Scandinavian countries are known for blowing a hole in your travel budget and whilst this is an affordable luxury blog, rather than a budget one, I want to ensure you have more bang for your buck when you visit Copenhagen for the first time. Similarly to my post all about how to budget and save money in Iceland, this post will give you all the best tips for enjoying Copenhagen on a budget and tips for saving money too!
Save Money in Copenhagen, Budget for your Trip
With cheap flights to Copenhagen from most airports, it has never been easier to visit Denmark’s capital. Though, on arrival, you may find it more expensive than you had envisaged.
There are ways to save money in Copenhagen, budget and, I’ll be sharing tips on how to make the most of your Copenhagen itinerary without breaking the bank!
Is Copenhagen Expensive?
One of the top questions you may have before visiting Copenhagen is, is Copenhagen expensive? Yes, Copenhagen is expensive but there are ways of budgeting your trip to Copenhagen and seeing Copenhagen on the cheap without blowing all your spending money in one day. If I can manage it, anyone can!
Budget in Copenhagen by Booking Accommodation with Kitchen Facilities
One of the most efficient tips for saving money in any of the Scandinavian countries is to book accommodation with kitchen facilities. Having the freedom to cook your own meals will always be the best way to save you money as opposed to destination dining in Copenhagen’s restaurants.
You may recognise some of the supermarkets in Copenhagen to pick up groceries …Aldi, Lidl and Netto are the cheapest supermarkets in Copenhagen.
Trying local specialities and dishes is part of the travel experience, I hear you cry! You needn’t worry about missing out on Copenhagen’s local food specialities by not eating in Copenhagen’s restaurants. The food markets in Copenhagen are plentiful in terms of ingredients to cook in your own accommodation and by visiting them you have the opportunity to try local and worldwide cuisines.
Enjoy Brøchner Hotel’s Happy Hour to Save Money in Copenhagen
If like me, you can’t help but book a boutique hotel in Copenhagen (I stayed at Hotel Ottilia at a discounted press rate). Brøchner Boutique Hotels’ happy hour is quite the money saver! Every day between 5-6pm Brøchner’s wine hour enables you to drink the house red and white wine for free! Even if you are staying in a different Brøchner hotel, you can pop into any Brøchner hotel between 5-6pm to enjoy happy hour. With Brøchner hotels conveniently located all around Copenhagen, it has never been easier to grab a free tipple!
Here are Brøchner’s Copenhagen hotels:
If you stay at a Brøchner Hotel in Copenhagen, you also get to enjoy a free buffet breakfast too!
Eat your Main Meal at Lunch to Save on Food and Drink Prices in Copenhagen
If it’s not quite a trip to Copenhagen without dining in one of Copenhagen’s cafes or restaurants, another way to save money in Copenhagen is by eating your main meal of the day at lunch, rather than dinner time.
Combining breakfast and lunch for brunch or, eating a big hearty lunch to satisfy your appetite for a day exploring Copenhagen is likely to save you money in Copenhagen.
Why not have a fabulous brunch at The Union Kitchen and then grab a bite to eat at Copenhagen’s food markets in the evening?
One day in Copenhagen, Adam and I grabbed brunch at The Union Kitchen, I enjoyed The BEC (bacon, egg and cheese) served in a soft brioche bun with salad. Adam ordered the pulled pork bowl (shown below).
These two mains, with two cappuccinos and two ciders, came to 504 DKK (£58.50 approx). No doubt, eating a similar-sized meal at dinner would have cost us a lot more! Instead, we grabbed a takeaway box of Nordic Noodles for dinner and with two drinks, which still cost 202 DKK (£23.53)…
The Average Price of a Meal in Copenhagen
To really give you an idea of food and drink prices in Copenhagen, check the details of an average price of a meal in Copenhagen’s Nyhavn region below:
Steaks (Average 189 – 289 DKK)
Cheeseburger (169 DKK)
Grilled fish (98 – 225 DKK)
Pasta (125 – 165 DKK)
For a more expensive meal in Copenhagen, we headed to Restaurant Barr in Nyhavn:
A Glass of Red Wine
Christian Bale Pale Ale
Pork lard with diamond lemon salted butter
Meatball (which tasted like sage sausage)
Waffle codfish roe with creme fraiche
Walnut and sherry pudding
The restaurant had a great social vibe, we tried dishes we may not have ordinarily tried, though we did spend more than we intended to on the first night!
Take Advantage of the Copenhagen Street Food Prices at Copenhagen’s Food Markets
There are plenty of food markets in Copenhagen to choose from and many are within walking distance from Copenhagen city centre. The street food markets in Copenhagen are a great way to save money in Copenhagen and, if there’s one Scandinavian food that’s sure to be a money saver in Copenhagen it’s eating a hot dog! Scandinavian countries are mad for hot dogs, which I found surprising when I visited Iceland.
The Copenhagen street food prices are very reasonable, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to tuck into fresh a traditional Smørrebrød Danish open sandwich or fresh Danish pastries.
Eating in the markets also enables you to enjoy the best of Copenhagen, especially if you only have one day in Copenhagen to fully explore.
Torvehallerne is one of the most well known of Copenhagen’s street food markets and it’s located right in the city centre of Copenhagen. Torvehallerne comprises two main halls offering takeaway, small restaurants, fresh food and groceries.
Kødbyens Mad & Marked is located in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District and is a great place to grab a bite and enjoy the local bars into the early hours for those looking to enjoy Copenhagen at night!
Reffen food market is located in Refshaleøen, an industrial area popular with locals as well as tourists. It has over 50 stalls offering an array of international cuisines. Next to the market, there is a local craft brewery called Mikkeller, where you can pick a beer to match your food.
Try a Free Copenhagen Walking Tour to Save Money and Time in Copenhagen
If you only have one day in Copenhagen or your Copenhagen itinerary is limited, why not try a free walking tour to see the best attractions in Copenhagen with a guide?
Many popular cities in Europe offer free walking tours and Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city is no exception. A free walking tour enables you to budget your trip to Copenhagen, whilst being able to experience all the best things to see in Copenhagen in one day. Copenhagen free walking tours even have a free walking tour of Christianshavn.
The Copenhagen free walking tours operate 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions, based on a minimum of 5 participants in the tour. The complimentary Copenhagen walking tour lasts around 2.5 hours, though spaces are limited so it’s best to book your spot in advance.
Whilst a free walking tour enables you to see Copenhagen on the cheap, it is always polite to leave a discretionary tip for the tour guide at the end of the tour.
Embrace the Many Free Things to do in Copenhagen
The Little Mermaid
Whilst many people have a love or hate relationship with The Little Mermaid Statue, it is one of the top free things to see in Copenhagen.
Colourful houses of Nyhavn
Even if you only have one day in Copenhagen, one of the best things to see in Copenhagen in a day is without a doubt, the colourful houses of Nyhavn. Most probably the most popular tourist attraction in Copenhagen, I could quite easily spend a day in Copenhagen sat on a bench looking a the pretty reflection on the water at Nyhavn. Plus, wandering the cobbled streets of Nyhavn is free!
Green Spaces in Copenhagen
There are many green spaces in Copenhagen, where you can enjoy Copenhagen’s natural areas for free, such as the Botanical Gardens. One place I loved on my trip to Copenhagen was Kongens Have – Kings Park overlooking Rosenborg Castle and Gardens.
Freetown Christiania in Christianshavn
Speaking of green, Christiania is a Green Light District, in which marijuana is freely sold on Pusher Street (not for free of course!) Even if this holds no appeal, there are some cool street artworks to see in Freetown Christiania.
Though, not necessarily my draw for visiting Christianshavn, the real highlight for me was seeing the Church of Our Saviour.
Admission-Free Museum Days
Whilst sadly, museum entry does not come for free like in England, there are admission-free days to visit.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
With free admission every Tuesday, there’s no better reason to visit one of Copenhagen’s most popular museums.
I love modern art and Kunsthal Charlottenborg is one of Copenhagen’s leading modern art galleries. The best thing is that it’s free admission every Wednesday!
Love contemporary art? Check out Museum Voorlinden in The Hague.
Swim in Copenhagen’s Harbour Baths
If you happen to be visiting Copenhagen in Summer, one of the best free things to do in Copenhagen is swim Copenhagen’s many harbour baths.
Unfortunately, things to do in Copenhagen in winter, when I visited, doesn’t quite cover harbour baths! But, you can read my perfect one day in Copenhagen itinerary by clicking here!
Travel Around Copenhagen Using Cheaper Transportation
Getting around Copenhagen is easy and Copenhagen is a very walkable city. Alternatively, a great way to enjoy a day in Copenhagen is by seeing the main attractions by bike! Some bikes even come with an i-map facility, how cool is that!
The trains in Copenhagen are also a great way to explore the city and there was certainly no need to hire a car. The trains even come with a handy bike storage section, making it easier to get around Copenhagen by bike and train!
Train tickets for two from Copenhagen Airport to Central Station cost 72 DKK. Though, there are ways to save money getting around Copenhagen…
Buy a Copenhagen Card
One of the cheapest ways to get around Copenhagen on a budget is buying a Copenhagen Card. The Copenhagen Card gives you free transport in Copenhagen, as well as access to 87 attractions and museums.
The Copenhagen city pass has unlimited travel, including to and from Copenhagen airport and free admission to Copenhagen’s castles, canal tours, Tivoli Gardens and more!
Whether you are only spending one day in Copenhagen or 4 days in Copenhagen, the Copenhagen Card has a range of purchase options to help you budget your trip to Copenhagen.
Could you Enjoy Copenhagen on a Budget?
This packed Copenhagen itinerary just goes to show you can enjoy Copenhagen on the cheap without having to break the bank! I love affordable luxury travel experiences, as much as the next person, but some trips call for saving money to enjoy the best of a destination!
I hope this post helped you budget your weekend in Copenhagen! I’d be very grateful if you shared this post on social media to help other travellers like you, using the sharing icons on the left and below!