Hamburg to Copenhagen by train
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The train link to Denmark & Scandinavia...

Air-conditioned Intercity trains link Hamburg with Copenhagen in around 4h40 with fares from €28.90.  There are 3 trains a day in each direction all year round, but in summer 2022 this will expand to 5 trains each way.  You can check train times & buy tickets at the German Railways website www.bahn.de.

Since December 2019 these Hamburg-Copenhagen trains take the long way round through Flensburg & Odense via the Great Belt Fixed Link and no longer go on the Puttgarden-Rødby train ferry.  On the plus side, this is 18 minutes quicker and as trains are no longer limited to 3 cars to fit on the ferry, most departures are now 6 cars.  Trains will use this route while the direct line via Puttgarden is rebuilt and the Fehmarn Link constructed, fast trains Hamburg-Copenhagen won't start using this new fast route until at least 2029.

small bullet point  What's the train like?

small bullet point  What the journey like?

small bullet point  Travel tips

small bullet point  Route map

small bullet point  How much does it cost?

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

Train times northbound until 10 December 2022

 Hamburg ► Copenhagen

 

Rest of year

18 June to 21 August 2022

 Days of running:

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

 daily

 Hamburg Hbf depart:

08:56

12:53

16:54

 -

10:53

12:53

14:53

18:53

 Hamburg Altona depart:

|

|

|

06:52

|

|

|

|

 Kolding (for Legoland) depart:

11:40

15:40

19:40

09:40

13:40

15:40

17:40

21:40

 Odense arrive:

12:19

16:19

20:19

10:19

14:19

16:19

18:19

22:18

 Copenhagen arrive:

13:33

17:33

21:33

11:33

15:33

17:33

19:33

23:33

Train times northbound from 11 December 2022

 Hamburg ► Copenhagen

 

Rest of year

17 June to 20 August 2023

 Days of running:

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

 daily

 Hamburg Hbf depart:

08:56

12:53

16:54

06:45

10:53

12:53

14:53

18:53

 Kolding (for Legoland) depart:

11:41

15:41

19:41

09:41

13:41

15:41

17:41

21:41

 Odense arrive:

12:19

16:19

20:19

10:19

14:19

16:19

18:19

22:18

 Copenhagen arrive:

13:34

17:34

21:34

11:34

15:34

17:34

19:34

23:34

Hamburg to Copenhagen is 522 km or 324 miles by train via this route.

Train times southbound until 10 December 2022

 Copenhagen ► Hamburg

 

Rest of year

18 June to 21 August 2022

 Days of running:

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

 Copenhagen depart:

07:26

11:26

15:26

05:26

09:26

11:26

13:26

17:26

 Odense depart

08:40

12:40

16:40

06:40

10:40

12:40

14:40

18:40

 Kolding (for Legoland) depart:

09:18

13:18

17:18

07:18

11:18

13:18

15:18

19:18

 Hamburg Hbf arrive:

12:04

16:02

20:02

10:05

14:07

16:02

18:02

21:58

Train times southbound from 11 December 2022

 Copenhagen ► Hamburg

 

Rest of year

17 June to 20 August 2023

 Days of running:

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

 Copenhagen depart:

07:26

11:26

15:26

05:26

09:26

11:26

13:26

17:26

 Odense depart

08:39

12:39

16:39

06:39

10:39

12:39

14:39

18:39

 Kolding (for Legoland) depart:

09:18

13:18

17:18

07:18

11:18

13:18

15:18

19:18

 Hamburg Hbf arrive:

12:05

16:01

20:02

10:05

14:06

16:01

18:03

21:57

Copenhagen to Hamburg is 522 km (324 miles) by train via this route.

What are the trains like?

Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are now operated by Danish IC3 trains like this, shown in the timetable as IC for Intercity, a generic term used by many European train operators for quality trains.  IC3 trains are 3-car articulated diesel units, Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are usually composed of two units making up a 6-car train.  There is a small 1st class section at one end of each unit.  IC3 trains are air-conditioned and there's free WiFi.  There's no catering car on these trains (other than the complimentary tea/instant coffee for 1st class passengers, see travel tips), so bring your own along.  Read more about IC3s at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IC3.

Future plans:  From April 2023, these IC3 will start to be replaced by Intercity cars leased from DB (German Railways) and hauled by a DSB electric locomotive, bringing a welcome increase in capacity.  However, this is temporary as from 2024 brand new articulated trains are being built by Talgo for this route.  Service in 2023 remains 3 per day all year and 5 in summer, but from 2024 it is hoped to run 4 trains per day all year, 5 most of the year and up to 7 per day in summer.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Hamburg Hbf

The late afternoon Hamburg-Copenhagen IC3 leaving platform 5 at Hamburg Hbf on a busy summer day.  The yellow stripe above the windows indicates first class, located at one end of both 3-car units.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen

Boarding a Danish IC3 train at Hamburg Hbf...

 

1st class seats on an IC3 train.  Larger photo.

2nd class seats on an IC3 train from Hamburg to Copenhagen   A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...

2nd class seats on a IC3 train.  Larger photo.

 

An IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg.

Hamburg to Copenhagen train 1st class seats

1st class armchairs, showing the complimentary tea & coffee area.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen station

A Hamburg-Copenhagen IC3 at Copenhagen station.

The trains no longer go on a ferry...

The highlight of the journey used to be the 50-minute ferry crossing between Puttgarden in Germany & Rødby in Denmark where the train went onto a ship.  The Vogelfluglinie (as the crow flies) route from Hamburg to Copenhagen via the Puttgarden-Rødby train ferry dates from 1963, but trains ceased using it (and the train ferry) as of 15 December 2019.  The planned Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link will ultimately replace the ferry with a tunnel, dramatically cutting travel time between Germany and Copenhagen, probably from 2029.  The associated railway lines are being modernised and Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are currently being re-routed the long way round via Padborg, Kolding, Odense and the Great Belt Fixed Link.

Copenhagen to Hamburg tran bioards the ferry at Rodby   Hamburg to Copenhagen train on board the train ferry

The train entering the ferry.  Photo courtesy of Keith White.

 

IC3 train on board the ferry.  Courtesy Tom Simpson.

The Rendsburg Loop & High Bridge...

There are still things to see on the way.  Just north of Hamburg, the trains to Copenhagen cross the high and imposing Rendsburg High Bridge (Rendsburger Hochbrücke) over the Kiel Canal, built 1911-1913, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendsburg_High_Bridge.  The bridge is 42m (138 feet) above the canal, it's also a transporter bridge, with a gondola suspended below the deck ferrying cars across the canal.  The trains then go around the Rendsburg Loop to lose height (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendsburg_Loop) before passing non-stop through Rendsburg station.  You can see Rendsburg marked on the route map below.  On the map you'll see another loop at Flensburg, but these trains don't call at Flensburg and by-pass that loop.

Hamburg to Copenhagen train approaches the Rendsburg Bridge

Crossing the Rendsburg High Bridge above the Kiel Canal.

Hamburg to Copenhagen train approaches the Rendsburg Bridge

The Hamburg to Copenhagen train has crossed the Rendsburg High Bridge and is about to go around the Rendsburg Loop.  Photo courtesy of Discoverbyrail.com.

The Little Belt...

Between Kolding and Odense, the Hamburg-Copenhagen trains cross a bridge over the Little Belt (Lillebælt in Danish) from Jutland (mainland Denmark) to Funen, the island on which Odense is located, see the route map below.

Hamburg to Copenhagen train approaches the Great Belt fixed link

The Great Belt...

Between Odense and Ringsted, the Hamburg-Copenhagen trains cross the Great Belt Fixed Link from Funen to Zealand, the island on which Copenhagen is located, see the route map below.  For a century, trains were ferried across this stretch of water on a train ferry, this ended when the Fixed Link opened to trains in 1997.  It opened to road traffic in 1998.  The Great Belt Fixed Link is 18 km (11 miles) long, consisting of a box-girder bridge for the western section for both road and railway, then a suspension bridge for road traffic and tunnel for the railway for the eastern section.  It's a major piece of engineering, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Belt_Fixed_Link.  The photo below shows the view of the Great Belt Fixed Link from a Hamburg to Copenhagen train about to cross it.  The train crosses the West Bridge next to the road, then uses the East Tunnel while the road passes over the East Bridge, visible in the background here.  Photo courtesy of Peter Kincey.

Hamburg to Copenhagen train approaches the Great Belt fixed link

Travel tips...

Route map...

Hamburg to Copenhagen train route map

 

Click for larger map

Highlighted = Hamburg-Copenhagen route.

Green = scenic sections of line

The trains now take the highlighted 'long way round' via Flensburg, Kolding & Odense, without the need to use a train ferry.

European Rail Timetable and mapReproduced from the excellent European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.

I recommend buying a copy of the European Rail Map for your travels, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...


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