Copenhagen Airport – A Practical Guide to CPH Airport

Copenhagen Airport
Photo by 66north on Unsplash

Copenhagen Airport (CPH) is the largest airport in Scandinavia. It serves as Denmark’s main international airport and it gets approximately 30 million passengers per year.

If you are planning a trip to Copenhagen, there is a high chance you will use this airport. For that reason, we are providing this in-depth guide to Copenhagen Airport. You will learn about how to get from the airport to the city centre of Copenhagen, and we will also look at the infrastructure, gates, terminals, shops, restaurants, and much more.

Let’s get started!

Facts about the airport

Copenhagen Airport was founded in April 1925. That makes it one of the world’s oldest airports. Throughout the years, it has gradually received more and more traffic, and now it serves as the largest and most used airport in Scandinavia.

The airport is located in the suburb Kastrup, on an island called Amager, south of the city. This island is connected to the rest of Copenhagen by 8 bridges and there is also a tunnel for the metro. The airport is quite close to the city centre – it is only about 7 km (4 mi) away, so it’s a quick trip to go back and forth.

Many locals simply refer to the airport as “Kastrup” due to the location. You may in fact hear this name more often than “Copenhagen Airport”.

The official address of the airport is Lufthavnsboulevarden 6, 2770 Kastrup, Danmark. The IATA code is CPH.

It has two terminals to handle all flights. When you are inside the airport, it is easy and straightforward to navigate around. Due to only having two terminals, it’s also easy for passengers to transfer. Many passengers come to Copenhagen solely to layover, and if that includes you, everything should go smoothly.

Copenhagen is not the only big city that the airport serves. Malmö, one of the largest cities in Sweden, is just 24 km (15 mi) away. Therefore, the airport is also used travelers with the intention of going to southern Sweden. Most tourists who visit Odense, Denmark’s third-largest city, also tend to get in via CPH.

Terminals in CPH

Copenhagen Airport Terminal 3
Photo by rminedaisy on Unsplash

There are two terminals at Copenhagen airport:

  • Terminal 2
  • Terminal 3

Once there was a Terminal 1 – it was used for domestic flights, but now everything has been gathered in the modern terminals 2 and 3.

Most big national and international airlines depart from Terminal 2 – and arrive there as well.

Terminal 3 has a bit of everything. Some of the national airlines are present. But it is most famous for being the terminal that many low-cost airlines use. They often depart from the CPH Go area of Terminal 3.

A Terminal 4 might be built in the future. But currently, the airport just has two. That can be an advantage since it is very easy to transfer between them. They are well-structured and easy for passengers to navigate.

Transport: Copenhagen Airport to city centre

Airport transportation is an important topic. After you land at the airport, you have to get to the centre of the city – or to wherever you are staying.

Thanks to the close proximity to the city centre, it is easy and fast to travel between the airport and the central part of Copenhagen.

You have several options:

  • Taxi
  • Metro
  • Train
  • Bus
  • Car rental

Taxis are parked right outside the airport and drive to wherever you want. However, taxis in Denmark are incredibly expensive, so expect to pay a lot – even if you aren’t going that far.

You will find a metro station close to Terminal 3. It departs approximately every 5 minutes during the daytime and every 15-20 minutes during the nighttime.

From Copenhagen Airport to the central station of Nørreport, it takes around 15 minutes with the metro. Super fast and easy. You can buy your metro ticket at the station. Be aware that the automatic ticket machines don’t accept bank notes – they only take Danish coins and credit cards. However, you can pay in more ways if you visit the DSB ticket office. They will also answer any questions you have about airport transportation.

Another option is to take the normal train. You will find trains that go to Copenhagen and Helsingør. With a stop at the central Copenhagen train station, you can change to another train and reach any major city or town in Denmark.

It is also possible to take a train from Copenhagen Airport to Sweden. Every 20 minutes, there is a train departing for Malmö. A couple of times per day, you can also take trains to Ystad, Gothenburg and Kalmar.

Copenhagen Airport Transport
Photo: Leif Jørgensen (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Buses are a bit slower than the metro and trains, but they can be cheaper. There are 3 bus lines you can take: Lines 5C, 35 and 36.

5C is the one you want to take to go to the centre of Copenhagen. These buses cost money, so don’t confuse them with the free local airport buses (they don’t leave the airport area).

Several private bus companies drive to the airport as well: Flixbus and Nettbuss are the two most common.

Car rental

When you arrive at the airport, head to the huge ‘Car Rental Centre’. All the popular car rental companies operate from here, and you will be able to rent a car and drive it immediately after.

Here’s how you get to the Car Rental Centre at Copenhagen Airport: Take one of the free buses that depart from both terminals 2 and 3. They drive approximately every 10 minutes. The Car Rental Centre is located west of the terminals. It’s impossible to miss it once you get there – the building is big and has the words ‘Car Rental’ written clearly!

The Car Rental Centre is open between 7.00 (7 am) in the morning and 23.00 (10 pm) at night.

You will find the following car rental companies inside:

  • Avis
  • Sixt
  • Europcar
  • Budget
  • Hertz
  • Enterprise

If you have booked your car online, you only need to show up, confirm your booking and show some ID.

If you didn’t book anything before arriving, you can arrange your rental and pay with a credit card upon arrival. However, this may take a bit longer. Expect around a 30-minute process. For this reason, we highly advise that you book your car rental online before arriving.


There is plenty of space for parking at the airport, but you have to pay for it. Depending on where you want to park your car, the prices start at 360 DKK per week.

You can reserve your parking space online, or you can pay for it at the airport. It is possible to do so with a credit card.

You can park for an unlimited amount of time, as long as you pay for the time you want to be parked.

There are free parking options outside of the main airport area, but this gets a bit impractical, so we will not get into it. It’s better to pay and get premium parking without any worries.

If you’re living in Copenhagen, or even in any part of Denmark, it’s not really worth it to bring the car. Much easier to take public transportation to and from the airport.

Hotels near Copenhagen Airport

Do you have an early flight out and want to stay near the airport? Or are you arriving late at night and want to hit the bed immediately?

Zleep Hotel Copenhagen Airport is the easiest choice. It’s a typical airport hotel, just a 5-minute drive away, and less than 10 minutes with public transport. You can even walk there if you want to. Rooms cost $85 per night (on average), so that’s actually a fair price compared to many of the other hotels in Copenhagen. We recommend Zleep Hotel Copenhagen Airport if you want to be near the airport.

If you want to find a nice hotel in the central part of Copenhagen, read our article Where to Stay in Copenhagen and get some suggestions.

Airlines and routes

You can fly to Copenhagen from various airports around the world. As mentioned earlier, it’s the largest airport in Scandinavia, and there are direct connections to almost all Western countries, plus many other nations.

Copenhagen Airport is the hub of these airlines:

  • SAS
  • Norwegian
  • Thomas Cook

SAS and Norwegian have plenty of connections to destinations around the world. SAS is a medium/high-priced airline and has routes to most European countries, several Asian countries, a few connections to the Americas, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland.

Norwegian is a low-cost company. They fly to most major European and North American cities. With Norwegian, you can fly affordably between Copenhagen and the United States. They frequently connect Copenhagen with cities such as Boston, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Several other airlines are present too. These include large companies such as British Airways, AirFrance, KLM, Iberia, TAP Portugal, Aeroflot, and more – also the European low-cost companies RyanAir, Wizz Air and EasyJet.

So, in other words, there are plenty of travel options to and from Copenhagen Airport!

Check-in & luggage

Terminal 2 has a big area for checking in and delivering luggage. You can do the same in Terminal 3 – it is very straightforward.

If you need to check in your luggage or if you need any assistance with your ticket, stand in line at the counter of the airline you are flying with. Get there early, as there can be long lines, just as you would in any other airport.

On the other hand, if you only carry hand luggage and just wish to print out your ticket, there are several machines that you can use. They are fast and simple, and you can use them in many different languages. Type in your booking number and print out your ticket. Nowadays, most passengers simply carry mobile tickets, so you may not even need it. The big national airlines usually let you print your ticket for free. An airline like Ryanair will charge you extra for it, unless you already paid for it online.

Passports are not routinely checked between EU destinations, but they are always checked for flights to non-EU destinations. However, be prepared to show identification if anybody asks for it. No matter where you are from, it is best to bring a valid and current (!) passport. Also, be prepared to show your boarding pass at the security section. Often you just scan it and apss through. You also need to show the boarding pass if you purchase any items at the airport.


You will find plenty of nice restaurants inside Copenhagen Airport. Both terminals have decent places to get food and drinks, so that’s never an issue.

‘FoodMarket’ is one of the best places to go. They are open for most of the day and have a nice selection of various snacks and dishes.

‘Joe and the Juice’ has fresh juices and coffee. There are other coffee places as well, so you will lack it. ‘Riccos kaffe’ is another good choice. And of course, there is a Starbucks at the airport too!

‘Tapa del Toro’ is a Spanish-inspired restaurant that we like a lot.

Aside from those, take a walk around the airport, look at the menus and eat whatever you like. You can find everything from nice restaurants to fast food chains, along with smaller sandwich bars and ‘Grab & Fly’.


There is a wide selection of stores where you can shop for clothes, souvenirs, and practical items inside the airport.

In fact, there are more than 120 stores. Depending on how much time you have in the airport, you can at least get to visit some of them. A nice way to pass the time while waiting.

The prices can be a bit steep, just like in the city. But even looking around is fun.

Here are some of the stores you will find:

  • Tiger
  • Pandora
  • Burberry
  • H&M
  • Georg Jensen
  • LEGO
  • Victoria’s Secret

And many more. Look around and discover all the stores and shops in Copenhagen Airport. There are over 120!


The Aspire lounge is one of the most popular lounges inside the airport. It’s a nice place to sit down, get a coffee, read a newspaper (they come in all Scandinavian languages and English) and use fast Wi-Fi.

There is also the Aviator lounge, which is a solid alternative, with many of the same benefits as the Aspire lounge.

The Atelier lounge is a more calm, yet colorful place. Certainly very interesting and with a different vibe.

Eventyr lounge is open for everybody traveling outside the EU. A very nice lounge as well.

And then there is the Apartment Business Lounge, a high-class one, where the Wi-Fi connection is incredibly fast. They also have the comfiest furniture in the entire airport!


Here are the answers to some basic questions before we round off the article.

Where is CPH located?

Copenhagen Airport (CPH) is located 7 km (4 mi) south of Copenhagen city centre. The airport is situated in an area called Kastrup on the island of Amager. Amager is connected to Copenhagen by multiple bridges and a tunnel.

What does CPH stand for?

It is simply short for Copenhagen.

How many gates does CPH have?

At the moment, 108 gates. Not all of them are used for passenger traffic.

How much is a taxi from CPH to Copenhagen city centre?

You can expect to pay 300 DKK ($40) on average for a ride to the city. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

Do I tip the taxi driver?

No, tipping is not common in Denmark. There is no expectation to tip. The same goes for restaurants – tipping is never expected, but you can do it if you get absolutely outstanding service.

Can I cash out money inside CPH?

Yes. There is an international currency exchange and some ATMs. Banks such as Danske Bank and Nordea provide ATMs. There might be some fees. We recommend getting a Revolut card to minimize fees.

Do I need cash in Denmark?

Not really. Almost every shop, restaurant and business in Denmark will accept credit cards. So you don’t need cash from a practical viewpoint, but some travelers might feel safer with a bit of cash on hand.

Can I sleep inside the Copenhagen Airport?

In general, yes. If you are a legitimate passenger and have a boarding pass, they will allow you to sleep inside the airport. There are some good spots and comfortable chairs for it at various gates.

Can I drink tap water inside the airport?

Yes, you can.

What is the minimum time required for a layover?

Make sure you have at least 1 hour (60 minutes). That’s generally enough to get out of the first flight and find the next gate. If you want to be extra safe, try to find a ticket that gives you at least 1.5 hours (90 minutes).

I have a layover. Can I leave the airport and see the city?

You can, if you have enough time. It only takes 15 minutes to take the metro from CPH to the city centre. But you have to factor in the time it takes to get through security as you re-enter the airport. Plus getting back early enough to securely catch your next flight.

You can go to the city if you have a layover longer than 5 hours. As an example, a 5-hour layover gives you about 2-3 hours in the city. That is enough to see some of the main attractions.

Are there luggage lockers at Copenhagen Airport?

Yes, there are lockers in three different sizes. On most days, you can find empty lockers. You can store your items up to 72 hours. Minimum payment is 60 DKK for a small locker and 80 DKK for a large one. That will give you four hours of storage.

I’m going to another city after I land. Can I buy a train ticket at the airport?

Yes. There are machines where you can buy your ticket. You can also buy one on before you even arrive.


Transport between Copenhagen Airport and the city centre of Copenhagen is easy and straightforward. Car rental is also simple, and you can arrange it all before you arrive.

Once you are at the airport, you have plenty of things to do – visit some stores, eat at a restaurant, or sit down and use your smartphone or computer.

Overall, Copenhagen is a nice airport. We hope this guide was useful and that you will enjoy your trip to the Danish capital – or wherever else you’re headed after!

If you have any questions regarding the airport or any further additions to the article, feel free to post in the section below.

2 thoughts on “Copenhagen Airport – A Practical Guide to CPH Airport”

  1. Hi. I have a 32- hour layover in Copenhagen. I am a US citizen, will they allow me to leave the airport to see a little bit of Copenhagen?

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