have a klippekort, monthly pass or rejsekort, especially during peak hours, when they have tight schedules to keep and selling tickets causes unnecessary delays.
Here are some of the major services in Denmark.
I am only including the public transport companies. There are many privately run companies too.
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 it to stop. If you are standing next to the sign, they will stop. If there are several lines stopping at the stop, stand near the sign, so the driver knows you are waiting for that particular one. 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 will drive on by.
They 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 to take and what all those letters mean after the route number. Check out the various types for all the low down.
Occasionally, they will stop at a stop because they are ahead of schedule and need to wait a few minutes to get back on schedule.
The rest of Denmark's transport system works on a similiar system with just a few minor differences.
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 and metro in Copenhagen.
Now if you take a blue Rutebus in Århus, it is like taking the ones 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 drivers speak Danish, English and, often, German. If you cannot speak with them, there will be people onboard who can help. Just relax and follow the rules above and you should have an enjoyable experience. After the first few times it will be SO easy.
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