An Introduction to Zones
When using any kind of public transportation in Copenhagen, the price of your ticket will depend on how far you want to travel on public transportation and the time of day. This region is divided into zones, starting from the city center. Although complicated at first, we hope this information gives you a clear understanding of the system!
The easiest way to find out how many zones you need to purchase for your journey is to go to Journey Planner (Rejseplanen). Enter your starting location and your destination and click ‘Find.’ Under the journey you would like to take, select ‘Show price.’ Select either the ‘Single Ticket’ or ‘Commuter Card’ option and click ‘See the zones you travel in.’ This will show you the zones needed for your journey. To see your specific journey plotted out on the zone map, click ‘See a map of the zones you travel through.’
For an illustrated tutorial, read our how-to guide to checking what zones you will travel through during a journey here.
Buying Your Ticket
Single tickets start at a minimum of 2-zones. If you only travel within one zone, you need to buy a 2-zone ticket. The only exception is if you already have a valid Commuter Card; you can instead buy a one-zone supplement ticket. Two adults cannot split a 2-zone ticket, even if both of them only need to travel one zone.
Within the Copenhagen public transportation system, tickets are transferable no matter what mode of transportation you are using (bus, metro, train, etc) so you can jump between different transportation types on your journey. Whether you are traveling on the DIS provided Commuter Card, or even on a single ticket, you can travel anywhere within the zones you have purchased within the allotted time frame – meaning you do not necessarily have to travel strictly from point A to point B. For example, if you have a ticket that allows you to travel within zone 1 and zone 2, you can travel anywhere within these two zones (i.e. if you buy a ticket from Christianshavn to Nørreport, you could travel on the same ticket to Østerport, as it is also located within the zones covered by your ticket).
When buying a single ticket, the ticket is only valid for a limited period. Pay attention to the expiration time on your ticket in the DSB app.
When traveling on a Commuter Card, you do not have to worry about getting from point A to point B within a limited time period. You can always travel within the zones needed for your commute between DIS and your housing, as long as your ticket is valid (which will be a number of days or weeks, rather than a few hours).
Denmark’s Honor System
On Copenhagen’s public transportation you might not always get your ticket checked, but if you are checked by an agent and do not have a ticket or are in zones not on your ticket, you will be fined 1000 DKK. If you want to bring a bicycle on the metro or regional trains, you must purchase an additional ‘bicycle ticket’ at a ticket machine at the station. If you do not have this, you will be fined 150 DKK. Note: If you are only taking a bike on the S-train, you do not need to purchase an additional bicycle ticket, as bikes are free on the S-train.