Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in Europe and even a short trip to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen can result in financial shock and breakdown. To avoid that and still experience as much as possible (because traveling is all about experience) read following tips on how to survive in Copenhagen on a tight student budget.
Walk or get a bike
Copenhagen is not very big and most of the attractions are pretty concentrated so walking should not be a big problem. Another cheap option is to rent a bike and explore the city like true Copenhagener. If you really want to use public transport I suggest you get yourself a City Pass card, which allows you to use all public transportation (metro, train, bus, ferry bus) in 4 zones for selected time.
Couchsurfing and Airbnb are the best options in my opinion. Even better one is to stay at friend’s place (here you will also get a free guide, which is amazing, because locals know best). Hostels can be pretty expensive and in some of them you will have to pay extra for bed linen and towels (or bring your own, but on most cheap airlines your baggage is very limited). If you find a great hostel, make sure it has a kitchen. You will learn why in the following tip.
Eating out in restaurants in Copenhagen will empty your wallet in no time. Cooking is your best option to stay on the budget here, but we all have these days when we just don’t want to do it. Reasonably cheap or at least affordable are all-you-can-eat buffets. But be careful to be there before 4 or 5pm, because they charge more for “dinner” even though the food will be the same.
Street food can be reasonably cheap. You have to try Danish hot dog, their amazingly great looking open sandwiches – smoerrebrod and Danish pastry (which is delicious btw). They also have tons of pizza, kebabs, shawarma, burgers and all the other “normal” stuff, but when in Denmark….
For really cheap food you will have to wait until very late to get your almost midnight dinner. Danes started really amazing project Too good to go (there is also an app with the same name!) to stop wasting so much food. On this app you will find which restaurants offer this and most importantly when. Usually it is 15-30 minutes before they close, but check on the app to be sure. Prices can be as low as 20 kr. per meal and you can get a lot of food for this price at some places.
Free entrances to museums.
Yes, it is possible even in Copenhagen. Where? Here is the list:
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an art museum of international stature – free admissions on Tuesday.
Danish Architecture Centre – free on Wednesday from 5-9pm
Design Museum Denmark – free for students with valid student ID and people under 26 years
National Gallery of Denmark – free admission to the permanent exhibitions
Other free amazing stuff to see.
In Copenhagen you can find tons of amazing sights that are completely free all the time. The most famous statue of Copenhagen is free for you to see and take a selfie with it. What is it? The Little Mermaid of course. One of the must in Copenhagen.
You should also visit Freetown Christiania, which is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood in the borough of Christianshavn. Amazing part of Copenhagen which is definitely worth your time.
You should also take a nice walk along the Lakes of Copenhagen. Remember to bring some bread with you and feed the swams, ducks and other birds. It is also amazing place to go for a run.
Parks are also very nice in Copenhagen and there are many of them, so take some time off and relax in some of them. One of the most interesting ones is actually a graveyard, but Copenhageners use it also as a normal park. Assistens Kirkegard or Assistent Cemetery in English, is located in Norrebro (which is also amazing neigbourhood, that you must visit) and it is the burial site of many Danish notables, such as Hans Christian Andersen for example.
Once in Norrebro, you have to visit Superkilen, which in an urban park made of three main areas: a red square, a black market and a green park. Many of the objects from the park have been imported or copied from foreign designs (swings from Iraq, benches from Ljubljana, a fountain from Morocco and so on).
If you would like to learn more about Copenhagen history and architecture you should join free walking tour (or tours, because they actually have three different ones).
I think I gave you quite some options for your trip to Copenhagen, of course there is a lot more to see for free, but I will just let you to find those beautiful gems in the best city in the world (design magazine Wallpaper said so).