Getting around in CPH

As a newly arrived international student, one of the challenges you are immediately faced with is how to get around the city. Without any knowledge of the options available to you, you actually might spend more money and effort than you really need to. So, here is everything you need to know about that.

Needless to say, the cheapest and fastest way to get around the city is by bike but unless you brought yours from your home country, you probably don’t have a bike immediately you arrive. So here are other options you might want to consider:

Download the travel application called Rejseplane

IMG_3444Rejseplanen is an application that helps you plan your journey, buy tickets and much more. The reason I will advise you get this is that the application tells you how to get where you need to go and all you need do is to input the starting point and your destination. This is very handy especially if you don’t know anywhere in Copenhagen before arrival. You can download the application on the Android play store or iTunes store. There is also a web version ( just in case you don’t have the application. At this point, you could be asking yourself, ‘how do I download an app when I have no internet connectivity’? , very simple! You just need to make sure you have bought a prepaid simcard at any kiosk, supermarket or even at the airport. I would recommend getting a Lebara simcard, which is free and then you just recharge with 99DKK and you are good to go.

Get a Monthly Card/Periodekort

This, in my opinion is your best bet as a new student in Copenhagen, especially since you can get it the same day you arrive even without a CPR number.

The Periodekort or monthly card is valid for 30 days or more depending on your needs. You decide the length of time you want it and actually, the longer the time, the cheaper per day it is. Basically, what you need to do is decide how many zones you need to travel in but you can choose a minimum of 2 zones.

IMG_3446Currently, the monthly card is sold for 365 DKK for a 30 day validity period. This is a good deal especially when you consider that it costs 24DKK for a 2 Zone bus/metro/train ticket, which is only valid for 60 minutes by the way. You can imagine having to buy tickets when you are going to school and, since you most probably will spend more than an hour in school, having to buy another ticket when coming home and going out to see friends or meet up with colleagues. With the monthly card, all that extra expense is saved and that just makes it the most expedient option.

You can purchase the monthly card for the first time at the DSB kiosk in the Copenhagen central train station and at the 7/11 stores in Vesterport, Osterport and Copenhagen central train station. All you need to take along with you is your passport sized photo and some form of ID. After that time you just renew your pass. The page with the photo remains the same and the pass in the left window is replaced when it expires. See image above.

You can also buy and renew your monthly card on your smartphone with the app “DOT Mobilperiodekort”.

On the flip side, though, it could actually not be the better option if you do have a bike already and probably don’t need to use the bus, train or metro very often. Whether you use it or not the card expires after its validity period, however, there is another option if you fall into this category, which is my next point.

Get an anonymous Rejsekort

Getting around in Copenhagen-4The Rejsekort is basically a travel card, it is an electronic ticketing system in which you pay money into a rejsekort account, and you then pay for public transport by using the card.

The thing with using a this card, is that you have to check in when you start your journey and if you change between different means of transport and you have to check out at the end of your journey, or you risk getting a fine, so I wouldn’t recommend this if you tend to be forgetful. You check in and out at a card reader on stations and in buses. At the moment you check out, an amount is deducted from your prepayment. However, it is just the perfect option for you if you only need to use public transportation once in a while, since it doesn’t expire after a set validity period like the periodekort does.

You can purchase this card at every metro station on the rejsekort machines, which are beside the ticket machines in almost every station. All you need to purchase the anonymous rejsekort is your debit/credit card. You follow the onscreen instructions on the machines, put in your debit card to make payment and the card is produced for you instantly from the machine. It is worth noting, that you need to always maintain a minimum balance of around 30DKK on your rejsekort account, the anonymous card itself costs 80DKK and minimum initial recharge is 100DKK, so you need at least 180DKK in order to get this card initially.

So, there you have it! Getting around initially doesn’t have to be an expensive task anymore, but after all said and done, the fastest and cheapest way is still to have your own bike. So, to all you new students, Welcome!! and I hope that you have a great time here because Copenhagen is truly an amazing city.

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