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Layover in Copenhagen – the ultimate guide 2021

Published by: Bounce27 August, 2021

It doesn't matter whether you have a short or long layover in Copenhagen, you're going to be able to enjoy it. The close proximity of Kastrup Airport to the city plus the excellent metro system that connects the two means you can do more than collect your bags and look for the nearest coffee shop while waiting for your Copenhagen connection.

The metro between Kastrup Airport and Copenhagen functions twenty-four hours of the day, seven days a week. Trains depart around every five minutes during the day or every twenty at night which means you'll never have long to wait for the next one to come along. It's a fifteen-minute ride from the airport to the main stop, Nørreport Station, which is right in the heart of the city. So don't waste a moment of your layover in Copenhagen dithering about whether you should or shouldn't leave the airport, drop your suitcases at a luggage locker facility, get on the metro, and head into the Danish capital to explore. You'll be glad you did.


6 hour layover in Copenhagen

A six-hour layover in Copenhagen is short, but you can still manage to see part of the city if you keep an eye on the time. Disembark the metro at Nørreport Station, but don't stray too far. The station is in the Indre By district of Copenhagen which is its historic center so you won't have far to go to see some fantastic architecture like the Nørre Port, a 17th-century tower which was one of the gates in the city's fortress walls.

  • You can buy tickets for the metro from machines in the station. The machines don't take notes. If you don't have any coins in Danish Krones you can use a bank or credit card.

  • If you're worried about not being able to find your way back to the station, don't be. In this area of Copenhagen the streets are built on a grid system, so just keep turning right and you'll end up back where you started. The same applies if you keep to only left turns too. Alternatively, have a Google map open on your phone so you know where you are and which roads lead back to the station.

8 hour layover in Copenhagen

When you have an eight-hour layover at Kastrup Airport, you can calculate that you'll have around four to five hours free to do something. Stash your bags at the suitcase storage service and leg it for the metro. Once you're in the city center, there are two things you can do. One - take a walking tour around the main sights, either guide-led or self-guided. Two - hire a bicycle and explore Copenhagen by using its cycleways.

  • Joining a four-hour food tour of Copenhagen is a great way of maximizing your layover time as you'll get fed as well as learn about traditional Danish food and history while you're sightseeing.

  • If you're set on seeing the Freetown Christiania community you'll find it's a twenty-five-minute walk from Nørreport Station, a ten-minute cycle ride, or you can catch the 350S bus outside the station on Nørreport Street.

10 hour layover in Copenhagen

When you're on a ten-hour layover in Copenhagen, you'll be able to do some more relaxed sightseeing. One way to really enjoy your time in the city and to chill out before it's time for your connection is to take a canal boat ride around Copenhagen's many waterways. Alternatively, with that amount of time on your hands you'll be able to make a leisurely visit to one of the museums. The SMK art gallery and the National History Museum are both within a short walking distance of Nørreport Station.

  • There's more than one type of boat cruise you can take in Copenhagen while you’re on a stopover. You can join others on a one-and-a-half-hour canal cruise with live jazz music, jump aboard one with historical narratives, get romantic on a gondola, or sail under canvas on a clipper-style ship.

  • If you prefer to go independently then hire a kayak and go paddling through the canals or for a less strenuous outing, rent a small motorboat for a couple of hours and captain it yourself. No previous sailing experience is required.

12 hour layover in Copenhagen

What you can do on a twelve-hour layover in Copenhagen depends on what time of day your layover is. If you have an evening layover you can still go sightseeing if you arrange to have a private walking tour or even more fun than walking is taking a private tuk-tuk tour. Day or night, you won't want to miss the opportunity of photographing Copenhagen's iconic statue, the Little Mermaid. Take a stroll along the Langelinie Promenade, take your souvenir photo then grab a table at somewhere like the Restaurant Kastellet for a posh lunch or dinner.

  • If you don't feel like sitting down to eat, you'll find some amazing street food options along the promenade and in Langelinie Park.

  • For anyone with a twelve-hour daytime layover in Copenhagen, a visit to the Forest Tower is unmissable. The tower is an hour's drive outside of the city so you'd need to hire a car or join a tour to get there.

24 hour layover in Copenhagen

After doing a couple of hours sightseeing in the city, one of the best things you can do on an overnight layover in Copenhagen is to head over the border into neighboring Sweden. Getting to see the Øresundsbron Bridge is reason enough for doing the trip, let alone being able to boast you visited an extra country during your trip.

  • Trains depart frequently from Nørreport Station to Malmo in Sweden and take around forty minutes. The views of the bridge are not so impressive from the train so go by car if you can. It's a lot quicker by car too so the traveling won’t take up so much of your layover time.

  • Don't leave your passport in your Copenhagen luggage locker as while you won't need it to cross the bridge, you'll need it to get into Sweden.

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