Getting from A to B via C: Hvidovre to Ørestad

This weekend sees Kulturhavn, Copenhagen’s harbour festival, getting its annual run-out. On offer once more is Valbybåden, a boat trip from Sydhavn through the lock and down Kalveboderne as far as Hvidovre Havn – recommended!

For the rest of the year though transport around what they like to call the harbour is pretty limited – a handful of waterbuses and a fleet of pleasure boats confined to the area above Slusen, ie taking in Islands Brygge but ignoring the rest of Amager. We can only dream of a waterbus from Vestegnen into Copenhagen, like they had from 1928-32.

Due not least to the 1947 Finger Plan transport around the Greater Copenhagen area operates largely on a hub and spoke model, with local train lines passing through the central station. The new metro city ring (current eta: 2019) and other proposed developments should eventually create a better functioning network, but I’m betting that, as in many cities, they are ruing the day they pulled up those tram lines.

The up and coming area of Ørestad on Amager is merely a hop, skip and a jump away as the crow flies from where I am sitting – around 5km. Is it possible to get there by public transport without going into central Copenhagen?

There may be no S tog on Amager but it boasts:

  • two metro lines – in effect one line splitting at Christianshavn, one running down the western side of Amager to Ørestad and the other down the eastern side to Amager Strand and the airport
  • regional rail – all the way from Helsingør and across the Øresund to Malmø and beyond, via the airport
  • a variety of buses (12, 30, 33, 35, 77, 78; 75E, 871; 4A, 500S) – quick segue re buses; A buses run day and night, during the day at pretty regular intervals (4-7 mins); they stop a lot and have quite wacky routes; S buses, on the other hand, have few stops on route, the idea being to connect S tog stations and other hubs
  • the E20 motorway cutting a dash across (exit 19 for Ørestad)
  • limited parking – on-street parking deemed a no-no, meaning more income from ‘iconic’ multi storey car parks

The distance by road to Ørestad, via the motorway, is around 10.9km. It is possible to walk (coming soon!) via Kalvebod Sti, a journey of 8.5km, which would take around 1hr 43, or to cycle, taking around 27 mins (for a Dane), but today we’ll take the bus.

Itinerary to reach Vestamager station for a 16:00 appointment:

  • 14:59: depart!
  • 15:08: 200S from Brostykkevej, arr Avedøre Holme, Center Syd, 15:21, cross road (counterintuitively)
  • 15:28: 500S to Ørestad Station, arr 15:39
  • 15:39: metro to Vestamager, arr 15:47 – however for one stop and a distance of 1.1km may as well walk, should take 14 mins…

outbound

The return journey isn’t really feasible by this route, as buses to/from Avedøre Holme tail off outside work hours (ie after 16:00), and, not to put to fine a point on it, it’s pretty bleak out there. But Rejseplanen comes up with a third multi-modal option I’d never have thought of: metro to Bella Center, bus 4A to Sjælør and then S tog to Friheden, which gets the total journey down below 40 mins, mainly due to the increased frequency of the 4A in the late afternoon (yes, I know). I gave it a whirl, and it went swimmingly, not least with the thrill of driving through Bella Sky.

return

When I first took this journey a couple of years ago it felt like virgin territory, and no doubt the number of trips from Hvidovre to Ørestad is a tad limited, but journeys across are key to opening up a city, integrating suburban wastelands and freeing up space for all those people moving to Greater Copenhagen currently being crammed into egg box style apartments in the city centre.

As activity in Ørestad increases the need for access directly from Vestegnen will grow. The 500s bus tour takes in Glostrup, Brøndbyvester and Brøndby Strand on its way to Avedøre. It will be interesting to revisit this post in another couple of years to see if the options have changed.

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