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It’s well known that Copenhagen is not the top of a backpacker’s list, as stories about its high prices have spread among travellers all over the world. It cannot be denied, Copenhagen is expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t discover the city’s sights, eats and drinks on the cheap. You only have to know the right places and we’re here to help you find them out.
Copenhagen offers a great transportation system, with night buses, a 24 hour metro and the S-train that runs from 05.00am to 00.30am. But all good things in life come with a price, and in this case it is 24DKK for a 2 zone-ticket, which you can use for approximately one hour. So, if you’re planning to move around city by public transport, it’s much cheaper to buy the Citypass, which costs 80DKK and is valid for 24 hours, the 7-days FlexCard for 260DKK or the Copenhagen card. And if you fancy travelling around on two wheels, renting a bike with Donkey Republic and Baisikeli are two of the cheapest companies in town.
Donkey Republic, Njalsgade 23C, Copenhagen S, Denmark +45 89 88 72 27
Baisikeli Ingerslevsgade 80, Copenhagen, Denmark +45 26 700 229
Exploring Copenhagen’s museums and exhibitions can be a bit pricey. Entry fees range from 50DKK to 130DKK. However, some of the most important museums have free admission days. Travel from the Egypt of the pharaohs to the Roman Empire with Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket museum’s free admission on a Tuesday, or discover the Danish Golden Age at Thorvaldsen museum on Wednesdays. If you’re a culture enthusiast and two museums are not enough, don’t despair. Buy the Copenhagen card with 379DKK (54 US$) and you’ll have free admission to 73 museums. Plus, it offers free public transport by bus, train and metro, and discounts on several restaurants and other attractions.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket, Dantes Plads 7, Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 33 41 81 41
There are many other ways to discover Danish history and culture for free. Visit Amalienborg Palace and take a stroll among the four rococo palaces that comprise the Royal’s Family residence. Walk along the canals at Slotsholmen island, in the heart of the city centre and observe the Christiansborg Palace. The Neo-Baroque building, that nowadays hosts the Danish executive powers, offers free guided tours to the parliament and to the public galleries. Just around the corner stands the building that used to be Copenhagen’s market-place in the 17th century, the historic Børsen. Last but not least, in approximately 10 minutes walking time, is located The Royal Library. A must-see for architecture lovers.
Christiansborg Slot, Prins Jørgens Gård 1, Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 33 92 64 92
Børsen, 1217 Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 33 74 60 00
The Royal Library, 1219 Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 33 47 47 47
Unfortunately, restaurants in Copenhagen aren’t really cheap but supermarkets are (especially Netto and Fakta). So, the best way to save some money, that you can spend on an extra beer later, is to prepare your lunch or a bag full of goodies before leaving your room. Supermarkets offer a great variety of foodstuff, but if you want to be a proper local get a smørrebrød. The Danish typical sandwich is almost in every Copenhageners’ lunch box and it shouldn’t be missing from yours. For vegetables and fruit check out the city’s grocery stores. They are cheap and fresh. If cooking is not in your plans while visiting Copenhagen, look out for the city’s hot dog stands and durum (kebab) restaurants. Find some of the tastiest and cheapest choices here.
What about cheap alcohol? If you’re visiting Copenhagen in the summertime the answer is simple. Grab a beer from a kiosk or a supermarket and relax at one the city’s parks. Luckily, there are plenty around. Frederiksberg Have, the King’s Garden or the lakes around Dronning Louises Bro in Nørrebro are some of the top choices for locals when the sun shines. For the rest of the year (or maybe let’s say 11 months!) it’s a better idea to snuggle up in a cosy bar. There are plenty of them in the city centre as well as in Nørrebro and in Vesterbro. Take a look on this guide to discover 10 cheap bars around Copenhagen.