Fastest journey4hr 51m
A key link between two European cities, and a rare case of a rail journey where the entire train is shipped on a ferry.
It is an easy journey by train from Hamburg to Copenhagen. This short trip comes with a bonus. You’ll get a 45-min ferry ride along the way. The direct daytime trains between the two cities all rely on the international ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby. These services can be full, so it is very advisable to secure seat reservations in advance. On most evenings in the 2017 summer season, an extra overnight train will be laid on between Hamburg and Copenhagen (seats only, no sleepers). It takes a longer route through Jutland and so avoids the ferry link.
There are alternative routes which avoid the ferry, heading north from Hamburg via Flensburg or Niebüll to cross the land border between Germany and Denmark. These are both very scenic options, but they are slower and involve changes of train (except for the summer season overnight train from Hamburg to Copenhagen which travels by night by the route through Flensburg to reach Denmark).
Whichever route you opt for, tickets normally go on sale three months prior to travel and that’s the moment to book if you are keen to get the best deal.
Hamburg to Copenhagen
The journey by train from Hamburg to Copenhagen takes just under five hours. Running north-east from Hamburg the first stop is at the beautiful city of Lubeck. The route then takes in some fine Baltic scenery. The highlight is a short sea crossing on a ferry from Puttgarden in Germany to Rødby in Denmark. Your train rolls onto the ferry with passengers on board. You then have free run of the ship, with time to have a meal on board or stroll on deck, before rejoining the train as the ship docks at Rødby. The ride through Denmark from Rødby to Copenhagen takes two hours with four stops along the way.
There are four year-round trains each day on this route, supplemented during the spring and summer months by up to three additional EuroCity trains each day. All services leave from Hamburg Hauptbahnhof and arrive at the centrally located Hovedbanegård in Copenhagen.