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Spending 3 Days in Copenhagen on a Budget

Nyhavn

Copenhagen is famous for being expensive. From what everyone says about the city, I expected my three day trip to burn a massive hole in my pocket. Instead, I was a little shocked to end up spending £228 (€265) total including flights and accommodation. So yes, it’s entirely possible to see Copenhagen on a budget.

The Breakdown of My Budget

  • 546 dkk (£63): Return flight from Belfast to Copenhagen via London Gatwick (four separate flights)
  • 580 dkk (£67): Airbnb for three nights
  • 78 dkk (£9): Train from Copenhagen airport to the city centre
  • 24 dkk (£3): Bus from the city centre to our Airbnb
  • 175 dkk (£20): A 2 day bike rental
  • 573 dkk (£66): Food and drink

Tips on How to Keep it Budget

Find the Cheapest Flights

Use online tools such as Skyscanner to search the cheapest month for flights to Copenhagen. There were no direct flights to Copenhagen from my city, Belfast. So, I booked a £20 return flight with Ryanair from Belfast to London Gatwick for the 23rd of March and back on the 28th of March.

Then I booked another £43 return flight with EasyJet from London Gatwick to Copenhagen for the 24th March and the 27th March. Even though 2 separate flights may seem like a lot of hassle, the total flight time was only 2 hours and 50 minutes!

Even if direct flights are available for your city, it may be cheaper to book two connecting flights.

Search for Cheap Accommodation

Solo Travel

There are well-rated hostels in Copenhagen from £23 per night. Even better, if you’re lucky to be accepted by a host on Couchsurfing, it’s completely free.

Couple Travel/With Friends

I didn’t even bother to look at hotels because I knew they would likely be either extortionate or bad quality or both. You can find good quality Airbnbs for a fair price. We had a whole apartment to ourselves for £67 each using my £30 discount.

The only issue is the majority of residential housing is further out from the city. Although this does give you a chance to see the local neighbourhoods.

Rent a bike

Not only is it eco-friendly and the main way that the locals get around, it’s cheaper than paying for the bus each time you need to go somewhere.

Our bike rental cost £20 for two days, which is actually quite expensive. We only paid that much because somehow we had trouble finding a bike shop (ridiculous, I know) and it was the first one we came across. You can find even cheaper at 115 dkk (£13) for two days.

Note: The bike rental will ask you for a £50 deposit or to hold a form of photographic evidence for the bike. 


Cook Your Own Food

Food and drink cost nearly a third of the total amount I spent in Copenhagen. Search for accommodation which allows you to have full access to a kitchen. We went to the supermarket when we arrived and bought enough food for breakfast and lunch most days. We only really ate out for dinner and chose less expensive restaurants.

Pre-drink

If you’re going for a night out in Copenhagen, the alcohol is painfully dear. In fact, if you’re on a really strict budget, you may have to go without drinking for your whole trip.

If that idea sounds insane and you’re an alco ludicrous, buy your alcohol in the supermarket and drink in the hostel or Airbnb before you go out. Then try to limit your spending when you’re out on the town.

Things to Do on a Budget

Copenhagen doesn’t really have many activities to do (apart from museums). It’s more like there are plenty of things to see. This makes the city ideal for travellers on a budget because all you need to pay for is a bike or other transportation to get around.

Tivoli Gardens

The park opened in 1843, making it the second-oldest theme park in the world. I personally didn’t go on any rides but it’s still a beautiful place to go!

In winter from 19th November to 31st December, there’s a Christmas market with traditional Danish gifts, food and drink.

The Tivoli festival lasts from 14th May to 8th September, which hosts over 50 musical events.

Nyhavn

It’s probably the most well-known and colourful street in Copenhagen with a buzzing atmosphere. Under the brightly coloured 17th and 18th century townhouses, there are a range of restaurants and dessert shops. Keep in mind, this is one of the most touristy areas, so everything is overpriced.

There’s also a pretty lock bridge at the end of the street.

The Lakes

There are three adjoined lakes called Sortedams, Peblinge and Sankt Jørgens on the outskirts of the city centre.

Take a stroll or cycle along the paths surrounding the lakes at night. Or have a coffee or beer in the sun at one of the many cafes beside the water.

Amager Strandpark

When I first thought of Copenhagen, the beach didn’t immediately come to my mind. In fact, we were looking for green spots on Google maps to explore, and noticed the 4.6km yellow strip.

The beach is clean and the water is super clear. I’d definitely go swimming in the sea in summertime. There’s also a long smooth promenade which is perfect for skating or cycling.

Getting there takes around 40 minutes from the city centre by bike.

Harbour Baths

There are four sets of harbour baths in Copenhagen which are basically like outdoor swimming pools along the waterfront. Some even have springboards for diving!

The most popular is Islands Brygge. The other three are Copencabana, Sluseholmen and Svanemølle Beach. 

The best part is they’re all free!

The University of Copenhagen’s Botanic Gardens

Here, you can find greenhouses, the SMK art museum, the Hirschsprung Collection art gallery and the geological museum. Opening hours are 8.30am – 6pm in summer, and 8.30am – 4pm in winter.

The Little Mermaid

Can you believe I didn’t bother to go and see the most iconic landmark in Copenhagen?

The sculpture was made in 1909 after the Danish brewer of Carlsberg, Carl Jacobsen, was inspired by a ballet about a fairytale.

To be honest, I’m a bit confused how it became so well-known?! I’ve heard it’s only about a metre tall.

Christiania

Freetown Christiania was founded in 1971 by a group of hippies who run the neighbourhood by their own set of rules, rather than under the state’s authority.

The area is unique, with homemade houses, organic cafes and colourful street art. Not to forget, Pusher Street which is famous for hash dealing.

Tip: Not recommended to go at night.

Fælledparken

This park is near the lakes, a bit further out of the centre. It’s nice to take a stroll round or sunbathe in summer.

Pin it for later!

Copenhagen

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Becky
    April 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I’d really love to rent a bike and cycle round, looks like such a fun way to explore 🙂

  • Reply
    Marvi
    April 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Thank you for sharing your budget-friendly and fun travel experience to Copenhagen. This is one of those moments that you can say even the most expensive places can be affordable!

  • Reply
    Sara
    April 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Was just saying how I’d love to go here. Do you have any recommendations for cafes or restaurants near the water to go to? Great tips, especially about price of alcohol. I don’t drink much so it wouldn’t be a problem for me but good to know for future reference.

    • Profile photo of journeywithchloe
      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      I didn’t actually eat out along the river and can’t remember the names of the cafes sorry! I remember seeing a Thai restaurant though which looked really good if you see that while passing by!

  • Reply
    sherianne
    April 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I have been wanting to visit Copenhagen for such a long time and haven’t made it. Thank you for sharing the information, I didn’t know about the baths!

  • Reply
    Maria
    April 14, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Hahah, pre-drinks are more a rule than an exception in Scandinavian drinking culture 😀 Why fun things are always so expensive!
    I’ve never visited Copenhagen but I guess I gotta add it to my list now…I gotta take a selfie next to the colorful houses by the water 😀

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      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      I guess that’s true, they must do that a lot themselves to save money haha

  • Reply
    Chiera
    April 14, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Copenhagen seems beautiful! But I always assumed it would be soo expensive! Now I know otherwise I will think about visiting soon!

    • Profile photo of journeywithchloe
      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      It is so expensive, but it’s just that you can stop yourself from spending a lot 🙂

  • Reply
    Yuen Mi
    April 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Would love to bike and enjoy the sights and sound there in Copenhagen. It looks beautiful. Thanks for the tip.

  • Reply
    Mattea
    April 15, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Lovely informative post on Copenhagen! I visited recently and absolutely loved it! Do wish we had got bicycles like you guys though..!

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      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      The bikes were the best thing about our trip to be honest! Haha

  • Reply
    Salome
    April 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Lot of great information. I definitely want to bike around the city. It looks amazing !

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 15, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Loved Copenhagen, it’s one of my favourite cities. Being so expensive, this is a perfect budget guide to the city.

  • Reply
    Christina
    April 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Wow, I had no idea how pricey Copenhagen could be! I stayed with a friend when I was there, which helped cut on costs a LOT but yeesh, £23 for a hostel isn’t the most budget friendly haha. It’s awesome that a lot of the sights are free though, and like you showed, there’s plenty of ways to save. PS: You didn’t miss out at all on not seeing the Little Mermaid haha, it was thoroughly disappointing.

    • Profile photo of journeywithchloe
      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      April 19, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      Haha i’m glad I didn’t go to see the Mermaid then!

  • Reply
    anisa
    April 18, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Great tips! Unbelievably I’ve never actually used air bnb to find a place.

  • Reply
    The Most Overrated City In Europe: Copenhagen - Journey With Chloe
    April 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    […] Prior to my trip, I had heard rumours of Copenhagen such as “there are a zillion bikes”, “people are really friendly” and “it’s a better version of Amsterdam”. The one thing that everyone agreed on is that it’s expensive, although I found it to be completely doable on a budget. […]

  • Reply
    Kimber Scannell
    April 26, 2017 at 10:08 am

    What great information for us to use during our visit! The pictures are awesome! We are really getting excited for our trip!!!!! Thank you! Thank you!

    Kim | http://www.condorny.com

  • Reply
    Rachel
    June 21, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I recently visited Copenhagen and *tried* to do it on a budget. As we wanted to visit a lot of the popular attractions we bought a Visit Copenhagen card as it meant we would save a lot of money on entry. I was really shocked to find out how expensive food was – one evening we spent £50 on burgers and beers for two of us! xo

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      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      June 22, 2017 at 11:11 am

      I wasn’t aware of that Visit Copenhagen card! Also, that’s shockingly dear for the food! I got a burger from a nice restaurant and it was only £12 without a drink!!

  • Reply
    Katy
    July 5, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    I love how comprehensive this post is! You really hit every single detail 🙂 I wish I would have rented a bike back when I was in Copenhagen because the trek out to the mermaid statue was loooooong!

    I also wanted to let you know that I have really enjoyed reading all of your posts. So much so that I have nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award! If you want to read the nomination post, it’s at my website TheTightwadTourist (dot) com

    Thanks so much for all the work you put into your blog upkeep!

    • Profile photo of journeywithchloe
      Reply
      journeywithchloe
      July 10, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you so much Katy! That really means a lot to me. I appreciate your comment. Sadly, I can’t find your website. It says that “the website is coming soon”. Not sure why that is?

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