The best way to get around Denmark is by private car on the excellent road network. In lieu of that, nearly all major towns, and certainly most Danish cities, are serviced by trains, except certain offshore islands, which can be reached only by ferryboat. If you're traveling extensively in Europe, special European passes are also available.
SAS's "Visit Scandinavia" Fare -- The vast distances encourage air travel between Norway's far-flung points. One of the most worthwhile promotions is SAS's Visit Scandinavia Pass. Available only to travelers who fly SAS across the Atlantic, it includes up to six coupons, each of which is valid for any SAS flight within or between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Each coupon costs $60, $80, and $100, depending on the route. The pass is especially valuable if you plan to travel to the far northern frontiers of Sweden or Norway; in that case, the savings over the price of a regular economy-class ticket can be substantial. For information on buying the pass, call SAS (tel. 800/221-2350; www.flysas.com).
Within Denmark -- For those in a hurry, SAS (tel. 32-32-00-00 in Denmark) operates daily service between Copenhagen and points on Jutland's mainland. From Copenhagen, it takes about 40 minutes to fly to Aalborg, 35 minutes to Århus, and 30 minutes to Odense.
Fares to other Danish cities are sometimes included in a transatlantic ticket at no extra charge, as long as the additional cities are specified when the ticket is written.
Flat, low-lying Denmark, with its hundreds of bridges and absence of mountains, has a large network of railway lines that connect virtually every hamlet with the largest city, Copenhagen. For information, schedules, and fares anywhere in Denmark, call tel. 70-13-14-15. Waiting times for a live person on this telephone line range from long to very long. Alternatively, you can check the Danish National Railways website, www.dsb.dk, for schedules and prices, and to reserve seats.
A word you're likely to see and hear frequently is Lyntog ("Express Trains"), which are the fastest trains presently operational in Denmark. Be warned in advance that the most crowded times on Danish trains are Fridays, Sundays, and national holidays, so plan your reservations accordingly.
On any train in Denmark, children between the ages of 4 and 15 are charged half-price if they're accompanied by an adult, and up to two children 3 and under can travel free with an adult on any train in Denmark. Seniors 65 or older receive a discount of 20% for travel on Fridays, Sundays, and holidays, and a discount of 45% every other day of the week. No identification is needed when you buy your ticket, but the conductor who checks your ticket might ask for proof of age.
The Danish government offers dozens of discounts on the country's rail networks -- depending on the type of traveler, days or hours traveled, and destination. Because discounts change often, it's best to ask for a discount based on your age and the number of days (or hours) you intend to travel.
By far, the best way to visit rural Denmark is by car, but if you want or need to travel by bus, be aware that you'll probably get your bus at the railway station. (In much of Scandinavia, buses take passengers to destinations not served by the train; therefore, the bus route often originates at the railway station.) The arrival of trains and departure of buses are usually closely timed.
For seniors 65 and over, round-trip bus tickets are sometimes offered at one-way prices (excluding Sat, Sun, and peak travel periods around Christmas and Easter). Most discounts are granted only to seniors who are traveling beyond the city limits of their point of origin.
Rentals -- Avis, Budget, and Hertz offer well-serviced, well-maintained fleets of cars. You may have to reserve and pay for your rental car in advance (usually 2 weeks, but occasionally as little as 48 hr.) to get the lowest rates. Unfortunately, if your trip is canceled or your arrival date changes, you might have to fill out a lot of forms for a refund. All three companies may charge slightly higher rates to clients who reserve less than 48 hours in advance and pay at pickup. The highest rates are charged to walk-in customers who arrange their rentals after they arrive in Denmark. If at all possible, you should reserve a car before you leave North America.
The Danish government imposes a whopping 25% tax on all car rentals. Agencies that encourage prepaid rates almost never collect this tax in advance -- instead, it's imposed as part of a separate transaction when you pick up the car. Furthermore, any car retrieved at a Danish airport is subject to a one-time supplemental tax of DKK255 ($43/£26), so you might prefer to pick up your car at a downtown location. Membership in certain travel clubs or organizations (such as AAA or AARP) might qualify you for a modest discount.
Avis (tel. 800/331-1212 in the U.S. and Canada; www.avis.com) maintains four offices in Copenhagen: two at the arrivals hall of the airport, one at Landgreven 10 (tel. 70-24-77-64), and another at Kampmannsgade 1 (tel. 70-24-77-07).
Budget (tel. 800/527-0700 in the U.S.; tel. 800/472-3325 in Canada; www.budget.com) has two rental locations in Copenhagen. The larger branch is at the Copenhagen airport (tel. 35-53-39-00), and the other office is at Vesterfarimagsgade 7 (tel. 33-55-70-00).
Hertz (tel. 800/654-3001 in the U.S. and Canada; www.hertz.com) has two offices in Copenhagen, one at the airport (tel. 33-17-90-20) and the other at Ved Vesterport 3 (tel. 33-17-90-20).
Also consider using a small company. Kemwel (tel. 800/678-0678 in the U.S.; www.kemwel.com) is the North American representative for two Denmark-based car companies, Van Wijk and Hertz. It may be able to offer attractive rental prices to North Americans who pay in full at least 10 days before their departure. Seniors and members of AAA get a 5% discount.
Driving Rules -- A valid driver's license from your home country is required. If you are in your own car, you need a certificate of registration and national plates. This is especially important for the people of Britain, who often drive to Denmark. Each rental agency should provide you with a triangular hazard warning sign. It's Danish law that you have this signal. Seat belts are required in both the front and the rear of the vehicle, and you must drive with low beams on at all times, even in the bright sunlight. Talking on a cellphone while driving is illegal. Be on the lookout for bicycle riders, who have the right of way if they are heading straight and an auto is making a turn.
Gasoline (Petrol) -- Stations are plentiful throughout the land, and prices -- subject to almost daily fluctuations -- are extremely high. Most stations take credit cards and are self-service. In general, stations open daily at 6 or 7 in the morning, usually shutting down at 9pm (later in more congested areas).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.