Copenhagen, Denmark is one of the richest capitals of the European Union, that may be even more expensive than Paris. Check my guide on what are the things to do in Copenhagen without going broke.
Normally I do my research prior to my visit as to educate myself about the locals, the landmarks, discover new interesting tours or such things. My friends warned me about the cost of living, and furthermore I checked with some traveling blogs I found on this subject. Probably living in Paris made me a little immune at the “expensive” word, because in my view there are not such places (in Europe) more expensive than Paris.
- Even though Stockholm was expensive, somehow, when you visit Copenhagen you are taken by surprise.
Well, Copenhagen was expensive AF, but luckily we managed to adapt our activities to our budgets. Here’s a comprehensive guide to:
Budget things to do in Copenhagen
1. Self guided walking tours
First of all, let’s discuss walking tours. This is the free, most efficient way to discover a city. Go to the Tourist Office and get a map of Copenhagen. Follow the marked free walking tour and enjoy their explications and history about the landmarks. For a normal pace, where you stop every now and then to take a photo, to buy a sandwich or to eat the sandwich in the park, make sure you have 5 hours ahead of you (it’s not 3h as suggested by the Tourist Office).
2. Guided walking tours
There are plenty of options for the guided walking tours, that depart at a fixed time. Find the volunteers on TripAdvisors, or on the Tourist Website of Copenhagen. Some are very specific, concerning more the historic part. Others concentrate more on architecture. Search the tour that suits you best.
Know that some of them are payed tours, and for others you have to tip your guide at the end of the tour.
3. Other guided tours
While wandering on the streets of Copenhagen, following our free self guided tour, we saw the guided walking tours and the bike riding tours. Plan to visit Copenhagen by bike; it’s a unique way of discovering the city. There are also food tours, but the restaurants tend to be expensive. And because I didn’t find any information about the price, I didn’t bring myself the courage to ask this information. If you are interested, you have to make a inquiry several days before arriving. That way your guide will have the time to book the restaurants and find other interested people (around 6 people).
4. Enjoy a panoramic view over Copenhagen
At the Tourist Office we asked some information about a high point with belvedere on the city of Copenhagen. As suggested by the nice lady at the Tourist Office, we had two options:
- The Tower of Christiansborg Palace or the
- Church of Our Saviour – The Spire, which was particularly interesting as you “climbed the stairs outside” (at the moment I didn’t know what was supposed to mean).
In the Tower of Christiansborg Palace we weren’t welcomed, we didn’t receive any information. Apparently we were supposed to wait around 10 min to be in the next group to climb. The guardian didn’t let us know what, why, how much time, how much money it was, he wasn’t nice at all, for no reason, so we decided to go.
It ruined my mood, but luckily for us, all the worst for the better! We got to climb the other tower, with a magnificent view, nice people, and outside spiral stairs at the top of the tower. I strongly recommend to go for the Our Saviour’s Church’s Tower for the sensations when you find yourself at the top of the tower, climbing the outside stairs. Unless you are acrophobic, climbing this tower is one of the things to do in Copenhagen for as much as 6€!
5. Eat at the Streetfood Market
There is a spot in Copenhagen where all young people (and not only!) converge for eating good, well, different and not expensive food: Street Food Market. Inside is like a hall housing all little stands of food specialized in different types of cuisine, like vegan, indian, chinese, burgers, italian, to name just a few. There is a large variety and you can eat inside, outside on the terrace, with a view on the canals of Copenhagen, on a chaise-longue, or to-go. You can eat starting at around 7€ and depending on the type of food and quantity, it can spark towards 20-25€. Beers are expensive… but this is definitely one of the things to do in Copenhagen.
6. Take a walk in Christiania
Roll your way out the street food place and head slowly towards the district of Christiania, located just around the corner. Make sure to respect their rules. Have fun! – is one of them. The city of Christiania is an independent part of Copenhagen. This district is colorful and chill, with lots of tourists.
7. Take a break in the park
When you visit Copenhagen, check in at least a park or a garden; the parks are huge! Make sure you visit the star-turtle- shaped park of Kastellet which is on the self guided tour. Fredericksberg Gardens is a huge park where we could take a break, admire the fauna and visit the Chinese Pavilion. If you want to evade the city, take the map and head to that green spot, make discoveries and enjoy the calm.
8. Main transportation to visit Copenhagen
The main area of Copenhagen is a walkable perimeter. Unless you want to run between landmarks and parks, you will need to take some transportation.
There are 2 subway lines (I told you, Copenhagen is little). If you plan taking the metro more than 3 times in 24h, then it’s more profitable to buy the 24h pass. We did this, as we had our accommodation outside the center.
Other options include bus riding and (electric) bike renting. There are many things to do in Copenhagen by bike.