Copenhagen is one of Europe’s most expensive cities; a lot of travellers put off going there because they worry about the expense. A crying shame, we say! So we asked Francesca Harper to spill the beans on spending time in Copenhagen without blowing the budget…
As the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen is, like most Scandinavian cities, rich in history and culture as well as a hub of contemporary design and architecture; a brutal combination for cash-strapped travellers. But on a recent visit to Copenhagen I found plenty of ways to explore and experience the city on a budget of about £35 a day, including accommodation.
With that in mind, let’s start with accommodation. Any skint traveller will know that the best way to pay less for accommodation is to book into a hostel. My friend and I stayed in Generator Hostel Copenhagen which lies right in the centre of the city, within easy walking distance of the main sights and shopping district, it cost us £17 a night each.
A large, newly built hostel, Generator’s dorm rooms sleep six (in spacious and clean rooms) and the hostel offers a Happy Hour every evening between 8 and 9pm. Two Carlsbergs for 50DKK (approximately £5.50)? Yes please!
On our first night in Copenhagen, we asked one of the hostel receptionists where we could find a local – affordable – place to eat. We were instructed, in no uncertain terms, to go to Dalle Valle in the university quarter where, on Saturdays, they offer 2-for-1 meals. Expecting to wait ages for a table, we were instead seated in 10 minutes inside a lively but comfortable café-restaurant. Doing as Danes do, we both opted for a large Smørrebrød sandwich, costing us just £4.50 plus a bit extra for a drink. Bargain!
Sight-See on a Shoestring
I cannot recommend the free walking tour enough. The tour runs twice a day, starts from outside the Town Hall and lasts about three hours. The multi-lingual, knowledgeable guides lead groups on a comprehensive tour of Copenhagen city centre, taking in the majority of the main sights whilst answering any questions you may have. Although ‘free’, it is recommended that you give a small donation at the end.
It is so easy to sight-see in Copenhagen. Apart from Tivoli Gardens, Round Tower and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, most of the other main attractions are free. In no particular order there are a number of free attractions you should not miss out on; Nyhavn canalside, Christiania’s alternative community, the Little Mermaid statue, Statens Museum for Kunst (Fine Arts Museum), National-museet (National Museum), Slotsholmen (Castle Island), the royal Amalienborg Plads and many of the city’s grand churches including Trinitatis Kirke (Trinity Church) and the Christianborg Palace Chapel.
Take a Hike
The four full days we spent in Copenhagen, we only used public transport – a tram – once. The rest of the time, we navigated the city on foot, taking in the meandering old cobbled streets and canals. However, if you are less keen on walking then you may want to think about buying the Copenhagen Pass (from £27 for 24 hours) that gives you unlimited free transport, food and drink discounts and free entry into 65 museums and attractions.
Have you got any money saving tips for Copenhagen? Share your thoughts below…