When you think ‘Budget city break’ I’m pretty sure Copenhagen doesn’t comes to mind. Copenhagen is instead notoriously known for being an expensive city; it is actually the 4th most expensive city in Europe and the 7th highest cost of living in the world! It’s still cheaper than Sweden & Norway, so at least there’s that haha. However, it’s still very possible to enjoy Copenhagen on a budget, so here are my tips for doing just that!
Looking for a great detailed travel guide for Copenhagen? Then check out my Ultimate Copenhagen Travel Guide!
Getting cheap flights to Copenhagen
Getting a cheap flight to Copenhagen is much like getting a cheap flight to anywhere else in Europe. There’s no precise special formula you just have to be flexible and a little strategic with when you travel.
My post How to book cheap flights details the process I usually follow to get affordable flights and it’s what I did here as well.
Where to Stay on a Budget in Copenhagen
Getting accommodation in the city centre is the best way to cut spending because you can walk everywhere. However, areas like Nørrebro tend to offer really cheap accommodation but are a short bus ride from the centre. So keep this in mind when picking where to stay.
If you’re on a super tight budget, then hostels will definitely be the cheapest option for you. There are some pretty cool hostels right in the city centre with great reviews. Like the super cool Urban House Hostel a few steps from the Central Station (starting from £28/night in a 10 bed mixed dorm)
Or Copenhagen Downtown Hostel also centrally located (starting from £34/night in a 12 bed mixed dorm)
However, if you’re not really about that life, then Airbnbs are the next cheapest option. They range in prices massively so have a look and see what’s available in your budget.
We stayed in an Airbnb in Amager East, near Christianshavn and it cost us £254.80 for 2 people for 2 nights/3 days. It worked out at £127.40 per person. We could’ve gotten a cheaper Airbnb but we started searching late and I was very particular about the bathroom of the place we stayed in (Keep reading for more about Copenhagen Bathrooms).
Another great way to save on accommodation is looking for 2 night tickets that have a late departure time from Copenhagen and an early-ish arrival time. For example, we arrived in Copenhagen at about midday on Saturday and our flight departed on Monday at about 10pm. So we got basically 3 full days and only paid for 2 nights accommodation!
TIP! – A lot of residential bathrooms Copenhagen are wet rooms and gosh, they’re honestly my worst nightmare! Lol I have a DEEP dislike for wet rooms. So make sure you check the bathroom pictures of your Airbnb/hotel otherwise you could be showering over your toilet lol.
Eating on a budget in Copenhagen
Eating out can quickly get expensive in Copenhagen, especially on a budget. One great way to save on eating is to get breakfast from the nearest Supermarket! Look out for Lidl, Netto (Remember Netto guys??) and Fakta. Avoid the Seven Eleven at all costs! We got breakfast from Supermarkets and only spent about 20DKK (̴ £2.30) for 2 pastries and a chocolate bar. Instead of at least 89DKK for breakfast in a café!
Bakeries could also be cheap options for breakfast but to get better prices avoid the main tourist areas. Check out bakeiris in more residential areas like Nørrebro or Vesterbrogade.
For lunch, have hotdogs topped with crunchy onions from one of the street stalls like DØP. Or head to John’s Hot Dog Deli for gorgeous hotdogs topped sky high with whatever you want for 50DKK! And trust me; it will sustain you till later in the day!
Or you could visit one of the many food markets around the city, like Torvehallerne or Reffen, for some great quality affordable food!
If hotdogs are not your thing then grab a Smørrebrød, a popular open sandwich topped with anything from pork to fish. Lots of places offer it but look for dedicated stands or casual places because they will be significantly cheaper than restaurants.
Small saving but tap water is safe to drink in Denmark. So fill up at home before heading out instead of buying water each time costing at least 20DKK (£2.30).
By the way, restaurants in Copenhagen charge at least 5DKK for tap water, super cheap but still, really? Who charges for tap water??
The tap water is even among the safest and most eco-friendly water in the world so drink away! If you run out of water, don’t worry, there are over 60 drinking fountains where you can refill for free! Check out this website for a map of fountain nearest to you.
Getting Around in Copenhagen on a budget
Copenhagen is a pretty compact city so it’s easy to walk to most places. So, first money saving hack is to put on your walking shoes and WALK! It’s free and it’ll save you all the transportation money you would’ve otherwise spent. We walked ALOT and only got the bus when going to Superkilen and going back to our Airbnb.
The next best option is to Cycle. Copenhagen’s one of the most bike friendly cities in the world so getting around on two wheels couldn’t be easier! There’s tons of city bike schemes but the cheapest I found was Baisikeli. It’s near Dybbølsbro station and prices start as low as 50DKK for 6 hours and 80DKK for 24hrs. The best thing about renting from here is the money from rentals is used to send bikes to Mozambique!
Public transport is super reliable and includes buses, metro, S trains and harbour buses. A single ticket on any of these costs 24DKK (not including the airport). There’s also the CityPASS if you think you’ll be using the metro alot or just don’t want to walk around. A 24hr pass costs 80DKK (€11) and can be used on all forms of transport in the city! If you get the Copenhagen Card (I talk about it further down), travel is covered on it !
Things to do in Copenhagen on a budget
In my last post I listed ‘20 Free and Cheap things to do in Copenhagen’ so check that out!
The only paid activity we did we visited was Tivoli Gradens which cost 135DKK for entry only. the cost of rides are not included in the entry fee so it’s extra. If you plan non going on a lot of rides, then it would be more cost effective to get the unlimited rides ticket for 245DKK.
Is the Copenhagen Card worth getting to save money?
The Copenhagen card is a discount pass that can save you money with free or discounted entry into a number of attractions. And free unlimited travel on any mode of transport (except bicycles).
So should you bother getting a Copenhagen card? Will it actually save you money?
Weeeeell, it depends lol. We didn’t get one because I was trying to keep to a tight budget and this just didn’t fit into it. If you want to mostly walk around the city, explore, eat and chill, then I definitely wouldn’t recommend this card.
However, if you’re there for a long time or want to cram as much as possible into a couple of days then it’s worth considering. I would advise before you just buy it, start by making a list of the attractions you want to see. Then check their website if they’re covered by the card. After that you’ll have to do some quick math and compare the combined entry prices of the attractions on your list without the card against what the card costs for whatever period of time you choose and factor in travel if you plan on using public transport. This should help lay it out very plainly if it’s worth getting for you!
Thanks guys for reading! I hope I’ve helped reduce some of your fears about visiting Copenhagen and having to spend a lot of money to enjoy your time. These are the tips I used when I was there to enjoy Copenhagen on a budget. Do you have any more money saving tips for visiting? If you do, share in the comments!
Until Next time Biscuits xx