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 now 5 trains a day in each direction all year round, with an extra one in summer.  You can check train times & buy tickets at the German Railways website int.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.  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 2024

 Hamburg ► Copenhagen

 Days of running:

summer

daily

daily

daily

daily

 daily

 summer

 Hamburg Hbf depart:

06:31

08:50

10:53

12:53

14:53

16:55

18:50

 Kolding (for Legoland) depart:

09:40

11:40

13:40

15:40

17:40

19:40

21:40

 Odense arrive:

10:20

12:20

14:20

16:20

18:20

20:20

22:20

 Copenhagen arrive:

11:34

13:34

15:34

17:34

19:34

21:34

23:34

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

The 08:55 leaves at 08:50 in 30 July to 31 October 2024.

Summer = 14 June to 25 August 2024.

Train times southbound 2024

 Copenhagen ► Hamburg

 Days of running:

summer

daily

daily

daily

daily

daily

summer

 Copenhagen depart:

05:26

07:26

09:26

11:26

13:26

15:26

17:26

 Odense depart

06:39

08:39

10:39

12:39

14:39

16:39

18:39

 Kolding (for Legoland) depart:

07:18

09:18

11:18

13:18

15:18

17:18

19:18

 Hamburg Hbf arrive:

10:06

12:06

14:06

16:03

18:04

20:04

21:57

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

Summer = Runs 14 June to 26 August 2024.

What are the trains like?

Until June 2023, Hamburg-Copenhagen trains were operated by Danish IC3 diesel trains.  They are now operated by former DB (German Railways) Intercity cars hauled by a DSB electric locomotive, bringing a welcome increase in capacity and switch to electric power.  At some point in 2024 or 2025, brand new articulated trains built by Talgo will enter service on this route.

The trains are air-conditioned, spacious & smooth-riding, with toilets, at-seat power sockets & free WiFi - but minimal catering, so bring your own supplies.

Hamburg-Copenhagen train at Copenhagen

On 17 June 2023, the first Copenhagen to Hamburg train to use the 'new' German intercity cars is boarding at Copenhagen.  Photo courtesy of Peter Kincey.

2nd clas seats on a DB Intercity train

2nd class seats are almost all open-plan like this.  There are a handful of 6-seat 2nd class compartments in one of the coaches, but only a few.

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   1st class 6-seat compartment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

The 1st class car has 6-seater compartments like this. Click the images for larger photos.

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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