Copenhagen on a Budget: Your Ultimate Guide

Copenhagen is known for its fantastic culture, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. But let’s address the elephant in the room: Yes, it’s a tad pricey. So, how to visit Copenhagen on a budget?

With a little know-how and planning, it can be as budget-friendly as any other destination. I used to live in Copenhagen and still didn’t spend much.

In this guide, I share my secret tips for visiting Copenhagen on the cheap, from food, and drinks, to budget things to do and more.

How expensive is Copenhagen?

So, you’re thinking about visiting Copenhagen? Great choice!

The first question many travelers ask is, “How expensive is Copenhagen?”

It’s no secret that the Danish capital is regularly listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world. VAT alone is 25%!

But don’t let that scare you away! With some savvy planning and local knowledge (which I’m about to share), you can explore this city without breaking the bank.

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty! You’re likely wondering how much you should expect to spend on daily expenses in Copenhagen. So, let’s break it down:

  1. Accommodation: For a bed in a hostel dormitory, expect to spend between 150 to 200 DKK per night. A budget hotel could cost anywhere from 500 to 800 DKK per night for a double room.
  2. Food: Budget restaurant could cost you around 100-150 DKK. A meal at a mid-range restaurant might run you 200-300 DKK.
  3. Transportation: Copenhagen’s public transport is reliable and efficient. A one-way ticket on local transit costs about 24 DKK. Renting a bike costs about 75-100 DKK per day. Get the Copenhagen City Card for unlimited transportation!
  4. Entertainment: Entry to most of the city’s museums will run between 75 and 150 DKK. However, many museums offer free days. The Copenhagen City Card covers over 80 attractions, so it could save you a bundle!
  5. Drinks: Expect to pay around 40-60 DKK for a pint of beer at a bar.
  6. Miscellaneous: Always set aside a little extra for those unexpected expenses, souvenirs or that irresistible Danish pastry. An additional 200 DKK per day should cover it.

So, budget between 600-800 DKK per day for a budget trip, around 800-1,200 DKK for a mid-range trip, and upwards of 1,200 DKK for a luxury vacation.

*100 DKK = 15 USD.

Cheapest time to visit Copenhagen

Timing can make a huge difference in your travel budget.

The cheapest time to visit Copenhagen is during the shoulder season – the months of April, May, September, and October.

During these periods, the weather is still pleasant, the city is less crowded, and the prices for flights and accommodations are typically lower.

Keep in mind that July and August are peak tourist seasons, which means higher prices and bigger crowds.

On the other hand, winter months can be frigid, but if you don’t mind the chill, you can score some great deals!

Best time to visit Copenhagen, Denmark.

Getting around Copenhagen on the cheap

How to get around Copenhagen without breaking the bank? The city’s transportation system is efficient, but costs can add up.

Fortunately, Copenhagen is a cyclist’s paradise. With more than 400 kilometers of bike lanes, getting a rental bike can be an affordable and fun way to explore the city.

Many hostels offer bike rentals, or you can use one of the city’s many bike-sharing services.

But if cycling isn’t your thing, consider walking. The city center is compact and easy to explore on foot.

If you plan to travel by public transport, consider purchasing Copenhagen City Card. This card offers free entry to over 80 attractions, as well as unlimited public transportation, saving you a heap in the long run.

Best areas to stay in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Budget accommodation in Copenhagen

Finding budget-friendly places to stay in Copenhagen is not impossible.

Hostels in Copenhagen can be a wallet-friendly option and often offer more than just a bed. Check out places like Steel House Copenhagen, which has a bar and frequent social events. Urban House Copenhagen is also a good choice.

Also, if you stay near the city center and attractions, you can save a lot on transportation costs.

Urban House Copenhagen is one of the best hostels in Copenhagen.
Urban House Copenhagen is one of the best hostels in Copenhagen.

Cheap Eats in Copenhagen

Food is often a major part of the travel experience, and Copenhagen is a foodie’s dream.

But dining here doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget.

Look for budget-friendly eateries, food markets, or street food stalls where you can enjoy local cuisine at more affordable prices. Many restaurants offer lunch specials or discounted menus during certain hours.

Don’t forget to try the traditional Danish open-faced sandwich, Smørrebrød. You can get these delicious and filling sandwiches at many places for a reasonable price.

Torvehallerne, an indoor food market, is a great place to try a variety of local foods without spending a fortune. Check my Cheap Eats Copenhagen guide for more places.

celebrating Julefrokost Denmark

Budget bars in Copenhagen

Did someone say beer? Yes, beer can be expensive in Copenhagen, but there are still places where we can enjoy a chilled brew without feeling the pinch.

Try places like Studenterhuset bar, which caters to students and has very reasonable prices.

There’s also The Happy Pig and Mikkeller Bar, both offering happy hours – a perfect chance to savor some local brews without the hefty price tag.

For more places, check out my list of bars in Copenhagen offering cheap drinks.

best places to drink in Copenhagen cheap beers

Free things to do in Copenhagen

Believe it or not, some of the best things in Copenhagen are free!

First things first, you can’t miss a stroll around Nyhavn and a visit to the Little Mermaid statue – they’re iconic, and they’re free.

best places to visit in Copenhagen little mermaid.

Many of the best museums in Copenhagen, like the National Museum and the Danish National Art Gallery, offer free entry on certain days, and you can’t put a price on watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Amalienborg Palace.

Don’t forget to explore Copenhagen’s green spaces like the Kings Garden and Botanical Garden – they’re gorgeous, and they’re on the house.

Also, you can join the city’s many free events, including concerts, festivals, and street performances, especially during the summer months.

Keep in mind that many of Copenhagen’s beautiful churches, like the Church of Our Saviour, offer free entry.

Travel guid to Copenhagen on a budget Denmark.

Things to do in Copenhagen on a budget

We’ve talked about free things to do in Copenhagen, but what about low-cost activities in Copenhagen? Don’t worry, there are plenty of these as well.

A visit to the Freetown Christiania, a self-governing community within the city, is a unique experience that only requires a small donation at the entrance.

For a small entry fee, you can also climb the Round Tower for panoramic views of Copenhagen.

Don’t forget to take a boat trip along Nyhavn too. It’s a cheap way to see Copenhagen in all of its glory!

Budget-Friendly Day Trips from Copenhagen

Got a case of itchy feet and want to venture beyond Copenhagen? You’re in luck!

Denmark is a small country, which means there are numerous day trip options that won’t empty your wallet.

Consider Helsingør, home to the famous Kronborg Castle – the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Trains are budget-friendly, and it’s just a 45-minute ride away.

Alternatively, try Roskilde, a historical city famous for its cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum. Here, you can immerse yourself in Danish history without straining your budget.

Affordable Shopping in Copenhagen

Just because Copenhagen is expensive, it doesn’t mean you can’t bag some bargains.

For affordable shopping, head to the district of Nørrebro. This vibrant neighborhood is known for its thrift stores, boutiques, and vintage shops.

Don’t miss the flea markets like Ravnsborggade Antiques Market or Frederiksberg Loppetorv. These markets often have unique vintage items, second-hand clothes, and other affordable treasures.

For souvenirs, check out Flying Tiger Copenhagen – it’s a local store chain offering quirky and inexpensive Danish-design items.

Budget-Friendly Family Activities in Copenhagen

Looking to entertain the whole gang without emptying your bank account? Copenhagen has many family-friendly activities that won’t break the bank.

Firstly, don’t miss a visit to the city’s many parks. Frederiksberg Gardens and The King’s Garden are perfect for a family picnic, a relaxed stroll, or even a fun game of hide-and-seek. They’re absolutely free and kids will have plenty of space to run around.

If your little ones are into animals, head over to the city farm in Ørestad, ByOasen. It’s free to visit and offers a chance to meet goats, rabbits, horses, and more! For a small fee, you could also visit the Copenhagen Zoo, home to over 3000 animals – a definite hit with the kids!

Copenhagen’s libraries often host free activities for children – from story hours to craft workshops. The Black Diamond, the Royal Library, is a must-visit with children’s activities and stunning architecture to impress the adults.

A visit to the Experimentarium or the National Museum of Denmark is also a great choice. They’re not free, but the cost is reasonable, and both venues offer interactive exhibits that’ll keep the kiddos (and you!) entertained for hours.

Lastly, there’s no better or cheaper way to end the day than with a visit to the iconic Little Mermaid statue. It’s the perfect spot for a family photo that’ll capture your memorable Copenhagen adventure.

Final thoughts

Copenhagen, despite its expensive reputation, is brimming with affordable adventures, mouthwatering eats, and cultural wonders that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

With a bit of planning and some insider tips, it’s entirely possible to explore Copenhagen on a budget.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *