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How Expensive is Copenhagen? A Local’s Guide to Saving Money

How Expensive is Copenhagen? A Local's Guide to Saving Money

Copenhagen has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, and it’s easy to see why when you first arrive. The question on every traveler’s mind is, “How Expensive is Copenhagen?”

You can indeed blow your travel budget quickly if you’re not careful, but fear not!

As a local, I’m here to provide a thorough guide on what you can expect from Copenhagen in terms of costs.

Plus, I’ll share some of my best tips on how to save money while enjoying this beautiful city.

From budget-friendly dining spots to affordable attractions, I’ll point you to some of my favorite cheap options around town, ensuring you have a fantastic experience without breaking the bank.

How Expensive is Copenhagen In short

Copenhagen is known for being pretty pricey, and it’s easy to see why. Compared to other big cities like London, Paris, or New York, the costs here are higher.

For budget travelers, this might seem a bit worrying. But don’t worry, visiting Copenhagen can still be affordable with some smart planning.

One thing to note is that Copenhagen doesn’t use the euro; instead, we use the Danish krone. This can sometimes make prices feel a bit different than what you’re used to.

Overall, while Copenhagen is an expensive capital city, you can still have a great and ‘hygge’ time here without spending a fortune and I’ll explain how. if you just want to know what to budget for, I’ve made a quick breakdown below of what you can expect.

Daily Breakdown: How Much Does a Trip to Copenhagen Cost?

Sample Budget for a 3-Day Trip

For a 3-day trip to Copenhagen, here’s a rough estimate of what you might spend:

  • Accommodation: 2550 DKK (€341 / $376) for 3 nights in a mid-range hotel.
  • Meals: 1500 DKK (€200 / $220) for 3 days of mixed dining experiences.
  • Transportation: 300 DKK (€40 / $45) for a combination of public transport and bike rentals.
  • Activities and Attractions: 600 DKK (€80 / $90) including entry fees and a Copenhagen Card.

Total: 4950 DKK (€661 / $731)

Daily Costs

On a daily basis, you can expect to spend around 1500 DKK (€200 / $220) if you stick to cheap meals and activities.

This includes budget-friendly accommodation, inexpensive food options, and some free or low-cost attractions.

In the next sections, I’ll make a thorough breakdown and explanation of prices in Copenhagen.

How Expensive is Copenhagen

So, let’s get to the heart of this article.

Here, I’ll break down what you need to budget for accommodation, meals, alcohol, activities, and more. Plus, I’ll share some money-saving tips for you while you visit Copenhagen

Price of Accommodation in Copenhagen

When it comes to accommodation in Copenhagen, it’s not too different from prices elsewhere in Europe and this will be your biggest expense.

Hygge in Copenhagen - Magstraede

On average, a night in a good hotel will set you back about 850 DKK, which is roughly equivalent to £/$/€100.

Hostels in Copenhagen

For budget travelers, hostels are a great option. You can find a bunk bed in a shared dorm room in a decent part of the city for around 200-300 DKK per night.

Some popular hostels to check out include Generator Copenhagen and Next House Copenhagen.

Check out my guides on the best hostels in Copenhagen.

Airbnbs in Copenhagen

Airbnbs are another option and tend to be priced similarly to standard hotels.

The benefit here is that you often have the option to cook for yourself, which can save you money if you’re staying for more than just a day or two.

Popular areas for Airbnb include Nørrebro, Vesterbro, and Østerbro.

Read my guide on where to stay in Copenhagen to learn all about the best areas in town.

Hotels in Copenhagen

If you prefer staying in hotels, expect to pay around 850 DKK per night for a private room in a central location close to downtown Copenhagen.

Try to find one with free breakfast to save a bit on meals. Notable hotels include Hotel Skt. Petri, and Copenhagen Admiral Hotel.

Check out my guides on the 21 best hotels in Copenhagen for both high-end and budget hotel options.

Cost of Transportation in Copenhagen

Transportation is another important thing to consider when visiting Copenhagen.

Train and Metro Travel in Copenhagen

Copenhagen has a really efficient S train system and a metro that makes getting around super easy.

With frequent train and metro stations all over the city, you’ll have no trouble getting where you need to go.

The average price for a single trip in the city center is about 24 DKK or 3$/€.

If you plan to use both the train and metro, your ticket is a combined ticket which saves you money. Just just need to purchase depending on the amount of zones you need to cross.

Bus Travel in Copenhagen

Buses are another option, though they can be slower since they can get stuck in traffic.

However, they’re still a good way to see the city.

A fun option is the “Sunbus,” a harbor ferry that works like a bus, giving you a unique view of Copenhagen from the water.

Renting a Bicycle in Copenhagen

Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore the city, as Copenhagen is very bike-friendly. You can rent a bike for about 75-150 DKK (10-20$/€) per day.

blog post about bike tours in Copenhagen

A good place to rent bikes is Donkey Republic.

Tips for Saving on Transportation

If you’re in Copenhagen for more than two days and plan to use public transport a lot, get a “Rejsekort.” This card offers cheaper fares on all public transportation.

Another good option is the Copenhagen Card, which gives you free public transportation and free entry to many attractions, activities, and museums. You can buy it for 24, 48, 72, 96, or 120 hours, making it a flexible and cost-effective option.

Cost of Eating Out in Copenhagen

Eating out in Copenhagen can vary a lot depending on where you go. From budget-friendly pizza spots to high-end dining, the city has something for everyone.

Breakfast

For breakfast, you can find cheap takeaway meals starting at around 75 DKK (approximately €10 / $11), like a pastry and coffee from a bakery.

Food to eat in Denmark

If you’re looking for something more upscale, a high-end café breakfast can cost up to 230 DKK (approximately €31 / $34).

Lunch

Lunch prices also vary widely. From a basic sandwich shop, you can get something for about 85 DKK (approximately €11 / $12), while a sit-down lunch at a restaurant might cost up to 250 DKK (approximately €34 / $37).

Dinner

Dinner options range from cheap basic meals for around 150 DKK (approximately €20 / $22) to fancy dinners that can go over 1000 DKK (approximately €134 / $147).

one day in copenhagen: eat great food
Photo credit: selma_copenhagen

Copenhagen has everything when it comes to food, so you really get to choose here.

If you want street food or cheap places to eat, there are plenty of options. Street vendors selling a hot dog and other quick bites offer affordable prices. You can also grab a pastry, bun, and coffee at a bakery without breaking the bank.

For budget travelers, consider staying in a place with a kitchen so you can cook your own meals.

Grocery stores have everything you need, and it’s a great way to save money. If you’re staying at a hotel, check if breakfast is included as it can make a big difference.

Check out my food guides for my favorite places to eat in the city:

Price of Alcohol in Copenhagen

Alcohol in Copenhagen can be quite pricey, but there are options for every budget.

Beer at Brus - Copenhagen bar

Here’s what you can expect to pay on average:

  • Beer: You can get a local beer for as little as 30 DKK (approximately €4 / $4.50) at a local bodega.
  • Wine: A glass of wine at a mid-range bar will typically cost between 60-150 DKK (approximately €8-20 / $9-22).
  • Spirits: Fancy cocktails can go for about 120 DKK (approximately €16 / $18) a drink.

If you’re looking for affordable drinks, local bodegas are your best bet. They offer a cozy atmosphere and reasonably priced beers. For example, Vesterbro Bryghus and Mikkeller Bar are popular spots.

To save even more money, you can buy cold beers from a supermarket or 7/11 and enjoy them in a nearby park or by the many canals in Copenhagen. It’s legal to drink on the street here, so this is a great way to enjoy the city without spending too much.

For more recommendations, check out my guide to my favorite bars in Copenhagen.

Cost of Activities and Attractions in Copenhagen

Many of the city’s attractions come with entry fees, but there are also plenty of free options to enjoy. For example, you can visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens, enjoy the best parks, or join free walking tours.

If you plan to visit multiple attractions, the Copenhagen Card is the best way to save money. It offers free entry to many museums and activities, including canal tours and more.

Here are some average prices for popular paid tours and attractions:

  • Canal Tour: From 110 DKK (approximately €15 / $17)
  • Bike Tour: From 225 DKK (approximately €30 / $34)
  • Food Tour: From 300 DKK (approximately €40 / $45)

Copenhagen costs can vary, but by mixing free activities with some paid tours, you can experience the best of the city without breaking the bank. Read my guide on the best tours in Copenhagen to learn more about cool activities in town.

Additional Costs of Travel in Copenhagen

When planning your trip to Copenhagen, there are a few additional travel expenses to keep in mind.

Tipping in Copenhagen

Tipping in Copenhagen isn’t mandatory, but it’s a nice gesture if you’ve had a good meal.

Generally, tipping is only (kinda) expected for a nice dinner or a semi-fancy lunch.

Leaving around 10% is enough and will be appreciated by the staff.

Travel Insurance for Copenhagen

Travel insurance is important when visiting the Danish capital.

I recommend at least getting medical insurance to cover any unexpected health issues. With SafetyWing, you can easily get a policy online for any destination in the world.

Another great option is WorldNomads, known for its extensive and full coverage plans.

Final Tips for Saving Money in Copenhagen

Here are some general tips to help you save money while enjoying central Copenhagen:

  • Take advantage of free activities like parks, walking tours, and public events.
  • Cook for yourself if you have kitchen access.
  • Use the Copenhagen Card for free transportation and entry to many attractions.
  • Compare prices and book accommodations and tours in advance.

For more detailed planning, check out resources like travel blogs, guidebooks, and forums.

Conclusion: How Expensive Is Copenhagen

Copenhagen is expensive, there’s no way around it. However, there are ways to make it more affordable. Go where the locals (like me) go and enjoy the city’s hidden gems without overspending or ending up in a touristy area.

Tivoli Gardens

Use budget-friendly options like hostels, Airbnb, and grocery stores for meals. Taking advantage of free attractions and public spaces will save you a bunch. Investing in a Copenhagen Card can also help you save on transportation and entry fees.

By mixing free activities with a few splurges, you can enjoy the best of Copenhagen without breaking the bank.

That’s it for this guide on how expensive Copenhagen is. I hope you liked it and found it helpful. Make sure to read my guide on unique things to do in Copenhagen to really get everything out of your stay in my hometown.

As usual, feel free to add any questions or comments below.

//Josephine

The article may include affiliate links, meaning that I may receive affiliate compensation at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. Read more in my Affiliate Disclosure.

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