When people ask me if Copenhagen was expensive my immediate answer is yes. And it is true, food and drinks were expensive and museum/gallery admission is expensive, but there are plenty of things in Copenhagen which are good value for money. Public transport is cheap and there are plenty of things in the city to do for free. Don't let the cost of living in the capital of Denmark put you off, the Danes are amongst the most happy in the world, so clearly it is a good trade-off for them. Read our tips on saving money during a city break in Copenhagen, and how to make your Krones go a little further.
Save money on attractions
There are many attractions in Copenhagen, with everything from majestic palaces, to modern galleries, cosy cobbled streets and infamous statues, there is plenty to do in the capital of Denmark and alot that you can do inexpensively. We didn't pay to enter any attractions, instead using the city's electric bikes to journey around Copenhagen, stopping off to take photos from outside and enjoying food and lots of coffee! Unless you are an avid royalist or history fan, I feel as though we didn't miss out on anything during our city break as there are alot of attractions, parks and landmarks that can be visited without spending a single krone!
Here are some free attractions in the city:
Nyhavn - the infamous colourful harbour in Copenhagen has plenty of benches and seating area for you to simply people watch or wander the street for free.
Botanical gardens - whilst there is an entry fee to the palm house, the gardens are free for you to roam around and have plenty of spots for you to enjoy a picnic!
Freetown Christiania - the city's hippie district, Christiana is considered an autonomous community with its own laws, flag and way of life.
Amalienborg Palace - although you can pay to enter this palace, you can watch the changing of the guards around 12pm everyday for free!
Strøget - stroll one of the longest pedestrianised roads in Europe and window shops in the luxury brand such as Chanel and Prada.
King's Garden - a picturesque immaculately maintained garden home to Rosenborg castle, King's garden is a great place for a picnic or grabbing a coffee in the cute, kitsch cafe.
Torvehallerne Market - feast your eyes on the amazing range of street food, snacks, drinks and coffees for sale at the market - although be warned, the food itself is very pricey!
The Little Mermaid - this infamous statue is located riverside and is free for anyone to visit.
Islands Brygge - after cleaning its once polluted waters, Copenhagen opened a harbour baths which is popular in the summer months and free to visit.
Dining on a budget
Although I knew that Scandinavian countries are amongst the most expensive in Europe, I was shocked by the price of food and drinks. Even in the suburbs of our air b'n'b, we didn't get change from £20 for 3 coffees and 2 pastries for breakfast. Although we did spend around £400 for three people over 3 days, we did find some more inexpensive options for food in the city.
Our tips for some cheaper food choices in Copenhagen:
When planning my visit to Copenhagen I was confused to see that the metro station doesn't have many stops in the centre of the city, with the main tourist attractions not well connected. My advice is a little plain for saving money whilst travelling around the city, walk! Copenhagen is mostly flat, making it very easy to explore and if you use a navigation app such as google maps it is extremely easy to travel between attractions. Unless your accommodation is far from the city centre I would say that metro passes and tickets are not worth the money, as at most each of the tourist landmarks are only one stop apart and it may be less hassle to simply walk. Better yet, if you are fed up of walk, hire one of the thousands of electric bikes stationed throughout the city for around £1.50 per 30 minutes.
Hotels are inevitably expensive in Scandinavia, so we found that our most affordable option was definitely staying in an airbnb. By renting accommodation advertised on airbnb, we were able to choose between well decorated and unique apartments, which we would have never had found or afforded when searching for a hotel. We stayed in island brygge, only a few metro stops from the center of Copenhagen and saved ourselves alot of money compared to staying more central in the city. The public transport serving the city and particularly the surrounding suburban areas is very cheap and efficient, so don't be afraid of saving yourself some money by finding places that are further from the hustle and bustle.
I would also recommend finding somewhere well in advance of your trip. We definitely found the closer our trip approached, less properties were available, leaving either unsuitable homes or those which were well out of our budget. I would 100% recommend where we stayed for groups of 2/4 as it was bright and airy and very well decorated! Check out the property here.
Don't forget to use our code to save yourself £25 on bookings over £75 - click here!