A budget travel guide to Copenhagen, Denmark, perfect for backpackers and study abroad students.
Copenhagen is a peaceful, unique, and versatile European destination.
It’s the first place I traveled to alone. Copenhagen is safe, comfortable, and easy to navigate.
People speak English, and people are friendly.
Scandinavia is known for being super expensive, but it is possible to see Copenhagen on a budget!
Budget airlines fly in and out of Copenhagen, and there are plenty of hostels for cheap accommodation.
Copenhagen is also small enough that most of the area can be explored on foot. So you barely need to spend money on public transport!
Here is your budget travel guide to Copenhagen, Denmark!
Budget Travel Guide To Copenhagen, Denmark
In this budget travel guide to Copenhagen, I’ll cover the best things to see and do.
I’ll include a section about free things to do in Copenhagen, such as exploring Nyhavn, the Copenhagen Public Library, Freetown Christiania and more. I will also include other fun and affordable attractions like Tivoli Gardens, taking a canal tour, and others.
Also, I’ll talk about the best places to eat, where to stay on a budget, and how to get around.
Best Things To See in Copenhagen:
Church of Our Savior
For 5.90 USD you can climb the bell tower of this gorgeous, Baroque church.
After making your way up the narrow, winding spiral staircase rimmed with gold, feast your eyes on the panoramic view of the colorful city.
The entrance fee for Church of Our Savior has a student discount available as well, so bring your ID card.
If you’re looking for an escape from urban life, the Botanical Garden makes for a scenic and peaceful afternoon.
Meander through the lush outdoor Botanical Garden filled with stone walkways and a serene, glassy pond.
Then enter the massive greenhouses to see eccentric flowers and outrageous exotic plants.
This centrally located, pedestrian-only street is the life and soul of Copenhagen’s Old Town.
As one of the city’s main shopping areas, Strøget is home to many popular, high-end stores and traditional local shops.
Nyhavn is one of the best things to see in Copenhagen.
This street is packed with adorable, brightly painted buildings that rest alongside a peaceful canal.
You may choose to stop in one of the many cafes along the streets of Nyhavn, or simply stroll around and absorb the colorful energy of the area.
Located in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn borough, this neighborhood is crawling with creativity.
Freetown Christiania represents a charming oasis of artistic freedom and relaxed vibes.
There are winding dirt roads, food trucks with outdoor picnic tables, skateboarding areas, and tons of fantastic street art.
Photography is not allowed, however. So be sure to appreciate the humble quirkiness of the neighborhood as you will never see anything else like it.
Other Free Things To Do in Copenhagen:
All the attractions I just listed are free except the Church of Our Savior.
But this is a budget travel guide to Copenhagen, so I will include even more free things to do!
Stroll Along the Canals
Canals are the threads that hold the fabric of Copenhagen together.
So walking along the endless maze of little rivers is the best way to see the city’s beauty for free.
Sunsets turn the canals into glowing streams of gold, so definitely go for a stroll in the evening.
Admire Rosenborg Castle and Gardens
Though you have to pay to enter the gorgeous Renaissance-era Rosenborg Castle, it is free to observe the majestic building from the outside.
The Rosenborg Castle Gardens are also open to the public, which are perfect for an afternoon walk or a picnic in the soft grass.
Visit the Royal Library
A quick trip to Copenhagen’s gigantic public library is a wonderful addition to free sightseeing.
The building’s sleek, modernist architecture is quite impressive, and the sweeping glass windows create lovely views.
Affordable & Fun Things To Do in Copenhagen:
If you’re up for spending a little money, there are some super fun activities you can do in Copenhagen.
Take A Canal Tour
For less than $20, you can take a one hour cruise along the canals of Copenhagen.
This is a super fun way to treat yourself, and it is still very affordable.
Check out the stunning views of the city from the water and take some incredible photos!
Rent A Bike
You’ll notice that the Danish locals love to ride their bikes around the city.
It is a fun and easy way to get around, and it allows you to cover more ground and explore more!
Ask around for the best bike rental shops, such as Copenhagen City Bike.
Experience the Wonders of Tivoli Gardens
As the world’s second-oldest amusement park, Tivoli Gardens hosts numerous restaurants, exciting rides, and frequent shows and performances.
Tivoli Gardens are particularly stunning in the winter.
Christmas decorations and exuberant lights transform Tivoli into a magnificent winter wonderland.
What to Eat in Copenhagen:
Denmark is famous for its delicious open-faced sandwiches, which consist of dark rye bread and various toppings including cheese, meat, and other spreads.
You can find this delicious meal all over Copenhagen, but Schønnemann is a very traditional Danish cafe that serves some of the best Smørrebrød in the city.
It’s definitely worth treating yourself to a nice brunch in Copenhagen. Be sure to get some fresh coffee, baked goods, and other hearty dishes.
The city has so many incredible brunch places.
A popular favorite is Mad & Kaffe, which has multiple locations and allows you to create your own brunch plate.
Denmark’s bakeries sell some of the most incredible, fluffy pastries and loaves of homemade bread.
Andersen Bakery and Cafe near Central Station is famous for its gourmet hot dogs and traditional Danish pastries.
Other Copenhagen Food Recommendations
The Meatpacking District is also packed with amazing food places and bustling bars and represents a great area for a night out.
A popular venue here is WarPigs, a brewpub complete with a restaurant as well as an on-site brewery.
Visit the food market, Kødbyens Mad & Marked, open on weekends throughout the summer with around 70 different food vendors.
Where to Stay on a Budget:
As a relatively popular tourist destination, Copenhagen has lots of great hostels.
Most dorm rooms cost around 30 USD per night. It’s not super cheap, but still much cheaper than a hotel.
Most Copenhagen hostels are also modern, sleek, clean, and well-equipped.
Almost every Copenhagen hostel on Hostelworld is rated 8 or 9 out of 10 as well!
I personally stayed at Copenhagen Downtown Hostel. The common area was cozy, the staff were helpful, and the breakfast was delicious.
How To Get Around Copenhagen:
Walking is the cheapest and most enjoyable way to explore the city.
Luckily Copenhagen has a reputation for having a very safe environment.
The Metro is also a useful tool that is easy to figure out and relatively inexpensive.
For example, the Metro can transport you from the airport right to Copenhagen Central Station, which is conveniently located within walking distance from the heart of the city.
As for flights into Copenhagen, check Europe’s best budget airlines like Ryan Air, Easy Jet, and Norweigan Airlines.
I flew from London to Copenhagen for 12 USD on Ryan Air, which is unreal!!
Things To Know Before Visiting Copenhagen:
- As many locals love biking, most roads have bike lanes that are frequently packed with bike traffic. Definitely keep an eye on these and try to avoid walking in them to avoid being run over by bikers.
- Denmark also prides itself on its Christmas traditions. So definitely try to visit during the holidays to get a taste of the magnificent Christmas markets and decorations.
- Overall, Copenhagen is notorious for being one of the happiest places in the world. So be sure to relax, absorb the laid-back atmosphere, and truly enjoy your time there.
- Squaremouth Insurance is a great option for buying travel insurance if you want it. Their plans are affordable, and their customer service is amazing.
If you’re traveling to Denmark, visit iVisa.com to find out if you need a visa.
Check out my other articles from Denmark and Scandinavia:
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