I missed the bus! Eurovision transportation a mess

Denmark has done a lot of things well but the transportation is an absolute disaster. People are lost and the 3-hour tour to the island may turn out to be 3 years.

Escape from Eurovision Island

When you decide to leave there’s no signage. Nothing to tell you which way to go to find the harbor bus or the regular bus (I arrived via taxi so I couldn’t just backtrack). And there’s no one around to ask. The security people said head around a fence but that was just the start of finding the bus stop. There are several fences as the island remains a massive construction zone.

B&W Hallerne Eurovision 2014 4

I have no idea where the harbor bus is (never found it) but I eventually found the regular bus – which stops about 2 kilometers away from the venue. So everyone is going to have a long hike to from the bus stop. For the press, who are carrying tripods, cameras, and other equipment, it’s a total disaster.

Even worse, the bus stop is at the end of a long 2 lane road. It doesn’t matter how many buses they have the evening of the shows, it takes time to load and unload a bus. Expect to be waiting a long time for your bus to finally reach the unload point when you arrive. And even longer when the show ends and everyone is waiting in line to get on a bus, loading them maybe 4 at a time (the loading area is very congested). You may want to bring a gas mask. There is a lot of dust and gravel when these buses start to move. It’s very apocalyptic.

Returning to the Island

So I figured I should check out the harbor bus by boarding it at the other end at Nyhavn. Well sticking with the Danish approach to transportation, again there is no signage. There’s multiple locations along the canal where the harbor bus is supposed to dock, but nothing to tell you which location is where it will be.

And… after waiting there for over 1/2 hour – no boat. Supposedly it is running but if it is, it’s invisible. Or going to a different location from what is shown on the map. If you’re going to the show and are thinking of using the harbor bus, be aware you may not be able to find it. Or it may not even exist.

Public buses 9A and 40 are now running to Eurovision Island, which is great. But when they drop you off you still have to walk for, like, 20 minutes.

Going to the EuroClub

Give Denmark points for consistency. Last evening after the red carpet event there were buses behind the city hall to take press to the EuroClub. The red carpet event ended at 8:20pm but the buses were scheduled for 9:00 so everyone was told to come back 40 minutes later.

And when we did, there were just a couple of us. So the bus didn’t leave because the bus driver was told to wait until it filled (they had a line of buses). He had no instructions on what to do if it never filled. After about 25 minutes I finally convinced them to take a mostly empty bus.

And Back to the Hotel

Ok, so the EuroClub was awesome. And Greece closed it down about 1:30am with about 300 very happy (and mostly drunk) people leaving the club. And… the buses stopped running at midnight. So you then had 300 people stuck in this industrial area away from everything waiting for taxis. I think the final people caught a ride early this morning.

Plan lots of extra time for travelling to and from the event. In fact, you may want to pack a tent in case it takes a day or two to get off the island.

Let us know in the comments how the transportation system has worked for you. Did you need 3 days supplies for the return trip?

Image courtesy of VisitCopenhagen.