How to Explore Copenhagen on a Budget

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Vicky Philpott

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As anybody who has ever dreamed of an ideal vacation in Copenhagen knows, the city is one of the most expensive places to travel in the world. Since so much of the city is highly rated and top-notch quality, it can be a challenge to find something as simple as a cheap cup of coffee, let alone an inexpensive meal. Even though Copenhagen is known for its high price tag, it’s still one of the best places in the world to visit, explore, and even have a great time with friends or as a solo traveler. If you follow some of the city’s secret money-saving tips, you can experience the best of Copenhagen on a tight budget.

Copenhagen by night

Where to stay

Hostels are the cheapest option for your stay while visiting Copenhagen. Just like Copenhagen, many of the hostels are clean and modernly designed, which offers a unique hostel experience. The least expensive option is to stay in a shared room, especially if you’re traveling with a large group, like a group of friends backpacking together or simply to celebrate a big event. Even families can stay in family-sized hostel rooms.

Staying in the center of Copenhagen is the best way to ensure that you don’t have to spend money on public transportation since everything may be in walking distance. However, if you want to save money on your hostel room it’s usually cheaper to stay in neighbouring areas, such as Nørrebro. Then you can take a short bus ride to get to the city centre.

Norrebo in Denmark

Where to eat

Some of the finest dining in the world can be done in Copenhagen. Unfortunately that also means that it’s some of the most expensive dining too. Noma is often considered one of the world’s best restaurants, known for its stunning atmosphere and unforgettable food. However, it’s also not a restaurant that those on a budget can afford, expect to spend hundreds of dollars for one meal.

Luckily, Copenhagen also has a plethora of high-quality eateries that any tourist can afford. There are plenty of small cafes throughout the city, which offer the famous open-faced sandwich, which represents the sort of unique food you can expect in Copenhagen. Restaurants like Magstraede 16, LeLe Street Kitchen City, and Café Klimt offer a Copenhagen eating experience without breaking the bank.

Food in Denmark

The best way to save money on food is to buy food from a local grocery store. You and your traveling companions can have a picnic in the park and take in the lovely sights of the city while eating your meal.

What to do in Copenhagen 

Exploring the many things the city has to offer is one of the great joys of visiting Copenhagen. Walking around the city is entirely possible, but you can also rent a bike to see the city with easier access. During the summer, the city often offers free bikes. All you need to do is pay a deposit of around 20 DKK, but once you return the bike you get your deposit completely back.

Buy a day or 72 hour cOPENhagen Card can you can see the best of the city for yourself. For $45-$90 you can freely enter museums like the Danish Design Center or the National Museum. The pass not only offers free admission to much of the city, it also allows you to use the bus, trains, and subway for free, as well as get discounts to restaurants and shops. You can even get free admission to Tivoli Gardens, the amusement park and pleasure garden that offers breathtaking scenery, roller coasters, kid rides, theater, museums, and arcades.

Tivoli Gardens

For a night out check out neighborhoods such as Frederiksberg and Vesterbro which have trendy new bars and clubs all throughout the streets. Although alcohol can be expensive in Copenhagen you can find small bars and clubs that offer great drinks at reasonable prices. Another bonus of bar hopping and clubbing in Copenhagen? The fact that the city is pedestrian friendly, no need to hail a cab here to get to your next party destination you can simply walk a few blocks to get to the next neighborhood. This makes the city great for friends looking for a city to celebrate a big occasion like bachelor or stag parties.

Among the completely free things to do in Copenhagen is visit the Royal Gardens, Copenhagen’s most famous statue Little Mermaid, and watch the changing of the guard at Amalienborg Palace.

As long as you’re willing to do your research, Copenhagen can be affordable. Whether you’re visiting as a single tourist or a large stag party, Copenhagen offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences for every type of traveler.

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