We know it can be a little tricky to understand how the zones work and how much you need to pay for a ticket. Sometimes even Copenhageners get confused.
The zone map
You can find the zone map you see above at all stations and bus stops in Copenhagen, and each station will have a card attached to the map, which indicates what zone you are currently in.
The zones are divided by the white lines, and the names written in black are names of all the stations in each zone. The coloured areas on the map are referred to as zone rings.
Central Copenhagen is zone 1, whereas the airport is in zone 4. The zone numbers get higher the further away you get from the city centre.
Calculating your fare
In short, the most expensive colour zone determines the price.
You pay for the amount of zone rings you pass through on your journey, including the zone you started in. However, you always pay for a minimum of 2 zones, which is DKK 24.
You will be able to see the amount of coloured zone rings you are passing through on the zone map at the station or bus stops.
A piece of advice
Do not get confused by all the 95 different zone numbers. Unless you are looking to get a monthly pass, you only really need to focus on the 9 coloured zone rings, because they will determine your fare.
Furthermore, if you are not planning on leaving central Copenhagen, you most likely will not need more than a ticket for 2 zones. However, going back and forth to the airport requires a ticket for 3 zones.