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I'm currently planning a family train trip in Sweden and Denmark for next August. I see that there's a 50% discount if I can travel with "Orange Fri" tickets within Denmark: e.g., return trip to Helsingør is about 105 euros with standard ticket, vs 59 with Orange Fri.

  • Are Orange Fri tickets likely to be available easily when booking on the day before in August?
  • If not, will it be convenient to travel with InterRail pass, or am I likely to need a booking (which will be 16 € for the 4 of us afaik) ?

Thanks!

PS: Further details if needed: I consider buying an InterRail pass, but it's only worth if my trains in Denmark cost about 80 euros each day I travel there (2 adults, 2 youth 14 & 17 y.o.) or 96 euros if I need to book. EDIT: Actually, I now see that my break-even fare in Denmark is more like 50 euros per day trip, once I count all savings done on long distance tickets. So that'd make InterRailing better even compared to the discounted Orange Fri tickets.

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  • Do not expect long distance train tickets or InterRail reservations on short notice in August.
    – Willeke
    Apr 18, 2022 at 10:11
  • Thanks @Willeke for comment, I'm looking into exactly because of that, I need to book the long distance trains now.
    – Joce
    Apr 18, 2022 at 10:13
  • return trip to Helsingør, from where?
    – Anders
    Apr 18, 2022 at 10:52
  • @Anders From Copenhagen, sorry I didn't mention.
    – Joce
    Apr 18, 2022 at 14:24
  • I would expect long distance train tickets (and reservations) to be available at short notice pretty much any day. DSB is a well run company. Trains "selling out" is a sign of a railway that does not want to make money. Apr 19, 2022 at 7:44

2 Answers 2

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Orange tickets

General

Orange Fri doesn't have fixed pricing, so it not always half price. Early August will differ from late August due to school holidays. Fridays and Sundays are popular for longer trips. Departure time is also a factor. For Copenhagen - Aarhus tomorrow I find many departures where Orange tickets are sold out, some where the Orange prices are just below the standard ticket, but I also find it close to half price if you go on 5 AM departure.

Copenhagen-Helsingør

For Copenhagen-Helsingør, a CityPass large for 24 hours is usually the best idea, 160 DKK/Adult and 80 DKK/child (12-15 years old). Then you don't have to prebook and it covers local transportation too. But it seems that Orange Fri is always available since a very large majority of passengers don't prebook.

Train pass?

A lot of thing to consider. For example flexibility and youth/children pricing.

Denmark

I believe Denmark is one of the countries where a rail pass could still be a good idea, very few trains require booking and there are alternatives to those. But if you plan to book accommodation ahead of time, you could book some cheap Orange (Fri) tickets between the cities you plan to visit as well. A 17 year old pays adult price and a 14 year old pays child price at 50%.

Sweden

A lot of long-distance trains require seat reservation for €7, while a ticket could be as low as €20. Trains also sells out so the flexibility of a pass is limited. To be safe you need to prebook seats for your pass weeks ahead and then you could just buy the cheap ticket months ahead instead.

SJ is a big operator in Sweden and has a youth discount for you 17-year old similar to the rail pass. A 14-year with adult company only pays 15% of the adult price.

Day trips

In general you won't gain from the rail pass for short day trips. Consider a pass with fewer days instead. But of course, if you need 9 longer trips and choose between a 7 day pass and a 10 day pass, a day trip can make the 10 day pass worth the money.

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It seems you may be misinterpreting something as I see prices such as DKK 298 (~EUR 40) when searching for DSB Orange Fri return tickets København(Copenhagen)-Helsingør(Elsinore) for two adults, 1 14yo and 1 17yo. in the middle of next week. It can even be slightly cheaper at DKK 284 if you go in the middle of the night, but I guess that is not relevant.

If you already know which days and times you expect to travel you may want to book the tickets between 1 and two months befor your trip, at which time there should still be plenty of Orange Fri tickets available outside of the rush hours. And if you in the end need to change your plans, remember that you can may cancel the tickets until 30 minutes before.

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