How to Get Around Copenhagen, Denmark in a Wheelchair

Copenhagen is a truly remarkable city, and I know that because I just got back a few weeks ago from my first visit to Denmark’s beautiful and historical capital. When you think of Denmark and specifically Copenhagen, you might think of windmills, rows of colorful houses lining a calm river, and famously bike-friendly streets. But I can attest that this pleasantly compact city is also quite wheelchair friendly, and I’ve compiled some must-know tips and tricks regarding transport and getting around Copenhagen for any wheelchair user interested in spending some time in this delightful Danish city. wheelchair accessible transportation copenhagen denmark 

Walking and Rolling

 

 wheelchair accessible transportation copenhagen denmark

 

Downtown Copenhagen is mostly walk-able/roll-able on a nice day, and it’s a good idea to visit during summer months for the best weather. Though there are those pesky yet classic European cobblestones in some sections, downtown is overall pretty accessible and I was pleased to find plenty of well-placed curb cuts for wheelchair users.

You will encounter the occasional, older shop with an inaccessible entrance, but overall you’ll find that residents of Copenhagen are friendly and willing to help if you ever need it. Even if there’s a cafe or restaurant with an inaccessible entrance, many of them have tables arranged on the sidewalk for outdoor dining, and some even have heaters for those who’d like to eat outdoors in chilly weather as well.

Copenhagen boasts that it has made numerous improvements to make the city more accessible for travelers in wheelchairs, and I’ve found that to be true. Plus, Copenhagen overall is a notably small and compact city, making it one of Europe’s best to traverse on wheels. Many of the most notable tourist attractions are close together, so it is definitely doable to spend a day just walking/rolling from one attraction to another either by yourself or with a tour guide. I toured the city with Copenhagen Urban Adventures and had a fun-filled day seeing all of the best sights.

I’d advise checking out a map of Copenhagen before going there, and planning how you’re going to get to each individual destination accordingly. The center of Copenhagen is Town Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) and it’s easy to walk/roll from there to Tivoli Gardens, one of the city’s top destinations, as well as to the Central Railway Station and main bus terminal.

wheelchair accessible transportation copenhagen denmark

Accessible Taxis

All taxis in Copenhagen accept collapsible wheelchairs, but if you have a power wheelchair like me, you’ll need to plan in advance. There are a number of wheelchair friendly taxis in Copenhagen, but they do have to be booked ahead of time — even at the airport. When we first got to Copenhagen, I tried to get an accessible taxi on the spot at the airport, but we couldn’t get one because they weren’t operating on that day. Luckily, we ended up taking our hotel’s shuttle from the airport (we had an excellent stay at the AC Hotel Bella Sky) and it had a lift for wheelchairs.

If you’d like to be provided with a wheelchair-accommodating mini-bus for just one ride or even several days’ worth of transportation, you can call (+45) 43 55 00 29. The company Handicap Bedfordring can also arrange airport transfers and accessible coach rental for a longer period, and you can contact them to see if they’re right for you at [email protected]

Accessible taxis can also be booked by contacting [email protected] or calling +45 3539 3535, or through another company by calling +45 7025 7701 or emailing [email protected] — but again, they can’t be booked for spontaneous trips and they must be booked ahead of time.

wheelchair taxi copenhagen denmark

Metro

 

wheelchair accessible transportation copenhagen denmark

Sylvia of Spin the Globe getting on the metro

 

In many other cities, the metro system can be a challenge to navigate for wheelchair users. In Copenhagen, the opposite is true. It’s near completely accessible, and in my opinion it’s the easiest way to get around the city. Every metro station is equipped with an elevator or a lift, and the entire metro system was designed with accessibility in mind when it was constructed.

If you don’t want to call ahead and book an accessible taxi or shuttle from the airport, you can use the metro system to get from the airport to the heart of Copenhagen, where you can either find your hotel or catch a bus to get to your hotel. One thing to remember before heading on the metro is that it’s best to use the restroom beforehand, as there are no facilities connected to the metro itself.

wheelchair accessible taxi copenhagen denmark

Train

 

wheelchair accessible transportation copenhagen denmark

 

Like metro stations, train stations in Copenhagen are also completely accessible, featuring elevators or other accessible entrances. When waiting for the train, be sure to wait where the front carriage will pull up, so that the driver can help you board in your chair. This isn’t just a courtesy — it’s necessary, because a staff member has to lay out the ramp for you to be able to board. At that time, you can also tell him or her at which station you plan on exiting, so that the driver can help you then as well.

wheelchair accessible metro copenhagen

Buses

The majority of official city buses are accessible, though unlike on Copenhagen’s trains (discussed more below), the driver of the bus can’t physically assist you with boarding and scooters aren’t allowed. However, most buses do have a ramp by their center door.

Theoretically, when you’re looking to enter/exit, you push the button by the middle door and that will signal the bus driver that you want to get on. However, I’ve also heard stories from wheelchair travelers who weren’t traveling with a companion and had to rely on helpful locals to lower the ramp for them, since some bus drivers will say that they are not allowed to leave their seats to help, even if just to lower the ramp. Just to be safe, if you plan on traveling by bus, it’s best to only do so if you have a friend with you to help you board.

Another downside to buses is that their routes can be somewhat complicated for the uninitiated, so it would be beneficial to study their routes online and have a cheat-sheet listing the routes and stops you plan on making. If you’re looking for a pre-chosen route hitting all of the tourist hotspots, Copenhagen’s Hop-On, Hop-Off buses – while not official city buses and are certainly more expensive than city buses – are an all-accessible alternative.

 

Enjoying Copenhagen's accessible transportation

Enjoying Copenhagen’s accessible transportation

 

Other Tips

Ticketing: Whether you’re taking the bus, train, or metro, there are various types of tickets available, and in Denmark it is fairly important to have the correct one. There are of course single-use tickets, but if you plan on using the bus, a discounted ticket for 10 trips within certain zones is available. There are also 24-hour unlimited tickets available, which give you 24 hours of unlimited travel on all trains, buses, and metros in the Copenhagen area — quite a deal if you’re planning on public transport for most of your trip.

Bus, Metro and Train Maps: A treasure trove of maps showing transportation routes for public buses, trains, and metros are available here. This is a great place to start your research and to see if using any of these types of transportation will be right for you and your Copenhagen itinerary.

 

 

In the end, there are many ways to get around Copenhagen, and it would be helpful to plan ahead for all of them — whether that means finding out metro, train, or bus routes ahead of time or arranging accessible taxi rides or for rental of an accessible bus. If you plan to travel the tourist path, however, walking and rolling is a fine option between most of the destinations, and there’s something about meandering down old city streets that allows you to really get a sense of the city you’re visiting. Plus, you never know what hidden treasures you might stumble upon while exploring.

And if you’re a wheelchair user that would like to know more about Copenhagen’s accessible attractions, hotels, and more, check out my Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide to Copenhagen.


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