Copenhagen has a reputation for being expensive. And yes, ok, it is – but really don’t let that put you off going there. It’s a really beautiful city full of lovely Danish people, and you won’t regret visiting for even a moment – especially if you seek the cheap things to do in Copenhagen and stick to budget-friendly meals and attractions. To give you a little inspiration, we’ve created a list of ten great things to do in Copenhagen on a budget...
This is probably one of Copenhagen’s cosiest cafés, The Living Room is decked out with big, fat leather chairs and it serves big, fat Danish pastries (I think they’re just called pastries there). The guys who work there are really friendly and the place is just all-round lovely – there’s a little hidden Moroccan room downstairs too, if you’re feeling exotic. A pastry and a coffee will set you back around 60DKR – less if you don’t go for a fancy coffee.
FREE! FREE TOUR! Ok, not exactly ‘free’ – this is like the free Berlin walking tour we told you about – you tip what you can afford, and what you think the tour was worth. It’s a three hour tour guided by a volunteer, so don’t be stingy and make sure you tip your guide! It really is a great way to see the great things to do in Copenhagen on a budget. It leaves every day at 11:00 from the steps of City Hall. Just go there and look for the tourists and the big yellow umbrella.
This is such a good attraction, and at 65DKK (€8.71) it leaves you with change from a tenner while keeping you thoroughly engrossed for a couple of hours. The museum takes you back in time to give you some insight into the lives of ordinary Danish workers over the years. It’s a very interactive museum, and great for kids too (and free of charge for anyone under 18 years old). Get there early enough though; it closes at 4pm.
Eat lots of them, actually. But if we’re sticking to things for under a tenner here, I suppose it should be one at a time. If you want a great Copenhagen hotdog, John’s Hotdog Deli is one of the best you’ll get. For around 40DKK (a little more or less, depending on what you get), you can get a big, tasty, spicy, meaty, gourmet hot dog that’s made with love, and should keep you going until dinner. Which might just be another John’s Hot Dog.
Play with so much Lego! The Copenhagen Lego store on Vimmelskaftet 37 (Strøget) has an area for playing with the Lego, which is exactly what you’d hope for from the flagship store of the world’s most famous, most favourite, most influential toy. It’s brilliant for children and families, but let’s not kid ourselves here – it’s also brilliant for adults too. There is no age limit to the lure of Lego. You might want to buy something, but you don’t have to. You can just immerse yourself in Lego joy for a little while.
For only €6 you can spend an hour cruising your way around some of the city’s best-known sights. It’s the cheapest boat tour in the city, it’s fun, and being on a boat is always nice. What’s not to like? The tour starts in Nyhavn (look for the queueus and the big sign!), and once you’ve set sail you’ll see the Opera House, the military vessels and the little mermaid before cruising back through Chritianshavn towards Nyhavn. Well worth it, and particularly nice on a sunny day.
Go there, if for no other reason than to take in the exquisitely creepy décor of this very cool bar on Ahlefeldtsgade in Nørreport. It’s brilliant – grotesquely stuffed animals, lampshades made out of decapitated doll’s heads, a trip to the loos that feels like the House of Horrors at a fairground – it’s the stuff of a drunk’s nightmares. Make sure to order the beer that’s on special, or that tenner will run out pretty fast – but it’s a great little bar to chill out in.
It’s totally free to visit the free town of Christiania, and although this little ‘freetown’ within the city has changed a lot over the years since it was first taken over by squatters, it still has a creative, live-and-let-live atmosphere and lots to see. Go and stroll around during the day, there’s a lovely park and lake, loads of interesting buildings, plenty to see, and always something going on. Don’t take photos on Pusher Street though!
The Danes love their bikes, so get in on the pedal pushing action and rent one for yourself – when in Copenhagen and all that… It’s a really safe city for cyclists, with huge cycle lanes and very considerate drivers, so don’t worry too much about not knowing the roads. You’ll get an hour on a city bike for 25DKK (around €3.35), or you can buy a monthly plan for 70DKK (€9.40) and take advantage of unlimited rides of 30 minutes or less.
This is an unassuming little hole-in-the-wall burger joint that serves up some seriously good, ridiculously juicy burgers for prices that you just don’t find anywhere else in Copenhagen. Banana Joe himself will make your burgers with love, and you’ll eat them with even more love. They’re old-school, yellow cheese, no fuss, and so juicy they’ll fall apart and you’ll get burger drip between your fingers – and you can easily fill up for under a tenner. The special, with fried egg, is a winner.
There are plenty of great things to do in Copenhagen on a budget, find out more about the Danish capital on Try Somewhere New!
- Dee Murray