Train from London to Copenhagen, Denmark
Green Traveller's Guide to taking the train from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Copenhagen, Denmark.
‘Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen,’ goes the song, and maybe the famous lyrics have got it right: this is where charming, traditional Danish architecture and cobbled streets combine with cutting edge design and a forward-thinking attitude to city life and the environment. A walker and cyclists’ paradise, Copenhagen is equally brimming with design boutiques, galleries, hip cafés, and much more. From the Royal Palace and Tivoli gardens to a contemporary city beach and a full spread of museums and art collections, the Danish capital is nothing if not diverse: a bustling metropolis with friendliness and compact scale of a small town.
Journey Time: about 15 hours
Sample timetable: Depart London 7.34pm, arrive Copenhagen at 9.34pm the following evening
Transfers: 1. Quick same-station change of platform within Brussels Midi station; 2. Quick same-station change of platform within Cologne station; 3. Quick same-station change of platform within Hamburg station
Carbon emissions: 52.7kg (flight would be 270.9kg)*
Car hire at Copenhagen Railway Station: Yes
Tickets provided by Trainline:
What's the journey like?
Take an afternoon or evening Eurostar to Brussels Midi station (or if you're coming from the East of England, take the ferry from Harwich to Hoek van Holland and then train to Brussels) where you stay overnight then in the morning take the high-speed Thalys or ICE trains to Cologne where there's an easy same-station platform change to take another train to Hamburg and then on to Copenhagen. Keep an eye out on the platform at Brussels, Cologne and Hamburg for the handy guide to the layout of incoming trains, which shows you where your carriage will arrive into the station so you can make your way to the correct part of the platform before the train arrives.
Alternatively, you could take a morning Eurostar to Brussels to change (withing the station) to the train to Hamburg where you stay overnight then catch the mornign train to Copenhagen, arriving about 1.30pm.]
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Brussels, Cologne or Hamburg
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Brussels, Cologne or Hamburg while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near Brussels Midi, Cologne and Hamburg railway stations. Here are hotels conveniently nearby:
Find a hotel near Brussels Midi Railway Station
Miss your connection?
Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection on a high-speed train because of a delay on the preceding high-speed leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager.
On arrival in Copenhagen
Velkommen til København! Located by the Tivoli gardens on the southern edge of the city centre, Copenhagen Central Station is the point of arrival for international (and most national) train services. It is within walking distance of many sights and places to stay – but is also on the metro line and served by numerous buses. It has a range of facilities, including a post office, supermarket, bakery, cafes, shopping centre, baby changing facilities, bathrooms, showers, luggage storage and a lost-and-found office. There are some excellent hotels close to the station, see below:
Hotels near to Copenhagen's train station (Station Kobenhavn)
The centre of Copenhagen is relatively compact and very pedestrian friendly (the principal shopping artery, Strøget, is one of world’s longest pedestrian streets), so exploring on foot is a viable and inviting option. However, for longer journeys, the city has an excellent integrated public transport network. A range of tickets (from single journeys, to multi-trips and day passes, for different zones) are available for use across the transport network, information on this is available on the Visit Copenhagen website: full ticket and fare information for Copenhagen. The two principal modes of transports likely to be useful for visitors are the metro and S-trains - the rail overground network; this site in Danish includes a network map.
With such a clear and comprehensive train network, you are unlikely to need to use the city’s buses – but Movia, the bus operator offers some useful information on buses in Copenhagen in English.
If you intend to visit many of the city’s major museums and sights, and will be travelling by public transport a lot, consider investing in a Copenhagen Card, which gives free admission to over 75 attractions, unlimited bus, train and metro travel, and various other discounts – you can choose to buy a card for 24, 48, 72, or 120 hours. Here's a useful video guide to how it works:
Copenhagen is famous for cycling: one of the world’s leading cycle cities, forty percent of commuters in the Danish capital travel by bike every day, on an ever expanding network of segregated cycle tracks, on-street cycle lanes, and super bikeways. Though there is currently no longer a cycle share programme, there are plenty of places to rent a bike in Copenhagen and Visit Copenhagen offers a wealth of information on cycling in Copenhagen for visitors. Here's more information on Copenhagen's bike culture.
For more train routes in Europe, see Green Traveller's Flight-Free Train & Ferry Journey Planner