City cards are great! They can be called all sorts of things – tourist passes, city passes – but are essentially a card sold by the tourism board in a particular city or country which will give you access to many of the popular attractions either free or at a discount. Some cards also include public transport too.
I’ve considered these cards at many cities during our travels, and always spend time before buying calculating if I think they are worth the money spent on them. It is so easy to pick one up, but then discover it doesn’t cover the main things you want to see, or only offers small discounts that don’t really add up unless you go to ten attractions each day.
This research before travelling is important, so sometimes you will need to buy the pass before you arrive. For example, I discovered that the Jordan Pass can also include the visa fee for entering the country. That alone almost covered the cost of the pass! Some others can include small discounts off certain accommodation or can include airport transfers on arrival, saving money as soon as you land.
On our way to Copenhagen I did this exact research. I thought it would be beneficial to buy the card, and now I can answer the question for you – is Copenhagen Card Worth It?
Why Visit Copenhagen Anyway?
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is a beautiful city and well worth the time for anyone to visit. It’s a modern city with a lot of history. Copenhagen is best know for the Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest operating amusement park in the world. (The first is also in Denmark). Copenhagen is also well known as the home of the Little Mermaid statue, based on the character created by Hans Christian Andersen.
Copenhagen is the home of the current Danish royal family, and has many castles that have been royal homes in the past. Amalienborg is where the Queen and Crown Prince currently live and is easy to visit. Other castles such as Christiansborg and Rosenborg are also in the city. All of them, including Amalienborg, include museums, so can be visited to see the history of the Danish royal family and the grandeur of years gone by.
An interesting part of Copenhagen is Freetown Christiana. Started in the 1970’s as a bit of a hippy commune, it has grown to be an area that, while technically falling under Danish law, has it’s own rules. Marijuana, for example, is openly sold at, but hard drugs are forbidden. No cars are allowed in the area either, so it’s great to explore on foot.
Copenhagen is now connected to Sweden and the city of Malmo by the Øresund Bridge. This makes travel between the two cities really easy, and therefore is a great opportunity to visit the other city when in the region.
Denmark features as the setting of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. But don’t try to hunt down Elsinore Castle during your visit, as it doesn’t exist. While Shakespeare never visited Denmark, there is conjecture that perhaps someone described Kronborg Castle (in Elsinore) to him and that is the basis for his play. But neither that castle, or any of the others in Copenhagen, exactly match the play.
Copenhagen Card Attractions
There are just so many of the Copenhagen attractions available for free admission with the Copenhagen Card. In fact, there are 84 in total. Here are just some of the most popular that the Copenhagen Card includes:
- Tivoli Gardens
- Canal Tours
- The Round Tower
- Rosenborg Castle
- National Aquarium
- Christiansborg (including stables, kitchens and ruins)
- The National Museum
- Kronborg Castle
- Amber Museum
- Arken Museum of Modern Art
- HC Andersen Fairy Tale House
- Baadfarten Boat Tours
- Church of Our Savior
- Circus Museum
- City Hall Tower
- Roskilde Cathedral
- Copenhagen Zoo
- Danish Architecture Centre
- Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art
- Design Museum Denmark
- Esrum Abbey and Mollegard
- Viking Ship Museum
- and many more
You will receive a book, or you can download an app, which lists many more discounts at restaurants, bars or on organised tours.
Copenhagen Public Transport
Included in the Copenhagen Card is free public transport anywhere in the Copenhagen region. This means that trips as far afield as Roskilde, Hillerød and Helsingør are free too. Importantly, catching the train from the Copenhagen airport is included, so it’s a good idea to have the card before you go so start saving right from when you arrive.
You can travel on trains, buses, metro and harbour buses. Just show your ticket, or if no one to show it to, ensure you have it to show if an inspector gets on the train/metro. We did see them regularly during our visit. While the trains do go to Malmo, this is not included in the Copenhagen Card, so make sure you buy a ticket if travelling there.
My Copenhagen Card Savings
I did not travel to Copenhagen at the best time for the Copenhagen Card. It was March, and it was cold and snowing the whole time. In fact, this was the first time I had ever really been in these sorts of snowy conditions and the first time I had been in sub-zero temperatures.
At this time of the year, some of the attractions are closed. Tivoli Gardens is a good example of this. We also found that many other attractions had shorter opening hours for the winter season too.
To make matters worse, one of the three days we were in Copenhagen was a Monday. All over Europe, museums and attractions tend to be closed on Mondays, and Copenhagen was no different. (In case you are also there on a Monday, we were able to go to the Round Tower and the Aquarium.)
Here is a list of all the savings we made over the three days we were using the Copenhagen Card
|Activity||Usual Entry Fee|
|HC Andersen Fairytale House||60kr|
|Canal Boat Tour||80kr|
|Public Transport (12 trips)||288kr|
I paid 659kr for the 72 hour Copenhagen Card, so made a saving of 324kr (Approximately $67AUD/$50USD/€43)
*Note – Since my visit, the 72 hour Copenhagen Card has had an increase in price to 689kr. I have left the expenses in local currency to allow for changes in currency rates.
So is Copenhagen Card Worth It?
From the above, I say a resounding yes! Given the time of year we visited, that it was so cold and all I wanted was to stay inside somewhere warm, I think we did extremely well. I absolutely believe that it would not be hard to visit at least another four attractions if you were there in summer and not on a Monday.
The Copenhagen Card is even better value for families. While children’s tickets are available, two children under ten are included free with each adult ticket. These savings could significantly mount up over time.
I’ve not included any savings made at restaurants, but if you use to card to get those discounts, you will be increasing the savings even more.
If I was in Copenhagen again in the future, I would buy this card again. There are so many attractions available that it would not be hard to go to completely different places to the first time and still make significant savings.
Where to Buy Copenhagen Card
The are four different Copenhagen Cards available – 24/48/72/120 hour cards. Each is available at an adult and Child rate. The cards can be bought in advance, and a voucher taken to the counter at Copenhagen Airport, the train station or the tourist information centres. You can also pick up the card in dozens of places in the city, including some of the attractions, hotels and 7-Eleven stores.
Each time you go to one of the attractions listed in the book you will be given (or you can download the app. Details will be in the book) hand over the cards, and in you go. Sometimes you will be given entry tickets, sometimes you won’t.
Getting the card before you arrive is my suggestion though, then you can use it straight away to catch the train to your accomodation.
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.