How to see Copenhagen on a budget

Copenhagen is a great city but it has a reputation, like many Scandinavian cities, for being one of the more expensive destinations on the bucket list. Shoestringer will show you how to see Copenhagen on a budget and get that ‘hygge’ feeling.

Go in January

After the Christmas slump, give yourself something to look forward to. Head to Copenhagen in January for the cheapest deals on hotels.

You’re more likely to find something pretty central at this time of year so you will be saving money on travel. It’s a very walkable (and bike-able city see below) so staying central is a great idea. If you go in the winter you’ll also get the opportunity to experience the very Danish ‘hygge’ which roughly translates as a feeling of cosiness and contentment. You’ll find it in the candlelit bars and restaurants across the city at this time of year.

How to see Copenhagen on a budget

Get on your bike

By far the best way to get around Copenhagen is by bike. The city is built for cyclists and if the idea of biking around a capital city fills you with dread then bare-in-mind that the number of bikes far outweighs the number of cars in the Danish city.

Limit your drinking

Grabbing a beer will cost you in Copenhagen with Copenhageners paying the highest price for a pint of beer than anywhere else in the world. On averege, you’re likely to spend over £5 for a pint of lager, more for something more specialist. Instead of knocking back pints of lager you can get back home (For less money) why not invest in taste and quality and try the craft beers at the now famous Mikkeller Bar. It’s certainly not the cheapest but at least you get what you pay for at this independent brewer.

How to see Copenhagen on a budget

Breakfast on the go

Eating out is expensive in Copenhagen, and whilst you certainly should treat yourself, there is no need to have a posh breaky when there is so much to see and do around the capital. The Danish supermarket chain Netto have plenty of convenience stores dotted around the city and it’s much cheaper to grab a pastry here and get exploring. You pay more for your cup of the black stuff in Copenhagen as well, so maybe make use of the complimentary coffee in the hotel. The hotel we stayed in even had complimentary filtered coffee at the door as you exit. Nice !

Take in the freebies.

There is plenty to see in Copenhagen without having to reach for your wallet. Explore the totally Instagrammable Nyhavn, possibly one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Head to Christiansborg Palace, to go around most of the

Explore the totally Instagrammable Nyhavn, possibly one of the most beautiful streets in the world.

Head to Christiansborg Palace. To go around most of the palace you will have to pay (which is worth it) but if you want to experience the highest viewpoint of the city and take in the views then the church and tower are free.

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Promenade beside the harbour and see Copenhagen’s most famous resident Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid (and she really is little) perched on her rock.  Then take in Kastallet, a star shaped fortress open for tourists to explore its historic buildings and windmill (which you might recognise from Scandi drama The Bridge’s opening credits)

For a touch of the alternative take a look at the free town of Christiania. In the 1970’s an old military base was taken over by squatters who formed an alternative society. The ‘free town’ is somewhat controversial in Copenhagen largely because of the vast amounts of weed being smoked and dealt here, earning Christiania the title of ‘Green Light District’. The ‘town’ covers 34 hectares and even has a lake. Thier are restaurants and bars here, as well as artist studios and concert venues. Residents live in converted army barracks or self-made houses. It’s well worth a look and is a glimpse into a less traditional way of life.

How to see Copenhagen on a budget

Plan your itinerary.

For those things that aren’t free make sure you plan your itinerary well with your budget in mind. We found that it was totally possible to experience Copenhagen over three days with only £150 in our pocket. However, it took some careful planning to get the most from our money and strict budgeting is key to not breaking the bank in the Dutch capital.  Favour exploring rather than luxury and you will go far fellow Shoestringer.

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