Copenhagen has an extremely confusing but efficient transportation system. To start off, I’m not even going to explain the zone system because I don’t even think the locals know how that works. Essentially, you are charged by the distance you travel instead of a flat fare, like what you would do in most cities in the US. However, you need not to worry about this whole thing because all you have to do is flash your DIS-issued transportation pass to the inspectors (it’s an honor system but they do random checks and if you’re caught without it then it’s a 750 DKK fine, so please please please PLEAAAASEEEEEEEE bring it everywhere you go). If you happen to go to the airport or somewhere else outside your zone, then the ticket machine will automatically calculate the zone and the cost.
Disclaimer: I am from New York City and have commuted using the glamorous MTA for most of my life, so my standards are pretty low.
1. The trains are consistently on-time
Every Tuesday and Friday morning, I take a 9:09 train that exactly leaves at 9:09 on the dot. Sometimes, it may even leave at 9:08:55, so if you’re on time, then you’re late. Most trains also run every 10 minutes, so if you happen to miss the 9:09, you can easily take the 9:19. Just make sure you get there by 9:18:55.
2. The trains are relatively clean
This is coming from a New Yorker, so I guess take this with a grain of salt. Actually, yeah. Every other metro system in the world will most likely be cleaner than the NYC MTA. Doesn’t take much to do that really. I can guarantee you that the trains here (usually) does not smell of urine. Sometimes, it smells like freshly baked croissants.
3. The main station is within 10-minutes from DIS
Nørreport, the city’s main metro station is within a 10-minute walk from DIS. It connects most of the train lines, including the S-Train, the Regional, and the Metro which also connects you to Copenhagen Airport. Copenhagen Central, the city’s MAIN train station that connects you to the rest of Europe is also within a 15-minute walk from DIS.
4. It gives you time do homework
My 40-minute train ride to/from Hillerød gives me enough time to peruse through my Danish Language & Culture workbook and embarrassingly practice some Danish in front of locals. If you’re brave enough, you can even practice with them!
“Hvad hedder du?!” “Jeg hedder get away from me!”
5. It gives you time listen to music
Last week, a guy behind me was blasting You’ll Be In My Heart from the Disney movie, Tarzan on repeat while I was listening to the Go the Distance from Hercules and I honestly never felt such a genuine connection in my life before.
6. It gives you time to talk to your friends
On the occasions that I happen to run into one of my friends from my homestay network, the 40-minute train ride usually goes by so fast. It’s really nice to just sit there and talk about everything and nothing at the same time.
7. It gives you time to talk to reflect
Looking outside the Danish countryside during sunset makes you really ponder life and question the vulnerability of society. Most of the time, this is what I do. I simply sit there, look outside, zone out, and just imagine a million things and sometimes, just imagine nothing at all.
8. Living in the suburbs has its perks
I live in a town called Hillerød, an extremely picturesque, super cozy, and quaint little town North of the city. We are within walking distance from Frederiksborg Castle, arguably one of the most beautiful castles in all of Europe, beautiful lakes, parks, forests, and just a whole lotta green without sacrificing the essentials like an Espresso House, a Bilka, a Normal, and an H&M.
Notes: Espresso House – your Starbucks equivalent that’s way better, Bilka – Almost as good as Target, Normal – where you get your toiletries, H&M – no need for any introduction.
Thanks for reading!