Copenhagen Nyhavn canals

8 budget things to do in Copenhagen

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.

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).

Plushy and the King's Castle

Nihavn Canals in Copenhagen

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).

Things to do in Copenhagen: Murals on the walking tour, visit Copenhagen by bike

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€!

Our Saviour Church, the outside stairs
Our Saviour Church, the outside stairs

Panoramic view of Copenhagen

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.

Street food market, visit 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.

Welcome to Christiania, visit Copenhagen

Our Saviour Church Tower viewed from Christiania, visit Copenhagen

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.

Kastellet Park, visit Copenhagen

Plushy in the park

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.

go to the center when you visit Copenhagen

2 thoughts on “8 budget things to do in Copenhagen”

  1. I’m heading to Copenhagen for the first time in a few weeks! A friend of mine lives there so I have a “local” guide but I’m so excited to do some of these activities. Also, have you heard of SANDEMANS New Europe Tours? They are free walking tours within cities all over Europe that are super informative! All you have to do is tip your guide at the end if they have done a good job. I believe they have them in Copenhagen! I’ve done one in Madrid and loved it.

    Thanks again for the great budget activities for Copenhagen!


    1. Really?! I didn’t know about it. I had done some research about the tours in Copenhagen, but some of them were out of our budget, while the remaining ones (we saw them in at the meeting point) were really big groups. Maybe I shall test some day, when there’re not so many people.

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