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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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