Looking for affordable travel in Copenhagen? Here are our best budget picks for the Danish capital.
We finally committed Copenhagen to our travel plans but I couldn't commit emotionally. I told myself that maybe I'd spend the time working. Or that it would be a good place to catch up on rest after being part of a busy conference. I needn't have worried at all. Copenhagen was WONDERFUL! I've never regretted adding it to our itinerary - and neither will you. Here's how we saved, splurged, and found great deal 'steals' in Copenhagen.
Save: A DIY tour
The premise behind them is that you don't pay upfront but you generously tip what you think the tour was worth when you're done. It can be a budget friendly way to see a city but in Copenhagen I had other plans for my money (see the section on coffee below!) and opted to create my own tour.
We discovered gorgeous roses, charming row houses, funky shops (definitely just window shopping for us), tons of tempting cafes and restaurants that we made a mental note of for next time, and finally found ourselves in a large park that was perfect for some urban hiking.
If, like me, you want to have a real Danish while in Denmark, you'll happily find it here. Everything is delicious. And they have a number of value priced breakfast combos that include cheese, meat, bread rolls, small pastries, and coffee in various quantities. You might even be able to split one! The open dining area/workshop lets you watch everything being made from scratch. (And I confess I also loved it because of the clean bathrooms (ask the staff for the code) and because there are frequently generous free samples to try on the counter.) When you leave, take a look at all the bikes around Central Station. Most of them aren't locked up - that's just how safe the city is.
Splurge: A meal at Tight
Alas, it was an investment we could not afford to make. As much as we would have loved it, our splurge budget was around $100 - and that doesn't go far in Denmark at the best of times. But there was one restaurant that was consistently listed in many 'top 10' lists that we could afford - and there was also an extra special reason why we wanted to go there. Here's why you need to put Tight on your Copenhagen food list.
Speaking of appetizers, I have to give a special mention to their Indian spiced potato croquettes (with the tomato chili dipping sauce!) and especially to their homemade onion rings. It feels a bit strange to emerge from the foodie capital of the world and say that you absolutely MUST try onion rings, but it's the absolute truth. They're the best I've ever had and I still dream of them. Overall, it was a great meal with good service and I would absolutely eat there again.
How can you afford your meal? Stay in a Copenhagen hostel.
Realizing that we were suddenly the old fogies of the hostel scene was a bit disheartening. Had we really outgrown late night parties? But there's a style of hostel for everyone! While this property was a much better fit for younger travelers, we were still able to see all the great benefits of staying in a Copenhagen hostel in general and there are lots of affordable options throughout the city, no matter your travel preference.
Steal: Kafferiet Kongens Have
With this in mind, there's one cafe in particular that absolutely won over my heart and I knew immediately that I was a local, I'd be dropping in all the time. Welcome to Kafferiet!
(Honorable mention goes to The Laundromat Cafe, which -as the name suggests - combines a cafe and a self-serve laundry service (plus books and wine and more). We were able to use our hostel's laundry machines and thus we never had the need to visit during our brief stay. But I've heard lots of people rave about it and we're putting it on our list for next time.)
Copenhagen is for all ages and all budgets
During our visit, we kept looking at each other and saying what a livable city Copenhagen was and how great the quality of life was. The city falls into the rare category for us of being a city that we wouldn't necessarily rush back to but that we would always welcome the chance to have a return visit, be it in a few months or a few decades. We really felt at home - which is always a great reason to leave home and return once more.
Have you been to Copenhagen? What were your favourite things about the city?
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Our accommodations at Copenhagen Downtown Hostel were complimentary. All research, writing, and opinions are our own.