Copenhagen on a budget
Free or cheap transport in the city
When you first arrive to Copenhagen, you can take the quick rail link from the airport to the city centre for just DKK 36.
Other options are to walk around the very walkable Copenhagen, or use the City Bikes, available to borrow for a DKK 20 deposit at bike 'corrals' around the city between April and November. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle from several bike shops in the town from around DKK 100 per day. There is even a cheap alternative if you want to take a canal tour around the historic heart of the city. A tour with Netto Boats costs only DKK 40 but takes in the same sights as the more expensive tour.
If you want to explore Copenhagen by bike, it's possible to go on a free tour in the streets of Copenhagen.
Every day at 11AM and 1PM local expert guides will take you on a 3 hour walking tour through 6000 years of Copenhagen’s history and you’ll - among other things - find out why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.
The tour starts in front of the Town Hall on the Town Hall Square.
The Copenhagen Card
This card gives you free travel by Metro, bus and train in the greater Copenhagen area, and free entry to over 60 museums and attractions - Tivoli included. You also get discounts on ferries to Sweden, and discounts on car hire. Copenhagen Cards can be valid for either 24 or 72 hours and can be purchased at travel agents, hotels, main railway stations and the Copenhagen Tourist Information across Tivoli.
Museums with free admission
At The National Museum you can learn about the history of Denmark for 10.000 years starting with archaeological finds and items, followed by interiors, furnishing, clothing, and religious art up through the centuries. In July, August and September there are tours in English on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 11am and free of charge.
The Open Air Museum in Lyngby, showing characteristic farmhouses from all over the country, The Museum of Danish Resistance, about civilian resistance during the Second World War and The National Gallery (Statens Museum for Kunst), which shows Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th century to the present day. There is also the unique David's Samling a collection of art and furniture from Europe and the Islamic world.
Furthermore a great many of Copenhagen's museums offer free admission at least one day a week. Wednesday is the best day to plan a tour of museums as many of the city's finest charge no entry fee. The Tøjhusmuseet is the Royal Danish Arsenal, packed with guns and weapons from the 15th century onwards; the Hirschsprungske Collection featuring Danish paintings and sculpture from the Nineteenth century; the Thorvaldsen Museum, with the work of Denmark's greatest sculptor and one of the city´s finest art collections. Finally the Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket, features an extraordinary collection of sculpture and French art from the 18th and 19th centuries and opens its doors for free on Sundays to the ordinary exhibitions.
A quiet corner - in a park or a church
You can, of course, always enjoy the many parks - Frederiksberg Have (Frederiksberg Garden), Østre Anlæg, Ørstedsparken, the Botanic Garden, Fælledparken with its outdoor pavilion cafe and wide open spaces, or Kongens Have (Rosenborg Castle) in the centre of town. But as a curious alternative you could also visit the historic Assistens Cementary, where you can see the graves of famous Danes like the fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, philosopher Søren Kierkegård, and the Danish nuclear physicist Niels Bohr. During summer the inhabitants of Nørrebro use the cemetery as a park - find their way to a quiet corner in the shade of one of the many rare species of trees.
Other experiences for free are the Changing of the Guards at Amalienborg at noon every day, and not to forget, one of the most famous sights in the city, The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue), is also free.
The Copenhagen Jazz festival attracts some of the finest jazz musicians in the world. It takes place over ten days at the beginning of July and the majority of the 850 performances are free. Filling almost every indoor and outdoor venue in the city, you need only amble around the city centre and follow your ears, or the crowds, to find them. In Copenhagen's parks you’ll find free open-air concerts, and with just the entrance fee, you can experience the Tivoli Gardens' entertainment. Throughout the summer special guest stars can be seen playing on Tivoli's main outdoor stage, Plænen. The Copenhagen Card allows you to go to the concerts for free.
Bakken Amusement park is situated in very beautiful surroundings with the deer park around it, only a short train ride north along the Øresund coast. Bakken has free entrance all season, which lasts from April to August, but you have to pay for the rides. Bakken is the world´s oldest amusement park and has a wide range of traditional fun fair amusements and family shows.
Cheap shopping you find around the area of Pisserenden, just beside Strøget. Here it is great for second hand records and cool clothes, while Ravnsborggade at Nørrebro is a hot tip if you are going after antiques.
At Langelinie, the harbour promenade quay, you will find several outlets side by side.
Copenhagen has some of the finest restaurants in Northern Europe, but that doesn't mean that McDonald's is the only option for a cheap fill-up. Why not try a traditional Danish hot dog, or "pølser", sold from little mobile kiosks throughout the city? Alternatively, there's the world famous Danish open sandwich, "smørrebrød", available through specialist shops, mostly open only at lunch time.
2 x Riz Raz one in Kompagnistræde and the other in St.Kannikestræde offer buffet at reasonable prices. Even more 'alternatively', the radical hippy commune, Christiania, has a couple of excellent cafes and restaurants - for instance, you can sample delicious vegetarian curries for around DKK 75 at Morgenstedet.
A group of restaurants have become immensely popular recent years. Torben Klitbo is the man behind these restaurants and his first restaurant Cofoco Restaurant (short for Copenhagen Food Company) quickly gained huge success, when it opened back in 2004. The concept of the restaurant is to offer gourmet-experiences to reasonable prices. Cofoco offers a three course meal from DKK 295.
At Madklubben a three course menu is offered at DKK 200. In 2009 the people behind the popular restaurant Madklubben opened their second restaurant Tony’s and today the people behind Madklubben have 6 restaurants in the city. In all restaurants it is possible to get a three course meal for DKK 200.
Wakeup Copenhagen a modern hotel for the price-conscious guest, opened in 2009, with 510 less generously sized but practically decorated rooms. A second Wakeup Copenhagen hotel will open in summer 2014. Both hotels matches many 3 and 4 star hotels in Copenhagen in terms of concept and comfort but at affordable 2 star rates.
Cab Inn Metro is Denmark's largest low-budget hotel. In 2009 it opened in the city quarter Ørestad next door to the largest shopping centre in Denmark, Fields. This two-star hotel offers 700 rooms and is operated by the Danish budget hotel chain Cab Inn - one next to Tivoli. The hotel was designed by the internationally renowned US architect Daniel Libeskind.
The Generator offers a high standard of safe and clean budget accommodation along with a huge range of hostel facilities. The hostel in Copenhagen, which opened in June 2011, is the third hostel in the Generator chain and have over 600 beds.
If you are visiting during winter, you may prefer a sleep-in or hostel.
A five-star youth hostel opened in 2005, on the Copenhagen waterfront, in a high-rise building overlooking the harbour. It is the largest city youth hostel in Europe and has a total of 1020 beds. It is called Danhostel Copenhagen City, and the interior designing was given to GUBI, who has been in charge of the furnishing and decoration. Copenhagen has an additional five youth hostels: The most recent one, Copenhagen Downtown is located on a small square just a few minutes from the pedestrian street, Strøget. The backpacker hostel company, Generator Hostels, will open a hostel in Copenhagen in June 2011 with more than 600 beds and a roof terrace.