Copenhagen is one of the greatest European cities with colorful architecture, friendly locals and incredible sustainability concepts. With more people visiting this Scandinavian country than ever before, Denmark, and Copenhagen in particular, are quickly becoming one of the top destinations in Northern Europe.
However, traveling to Denmark is not cheap.
Food and accommodations come as the biggest expenses, and if you don’t budget properly, you could easily spend up to a few hundred dollars a day. But if you make a few adjustments to your travel style, you can see Copenhagen on a budget.
Copenhagn has several good hostels not far from tourist spots, and incredible cafes where you can eat inexpensively… you just have to know where to look!
This Copenhagen Budget Travel Guide has recommendations for some of the best places to visit in Copenhagen without breaking the bank. While I spent only two days in Copenhagen, I managed to keep my expenses after I did some research. And Copenhagen quickly became one of my favorite destinations in Europe (alongside with Switzerland!)
Copenhagen Budget Travel Guide
Where To Stay on a Budget in Copenhagen
Truth be told, Copenhagen is an expensive city when it comes to accommodation.
The only way to save some money is to stay at budget hotels and hostels. Luckily, there are several great hostels located relatively close to touristy places.
If you are looking to save money on your accommodation in Copenhagen, I recommend staying at Generator Copenhagen, Bedwood Hostel, Urban House or Danhostel. They all have amazing locations, clean beds, and are rated well with other travelers.
Cheap Transit in Copenhagen
Thankfully the public transportation systems in Copenhagen are fast, reliable, and best of all… CHEAP!
A 2 zone ticket that will take you around the city costs 24 DKK/ $3.50 USD
Copenhagen is also a city where you can easily take the metro from the airport to the city centre.
For this you will need a 3 zone ticket, which only costs 38 DKK/ $5.60 USD.
More on where to buy metro tickets an their costs HERE
Cheap or Free Attractions in Copenhagen
No trip to Copenhagen is complete without visiting Nyhavn, a canal district lined with colorful buildings that house bars and restaurants. As one the most popular places to visit in Copenhagen, Nyhavn packs on plenty of adventure. Here you can take a boat tour, check out sailing ships parked along the canal and dine on a delicious meal.
In fact, this street is nicknamed “The Longest Bar in Scandinavia” as some of its bars and eateries are open 24 hours. Whatever brings you to Nyhavn, make sure to take plenty of pictures and have a great time! Nyhavn is lined with restaurants, however, since most of them tend to cater to tourists, their prices are high.
Sandwich for $14 USD
Acai Bowl for $11 USD
The neighborhood Christiania is a fairly new addition to popular places to visit in Copenhagen, however, it is quickly gaining the liking of tourists. While the history of this district dates back to the 70’s when it was a military district, today’s Freetown Christiania is a hippie mecca has close to 900 residents and its own rules and regulations independent from the country’s government.
In the Green Light District of Christiania you can legally buy cannabis that is illegal in Denmark. But that not the only thing that makes Christiania famous. Here you can find many organic cafes, visit cool souvenir shops, and look and stroll through town admiring the abundance of street art.
The King’s Garden
The King’s Garden which is sometimes referred to as Rosenborg Garden in Copenhagen in the oldest park in the city that features beautiful landscapes and flowers beds. It is a perfect spot to sit down and relax when you are tired of all the walking around or simply meet up with your friends.
Rosenborg Castle is a former royal sits right in the middle of the King’s Garden. Today, visitors can see a number of treasures and royal regalia that date back to the period of absolute monarchy in Denmark. The entrance to the castle costs 115 danish kroner for an adult and you can also buy it online to save the wait time in line.
Price: 115 DKK / $17 USD
The pedestrian shopping street of Copenhagen has everything from quaint little shops that sell good made by local artists to expensive designer stores. If you want to do some window shopping, head over to Stroget. And if you want to buy something, during mid-summer, many stores offer discounts and good deals on otherwise expensive merchandise.
Price: Free (as long as your not shopping that is!)
The Round Tower
Located in the heart of Stroget Street, the Round Tower is a landmark that plays an important part in the Danish culture and history. Called Rundetaarn in Danish, it is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe today. The tower was built in 1601 when the Danish King Christian IV wanted to continue the legacy of the prominent Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Today the round tower is used by visitors and many aspiring astronomers. It offers a 360-degree view of the city from its top platform.
Price: 24 DKK / $3.50 USD
Looking to get some fresh produce and artisan goods and crafts? Look no further than Torvehallerne, an urban market popular with tourists and locals where you can get some fresh food, delicious desert and locally grown produce. I definitely recommend this place whether you are a foodie or just like to seek food markets wherever you travel, make sure to visit Torvehallerne Market.
There will be some trendy food stalls with expensive prices here, but you’ll still find a bargain or two. Be on the lookout for cheap pastries, breads and even produce you can make your own food with. Also, sometimes stalls will offer free tastings and samples, so keep your eye out for those!
Price: FREE to browse and sample.
The town square hall the middle of the city is a perfect place to sit down and relax if you are tired of walking around Copenhagen. The square is a popular hang out spot and boasts several sights such as the City Hall, the Statue of Hand Christian Andersen and the Dragon Fountain.
Radhuspadsen is easy to find because it links Stroget Street with the passage of Vestrobrogade.
Anybody who wants to learn the Danish culture and history should visit Amalienborg Palace or at least tour its main square. The palace is a home of the Danish royal family. Outside the palace, you will see the famous Royal Guard that’s called Den Kongelige Livgarde in Danish. The change of guards happens at 12 p.m. every day when guards walk from Rosenborg Castle along the the streets of the city to Amalienborg Palace. If you want to see this old tradition, I highly recommend to stick around.
The Amalienborg museum has regular exhibits and also offers guided tours. If you decide to visit one of the museums of Amalienborg Palace, you will have a chance to learn about about the lives of Danish monarchs since the beginning of the 19th century.
Price:95 DKK / $14 USD for adults and 65 DKK / $10 USD for students.
More commonly known as Marble Church, it is located west of Amalienborg Palace. This Lutheran Church can be easily found thanks to the large green dome that rises above many other buildings in the city. The entrance to the church is free and you can even visit its dome during certain hours.
By the way, when you are checking out Frederik’s church you’ll also find one of the cities cheapest and most popular eateries nearby. The Madbaren has some of the most affordable food in Copenhagen! You’ll find sandwiches for $58kr ($8.50 USD), pizzas for $68kr ($10 USD), and cappuccinos for $30kr ($4.50 USD)
Home to the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court and a number of other government organizations, Christiansborg Palace is located on Slotsholmen, an islet in central part of Copenhagen. If you decide to take a tour of Christiansborg Palace, you will be able to see royal reception rooms, the royal stables and the Christiansborg Palace Tower. Unlike the rest of the palace that requires a ticket, going up the tower is free, so you should stop by at least for that. However, if you want to see everything that the palace as to offer, plan to spend between 2-3 hours here.
Price: Free (The Parliament and the Palace Chapel)
160 DKK / $23 USD for all the other rooms and tours
The star-shaped Kastellet is one of the best preserved fortresses in northern part of Europe that played an important part in the Danish history since the 17th century. Today it is a historical site (that is still occupied by troops) and popular park surrounded by lakes which is perfect for an afternoon stroll. And don’t forget your camera as many colorful buildings here make for a perfect photo opportunity.
The area around Kastellet is great for running around, as it provides plenty of trails and shade making it a perfect workout spot.
The Little Mermaid
Walk through Kastellet toward the north and you will find the most famous landmark in Copenhagen – the Little Mermaid. The little statue sits on the rock in the city’s harbor and greets hundreds of tourists who come to see her every day.
How to Visit Copenhagen for $50 a day
Hostel (@ Bedwood) = $16 USD
2 zone metro ticket = $3.50 USD
Free attraction = $0
Cappuccino and pastry breakfast (@ Torvehallerne Market) = $8 USD
Acai Bowl Lunch (@ Souls) = $11 USD
Pizza for Dinner (@ Madbaren) = $10 USD
The Copenhagen Card
If you want to stretch your budget a little bit, you could also invest in the Copenhagen Card.
For example, a 72 hour pass with the Copenhagen Card will give you:
- Free unlimited use of the metro
- Admission to 80+ attractions and museums
- Some discounts on restaurants and cafes
A 72 hour pass is 740DKK or $109 USD and it might end up saving you some money if you plan to ride the metro a lot and see many attractions. Plan out your trip ahead of time and see which way saves you more money.
Have a great trip to Copenhagen!
About The Author “The Discovery Nut”
The Discovery Nut is a travel blog focused on sustainability and encouraging others to get out of their comfort zone. Daria founded The Discovery Nut because she wanted to share her passion for travel with others and show them some of the coolest places she has visited. Through her blog, she hopes to inspire others to venture out into the world and discover new destinations. Follow her journey on her INSTAGRAM and her PINTEREST