By Rick Steves
Are rail passes a good value for Denmark?
Rail passes are usually a great value in Denmark, often saving money over otherwise-expensive tickets while allowing you to hop trains at your convenience (though some longer-distance trains do require reservations).
How do I see whether a rail pass makes sense for my trip in particular?
Train Fares: Scandinavia
Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. For first-class fares, add 50 percent.
Use this map to add up approximate pay-as-you-go fares for your itinerary, and compare that cost to the price of a rail pass for the number of days you expect to spend on the train. Dotted lines show ferry routes, some of which are discounted if you have a rail pass. Dashed lines show bus connections, which aren't covered by rail passes.
Also, follow the links below for:
• More tips for figuring out whether a pass makes sense for your trip
• The basics on choosing among rail passes
• More tips on how to save money by fine-tuning your rail pass
• Fare-estimate maps outside Scandinavia
• Answers to frequently asked rail-pass questions
Choose one of the passes below to check prices and to buy your pass (orders are fulfilled by Rail Europe).
Extra tip: The Scandinavia Eurail Pass covers all four countries in this region and is cheaper than a Eurail Select Pass covering these same countries.
Any advice for deciding between first and second class?
In Denmark, as in the rest of Scandinavia, second-class seating offers the same comfort as first-class seating on southern-European trains. And if you're getting a rail pass, the decision may be made for you: Scandinavia Eurail Passes are only available in second class, whereas with the Eurail Select and Eurail Global passes, travelers 26 or older can only use a first-class pass.
With other passes you've got a choice: Single-country Denmark passes, as well as two-country Denmark–Germany and Denmark–Sweden passes, offer both first and second-class options to any age of traveler. See our general advice for deciding between first and second class.
Do I need to make seat reservations on Danish trains?
Within Denmark, you can generally hop on any train with just your pass in hand. Reservations are required, though, on some international routes (such as overnight trains and Swedish-run high-speed trains serving Copenhagen), as indicated in online train schedules. Some reservations aren't available outside Europe, but they don't generally sell out terribly far in advance. Private and shared sleepers on night trains are both available with second-class rail passes.
What do rail passes cover in Denmark?
Nearly all trains within Denmark, except for the rare privately operated line (a pass does get you a 50 percent discount on the Hjørring–Hirtshals railroad, as well as the Frederikshavn–Skagen railroad; claiming this discount doesn't use up a travel day). On international ferries where the train actually goes on the ferry, e.g. to Germany or Sweden, a rail pass includes the trip as long as it covers both countries. The Copenhagen–Oslo overnight ferry operated by DFDS Seaways is no longer discounted with a rail pass, despite still being listed as such on some materials.
If a rail pass doesn't pencil out for your trip, you may be able to shave off the cost of your train tickets with some local deals. For example, kids ages 4–9 travel free with ticket-buying adults (not with rail passes) on most Danish trains; otherwise kids generally ride for half the adult fare (and keep in mind that child-ticket deals vary across neighboring countries).
Denmark Rail Passes: Key Details
Single-country Denmark Eurail Pass: Valid for one month, not two, after you've activated the pass (whereas multi-country Eurail-brand passes offer a two-month window of travel).