The Copenhagen Metro is a round-the-clock rapid transit system located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It primarily serves the areas of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, and Tårnby.

First introduced in October 2002, the initial network spanned 20.4 kilometers (about 12.7 miles) and included nine stations across two lines: M1 and M2. The system then expanded in 2003 to reach Vanløse, and in 2007 it extended to the Copenhagen Airport, adding a combined eleven new stations. By 2019, the addition of the entirely underground M3 circle line increased the total number of stations to 37.

This driverless light metro works alongside the more extensive S-train system. It’s fully integrated with the local DSB trains, regional Øresund trains, and the city’s Movia buses. In the heart of the city, extending westward to Vanløse, the M1 and M2 lines operate on shared tracks. Heading southeast, the metro covers Amager. Here, the M1 line traverses the newly developed Ørestad area, while the M2 line caters to the eastern regions and the Copenhagen Airport. The M3 acts as a loop, linking key areas like the Copenhagen Central Station, Vesterbro, Frederiksberg, Nørrebro, Østerbro, and the Indre By districts. Out of the metro’s 39 stations, 25 are situated underground.

In 2019, the metro transported an impressive 79 million passengers.


Here is a list of 20 popular attractions in Copenhagen, along with their addresses and distances from the main train station, and the metro line that should be taken:

  1. Tivoli Gardens – Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Copenhagen – Approx. 10 minutes by Metro M2
  2. The Little Mermaid Statue – Langelinie, 2100 Copenhagen – Approx. 30 minutes by bus 9A
  3. The National Museum of Denmark – Princessegade 48-50, 1306 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  4. Christiansborg Palace – Prins Jørgens Gård 11, 1218 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  5. Nyhavn – Nyhavn, 1051 Copenhagen – Approx. 10 minutes by Metro M3
  6. Rosenborg Castle – Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M2
  7. The Round Tower – Købmagergade 52A, 1150 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M2
  8. Amalienborg Palace – Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  9. The Black Diamond – Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1, 1217 Copenhagen – Approx. 10 minutes by Metro M1
  10. The Royal Opera House – Ekvipagemestervej 10, 1438 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  11. The National Gallery of Denmark – Kongens Nytorv 1, 1050 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  12. The Royal Library – Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1, 1217 Copenhagen – Approx. 10 minutes by Metro M1
  13. The Botanical Garden – Gothersgade 128, 1123 Copenhagen – Approx. 20 minutes by bus 5A
  14. The Workers Museum – Rømersgade 22, 1362 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  15. Strøget – Strøget, 1164 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  16. The Museum of Copenhagen – Vesterbrogade 59, 1620 Copenhagen – Approx. 20 minutes by bus 1A
  17. The Marble Church – Frederiksgade 4, 1265 Copenhagen – Approx. 20 minutes by bus 5A
  18. The Danish Design Museum – H.C. Andersens Boulevard 27, 1553 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  19. The Royal Palace of Amalienborg – Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 Copenhagen – Approx. 15 minutes by Metro M1
  20. Carlsberg Brewery Visitors Centre – Gamle Carlsberg Vej 11, 1799 Copenhagen – Approx. 30 minutes by bus 6A
















Escalators at Amagerbro Station

Construction started in November 1996, with the moving of underground pipes and wires around the station areas. In August 1997, work started at the depot, and in September, COMET started the first mainline work. In October and November, the two tunnel boring machines (TBM), christened Liva and Betty, were delivered. They started boring each barrel of the tunnel from Islands Brygge in February 1998. The same month, the Public Transport Authority gave the necessary permits to operate a driverless metro. The section between Fasanvej and Frederiksberg is a former S-train line, and was last operated as such on 20 June 1998.[15]

The first section of tunnel was completed in September 1998, and the TBMs moved to Havnegade. By December 1998, work had started on the initial nine stations. Plans for M2 were presented to the public in April 1999, with a debate emerging if the proposed elevated solution was the best. In May, the first trains were delivered, and trial runs began at the depot. In December, the tunnels were completed to Strandlodsvej, and the TBMs were moved to Havnegade, where they started to grind towards Frederiksberg. From 1 January 2000, the S-train service from Solbjerg to Vanløse was terminated, and work commenced to rebuild the section to metro. The last section of tunnel was completed in February 2001.[15]

In March 2001, Copenhagen County Council decided to start construction of stage 3. On 6 November 2001, the first train operated through a tunnel section. On 28 November, laying of tracks along stage 1, and stage 2A from Nørreport to Frederiksberg, was completed. An agreement about financing stage 3 was reached on 12 April. By 22 May, the 18 delivered trains had test-run 100,000 km (62,000 miles).[15] The section from Nørreport to Lergravsparken and Vestamager was opened on 19 October 2002. Initially, the system had a 12-minute headway on each of the two services. From 3 December this was reduced to 9 minutes, and from 19 December to 6 minutes.[18] Operation of the system was subcontracted to Ansaldo, who again subcontracted it to Metro Service, a subsidiary of Serco. The contract had a duration of five years, with an option for extension for another three.[19]

Opening of lines M1 and M2




Elevated station on Amager – Ørestad Station

Trial runs on stage 2A began on 24 February 2003 and opened on 29 May. All changes to bus and train schedules in Copenhagen took place on 25 May, but to allow Queen Margrethe II to open the line, the opening needed to be adapted to her calendar. This caused four days without a bus service along the line.[20] Stage 2B, from Frederiksberg to Vanløse, opened on 12 October.[21]

Forum Station was nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture in 2005.[22] On 2 December 2005, the final agreement to build the City Circle Line was made between the local and national governments. The price was estimated at 11.5 to 18.3 billion Danish krone (DKK), of which DKK 5.4 billion will be financed though ticket sales, and the remaining from the state and municipalities.[23] In 2006, it was announced that the contract with Ansaldo to operate the metro had been prolonged another three years.[19] However, the subcontract between Ansaldo and Serco Group was not extended, and the contract was instead given to Azienda Trasporti Milanesi in joint venture with Ansaldo; they took over operations from October 2007.[24] The Ørestad Development Corporation was discontinued in 2007, and the ownership of the metro was transferred to Metroselskabet I/S.[25]

In January 2007, the city council decided that a branch was to be built during construction at Nørrebro, to allow a future branch line from the City Circle Line towards Brønshøj. The first part of this line was intended to be constructed at the same time as the City Circle Line, to avoid a multitude-higher construction cost and long interruptions of operations later. This did not involve a final decision, only an option for future construction.[26] The Herlev/Brønshøj line was ultimately dropped as the City of Copenhagen withdrew its share of the cost of the Nørrebro branch chamber in its 2009 budget, and the state refused to continue the project. Any branch to the Herlev / Brønshøj region would now require a shutdown of the City Circle Line for an extended period of time.[27][28]

In March 2007, a proposal to establish a station at Valby, where the Carlsberg Group is planning an urban redevelopment, was scrapped. The proposal would have increased construction costs by DKK 900 million and was deemed not economical. The increased cost was, in part, due to an extra TBM being needed to complete the project on time.[29] The City Circle Line was passed by parliament on 1 June 2007, with only the Red–Green Alliance voting in disfavor.[30]

The 4.5 km (2.8-mile) stage 3 opened on 28 September 2007, from Lergravsparken to the airport. It followed, for the most part, the route of the former Amager Line of the Danish State Railways. With this stage complete, the 34 trains were delivered for use by the M1 and M2. However, the line caused a heated debate, with several locals organized themselves into the Amager Metro Group. The group argued that the line should have been built underground, citing concerns that it would create noise pollution and a physical barrier in Amager.[31] In April 2008, the Copenhagen Metro won the award at MetroRail 2008 for the world’s best metro. The jury noted the system’s high regularity, safety and passenger satisfaction, as well as the efficient transport to the airport.[32] During 2008, the metro experienced a 16% passenger growth to 44 million passengers per year.[33]

Several parties agreed in September 2008 not to fund a northwest expansion of the metro.[34]

Initially, the system operated trains from 01:00 to 05:00 only on Thursdays through Saturdays, but, starting on 19 March 2009, night service was extended to the rest of the week. This caused a logistical challenge, because Metro Service used the nights for maintenance. The routes were therefore set up in such a way that the system could be operated on only a single track, leaving the other free for work.[35] In May 2009, six companies were pre-qualified to bid for the public service obligation to operate the metro. These were Serco-NedRailwaysAnsaldo STSArrivaS-Bahn HamburgKeolis and DSB Metro—a joint venture between DSB and RATP.[36] The process was delayed because of a procedural error by Metroselskabet, who failed to pre-qualify DSB Metro.[37]

Construction of lines M3, City Circle line and M4, the Harbour Line[edit]




Diagram of Copenhagen Metro following the opening of the northern part of the M4 (2020)

An expansion of the metro, the City Circle Line, is current and opened on 29 September 2019.[38] Independent of the existing system, it circles the city centre and connects the areas of ØsterbroNørrebro and Vesterbro to Frederiksberg and Indre By. The line is 15.5 km (9.6 miles) long and runs entirely in tunnel. The circle has 17 stations, two of which are interchanges with both the M1 and M2 lines, as well with three Copenhagen S-train stations. It takes 25 minutes to complete a full lap in either direction. Archaeological and geological surveys started in 2007, preferred bidders were announced in November 2010[38] and contracts were signed in 2011.[39] Preparations began by moving utilities etc. in 2010, and construction of work sites and stations began in 2011. Drilling of tunnels began in 2013.[39] On 7 January 2011 the new project called Cityringen started with the signing of new contracts by Metroselskabet, with Ansaldo Breda and Ansaldo Sts (Finmeccanica Group) for the supply of trains and control systems and with an Italian joint-venture led by Salin Construttori (about 60%) and Tecnimont (about 40%) with Seli as third partner for the construction part. In July 2013, Natur- og Miljøklagenævnet, the environmental appeals board, ruled that the city was wrong to grant Metroselskabet permission for 24-hour work days and noise levels of up to 78 db at the Marmorkirken site. This forced construction to stop work at 6PM until a final ruling was made, thus delaying the completion date.[40]




Underground junction of the M3 and M4 lines. The tunnels in the middle are for the M3 line and the outer tunnels for the M4 line.

The City Circle Line is serviced by lines M3 and M4. The M3 opened by 29 September 2019, and its trains operate on the entire circle in either direction. The M3 has transfers to M1 and M2 at Frederiksberg and Kongens Nytorv.[41] The line is estimated to carry 240,000 daily passengers, bringing the metro’s total daily ridership to 460,000.[30][42]

The M4 was opened on 28 March 2020 when two additional stations were opened in the Nordhavn district. This line running from Copenhagen Central Station (København H) via Østerport to Orientkaj station in Nordhavn, thus sharing six stations with the M3 and featuring two additional Nordhavn stations. The M4 line is interchange with the M1 and M2 at Kongens Nytorv.

An extension to the Sydhavn district is expected to open by 2024 and will also be served by the M4. The addition of this line will relocate the M4’s southern terminus from Copenhagen Central Station to Ny Ellebjerg.

Evolution of plans

A northwestern expansion of the City Circle Line was planned, where M4 would have diverted at Nørrebro and run to the suburbs of Brønshøj and Gladsaxe. This project was abandoned, as the interchange chamber between any such line and the City Circle Line was scrapped as part of the City of Copenhagen’s 2009 budget. In subsequent plans, the northern extension of the M4 was instead relocated as a Nordhavn branch which connects with the City Circle Line at Østerport. The Nordhavn extension with two stations opened on 28 March 2020. The southern extension of the M4 will run from Copenhagen Central Station through Sydhavn to Ny Ellebjerg, where the M4 will link up with the S-train and regional train system. The Danish Transport Authority (Trafikstyrelsen) has suggested converting the F-line of the S-train network to metro standard as an M5 line. If the M5 line becomes reality, it will connect with existing lines at Flintholm Station (interchange with M1 and M2), Nørrebro station (interchange with M3), and the future Ny Ellebjerg station (interchange with M4).

The fourth line, M4 or the Harbour line, shares the track with the M3 between Copenhagen Central Station and Østerport station (six stations shared). An additional extension to the M4 is under construction: service the southern (Sydhavn) harbour district in Copenhagen. The completed M4 between Orientkaj and Ny Ellebjerg will feature 13 stations.[43]

The northern extension, Nordhavn station and Orientkaj station,[44] both begun service on 28 March 2020.[45] The southern extension will add five additional stops to the M4, with its southern terminus moving from Copenhagen Central Station to Ny Ellebjerg. This line will service the southern harbour district and is expected to open by 2024.[45]

As of 2019, the M1 and M2 has a total of 22 stations. After opening of the City Circle Line, the metro system is featured 3 lines with a total of 37 stations. Upon completion of both extensions of the M4, the system will feature four lines with 44 stations. 8 of these will be interchanges with the S-train.[44]

Future lines discussed

Many new lines have been discussed. Initially Line M4 was supposed to supplement the circular M3 on the eastern side of the Inner City between Nørrebro station and Copenhagen Central Station. At this time, an extension was suggested from Nørrebro to the northwestern suburbs with a terminus at Husum station. This was abandoned as the City of Copenhagen rejected funding interchange chamber under Nørrebro station necessary for this extension.[46] Instead, the city preferred the M4 to branch at Østerport station to facilitate development of the Nordhavn harbour area.[46]

The “M5”-label appears to having been reserved for a potential future conversion of Line F of the Copenhagen S-train to metro standard.[47] In 2011, the City of Copenhagen suggested two additional lines M6 and M7, the M6 linking the northwestern suburbs and central Amager and the M7 forming a second ring line further east than the M3,[48] and a western extension of the M1 or M2 to Brøndbyøster was also suggested.[49] In 2017, the city of Copenhagen suggested a new M6 line connecting Brønshøj and Refshaleøen via Copenhagen Central Station.[50] In 2018, the government and the city agreed on plans to construct an artificial island, Lynetteholmen north of Refshaleøen, and the city included its plans to link Copenhagen Central Station and Refshaleøen in this discussion.[51]

As of January 2018, no further development will be done after the construction of the Harbour line, or Line M4. Between Ny Ellebjerg station and Orientkaj in the Nordhavn area, except for a few more stations northeast of Orientkaj.[52]

In September 2011, the city of Copenhagen and neighbouring Malmö in Sweden announced that they were seeking European Union funding to study a potential metro line under the Øresund to the neighbourhood of Malmö Central Station, providing faster trips and additional capacity beyond that of the existing Øresund Bridge.[53] The study, for which the EU granted funding in the following December,[54] will consider both a simple shuttle between the two stations and a continuous line integrated with the local transport networks on each side, and they anticipate a travel time of 15 minutes between the two city centers.[55] Work on the study is expected to continue until 2020.[56]

Route map




Map of the current Copenhagen Metro network (2020).

The metro consists of four lines, M1, M2, M3 and M4. M1 and M2 share a common 7.69-kilometre (4.78 mi) section from Vanløse to Christianshavn,[3] where they split along two lines: M1 follows the Ørestad Line to Vestamager, while M2 follows the Østamager Line to the airport. The metro consists of a total route length of 20.4 km (12.7 mi),[3] and 22 stations, 9 of which are on the section shared by both lines. M1 is 13.9 kilometres (8.6 mi)[3] long and serves 15 stations, while M2 is 14.2 kilometres (8.8 mi)[3] long and serves 16 stations. About 10 km (6.2 miles)[3] of the lines and 9 stations are in tunnel, located at 20 to 30 m (65 ft 7 in to 98 ft 5 in) below ground level. The remaining sections are on embankmentsviaducts or at ground level.[57]

The section from Vanløse to Frederiksberg follows the Frederiksberg Line, a former S-train line which runs on an embankment. From Fasanvej station, the line runs underground, and continues this way through the city center. After Christianshavn, the line splits in two. M1 reaches ground level at Islands Brygge, and continues on a viaduct through the Vestamager area. M2 continues in tunnel until after Lergravsparken, where it starts to follow the former Amager Line.[58]

The tunnels consist of two parallel tunnels; that run through stable limestone at about 30 m (98 ft 5+18 in) depth, but are elevated slightly at each station. There are emergency exits every 600 m (1,968.5 ft), so that no train is ever further than 300 m (330 yd) from an exit. The outer tunnel diameter is 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in), while the inner diameter is 4.9 m (16 ft 1 in). The tunnels were excavated by the cut-and-cover method, the New Austrian Tunnelling method and by tunnel boring machines (TBM). Along the elevated sections, the tracks run on alternating sections of separate reinforced concrete viaducts and joint embankments made of reinforced earth.[59]





Øresund Station is at-grade

The system operates 24/7 with a varying headway throughout the day. During rush hour (07:00–10:00 and 15:00–18:00), there is a two-minute headway on the common section and a four-minute headway on the single-service sections. During Thursday through Saturday night (0:00–05:00) on the M1 and M2 lines there is a seven/eight-minute headway on the common section and a fifteen-minute headway on the single-service sections, and other nights it is twenty-minutes on all sections of the metro. At all other times, there is a three-minute headway on the common section and a six-minute on the single-service sections.[60] Travel time from Nørreport to Vestamager on M1 is 14 minutes, to the airport on M2 is 15 minutes, and to Vanløse on M1 and M2 is 9 minutes.[61] During rush hour (07:00–10:00 and 15:00–18:00), on the M3 (Cityringen) there is a three-minute headway. During Thursday through Saturday night (0:00–05:00) on M3 there is a six-minute headway (one direction), while in the weekend it is twelve-minutes (two directions). At all other times, there is a four/five-minute headway. Travel time of the Cityringen M3 is 24 minutes. During Thursday through Saturday night (0:00–05:00) on the M4 there is a twenty four-minute headway between Osterport and Orientkaj stations, while in the weekend it is a twenty four-minute headway between Kobenhavn H Central Station and Orientkaj Station. At all other times, there is a six/ten-minute headway. Travel time of the M4 is 12 minutes (only 3 minutes late night between Osterport and Orientkaj stations). In 2009, the metro transported 50 million passengers, or 137,000 per day;[62] by 2013, the metro’s ridership increased to 55 million.[1]

The metro operates with a proof-of-payment system, so riders must have a valid ticket before entering the station platforms. The system is divided into zones, and the fare structure is integrated with other public transport in Copenhagen, including the buses managed by Movia, local DSB trains and the S-train.[63] The system lies within four different zones.[64] Ticket machines are available at all stations, where special tickets for dogs and bicycles can also be purchased.[63] A two-zone ticket costs DKK 24, and a three-zone ticket DKK 36, and tickets are good for 60 minutes. Holders of the Copenhagen Card museum pass ride free of charge, as do up to two children under twelve years of age accompanied by an adult.[63] As of 2012, the metro has fully adapted to the national electronic fare card system Rejsekort.[65] Outside the Central zones, the outer zones are divided into sub-zones and ticketing can be a bit confusing for visitors familiar with how zones work in London or Berlin. Passengers must specify, on their ticket which sub-zone they wish to travel to.

The system is integrated with other public transport in Copenhagen. There is transfer to the S-train at Vanløse, Flintholm and Nørreport, to DSB’s local trains at Nørreport, Ørestad and Lufthavnen, and to Copenhagen Airport at Lufthavnen. There are transfers to Movia bus services at all but four stations.[61]

The system is owned by Metroselskabet, who is also responsible for building the City Circle Line. The company is owned by Copenhagen Municipality (50.0%), the Ministry of Transport (41.7%) and Frederiksberg Municipality (8.3%).[66] The company is organized with as few employees as possible.[citation needed] Construction and operation is subcontracted through public tenders, while consultants are used for planning.[67] The contract to operate the system was made with Ansaldo STS, who has subcontracted it to Metro Service, a joint venture between them and Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM), the public transport company of the city of Milan, Italy. The company has 285 employees, the majority of whom work as stewards.[68]