Flying in winter -- Scandinavia's off season -- is cheapest; summer is the most expensive. Spring and fall are in between. In any season, midweek fares (Mon-Thurs) are the lowest.
From North America -- SAS (Scandinavian Airlines Systems; tel. 800/221-2350 in the U.S., or 0870/6072-7727 in the U.K.; www.flysas.com) has more nonstop flights to Scandinavia from more North American cities than any other airline, and it has more flights to and from Denmark and within Scandinavia than any other airline in the world. From Seattle and Chicago, SAS offers nonstop flights to Copenhagen daily in midsummer and almost every day in winter; from Newark, New Jersey, there are daily flights year-round to Copenhagen. SAS's agreement with United Airlines, the "Star Alliance," connects the gateway cities of Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C., to other U.S. cities (such as Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and San Francisco).
Nonstop flights to Copenhagen from the greater New York area take about 7 1/2 hours; from Chicago, around 8 1/2 hours; from Seattle, 9 1/2 hours.
From The U.K. -- British Airways (tel. 800/AIRWAYS [247-9297], or 0870/850-9850 in the U.K.; www.britishairways.com) offers convenient connections through Heathrow and Gatwick to Copenhagen. The price structure (and discounted prices on hotel packages) sometimes makes a stopover in Britain less expensive than you might have thought. SAS offers five daily nonstop flights to Copenhagen from Heathrow (1 3/4 hr.), two daily nonstops from Glasgow (2 hr.), and three daily nonstops from Manchester (2 hr., 20 min.). Other European airlines with connections through their home countries to Copenhagen include Icelandair (tel. 800/223-5500 in the U.S., or 0870/787-4020 in the U.K.; www.icelandair.com); KLM (tel. 800/225-2525 in the U.S., or 0870/507-4074 in the U.K.; www.klm.com); and Lufthansa (tel. 800/645-3880 in the U.S., or 0870/8377-747 in the U.K.; www.lufthansa.com). Be aware, however, that unless you make all your flight arrangements in North America before you go, you might find some of these flights prohibitively expensive.
You can easily drive to Denmark from Germany. Many people drive to Jutland from Hamburg, Bremerhaven, and Lübeck. A bridge links Jutland and the central island of Funen. In 1998, a bridge opened that goes across the Great Belt from Funen to the island of Zealand, site of the city of Copenhagen. The bridge lies near Nyborg, Denmark. Once in West Zealand, you'll still have to drive east across the island to Copenhagen.
Car-ferry service to Denmark from the United Kingdom generally leaves passengers at Esbjerg, where they must cross from Jutland to Copenhagen. From Germany, it's possible to take a car ferry from Travemünde, northeast of Lübeck, which will deposit you at Gedser, Denmark. From here, connect with the E55, an express highway north to Copenhagen.
If you're in Europe, it's easy to get to Denmark by train. Copenhagen is the main rail hub between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. For example, the London-Copenhagen train -- through Ostende, Belgium, or Hook, Holland -- leaves four times daily and takes 22 hours. About 10 daily express trains run from Hamburg to Copenhagen (5 1/2 hr.). There are also intercity trains on the Merkur route from Karlsruhe, Germany, to Cologne to Hamburg to Copenhagen. The Berlin-Ostbahnhof-Copenhagen train (8 1/2 hr.) connects with Eastern European trains. Two daily express trains make this run.
Thousands of trains run from Britain to the Continent, and at least some of them go directly across or under the Channel, through France or Belgium and Germany into Denmark. For example, a train leaves London's Victoria Station daily at 9am and arrives in Copenhagen the next day at 8:25am. Another train leaves London's Victoria Station at 8:45pm and arrives in Copenhagen the next day at 8:20pm. Both go through Dover-Ostende, or with a connection at Brussels. Once you're in Copenhagen, you can make rail connections to Norway, Finland, and Sweden. Because of the time and distances involved, many passengers rent a couchette (sleeping berth), which costs around £20 ($38) per person. Designed like padded benches stacked bunk-style, they're usually clustered six to a compartment.
If you plan to travel extensively on European and/or British railroads, it would be worthwhile for you to get a copy of the latest edition of the Thomas Cook European Timetable of Railroads. It's available online at www.thomascooktimetables.com.
Rail Passes for North American Travelers
Eurailpass -- The Eurailpass permits unlimited first-class rail travel in any country in western Europe except the British Isles (good in Ireland). Passes are available for purchase online (www.eurail.com) and at various offices/agents around the world. Travel agents and railway agents in such cities as New York, Montreal, and Los Angeles sell Eurailpasses. You can purchase them at the North American offices of CIT Travel Service, the French National Railroads, the German Federal Railroads, and the Swiss Federal Railways.
It is strongly recommended that you purchase passes before you leave home as not all passes are available in Europe; also, passes purchased in Europe will cost about 20% more. Numerous options are available for travel in France.
The Eurail Global Pass allows you unlimited travel in 20 Eurail-affiliated countries. You can travel on any of the days within the validity period, which is available for 15 days, 21 days, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, and some other possibilities as well. Prices for first-class adult travel are US$745 for 15 days; US$965 for 21 days; US$1,199 for 1 month; US$1,695 for 2 months; and US$2,089 for 3 months. Children 4 to 11 pay half fare; those 3 and under travel for free.
A Eurail Global Pass Saver, also valid for first-class travel in 20 countries, offers a special deal for two or more people traveling together. This pass costs US$629 for 15 days; US$819 for 21 days; US$1,019 for 1 month; US$1,439 for 2 months; and US$1,785 for 3 months.
A Eurail Global Youth Pass for those 12 to 25 allows second-class travel in 18 countries. This pass costs US$485 for 15 days; US$625 for 21 days; US$779 for 1 month; US$1,099 for 2 months; and US$1,359 for 3 months.
The Eurail Select Pass offers unlimited travel on the national rail networks of any three, four, or five bordering countries out of the 22 Eurail nations linked by train or ship. Two or more passengers can travel together for big discounts, getting 5, 6, 8, 10, or 15 days of rail travel within any 2-month period on the national rail networks of any three, four, or five adjoining Eurail countries linked by train or ship. A sample fare: For 5 days in 2 months you pay US$469 for three countries. Eurail Select Pass Youth, for travelers 25 and under, allows second-class travel within the same guidelines as Eurail Select Pass, with fees starting at US$305. Eurail Select Pass Saver offers discounts for two or more people traveling together, first-class travel within the same guidelines as Eurail Select Pass, with fees starting at US$399.
Where To Buy Rail Passes -- Travel agents in all towns and railway agents in major North American cities sell all these tickets, but the biggest supplier is Rail Europe (tel. 877/272-RAIL [272-7245]; www.raileurope.com), which can also give you informational brochures.
Many different rail passes are available in the United Kingdom for travel in Britain and continental Europe. Stop in at the International Rail Centre, Victoria Station, London SWIV 1JY (tel. 0870/5848-848 in the U.K.). Some of the most popular passes, including Inter-Rail and Euro Youth, are offered only to travelers 25 and under; these allow unlimited second-class travel through most European countries.
Scanrail Pass -- If your visit to Europe will be primarily in Scandinavia, the Scanrail pass may be better and cheaper than the Eurailpass. This pass allows its owner a designated number of days of free rail travel within a larger time block. (Presumably, this allows for days devoted to sightseeing scattered among days of rail transfers between cities or sites of interest.) You can choose a total of any 5 days of unlimited rail travel during a 15-day period, 10 days of rail travel within a 1-month period, or 1 month of unlimited rail travel. The pass, which is valid on all lines of the state railways of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, offers discounts or free travel on some (but not all) of the region's ferry lines as well. The pass can be purchased only in North America. It's available from any office of RailEurope (tel. 800/848-7245) or ScanAm World Tours, 108 N. Main St., Cranbury, NJ 08512 (tel. 800/545-2204; www.scandinaviantravel.com).
Depending on whether you choose first- or second-class rail transport, 5 days out of 10 days costs $249 to $329, 8 days out of 2 months costs $180 to $360, 10 days out of 22 days costs $359 to $489, and 21 consecutive days of unlimited travel costs $469 to $629. Seniors get an 11% discount, and students receive a 30% discount.
Eurail Denmark Pass -- For those who plan to travel only in Denmark, a series of cost-cutting passes are offered. The major one is the Eurail Denmark Pass, offering both first- and second-class unlimited travel on Denmark's national rail network. For travel any 3 or 7 days within a 1-month period, the 3-day pass costs $98 to $149 for adults (first and second class), or $50 to $75 for children ages 4 to 11. The 7-day pass goes for $149 to $230 for adults or $75 to $116 for children.
Two or more passengers traveling together can take advantage of the Eurail Denmark Saverpass, offering unlimited travel in first and second class. On this deal, you get 3 days of travel in 1 month for $85 to $126 for adults or $44 to $64 for children 4 to 11. For 7 days in 1 month, the cost ranges from $126 to $197 for adults or $64 to $99 for children.
A better deal for passengers 25 and under is the Eurail Denmark Youthpass, costing $76 for 3 days in 1 month, or $113 for 7 days.
Rail Passes for British Travelers
If you plan to do a lot of exploring, you may prefer one of the three rail passes designed for unlimited train travel within a designated region during a predetermined number of days. These passes are sold in Britain and several other European countries.
An InterRail Pass is available to passengers of any nationality, with some restrictions -- they must be under age 26 and able to prove residency in a European or North African country (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia) for at least 6 months before buying the pass. It allows unlimited travel through Europe, except Albania and the republics of the former Soviet Union. Prices are complicated and vary depending on the countries you want to include. For pricing purposes, Europe is divided into eight zones; the cost depends on the number of zones you include. For ages 25 and under, the most expensive option (£399) allows 1 month of unlimited travel in all eight zones and is known to the staff as a "global." The least expensive option (£159) allows 5 days of travel within 10 days.
Passengers age 26 and older can buy an InterRail 26-Plus Pass. The cost varies from £359 to £489 for 16 days to £599 to £809 for 1 month. Passengers must meet the same residency requirements that apply to the InterRail Pass.
For information on buying individual rail tickets or any of the just-mentioned passes, contact National Rail Inquiries, Victoria Station, London (tel. 08705/848-848). Tickets and passes also are available at any of the larger railway stations, as well as selected travel agencies throughout Britain and the rest of Europe.
By Ship & Ferry
It's easy to travel by water from several ports to Denmark. Liners carrying cars and passengers operate from England, Germany, Poland, Norway, and Sweden. Check with your travel agent about these cruises.
From Britain -- DFDS Seaways (tel. 0871/522-9955; www.dfdsseaways.com) runs vessels year-round between Harwich, England, and Esbjerg in West Jutland. The crossing takes 16 to 20 hours. The same line also sails from Newcastle upon Tyne to Esbjerg, but only in the summer, as part of a 22-hour passage. Overnight cabins and space for cars are available on both routes.
From Norway & Sweden -- Norwegian Coastal Voyage Inc. (tel. 866/257-6071 or 212/319-1390 in the U.S.; www.hurtigruten.com) operates vessels from Oslo to Hirtshals in North Jutland.
Stena Line runs popular sea links from Oslo to Frederikshavn, North Jutland (11 1/2 hr.), and from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Frederikshavn (3 hr.). For information, schedules, and fares, contact Stena Line UK, Ltd. (tel. 08705/70-70-70; www.stenaline.co.uk). For 24-hour updates on sailing, call tel. 08705/755-755.
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.