While you can book flights to Copenhagen for around a reasonable £60, the rest of the trip may not be as easy on your bank balance.
If you do a little research on the city, you may realise that a trip to Denmark’s capital is likely to be a little more pricey than a usual European city break. The flights are roughly around the same price as those to places like Barcelona, Reykjavik or Amsterdam, but the hostel, the food, the sights are a little more. So when you’re travelling around one of Europe’s most beautiful, but expensive, cities, how do you do it on a budget?
Copenhage has plenty of hostels. And whilst hostels aren’t the ideal accommodation for some people, those travelling on a budget usually have no issue in sharing a room with a handful of other people. It’s fun. You meet new people from all over the world, and the trip you originally thought you’d be taking alone gets company. The Copenhagen Downtown Hostel costs around £30 a night, and is one of the cheapest hostels you’ll find. On top of this, its location, slapbang in the middle of the city, will be sure to seal the deal for you. Only a 5 minute walk from the station trains from the airport arrive in to, and walking distance to every major sight and attraction, the hostel is ideal.
If sharing a room with strangers isn’t for you, or you’re travelling with a group and want a private room for yourself, the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel is still a good shout. It’s rooms range from single bed, all the way up to 10 bed, and with an all you can eat buffet breakfast for 65DKK (about £7) its a great way to start saving.
Money saving tip
Eat until your heart is content at breakfast, and if you’re sneaky enough (and a lot of backpackers are) make yourself little sandwiches at breakfast, to take out with you and enjoy later in the day! There is plenty of bread and rolls to choose from, and a large selection of cheese, ham, chicken and salami to fill them!
Similarly to a lot of other things in Denmark, the food can too be expensive. However, there are some cheap, and equally as delicious, finds that will fill your stomach with tasty Danish delights whilst also saving you your pennies.
Once the home of the Danish Press and serving as their paper storage, Papirøen (or Paper Island) is Copenhagen’s one and only street food market. This unique eatery is its own individual island and now houses street food trucks from all corners of the world. Whilst the prices of each dish do vary significantly, if you walk around the entire hall which is bursting at the brim with food choices, you will be sure to find something that takes your fancy. Once you have chosen, be sure to take your food outside on to the island’s edge and enjoy it with a view of the rest of the city.
You cannot visit Denmark without tasting traditional danish pastries either. And with bakeries on every corner, you’d be one of a kind if you manage to go your whole trip without stepping in one. It’s safe to say a couple of pastries aren’t going to be the healthiest or most nutritious lunch you’ve ever had, but if you can’t pig out on holiday then when can you?! Right? Whilst there are hundreds of small, family run bakeries in the city which are incredible, the Danish chain bakery Lagkagehuset is sure to be able to compete. Perfect for a bite to eat on the go – when you’ve got so many places you want to see and not enough hours left in your trip – Lagkagehuset has a wide range of pastries, cakes, sandwiches, pizzas and even the Smørrebrød (the popular Danish open sandwich).
Money saving tip
At Højbro Plads, the place where you’ll find The Bishop Absalon Horse Statue, is the most incredible hot dog stand. For around £3, there is a huge selection of different types of hotdogs with a wide range of toppings. Ask for the typical hot dog and throwing on all of the toppings available. You wont be disappointed.
SIGHTS AND TOURS
The most famous sight to see in Copenhagen has to be Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid statue. Whilst this little statue is a little underwhelming upon arrival, the walk out of the main city centre to see it isn’t that far and can you really say you’ve been to Copenhagen unless you’ve got a photograph of the girl herself? Popular with tourists practically 24 hours a day, prepare to wait in a queue to get a clear shot of the mermaid, or be prepared to push families taking hundreds of snaps of the same shot of their children out of the way!
The most picturesque part of Copenhagen is Nyhavn. The beautiful harbour has been restored since its busy docking days and is now lined with colourful restaurants, cafes and bars. The relaxed atmosphere is perfect to enjoy at the end of a long day sightseeing, so grab a drink (or dessert – the harbour has plenty of ice cream, waffle and crepe stalls) and sit along the harbour’s edge with the locals.
If you love spending your travels simply walking around and exploring each new city you visit the best way to do this is by joining a walking tour. By looking online or asking at your hostel or hotel’s reception you can easily find out where these go from and which ones are the best to join. A ‘Copenhagen Free Walking Tours‘ tour is identifiable by its ‘green’ umbrellas. The group of young tour guides will show you around the city, teaching you all about the history and culture of Copenhagen, and all without the guarantee that they’ll make any money from it at all. These tours are technically free, however lots of people like to tip the tour guides by paying what they think the service was worth. How generous (or how strapped for cash…) would you be feeling?
Once you’ve seen the city from land, its only right that you see the city from the water. Canal tours are a great way to enjoy the city, especially in the sunshine and although some can be around £9 for an hour trip, if you look around some can be half that price. The tours will take you down the smallest of canals, under the lowest of bridges and to some of the hidden spots that are not that accessible by foot.
Whilst on a canal or walking tour, you will be sure to see some extra sights that have enticed you to come back for a second proper visit. If you fancy a bit of a challenge, aren’t scared of heights and are fit enough to climb up a ridiculous amount of stairs and ladders, take a walk to Vor Frelsers Kirke. The Church of Our Saviour, located in just across the water in Christianshavn, is most famous for its helix spire. Once you’ve climbed an endless number of steps and ladders inside the tower you will then be faced with the church’s external winding staircase. Not for the faint hearted, this staircase will take you as close to the spire as humanly possible, to the point where each step becomes just a few inches in width! Don’t look down, but look out across the whole of Copenhagen to some of the most beautiful views I have seen in Europe. The canals and buildings look incredible from above, and on a clear day you may even be lucky enough to see the Øresund Bridge, which links Copenhagen to Malmö, Sweden.
Money saving tip
Lots of attraction tickets can be purchased at the same time. For example, when buying a canal tour ticket, it is also possible to pay a little extra and get a ticket to Tivoli Gardens. The Tivoli Gardens entrance fee is quite expensive for those on a budget, especially if you’re wanting to pay for rides and food once you are inside the park too. Buying a Tivoli ticket with your canal tour ticket is only a small amount more than the Tivoli ticket itself, making the canal tour almost free!