The new year brings new adventures, new travel destinations and new budget tips! Shake off those post-Christmas blues and plan a trip to the wonderful Danish capital of Copenhagen.
Perhaps not famous for being the world’s top budget destination but you can definitely indulge yourself into the Danish capital without breaking the bank.
If you plan your trip and take advantage of all the free (or almost) things to do in the city, you’ll experience the city without that hefty price tag. So here’s a few tips on how to do Copenhagen on coppers.
FLIGHTS & ACCOMMODATION
I bagged a £52 return flight from Bristol with EasyJet, booked a few months in advance. Flights from all over Europe to the Danish capital are around the same price with low cost carriers. However, you can of course get much cheaper. Flights from London Stansted start from £5 – yes, really!
Forget checking into a hotel. The city is full of hostels that are clean, safe and have vibrant atmospheres for more than half the cost of a hotel. AirBNBs are also well priced and give you a real feeling of what living in Copenhagen is like.
I stayed here with two friends, costing just £32 a night each. The apartment was central and just around the corner from the Nyhavn (where the iconic coloured housed waterfront is located).
It will take you around 15 minutes to get from Copenhagen Airport to the city centre by metro. The metro runs through day and night so no need to worry about missing a train. The metro will cost you 38DKK (around £4.50) – much cheaper than a taxi.
Once in the city, all you will need is your own two feet. Copenhagen is a great city to walk around which will save you so much money as the public transport system is on the pricey side – a 24-hour ticket setting you back 150DKK (around £18).
Explore the city like a true Copenhagener and rent a bike. Rental prices are pretty reasonable and the city offers many different options on how to get yourself on the go.
I found Baisikeli offered the best prices for bike rentals (50DKK/£6 for 6 hours) and the company also has a greater meaning to it than just bike rentals. The bike project aims to make bicycles accessible for the poorest part of the world, shipping used bikes to African countries where the bikes are rebuild into meeting the African needs.
You can also explore the city on the water. The cheapest canal trip is on the Movia Harbour Bus which runs between the Royal Library to the Little Mermaid statue, passing other attractions such as Nyhavn, The Royal Opera House and Christiania. A single trip (which is enough to see it all on the water) will cost you 24DKK (£2.90).
- Davids Samling – an all year around free museum, boasting impressive collection of Islamic art, along with 18th-century furnishings.
- Møstings Hus – an old country house just west of the city, surrounded by stunning nature and contains six annual art exhibitions.
- Københavns Domkirke – a small museum located at the city’s cathedral. The contents change annually, usually displaying paintings and exhibitions of philopshers).
- Glyptoteket – free on Tuesdays only (usually 95DKK), this museum showcases art and antiquities, including Egyptian mummies and Greek statues.
- Thorvaldsens Museum – free on Wednesdays only (usually 60DKK), the museum is home to beautiful marble statues by Bertel Thorvaldsen.
- Free Walking Tour – the is a great introduction to the city. Take a 3 hour tour through 6000 years of history, departing from the City Hall and 10am, 11am or 2pm each day.
- Changing of the Royal Guard – at the Royal Palace (Amalienborg), every day you can experience the changing of the guards. Watch them march from their barracks though the streets of Copenhagen at 12:00 noon. If you take the 10am free walking tour, you see this as part of the tour!
- The Little Mermaid – perhaps Copenhagen’s most popular and famous attraction and it’s free to go and have a look! The sculpture is made of bronze and granite and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land.
- Frederiks Kirke – also known as “the marble church”, this is a stunning masterpiece, with it’s characteristic copper green dome and has to be one of the most impressive churches of the city – no doubt.
- Rosenborg Castle & Kongens Have – The King’s Gardens are the country’s oldest royal gardens, established in the Renaissance style by Christian IV in the early 1600’s. The garden’s surround the gorgeous Rosenborg Castle which features 400 years of splendor, royal art treasures and the Crown Jewels and Royal Regalia.
- Christiania Freetown – take a look into Copenhagen’s alternative neighbourhood. Founded by squatters in the 70s, it’s now become it’s own independent neighbourhood from the Danish government with its own flag, language and laws (pretty relaxed on the Mary Jane).
FOOD AND DRINK
Head straight to a bakery (I would recommend Reinh Van Hauen on Kongensgade) and get yourself a Kanelsnegl Danish Pastry. They’re a perfect snack but do not underestimate these little pastries – they will fill you up for hours.
There’s no better option than heading to the growing Copenhagen street food scene to grab some delicious Danish grub. Just south of the Inderhavnsbroen bridge is a buzzing outdoor cargo area full of delicious food and drink at great prices.
If you’re self-catering (which is what I always recommend at least for 2 out of 3 meals per day) then look out for Aldi and Netto – these are the two cheapest supermarkets in Denmark (both just around the corner from the AirBNB I stayed in). Expect supermarkets to be a little more expensive than back at home, but head for the supermarket own brands and you’ll be just fine.
But you can’t visit Copenhagen and not grab a hot dog! Vendors are a cultural institution and soul tradition on the streets of Denmark and have been for over 80 years. DØP is a great little organic vendor just by the Church of the Holy Ghost in central Copenhagen – so delicious and a great cheap lunch (just 37DKK/£4.40).
So those are my tips for seeing Copenhagen on a budget! Do you know of any more Copenhagen bargains or money-saving tips? Share in the comments below.
Until next time – live your best life, low cost!
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