Everything you need to know about Copenhagen airport

The view across Terminal 3 of Copenhagen airport

Alright, so we are slightly biased when we praise Copenhagen airport. It is our closest and most used airport after all.

Yet out of all the airports we’ve used, from Vietnam to the US, Copenhagen airport is the best run, best organised, and the most clean we’ve seen so far. (What’s your favourite? Let us know in the comments!)

But Copenhagen airport (CPH) still needs knowledge to get the best experience. So we’ve summed up some of the most important topics and given some handy hints.

Just click an area of the contents to go right there. You’re welcome.

Getting to/from Copenhagen airport

Getting to and from Copenhagen airport is easy. With a Metro station, an overground train station, a bus station, and a taxi rank, there’s no reason you can’t find your way around.

The Metro

The metro line is located as far north in Copenhagen airport as you can get, up an escalator in Terminal 3 (while there are three terminals, all of them are connected so you never really notice you’re going from one to the other).

The Metro is located in the northernmost point of the airport. It is well signposted throughout the airport.

Copenhagen's wonderful driverless Metro
Copenhagen’s wonderful driverless Metro, pictured here from the other line at Ørestad

If you’ve arrived on a flight, keep going through the security doors and look for the giant clock. There’s a ticket booth right under this clock. Buy your tickets there and then go up the escalator to the Metro.

Quick word of warning: those looking to go to Copenhagen central station (København H) cannot get there directly via the Metro. Take the Metro for 15 minutes to Nørreport. At Nørreport, change to the S Train heading to København H. Or choose one of the overground trains…

Overground trains (DSB and Öresundståg)

The easiest way to get to Copenhagen central station direct. Simply go to Terminal 3 and follow the signs for trains. There are only two platforms: platform 1 goes north into Copenhagen (and beyond) and platform 2 goes towards Sweden. Tickets for both directions can be bought at the ticket booth, just above where the escalators are that you’ll need to take to the platforms.

Where to buy all your train tickets at Copenhagen airport
Where to buy all your train tickets at Copenhagen airport

Trains into Copenhagen and beyond are plentiful. Trains towards Sweden leave every 20 minutes and every 10 minutes during rush hour (around 4:30pm to 6pm).

Buses

The slowest way into town but among the most reasonable. There are a few bus routes on offer, obviously going to more stops than the train routes. Bus 5A takes you from the airport to Copenhagen Central station, the City Hall, and Norreport station, and takes about 30 minutes. However, the bus is not the quickest way into town and, unless you want to go somewhere other than the centre, the bus is not your best bet.

Checking in

Thanks to ample space and a bunch of easy-to-follow signs, checking in is typically a breeze at Copenhagen airport.

Flight status screens

Copenhagen airport wants you to know exactly when planes are arriving and leaving. They ensure this through a quite incredible amount of screens throughout the airport. The most noticeable is in the main hall of Terminal 3, a huge screen which hangs from the roof and details all inbound and outbound flights.

The huge flight status screen in Terminal 3 of Copenhagen airport
The huge flight status screen in Terminal 3 of Copenhagen airport

With plenty of seats around the airport, and plenty of screens, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll miss a flight update. And you can always check flight status online too.

Check-in machines

Like many airports around the world, Copenhagen airport is replacing many staffed check-in desks for check-in machines. You’ll find clusters of these machines throughout the airport (not in the departures lounge, obviously).

The biggest cluster is between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, near the Norwegian baggage drop area.

Here are what the self-service check-in machines look like
Here are what the self-service check-in machines look like

Another large cluster is in Terminal 3, near the big clock and the huge departures board (mentioned earlier).

However, be sure to check which airlines are covered by the check-in machines. Some are exclusive to one airline.

Terminal 2: the departure hall

Most flights (except Scandinavian Airlines) are checked-in here. Terminal 2 is the check-in hall essentially, and it’s well signposted from everywhere in the airport. Simply follow the signs to the hall, look on the screens for information about where you leave your luggage and/or check in, and away you go to security.

Security

Security is located on the upper floor of the airport. There are handy signs with estimated waiting times before you enter the queue, and the airport app also displays this. You can access security in two ways:

1) If you’re going straight to security (as you’re already checked in and have no hold luggage) then you can take an escalator straight up to security from the Terminal 3 hall. You’ll know what the right escalator is as above it will be a board that says ‘Security waiting time’, giving you an estimation of how long security will take to get through.

2) Similar escalators with signs exist in the check-in hall (Terminal 2). Just look out for them.

Security checks

Copenhagen airport has been awarded the Skytrax award for best airport security for seemingly the past 100 years (ok, it’s two actually). Security staff are friendly, helpful, and speedy yet thorough. We’ve often joked with them and are rarely kept waiting in the security line for more than 10 minutes or so.

One set of escalators up to Copenhagen airport security
One set of escalators up to Copenhagen airport security

Entering security itself is typically the worst hassle, as there’s not much room in the pre-security area to queue. But it’s the usual, simple affair when you’re there: scan your boarding pass and wait in line.

And in case you are worried, all of the staff at Copenhagen airport speak impeccable English. It’s Copenhagen – this is pretty normal.

Departure lounge

The departure lounge is one of the best in the world. Yes, there are no rollercoasters or swimming pools or whatever, but there are shops galore, plenty of eateries, and just a cosy clean feel to it all.

But it all comes at a price. Here are some tips to lessen the blow on the wallet.

Places to eat and drink

If you want a sit down meal, prepare to pay. We only opt for simpler food in Copenhagen airport, as there are so many small eateries (or take-away shops) with better value.

Inside the departure area of Copenhagen airport
Inside the departure area of Copenhagen airport

If coffee is what you are after, Baresso offers the best coffee amount vs. price deal. A coffee can cost anywhere from 30 DKK upwards, which is almost half the price of Starbucks.

There is also Danish bakery chain Lagkagehuset for any baked good needs. Some things here are damn pricey (it is an airport) but others are good value. There’s also a decent veggie selection here, which makes a change. A veggie foccacia will set you back around 30 DKK.

Entertainment

There’s not much in the way of entertainment in Copenhagen airport other than shops. But with big chains like H&M, Victoria’s Secret and more, and smaller Danish boutiques too, there should be plenty to look at. And the duty free isn’t too shabby either.

The duty free area of Copenhagen airport
The duty free area of Copenhagen airport

Utilities

Toilets are aplenty in Copenhagen airport. However, some of them are a little tough to find. Signs normally do the trick though, and the toilets are always clean and tidy.

Money saving tips

Here are some quick ways to save some pennies.

Free water

Fill up the water bottles in the toilets. Bringing an empty water bottle with you through security is absolutely fine, whether it is metal, plastic or whatever. Do this and you can fill it up with water from the cold water taps in some of the departure lounge toilets. Saves you a bit of money.

Cheaper food

Take a packed lunch and save a bundle. It should all go through security fine (just dont bring liquids like soup or yoghurt) and eat it before you board the plane to ensure you’re only taking one piece of hand luggage.

Gates

Pay attention to your gate number. Most are fairly close to the main shopping strip, but not all. The C gates and some of the D gates require a separate passport control. And all Easyjet flights depart from the F series of gates, which is about a 10 minute walk from the rest of the departure lounge.

Landing at Copenhagen airport

Baggage reclaim

Very simple to get to. Just follow the signs. But, if you are lost, remember to head downstairs. Baggage reclaim is on the lower floor and has eight belts for all the baggage. There’s also an area for odd-sized baggage.

Enjoy your flight!

And there you have it! You should be enjoying the airport in no time!

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