The Copenhagen Metro is a relatively new metro as it opened a little more than ten years ago. The metro lines go from Vanløse to either Vestamager or Copenhagen Airport and new metro lines are still under construction. Even though the metro doesn't go far into the suburbs like the ones in London, Paris and New York, it is an experience riding with this metro because the trains are driverless and you can go to the front and rear windows and look out of then while you're riding the train.
The automatic Metro, taking you from the airport to the city centre, is probably the first thing you’ll use when coming to Copenhagen. A relatively new thing in Copenhagen, it has quickly become a part of daily life since 2002 Although the government decided to start in 1992 it took ten years to plan, do the necessary archeology, and dig the tunnels. The metro has opened in stages, and the final stage (so far) will be the completion of Cityringen (The City Ring) in 2018.
The stations in the city centre aren’t big. Look for the glass pyramid. This pyramid lets light in to the 60 meter long and 20 meter wide stations, which also have artificial lights. You can also look for the cylindrical sign with an M to see where the entrances are. The Metro is quite proud of its green profile, and the use of daylight is part of this, just like the fact that the stations are higher up than the tracks in general. This ensures that the trains accelerate easier when leaving, and brakes easier when arriving at the stations.
If you have a bicycle, you can park it at the bicycle parking facilities near every station. These facilities are sometimes hard to see, but every station has one that makes it possible to park the bike in a dry and supervised place.
So far there are 34 trains without drivers. An automatic train control runs the whole thing. That said: there are people watching the system constantly. Safety is ensured using physical barriers, doors that only open when there is a train at the station in the centre stopping people from being hit by the 40 km/h speeding train. All stations have safety equipment installed to stop trains from entering the stations if someone enters the tracks. In the tunnels there are 600 meters between the emergency exits. All this automation ensures that the trains are on time 97 to 99 percent of the time.
Although only having reached 80 percent of the expected passenger numbers, the Metro is collecting a profit with 160 thousand passengers daily, reaching a total 54 million passengers in 2012, and making an expected 130 million passengers in 2025.
Currently the metro system in Copenhagen has two lines, one (M2) that starts at the airport and passes through Øresund and Amager, and the other (M1) that starts at Vestamager and passes through Islands Brygge - both lines then meet at Christianshavn and go on through Kongens Nytorv, Nørreport and Frederiksberg before ending at Vanløse. Neither go to the main train station.
However, there is now a new metro line being built (and I'm part of the excavations in advance of the project!), that will be a circle line crossing the old lines at Kongens Nytorv and Frederiksberg and will also connect with the main train station, Nørrebro and Østerport stations. There will also be stops at Rådhuspladsen and Gammelstrand (where I have been working in 2012). The new line is due to be completed in 2018.
One interesting thing about the metro is that the trains are driverless - you can stand at the very front of the train and look out at the track through a large window; it's quite an odd experience and would probably fascinate children!
Copenhagen's brand new, shiny modern underground system is a wonder to behold. Built only this century, its trains are an engineering marvel and its stations are astonishing architectural achievements. In fact one station, the Forum, has itself won many awards for architecture, and is worth a visit in its own right.
The trains are driverless, allowing you to sit at the front of the carriage and watch the train hurtle through the underground passageways at speeds of up to 80kmh. The tunnels are all well lit to give a fantastic sensation of movement. You can expect to compete with every child on the carriage for space at the front to view the scene.
The metro system itself is quite small, although there are plans to add extra lines very soon. The current system of two lines run almost identical routes from north to south. All the stations the average tourist would need, from Frederiksberg to Christianshavn, are on both routes. In addition the M2 line runs all the way to the airport. For now, going east to west in the city, from Tivoli to the Little Mermaid, you will need to walk or bus it.
Tickets for the metro can be bought in the station using cash or card, on touchscreen displays in multiple languages. You must remember to stamp your ticket before boarding, and then that ticket is valid for an hour (longer in outer districts). You can buy day tickets and longer, but I found the 10 clip ticket bundles to be the best value for me, as I didn't find the need to use the metro or buses that often; the city is quite walkable.
You can see a video of the metro from the driver's seat here.
The metro is safe, cheap and quick. What I particularly like is that the wagons are driver-less and automated/computerized, so if you sit in the seats in front you can pretend to be the train driver.
As of 2011 there are 2 lines: M1 taking you from Vestamager to Vanløse and M2 from the airport to Vanløse as well. The 2 lines converge at the stop called "Christianshavn" (where you can walk to Christiania). There's a new, circular line, currently being constructed.
Of particular interest for those who like architecture, is the M2 starting at the stop called "Islands Brygge" and all the way to Vestamager. This area here is cutting edge when it comes to architecture and it differs very much from the classic materials (if you will) that you can find in the city center, such as bricks and tiles. Here you will see a lot of glass and "lighter" materials, with shapes that are esthetically appealing (at least to me and my untrained eye).
The tickets are valid for an hour for 2 and 3 zones and 1,5 hours for 4 zones. From the airport to the city center (stops: Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport) it is 3 zones. The metro tickets are also valid if you use the bus or the S-trains, as long as you travel within the zones you purchased. At the link below you can determine which ticket is the best for you and your needs, as well as you can use their travel planner to plan your journey.
Transport from the airport to the centre of Copenhagen is real easy now buy a stamp card for 10 rides this card works for all busses, metro and trains in the greater Copenhagen area, stamp it and just jump on the Metro. In just 14 minutes you be at Kongens Nytorv station in the heart of the city.
The brand new Copenhagen Metro has one important feature for the club head besides the cool design. It runs all night in the weekend. The numbers of stations are still limited, but it runs right through the city center and Christianshavn. Prices double at nighttime in the Copenhagen transport system, but at 38 kr. for a local ticket, it's still much cheaper than the horrendously priced taxis. Tickets are valid for all public transportation within the given zones.
Tip: In my daily commuting and occasional nightime rides on the metro I have yet to be checked for ticket, so if you are all out off cash, it might be worth taking a chance... No liabilities accepted!
Update: They have started checking peoples ticket during the day at least.
The Copenhagen metro opened recently and is a very fast and efficient way of getting around The city.
if you ever has been stuck with the slow uncomfortable busses of Copenhagen, then you will know ehat a blessing that metro is.
It is also the best way to get to the airport from central Copenhagen.
If travelling into Copenhagen from the airport and you need to pick up the Metro you'll find it easiest to take the train to the Orestad station then go upstairs to pick up the Metro. The service is fast and frequent and easier to pick up here than to navigate from one of the city railway stations. If I remember correctly you don't even need separate tickets as your train ticket is also valid on the Metro, though do check when you're buying it just in case my "goldfish brain" is its usual SNAFU self ;)
1. Metro M1 going past the new DR Concert Hall
2. People boarding the M1 at the DR Byen station
3. Metro tracks and station as seen from the concert house
Using the new Metro M1 line you can get from the city center to the new DR Concert House in just a few minutes.
The station is called DR Byen (Meaning Danish Radio City) and also serves the nearby university campus.
As you can see in the third photo, there is also an ugly parking lot on the other side of the tracks (even Copenhagen has ugly parking lots!) for those who insist on driving to the concert in their heart attack machines.
GPS 55°39'20.53" North; 12°35'19.76" East (DR Byen Metro station)
1. In the Metro station at Kongens Nytorv
2. Waiting for the M1 (coming in half a minute)
3. Escalators in the Kongens Nytorv Metro station
4. Exhibition on the making of the Metro tunnels
5. Bicycle parking in the Metro station
In addition to its fantastic bicycle culture, Copenhagen also has a very fine system of public transit, the newest being the two Metro lines M1 and M2, which go together in a tunnel under the city center and then split up, the M1 going to the Ørestad and the M2 going to the airport.
Interesting state-of-the-art touches in the centrally-located Kongens Nytorv Metro station are the glass walls separating the tracks from the platforms (first and second photos) and the indoor bicycle parking garage located directly in the station, one floor below ground level (fifth photo).
The Metro trains are fully automated and run twenty-four hours a day. During peak hours there is a train every 90 seconds. In 2008 Copenhagen's Metro was awarded the title of "The World's Best Metro" -- ahead of the Metro systems in Madrid, Singapore and London, for example.
GPS 55°40'51.00" North; 12°35'11.49" East (Kongens Nytorv Metro station)
Had to reach Arhus, so needed to catch a bus from Valby, which falls into Zone2 of Copenhagen.
You buy the tickets from the machines at floor level, then slip underground to wait for your metro.
Check out the 4th photo, with special mounts for cycles: on the left you can 'park' ordinary bikes, and on the right you have fewer for mountain bikes. So well-planned!! Don't you think?
The Metro now runs directly to the airport - a 15 minutes ride to the city center. Nice - but beware when you want to go back the same way. The speaker announcements are very confusing for foreigners as "Copenhagen Airport" is said several times along the way. The meaning is "This train is going to Copenhagen Airport" but they never translated the first bit into English!
Just sit back and wait for the final stop (and follow when people with luggage gets off).
The Christianshavn Metro Station is serviced by the M1 and M2 lines. From the station there is only a short distance to Christiania and the Opera. Furthermore you can just walk around the Christianshavn neighborhood where these is a cosy atmosphere influenced by the maritime traditions of this part of Copenhagen, and by the hippie-movement in Christiania.
It's very fast to get around in Copenhagen if there's a metro station nearby where you're going.
If you never tried a train without driver then try to sit on the front seat in the front car and look out the window - thats fun ;-)
For destinations and ticket system have a look at my other tip with S-train and Metro map.
At the moment they test the metro line to Kastrup airport, and they expect it to ready in end of this year.