The Great Belt Fixed Link connecting the islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt was opened in 1997

Transport in Denmark is developed and modern.[clarification needed] The motorway network covers 1,111 km[1] while the railway network totals 2,667 km of operational track.[2] The Great Belt Fixed Link (opened in 1997) connecting the islands of Zealand and Funen and the New Little Belt Bridge (opened in 1970) connecting Funen and Jutland greatly improved the traffic flow across the country on both motorways and rail. The two largest airports of Copenhagen and Billund provide a variety of domestic and international connections, while ferries provide services to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Germany, Sweden, and Norway, as well as domestic routes servicing most Danish islands.


Aalborg airport in the north of Jutland

In 2011, a total of appr. 28 million passengers used Danish airports.[3]

Copenhagen Airport is the largest airport in Scandinavia, handling approximately 29m passengers per year (2016). It is located at Kastrup, 8 km south-east of central Copenhagen. It is connected by train to Copenhagen Central Station and beyond as well as to Malmö and other towns in Sweden.

For the west of the country, the major airport is Billund (3m passengers in 2016) although both Aalborg (1.4m passengers in 2011) and Aarhus (591.000 passengers in 2011) have smaller airports with regular connections to Copenhagen.

List of airports

Further information: List of airports in Denmark and List of the largest airports in the Nordic countries

Denmark's main airports are:

Other airports include:


Being an island state with a long coastline and always close to the sea, maritime transport has always been important in Denmark. From the primitive dugouts of the Stone Age to the complex designs of the Viking ships in the Viking Age, often built to exactly facilitate large scale cargo and passenger transportation. Denmark also engaged in the large scale cargo freights and slave transports of the European colonization endeavours in the Middle Ages and operated several smaller colonies of its own across the globe by the means of seafaring.

Today Denmark's ports handle some 48 million passengers and 109 million tonnes of cargo per year.[5]

Passenger traffic

Rødbyhavn ferry terminal on Lolland

Passenger traffic is made up partly of ferry crossings within Denmark, partly of international ferry crossings and partly of cruise ship passengers. Some short ferry routes are being electrified[6] and several more may be eligible,[7] as in Norway.[8]

Among the most important ports for passenger traffic (thousands of passengers per year in 2007) are:

In 2007, 288 cruise ships visited Copenhagen, rising to 376 in 2011 before returning to around 300 the following years. Around 800,000 cruise passengers and 200,000 crew visit Copenhagen each year.[9]

Cargo traffic

Among the most important ports for cargo traffic (millions of tonnes per year in 2007) are:


Waterways have historically and traditionally been crucial to local transportation in Denmark proper. Especially the Gudenå river-system in central Jutland, has played an important role. The waterways were navigated by wooden barges and later on steamboats.[10] A few historical steamboats are still in operation, like the SS Hjejlen from 1861 at Silkeborg.

There is a 160 km natural canal through the shallow Limfjorden in northern Jutland, linking the North Sea to the Kattegat.

Many waterways has formerly been redirected and led through manmade canals in the 1900s, but mainly for agricultural purposes and not to facilitate transportation on any major scale. Several cities have manmade canals used for transportation and traffic purposes. Of special mention are the canals of Copenhagen and the Odense Canal, ferrying large numbers of both tourists and local citizens.[11]

Merchant marine

External image
image icon Traffic and protected areas around Denmark

Denmark has a large merchant fleet relative to its size. In 2018, the fleet surpassed 20 million gt as the government sought to repatriate Danish-owned tonnage registered abroad, with measures including removal of the registration fee.[12]

Denmark has created its own international register, called the Danish International Ship register (DIS), open to commercial vessels only. DIS ships do not have to meet Danish manning regulations.


Copenhagen Central Station with S-Trains.
Denmark railway network

Main article: Rail transport in Denmark

The largest railway operator in Denmark is Danske Statsbaner (DSB) — Danish State Railways. Arriva operates some routes in Jutland, and several other smaller operators provide local services.

The total length of operational track is 3,476 km standard gauge, with 1,756 km electrified.[13]

The railway system is connected to Sweden by bridge in Copenhagen and ferry in Helsingør and Frederikshavn, by land to Germany in Padborg and ferry in Rødby and to Norway by ferry in Hirtshals.


Main article: Road traffic in Denmark

Further information: Motorways in Denmark

The road network in 2017 totalled 74,558 km of paved road.[13] Motorways are toll-free except for the Great Belt Bridge joining Zealand and Funen and the Øresund Bridge linking Copenhagen to Malmö in Sweden.


Main article: Cycling in Denmark

Bicycling in Denmark is a common and popular utilitarian and recreational activity. Bicycling infrastructure is a dominant feature of both city and countryside infrastructure, with bicycle paths and bicycle ways in many places and an extensive network of bicycle routes, extending more than 12,000 kilometres (7,500 mi) nationwide.[14] In comparison, Denmark's coastline is 7,314 kilometres (4,545 mi). As a unique feature, Denmark has a VIN-system for bicycles which is mandatory by law. Often bicycling and bicycle culture in Denmark is compared to the Netherlands as a bicycle-nation.


Figures in 2015:[13]

Crude oil
330 km
Petroleum products
578 km (2007)
Natural gas
1536 km

See also


  1. ^ Road network by type of road and time (2008). Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  2. ^ Railway network 1 January by unit, railway system and time (2008). Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  3. ^ Departing passengers from major manned, public airports by airport, type of transport and flight. Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 25 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Countrywise Codes". Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  5. ^ Call of vessels, passengers and throughput of goods in traffic ports by seaport and unit. Statistics Denmark. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Öresund Dry Docks to modernise HH Ferries' vessels". Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Electrification of Denmark's ferry fleet" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 September 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Batterifergen har måttet stå over avganger. Nå er løsningen klar". Teknisk Ukeblad. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Copenhagen (Denmark)". CruiseMapper. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  10. ^ "The towpath along the Gudenåen River". 1001 stories of Denmark. The Heritage Agency of Denmark (Danish agency for Culture). Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  11. ^ World Canals - Denmark.. Retrieved 26 March 2009.
  12. ^ "Historic growth in Danish shipping registries continues". Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  13. ^ a b c "Denmark", The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 4 November 2021, retrieved 17 November 2021
  14. ^ "Cykelruter og regioner" (in Danish). VisitDenmark. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2011.

Further reading

  • Peter, Bruce (2013). Ferries of Denmark / Danske Færger (in English and Danish). Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608514.