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Questions about Copenhagen Airport

I will be in Copenhagen mid September and am thinking of exchanging currency in the airport before going to my hotel. I will be going on a cruise and thinking of buying not just Danish money but also Euros and Russian money.

I was researching currency exchange in the Copenhagen airport. I am thinking of going with Global Exchange and reserving money online in advance.

For those of you who have purchased currency in the Copenhagen airport, what do you recommend? What have been your experiences?

One more question. Are the bathrooms in the Copenhagen airport free?

Posted by
1343 posts

Last thing first: In my experience all toilets (If you ask for a "bathroom", most Danes will point you to a place, where you can get a shower) in the airport are free - and contrary to many other airports you will find them in all the gates and in the "fingers" on your way from the gate to immigration.

currency exchange: Do you mean you will get DKK, EUR, and RUB in the airport. The cash vendor machines will give you DKK and EUR, but not RUB I think. If you are planning to exchange in a booth with real people, I think you should be very careful to compare exchange rates and fees. Maybe RUB exchange is cheaper on the cruise ship or in the Russian port.

Posted by
971 posts

Yes the bathrooms in Copenhagen Airport are free.
Regarding money whatever you do I think you will get a lousy Exchange rate at the airport. The only ATMs in the airport are Euronet ATMs and they have a bad exchange rate compared to bank owned ATMs. My guess is this is the case for any manned exchange both as well. However for Copenhagen you dont really need any cash. You can pay with cards everywhere and for even the smallest purchases.

Posted by
8239 posts

I assume you're starting on a cruise in Copenhagen?
We were with an approved tour operation in St. Petersburg for two days. Our tour guide loaned us Russian currency as we needed it, and we paid them at the end of the second day by credit card. Where we ate at lunches also took credit cards.

Posted by
1989 posts

Thank you all for your helpful answers.
I am beginning my cruise in Copenhagen. My cruise consultant told me that there is some limited currency exchange on the ship but he said I could probably do better off ship than on ship. I think that I will just take a wait and see attitude.
From what I have been reading, not all businesses in Copenhagen can take credit cards and require cash. These are usually small businesses.
I only might need cash for tips, souvenirs, postcards, food, toilets, etc. My preference would be to use credit cards if possible.
I am planning to spend about 4 days in Copenhagen and will have a Copenhagen Card as well as my credit cards.
For all other ports except St Petersburg, I will be in a tour group and if I need money, it would be small amounts for tips, souvenirs and for toilets.
St Petersburg is a different story as I will overnight. Although I will be in a tour group, one of my excursions includes some free time on Nevsky Prospekt, thus, I will probably need some cash for food, tips, souvenirs, toilets, and admissions.
OK, I will now ask for a toilet and not a bathroom.
No, pun intended but this currency exchange is very foreign to me and very confusing and appearing to be complicated. It will probably get easier once I exchange one or two times.
Thanks again to all of you who responded.

Posted by
971 posts

I don't know where you have been reading that will require cash in small businesses in Copenhagen, but it is very limited. The only places I have experienced that don't take cards are temporary shops, like christmas markets or festivals food stands and maybe some food trucks, and for some reason, when I need a haircut. However all of these places will let you pay with mobile payment apps, most common is the Danish app called Mobile Pay. My point is the instances where you will absolutely need cash are very limited and you certainly don't need to get it straight from the airport, where all the options are more expensive. in fact you can just get a small amount of cash if you buy something with a card in any supermarket. Just ask to get some extra cash over the amount you are paying and you will get them as change.

Posted by
5837 posts

My recollection is that the CPH airport has bank ATMs near the airport train station. Note that the ATM only returns large denomination notes. As others note, credit cards are very widely accepted and you will not need much cash. My recolletion is that coins are needed to buy a bus ticket from the driver and lockers required a coin.

Posted by
5450 posts

When we were recently in Copenhagen, many places, including many food trucks, refused to accept cash and would only take cards. I’ve never been in such a cashless place. Your info seems quite out of date. Never change money at the airport!

Posted by
1989 posts

Another big thank you for all this information. It is invaluable.
I have been doing research on Copenhagen for over a year and some of the information that I have read may be outdated but I also asked questions on various sites and was told that not all businesses take credit cards. Obviously, I have been given some incorrect information.
I am a senior citizen who does not travel much internationally. This trip will be my first time in Europe since the 1960's and the whole world has changed. I have taken five cruises but always leaving from a United States port. I never needed to think about exchanging money. I wanted more adventure for this cruise. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and i have done it.
I have four credit cards and all have chips but until a few years back, U. S. credit cards did not have chips and I think that presented some difficulty.
So, another question. I have been told that I do NOT need a pin number with my credit cards (remember they have chips). Is that correct?

Posted by
5837 posts

So, another question. I have been told that I do NOT need a pin number with my credit cards (remember they have chips). Is that correct?
With a "chip and signature" card, you will be asked to sign a copy of the charge slip. This is not a problem when the charge machine is staffed (e.g. store, hotel, train station ticket counter with a person). It may or may not be a probelm with automatic ticket machines. I have been able to use automatic ticket machines (in Norway) that did not require a PIN or a signature. It could be dependent on the value of the transaction and how concerned the agency is about fraud.

Posted by
971 posts

The picture around payment methods have changed quite a bit in the recent years with the advent of mobile phone payment apps. today many small businesses, that may not have a lot of infrastructure, such as food trucks, will have either cash, card or payment apps, the most widespread is the Mobile Pay app made by Danske Bank. Some will be cash or app only, some only app or card. others all three methods.

Posted by
156 posts

I have just returned from a 4+ day trip to Copenhagen. We used credit cards for everything (including one paid toilet admittance in a ferry terminal.) Never got any local currency. The advice you have been given here about credit cards is correct. With my US credit card, a receipt was printed and I was asked to sign it. No pin necessary.

Not sure why you asked about the toilets in CPH airport (maybe because you thought they might be fee based as the one in the small ferry terminal was). They are not. CPH airport is wonderful.

I think I saw that you will have a Copenhagen Card. Are you purchasing it in advance? We bought ours at the central train station. If you plan to purchase it there, they are sold in the 7-11 inside the station (we had to ask as I did not find that info anywhere) but it was easy enough to do.

Copenhagen is a lovely city. If you have any further questions, I'll answer what I can. There are also some local people on this forum who were very helpful in answering questions for me.

I just reread this and thought I better put a caveat on one statement. My daughter, who lives in the UK, used her credit card for the toilet fee and their credit cards have a pin although purchases under a certain amount don't require it (as I'm sure the toilet was). So, I don't actually know what happens when you use a US credit card without a pin in an unattended location.

We used our Copenhagen Card extensively and the ferry terminal from Helsignor to Helsingborg was the only fee toilet that we encountered. (This ferry is not covered by the Copenhagen Card but you do get a 25% discount.)

Posted by
15703 posts

I spent five days in Copenhagen last year and never used cash. Every time I had to buy a ticket from a machine like from the Copenhagen airport into the city or around Copenhagen, there was someone to help if I needed it. And everyone speaks English.

The best place to get local currency is from an ATM machine. They all have an English option. (Make sure you alert your banks and credit card companies of your trip so your cards work overseas.) And make sure your ATM card has a four digit pin. Then use ATM's in Copenhagen or anywhere else you might need cash. (Not sure about Russia as I have never been.)

You can also arrange for your local bank to get you the currencies you need. The exchange rate won't be as good as from an ATM but probably better than exchange booths at the airport. They don't offer good exchange rates.

By the way, when using the ATM some might ask if you want your card to be charged in the local currency or in dollars. Always choose local currency as your card issuers will give a better exchange rate than the cash machine.

Posted by
1989 posts

Another big thank you for all the wonderful and helpful information.

Someone asked about my purchase of the Copenhagen cards. I am actually going to buy it through Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. I love Southwest Airlines but they do not seem to fly wherever I am going. I have amassed about 40,000 miles but you can use these miles to buy all kinds of rewards all over the world even if you are not flying Southwest. I believe this is the only airline that does this.

I am actually going to be able to buy a three day Copenhagen Card and still have miles left over from Southwest Airlines Rapids Rewards.

Well, I am relieved that I will not have to buy much or any currency before. One big thing off of my mind.

Re my question about bathrooms at the airport. After a flight, I often need to go to the toilet before anything else and I was worried about having the right coins.

After all my responses on this site, I am feeling so much more relaxed and relieved. I am feeling more excited about my trip.

I still have not booked my air. I have about 27,000 rewards with American and need 30,000 unless I want to buy miles. Perhaps I should not wait any longer.

I live in Austin and here is the deal with American. I can fly directly from Austin to London non stop on BA but still going through American. Then I transfer from London to Copenhagen. That is 30K miles but also about $270 cash, no matter what.

Now, if I want to fly from Austin to Dallas, then on to London and then on to Copenhagen. it is still 30K miles but I only have to pay $27, quite a difference for the inconvenience. Again, this is through American.

Flying home, I believe that I am going to fly Norwegian.

The airfare is shocking on the major airlines, like $2,600 ONE way.

I am glad that Copenhagen airport is wonderful because I may have to spend the night there when trying to get home. My cruise ends on October 2nd but by the time I get to the airport, it is too late to fly out. I have to wait until the 3rd. If my budget allows, I may spend the night at Clarion Hotel but my flight is so early, I may just want to spend the night in the airport.

Posted by
1989 posts

Kathy, I responded to your private email. Thank you for your information.

Posted by
7906 posts

We just finished an 11 night Norway Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen.

You really don't need cash in Scandanavia, in fact Norway and Sweden are considering eliminating cash.

Credit cards are accepted everywhere, including by taxis.

I know this is hard to believe, but the only reason that I had for cash was to tip the tour guides. I gave them US bills and they were not unhappy.

Posted by
1989 posts

Thanks for the info.

I think that I am going to bring a few euros and krones with me just to be extra safe. I will have USD and three or so credit cards.

I am beginning to use my Barclay card which is partnered with JetBlue and I have set up a pin number on that one which I need to use once to activate.

JetBlue is going to begin flying to Europe in 2021 so working on those miles.

I am purchasing a Copenhagen Card online which I plan to pick up at the airport. I have read that there are visitor services around at Terminal 3 which is open to 11 p.m.

Has anyone used visitor services in the Copenhagen Airport?

It was cheaper to buy my round trip air ticket just using my Citi Visa card and going through American Airlines but flying BA.

Last month I put $800 on my CC to buy miles and it was no help. I sort of wasted money but I am going to use my American Airline miles to book one night at the Clarion. I have to overnight in Copenhagen before flying out early the next morning.

This is my first international trip and it has been a lesson for the learning. If I am ever ready to go on a second one, I know that it will be much easier.