Copenhagen Airport (IATA: CPH), also known as Kastrup, is the busiest airport of the Nordic countries, located on the island of Amager. Beside Copenhagen, the airport also serves Malmö, Sweden, as both are linked via the Øresund Bridge.
Copenhagen is not only the main airport for the densely-populated Øresund region, but also the main air transportation hub for Scandinavia, the main hub for the joint Danish-Swedish-Norwegian carrier SAS Group, and one of Europe's major hubs. There is a large number of intercontinental connections to Copenhagen, as well as a dense network of short-haul connections from Copenhagen to destinations throughout all of Europe, especially the Nordic countries.
Compared to other major European hub airports, like Charles de Gaulle or Heathrow, CPH has a similar number of connections, but is much smaller in both actual size and passenger volumes, and can provide a calmer, more pleasant experience. Its location in the south of Scandinavia makes reaching most European destinations reasonable, and flying to destinations in the Baltic region and in Eastern Europe generally only takes half the time as from major hub airports in Western Europe.
Copenhagen Airport is a compact airport with two terminals for check-in, but with a common post-security departure and transfer area, thus making transfers very smooth. The airport handles in excess of 25 million passengers a year, which puts it in the same league as Zurich and Vienna. It has also consistently topped the charts for Nordic airports, serving as a European and intercontinental hub for all of them due to its location.
The airport opened in 1925 and became the hub of SAS upon that airline's establishment in 1946. It has been growing ever since, with the current Terminal 2 opening in 1960 and Terminal 3 in 1998. After the opening of the Øresund Bridge to Malmö, the airport has also been the primary airport for southern Sweden.
Copenhagen's international connections are mainly provided by two competing Scandinavian carriers, both with long-haul bases at the airport:
- SAS Scandinavian Airlines flies to Newark, Chicago (O'Hare), Beijing, Shanghai (Pudong), and Tokyo (Narita).
- Norwegian flies to JFK, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, and Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi).
SAS is a member of Star Alliance, meaning that many of their flights are code-shared or can be interlined with local Star Alliance partners. Therefore, you can take advantage of a one-ticket flight to, from, or via Copenhagen even if your origin or destination is not directly served by SAS. Norwegian is not a member of any alliance, but they offer connecting flights from Copenhagen to their European destinations on one ticket with an intercontinental flight.
Other airlines offering intercontinental connections to Copenhagen are SAS's Star Alliance partners Singapore Airlines (to Singapore), Air Canada (to Toronto) and Thai Airways (to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Phuket), as well as competing SkyTeam carrier Delta with a seasonal connection to JFK and Pakistan International Airlines to Islamabad and Lahore.
Apart from that, Emirates and Qatar Airways fly between Copenhagen and their hubs in the Persian Gulf region, where you can take advantage of their dense network of connections to Asia, Africa and Australia.
Connections within Europe and the Mediterranean
Both SAS and Norwegian offer a dense network of connections between Copenhagen and other Scandinavian destinations. In particular, they both offer frequent flights between the triangle of capitals — Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm — with an approximately hourly frequency, and very competitive pricing.
Apart from that, both carriers have extensive networks within Europe and the Mediterranean (including North Africa and the Middle East). SAS flies to most European capitals, and has a particularly dense network of connections across the Baltic Sea, to Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as to Poland, where it serves the majority of even small airports. There is also a fairly good network of connections to the United Kingdom and, perhaps surprisingly, to Italy, where even smaller airports like Bologna are served.
Outside Scandinavia, Norwegian has bases at London Gatwick and across Spain, meaning frequent service between Copenhagen and those destinations. They also serve a number of other European cities from Copenhagen, and in the summer they fly to most of the popular tourist destinations around the Mediterranean.
Almost all major European carriers have a connection to Copenhagen from their main hubs. As Denmark holds sizable immigrant communities from various European countries, even smaller carriers have frequent connections to the likes of Sarajevo or Belgrade. Copenhagen Airport has been seeing increased traffic from low-fare carriers since the launch of the dedicated CPH Go section of the airport (with common check-in and security with other airlines, but separate gates and waiting area). Airlines using CPH Go include EasyJet, Ryanair, Transavia, and WizzAir, although the latter only for selected destinations, with the majority of its flights to the Øresund area landing at Malmö Sturup Airport instead.
Check-in and security
For check-in, Copenhagen Airport has two terminals:
- 1 Terminal 3 - Domestic and international scheduled departures from Star Alliance member airlines as well as Air Baltic, Air Serbia, Alsie Express, Danish Air Transport, Icelandair and Widerøe. This is the terminal you enter when arriving from the airport's train and metro stations, and where you enter from the luggage claim area.
- 2 Terminal 2 - All domestic and international scheduled flights not handled by Terminal 3, including SkyTeam and oneworld airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and check-in facilities for low-fare airlines departing from CPH Go, as well as check-in for charter flights. From the metro and railway stations, go to your right when in terminal 2.
Both terminals share the airport's only security facility on the first floor. In 2013, Copenhagen Airport was awarded World’s Best Airport Security Processing by Skytrax.
Gates and transfer
After passing security or arriving for a connecting flight, you will find yourself in one large departure area, with access for all gates. The gates can be separated in the following sections, sorted from west to east:
- 3 A29-A34 - The "Domestic Yard", previously used for small flights for domestic departures. Currently the gates are used for international destinations inside the Schengen area.
- 4 A18-A28 - Used for domestic departures and international destinations inside the Schengen area.
- 5 A2-A17 ("Finger A") - Used for domestic departures and international destinations inside the Schengen area.
- 6 B2-B19 ("Finger B") - Used for domestic departures and international destinations inside the Schengen area.
- 7 C2-C10 - Bus-boarding gates used for domestic departures and international destinations inside the Schengen area. Note that you have to go down the escalator to ground level for those gates and cannot go up to shopping / service facilities once you do so.
- 8 C15-C40 ("Finger C") - Used for international destinations outside the Schengen area.
- 9 D1-D4 - Used for domestic departures and international destinations inside the Schengen area.
- 10 D101-D104 - Bus-boarding gates used for international destinations outside the Schengen area.
- 11 F1-F6 ("CPH Go") - Used for low-cost departures for international destinations outside the Schengen area.
- 12 F7-F10 ("CPH Go") - Used for low-cost departures for international destinations inside the Schengen area.
No gate is located more than 33 minutes' walk from any other.
All arrivals exit to Terminal 3, right onto the escalators, elevators and stairs leading to the train and metro stations. You can find ticket booths and machines for both there as well. Taxis will be on your right once you pass the check-in booths.
Copenhagen Airport is adjacent to the Øresund Motorway (route E20), which connects Copenhagen with Malmö via the tolled Øresund Bridge. As of September 2015, the price for crossing in a car is DKK 345. The rest of Sweden is accessible by motorway via Malmö. Most parts of Denmark are also connected to the motorway network.
Parking capacity at Copenhagen Airport was greatly expanded in 2015 with the construction of a new lot as one of the first phases in an ambitious airport expansion plan scheduled to roll out in the coming decades. There are several lots: those near the terminals are very expensive, while the further-flung ones are cheaper (but have free shuttle bus service to the terminals).
A 1 railway station (Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup Station; sometimes called CPH Airport Station and wrongly Kastrup Station) is located in Terminal 3. The station has frequent connections to Copenhagen and Malmö, as well as InterCity trains for the rest of Denmark and a few daily SJ 2000 express trains for Stockholm. The frequent Øresund trains between Copenhagen and Malmö continues in Denmark to Elsinore and in Sweden to a number of destinations in Scania and other parts of Götaland. The travel time to Copenhagen Central Station is 12 minutes, and 20 minutes to Malmö Central Station.
In Terminal 3 you'll find the terminus of Line M2 of the 2 Copenhagen Metro (Lufthavnen Station). Service is very frequent and runs to Vanløse via the central Copenhagen interchange station (Nørreport Station). The travel time to Nørreport Station is 15 minutes. For prices, see Copenhagen#Get around.
The bus terminal is located outside of Terminal 2. The airport is only served by a few local buses (lines 5A, 35 and 36), which are charged in the same way as the metro and local trains. The airport also has coach connections to Aarhus (operated by Abildskou), Malmö (Gråhundbus), Oslo and Gothenburg (Nettbuss) and Uppsala and Stockholm (Swebus).
Taxis are located outside Terminal 3. A ride to central Copenhagen costs around DKK 300.
A free airport bus connects the terminals and the parking areas every 15 minutes (at night every 20 minutes). It takes half an hour to walk from the gates furthest from each other. Also, no gate is more than a 20-minute walk away from security.
When waiting for your fight to depart, there are quite a few shops and restaurants to keep you entertained. There are also six lounges [dead link] at the airport, moreover the Hilton opposite the road offers conference facilities.
2 Aspire Lounge (Terminal 2). Drinks, snacks, Scandinavian newspapers, free Wi-Fi.
3 Aviator Lounge (Terminal 2). Drinks, snacks, free Wi-Fi. More like a cafe.
5 SAS Gold Lounge (Terminal 3, Pier C). For SAS Gold members, otherwise the same as the SAS Lounge.
From a DKK 50 Danish hotdog and a beer to fine dining, at Copenhagen Airport there is something for everyone's taste.
Burger King (Located before security in Terminal 3). 07:00-24:00. Frame-grilled burgers, French fries, etc.
Ciao (Located before security in Terminal 3). 07:00-21:00. A healthy self-service fast food place.
Foodmarket (Located after security in the international departure area as well as the domestic departure area). 04:30-22:00. Serves pre-made sandwiches, wraps and salads.
Grab and Fly (Two locations after security in the international departure area). 06:00-21:00, Saturdays 06:00-20:00. Sandwiches and salads to go. They also have delicious and relatively inexpensive hot dogs.
McDonald's (Located outside the airport). 10:00-23:00 (Fridays and Saturdays 10:00-00:00). Burgers, fries — you know the drill here.
7-Eleven (Located before security in Terminal 2 as well as Terminal 3). 24 hours. Convenience store.
Steff's Place (Located before security in Terminal 2, two places after security in the international departure area and at the baggage claim for international arrivals). various hours. A traditional Danish pølsevogn (hot dog stand).
YamYam ToGo (Located after security in the international departure area). 10:00-21:30 (Saturdays 10:00-20:30). Rice and noodle stand.
Horizon All Day Restaurant (Located at the adjacent Hilton Hotel). 05:30-22:30 (Weekends 06:30-22:30). A buffet restaurant with Danish and international dishes.
København (Located after security in the international departure area). 06:00-21:00. Classic Danish dishes with a modern twist.
Le Sommelier Bar & Bistro (Located after security in the international departure area). 05:00-23:00. Serves French-inspired light dishes.
MASH (Located after security in the international departure area). 11:30-21:30 (Saturdays 11:30-20:30). A modern American steakhouse.
O'Learys (Located after security in the international departure area). 07:00-23:00 (Saturdays 07:00-22:00). An American style sports bar, serving burgers, ribs etc.
Prego (Located after security in the international departure area). 05:00-22:00 (Saturdays 05:00-21:30). Italian food — pizza and pasta.
Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar (Located after security in the international departure area). 08:00-22:00 (Saturdays 10:00-20:00). Caviar, smoked salmon and seafood.
Hamlet Nordic Dining (Located at the adjacent Hilton Hotel). 18:00-22:30. "New Nordic" á la carte cuisine.
Axis Bar & Lounge. 08:00-01:00. A casual bar at the adjacent Hilton Hotel.
The Bar (Located after security in the international departure area). 06:00-21:00 (Saturdays 06:00-20:00). The name says it all.
Bryggeren (Located before security in Terminal 2). 11:00-00:00 (Fridays 11:00-00:30). A classic tavern with foosball, music on the stereo, and a row of TVs for sports fans.
Carlsberg Bar (Located after security in the international departure area). 06:00-22:00. You're in Denmark, so why not? Catch the big game on the TV while you're at it.
Baresso Coffee (Located both before security in Terminal 3, as well as after security in the international departure area). 04:30-21:00. A coffee house.
Caffé Ritazza (Located before security in Terminal 2). 05:00-21:30. A coffee house.
Joe & The Juice (Two places after security in the international departure area). 05:00-21:00 (Saturdays 05:00-20:00). A juice bar, also serving sandwiches and coffee.
Kaffekværnen (Located after security in the international departure area). 07:00-00:00. More coffee.
Lagkagehuset (Located both before security in Terminal 2, as well as two places after security in the international departure area). 05:00-20:30. A high-quality bakery.
Segafredo (Located after security in the international departure area). various hours. Coffee to go.
Starbucks (Located both before security in Terminal 3, as well as two places after security in the international departure area). various hours. The international coffee powerhouse also has an outlet at CPH.
Copenhagen Airport has a large number of shops in the international departure area, including fashion, living, electronics, toy, and souvenir stores.
The middle section of the terminal (between the B and C gate areas) are dedicated to high-end fashion and accessories, among others you will find Gucci, Burberry and BOSS stores there. Other types of stores — many of which have two outlets, one east and one west of this section — include FineFood (domestic and international delicacies from fine cheese to foie gras and craft beer), WHSmith (books), Scandinavian Souvenirs (self-explanatory), and last but not least the five Heinemann Tax Free stores.
This is Denmark, after all, so you can also find a special LEGO store here, near the A gate. If you're interested in fine Danish porcelain, there's a Royal Copenhagen Store opposite the B gate area.
The whole airport has free Wi-Fi coverage. You need your email address and country of origin to log in. In addition, lounges have their own Wi-Fi networks.
The airport has a post-security silent lounge/prayer room, located on the right side near the entrance of the B gate area.
- See also: Copenhagen/Amager#Sleep
There is exactly one hotel at the airport. For a larger choice, consult the Amager article. Also, central Copenhagen itself is just 12 minutes away by local train.
- Copenhagen — capital and largest city of Denmark, with lots of things to see and do.
- Dragør — This cute village can be reached by bus 35 in 15 minutes, and is good place to go for a drink or meal if you don't have quite enough time to take in all that Copenhagen has to offer.
- Malmö — the capital of Scania in Sweden, right across the Øresund.