Copenhagen is generally known as an expensive city and in most cases, this reputation rings true. With a little help from those in the know, however, it is possible to stretch your bucks that much further in the Danish capital. Here’s how.
- Eat breakfast at your hotel (even if it costs extra)
Over the last decade, budget accommodation has improved dramatically in Copenhagen, but while cheap rooms have gotten a lot nicer, free breakfasts have diminished. With so much of your budget going on expensive eats, however, filling up on the breakfast buffet on offer is not a bad idea; they’re generally of an excellent standard and well worth the DKK 50 ($10) charged. You could even wrap up a few cold cuts for a picnic lunch later.
- Walk everywhere — it’s easy (and free)
Copenhagen has an excellent public transportation system as well as plenty of bike hire places (it’s worth asking at your hotel if they rent out bikes). If you really want to make your money last, however, stretch your legs and take a stroll. It’s a wonderfully compact city and you’ll find almost all the sights within 15 minutes’ walk of your downtown hotel.
- Check out the free museums
Like most cities, Copenhagen has plenty of free attractions—from its parks like Kongens Have and the Botanical Gardens to its museums, some free all of the time (like the National Museum and national gallery Statens Museum for Kunst) and some that offer free entry one day a week (generally Wednesdays, like the Royal Armories and the Hirschsprung Samling, but on Sundays at Glyptoteket). In addition, the harbor bathing facility Havnebadet is also free, should the urge for a dip take you.
- Enjoy lunch in the park
If the weather is fine, order out from one of the city’s many sandwich shops and stroll over to a park for an al fresco lunch. Kongens Have, in the shadow of the stately Rosenborg Palace, is the city’s most popular park—try Lotte’s Sandwich shop on Kronprinsessegade, just across from the entrance.
- Take a boat trip
For a budget sightseeing tour, Netto Boats charge DKK40 for a one-hour guided tour of the city’s canals and harbor.
- Pit-stop on Nyhavn
Picturesque Nyhavn, with its pretty painted buildings perched on the harborfront, is a must-see on any Copenhagen visit, yet there’s no mistaking it as a tourist trap. Instead of blowing your budget in the street’s pricey cafes, buy a beer or an ice cream from the shop on the corner and enjoy it on the quayside, your legs dangling over the edge of the pier.
- Sit-down evening meal
Copenhagen’s reputation for world class cuisine may be legendary, but you’ve got less than $20 left for dining. Don’t despair; you can still manage a sit-down meal at one of the city’s many Asian restaurants for as little as DKK 90 a head, including a drink. Try Magasasa, a cheap Chinese restaurant across from the Central Train Station.
Image of Københavns Havnebad courtesy of Kontraframe.