Travel cheap in Copenhagen
Welcome to Copenhagen, a vibrant and beautiful city that also has a reputation for being… well, a tad expensive.
Sure, it might be one of the pricier destinations in Europe, but we’re here for you, fellow travelers. If you avoid splurging at Michelin-starred restaurants or taking lavish taxi rides, you’ll be thrilled to know that Copenhagen offers many budget-friendly and even FREE activities that will make you reconsider your view.
If you’re visiting Copenhagen for only one day in transit, don’t forget to browse our other article as well.
Visit Copenhagen on a budget
📚 Admire the Black Diamond Library
Start your adventure by delving into the fascinating world of literature by checking out the Royal Danish Library on Slotsholmen island, and especially the head-turning Black Diamond Library. This architectural gem houses more than an impressive collection of books; it also offers you stunning waterfront views in combo with a Hogwarts-like Reading Room. Grab a cozy corner, browse through the shelves, and let your imagination run wilder than a Quidditch player (wink-wink).
🌈 Explore Freetown Christiania
Step into the alternative side of Copenhagen as you visit Freetown Christiania, a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood known for its one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Wander through the colorful streets, admire the eclectic artwork, and embrace the free-spirited vibes. Just remember to respect the rules and take in the distinct sense of freedom that fills the air.
📸 Meet the Little Mermaid
A visit to Copenhagen is never complete without saying hello to the city’s most iconic resident, the Little Mermaid. Strike a pose, snap a selfie, and capture a memory with this beloved statue that has stolen the hearts of visitors for decades. It’s a picture-perfect chance!
💂 Witness the Changing of the Guards
Experience a touch of… royal elegance as you watch the Changing of the Guards Ceremony near the Royal Palace. Admire the precision of this traditional event during which uniformed guards march in perfect unison. It’s a regal spectacle that will cost you zero krones.
🌳 Picnic at Frederiksberg Gardens
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by heading to the quiet oasis of Frederiksberg Gardens. This expansive park offers lush green landscapes, picturesque lakes, and even a romantic palace. Pack a picnic, soak up the chilling vibes, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon surrounded by nature.
🚶 Join a free walking tour
Uncover the hidden gems of Copenhagen with a free walking tour. Led by knowledgeable local guides, these tours provide you with fascinating insights into the city’s history, culture, and landmarks. Stroll through the charming streets, listen to captivating stories, and discover the secrets that make Copenhagen so special. And make sure you stroll around Nyhavn, a picturesque waterfront district in Copenhagen, known for its colorful historic buildings, charming canal, and lively atmosphere.
🏰 Discover the King’s Garden
Step into a fairytale at the King’s Garden (Kongens Have), a beautifully manicured park right in the midst of urban life. Lose yourself in the enchanting atmosphere, admire the blooming flowers, and find a cozy spot to unwind, listen to your podcasts, meditate or read.
🏊 Dive into fun at Islands Brygge Bath
Cool off during the summer months at Islands Brygge Bath, a popular hangout spot for locals. Take a refreshing dip in the clean waters, soak up the sun on the spacious wooden decks, and enjoy the fun vibes. Best of all? It’s 100% free!
🏖️ Unwind at Amager beach
Feel the sand between your toes and the salty breeze on your face at Amager Beach. This beautiful stretch of coastline gives you a refreshing retreat from the city. Whether you’re up for a swim, a leisurely stroll, or simply lounging under the sun, Amager Beach is the perfect spot to relax and recharge.
🩰 Brunch & Ballet at the Royal Danish Theatre
Get ready for an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of ballet.
The Royal Danish Ballet swing open their doors and invite you to witness their daily practice session, on selected Saturdays, for FREE! Just snag yourself a ticket to secure your spot and arrive by 9 AM to enjoy a breakfast bag while watching the dancers in action (you have 2 options: enjoy your breakfast beforehand or bring it with you into the theater). It’s a unique chance to observe their daily routines, from basic steps to future performances. Plus, you get to explore the beautiful theater without spending a fortune. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for event announcements.
🦌 Get closer to nature at Dyrehaven
Venture just outside the city to Dyrehaven, also known as The Deer Park. This lovely forest is home to free-roaming deer and offers picturesque trails for walking or cycling. Breathe in the fresh air, connect with nature, and enjoy the company of these majestic creatures. Hello, Bambi!
🎡 Have a blast at Bakken Amusement Park
Experience the nostalgic charm of Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world. From thrilling rides to classic carnival games, there’s something for everyone here. Lose yourself in the joyous atmosphere, relish the whimsical delights, and let your inner child run wild.
🏛️ Soak up some art & history
Delve into the captivating world of Danish museums. Our top picks are the Glyptotek (free admission on the last Wednesday of each month) and the Thorvaldsens Museum (free admission on Wednesdays). Marvel at impressive sculptures, explore thought-provoking exhibitions, and gain a deeper appreciation for Danish creativity.
🏰 Reach new heights at the Round Tower
Climb the iconic Round Tower (Rundetårn) and witness breathtaking panoramic views of Copenhagen. This 17th-century tower has a unique spiral walkway leading to a platform where you can admire the city from above. It’s the perfect opportunity to capture unforgettable photos and appreciate the city’s beauty while paying little.
🧗♀️ Challenge Yourself at Konditaget Lüders
For an adrenaline rush like no other, visit Konditaget Lüders—a thrilling activity park situated 24 meters above the ground in Nordhavn. Test your courage on high-altitude obstacles, enjoy panoramic views of the city, and unleash your inner… daredevil.
☕ Enjoy affordable & delicious coffee
Fuel your adventures with a cup of the best and most reasonably priced coffee at Lille Kafeteria and Minas Kaffebar. These cozy little cafés offer you a laid-back ambiance and serve up aromatic brews that will keep you energized for your explorations.
🍻 Step into Copenhagen’s bodegas
Embrace the local vibe by visiting Copenhagen’s bodegas, old-school dive-bars cherished by the locals. Enjoy bottled or draught beer at fair prices with some bottles starting at around 20 DKK. The Eiffel Bar, Bobi-Bar, Palæ Bar, Stefanhus, and Nørre Bodega are just a few spots where you can unwind and mingle with the locals. Visit them all!
Best places to eat in Copenhagen on a budget
🍴 Go on a culinary adventure at Reffen, a vibrant street food market with international flavors and Hooked, a hidden haven in Nørrebro with affordable seafood dishes.
🍴 Immerse yourself in the communal spirit of Copenhagen by enjoying a meal at a folkekøkken (folk kitchen). Go to our favorite, Absalon, a former church transformed into a non-profit communal space where you’ll find hearty and affordable meals served in a welcoming way. It’s a chance to connect with locals and experience true Danish hospitality.
🍴 Enjoy a comforting bowl of Danish porridge at Grød, savor delicious tacos and quesadillas at La Neta, relish mouthwatering dumplings at GAO, or treat yourself to a juicy burger at Gasoline Grill—Copenhagen’s most hyped burger joint!
🍴 For a unique culinary experience, head to UGood, a cozy eatery/takeaway spot in Nørrebro. Sample the delicious Ugandan street food known as Rolex, a yummy combo of chapati bread, eggs, chicken and veggies.
🍴 And did we mention the mouthwatering treats from local bakeries you need to try? Grab a flaky pastry like the tebirkes, kanelsnegle (cinnamon rolls), fastelavnsboller (pastry cream-filled cardamom buns), and rabarberhorns (rhubarb & marzipan pastry). Our favorite bakeries, Juno, Hart, Depanneur, and Benji, will leave you craving for more.
Calling all the foodies out there 👉 Our article on the BEST food in Copenhagen is not to be missed!
Navigate Copenhagen like a Dane
Bike your way through charming streets, zip around on the metro, or walk around.
Alternatively, hop on Copenhagen’s yellow harbor buses for a “green” ride and explore the city from the water on a regural bus ticket. Zip from south to north with stops at popular spots like The Royal Library, Islands Brygge and Nyhavn. Plus, they can carry up to 80 people and even bikes, strollers, or wheelchairs. It’s a breezy way to see the sights and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time.
Extra tips to help you discover Copenhagen on a budget:
👉 Grab the Copenhagen Card: if you want to visit a lot of famous attractions, we highly recommend that you buy the Copenhagen Card. It offers you multiple discounts, free admission to museums/attractions and unlimited transportation. The perfect way to explore Copenhagen on a budget.
👉 Skip buying water: carry your water bottle and refill it everywhere. The water in Denmark is super safe to drink and is held to very high standards.
👉 Cook your food: if eating out in Copenhagen isn’t an option for you, guess what? You can grab your own groceries and cook a lovely meal in the guest kitchen of the Urban House Copenhagen by MEININGER!
✨ Summing up…
…Copenhagen may have a reputation for being pricey, but with a little insider knowledge (save our guide!) and a sense of adventure, you can explore this captivating city without spending a lot. From cultural delights and scenic parks to delicious food-spots and hidden gems, Copenhagen has it all. Happy exploring!
Copenhagen on a budget: FAQs
What are some free things to do in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen offers a number of free experiences for budget travelers. You can visit the iconic Little Mermaid statue, explore Freetown Christiania, wander around the picturesque Nyhavn harbor, or take a walk in the beautiful Botanical Garden. Also, several museums and galleries, like the National Museum of Denmark and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, offer free admission on certain days of the week.
Can I visit the Tivoli Gardens on a budget?
Entry to Tivoli Gardens does require a fee, but the experience can be worth it if you enjoy beautifully landscaped parks, architecture, and seasonal displays. Individual ride tickets are an additional cost, but strolling around, enjoying the ambiance and free performances can still make for a memorable visit without breaking the bank.
Are there cheap or budget-friendly eateries in Copenhagen?
Yes, you can find several budget-friendly places to eat in Copenhagen. The city's street food markets, like Reffen or the stalls at Torvehallerne, offer a variety of cuisines at reasonable prices. Also, traditional Danish "smørrebrød" sandwiches can be a cost-effective lunch option.
What are some cheap ways to get around Copenhagen?
Copenhagen is a very bike-friendly city, and renting a bicycle can be an affordable and enjoyable way to explore. Public transportation is also reasonably priced and efficient; a City Pass gives you unlimited travel on buses, trains, and metro for a selected period of time.
Are there any budget accommodations available in Copenhagen?
Yes, there are a variety of budget-friendly accommodations in Copenhagen. Our Urban House Copenhagen by MEININGER is the ultimate base for your affordable Danish adventure. It's worth booking in advance for the best deals.
Can I take a budget-friendly tour in Copenhagen?
Free walking tours are a great option for budget-conscious visitors. Companies like Copenhagen Free Walking Tours operate on a tips-based system, so you can pay what you think the tour is worth. Self-guided tours can also be a cost-effective way to see the city, with plenty of information and routes available online.
Are there any budget-friendly shopping options in Copenhagen?
Copenhagen's flea markets can be a good destination for budget shopping. Markets such as Loppemarkedet, Ravnsborggade Street Market, and the Frederiksberg Flea Market are popular among locals and tourists alike. Additionally, budget-friendly Danish design stores like Tiger or Søstrene Grene offer a variety of items at reasonable prices.
What are some free cultural experiences in Copenhagen?
Many churches in Copenhagen are free to enter and offer a glimpse into Danish history and culture. The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Amalienborg Palace is also free to watch. The Danish Royal Library and the Copenhagen Main Library are beautiful buildings and free to enter, perfect for book lovers.