In my last post – My Copenhagen challenge – I decided to see if I could spend no more than £200 in 3 days. I’d heard how expensive the city could be, so wanted to give it a go. I like a challenge! Just to be clear, I wasn’t only thinking of food or spending money. I wanted the £200 to cover everything – flights, accommodation, key trips or activities, and food!
So, do you want to know how I did?
• Return flights (UK/Copenhagen) – £29.99
• Accommodation (2 nights) – £45.77
• Airport travel (to UK airport by bus/coach) – £6.98
• Travel around Copenhagen (incl. from/to airport) – £27.11
• Sightseeing / main activities
o Trip to Sweden (Malmo) – £14.14
o Rundetaarn (The Round Tower) – £3
o Frederiksborg Castle – £7.20 (FYI – paid student entry since I have a card from when I did a photography course)
• Food – £63.50
Total – £197.69
NB: these prices are based on exchange rates and conversions at the time of travel (late May 2018).
Not bad, right?! I was able to keep to my budget more because I loaded money onto a Post Office Travel Money Card and also bought all of my Euros before leaving. So when it was done, it was done!
A weekend in Copenhagen is certainly doable if you’re on a tight budget – and you can still do and see a lot with a limited amount of cash. However, if you really want to experience all Copenhagen has to offer to the max, and envelope yourself dishes and dishes of Danish cuisine, then you may not want to try this!
If you’re interested to know a bit more about how I managed to do it, then read on!
Flights (return – Stansted Airport)
You can always bag a cheap flight on Ryanair if you happen to look at the right time. Stansted is a great little airport if you can get to it, as flights are pretty reasonable. I scooped a return flight to Copenhagen for less than the cost of a weekly U.K. bus pass!
Sleep In Heaven was my choice for a place to stay while in Copenhagen. I decided on a hostel because it would help me keep to my budget. I initially found it on Booking.com but as I tend to also check out actual accommodation websites, I found it slightly cheaper and booked direct. The hostel is in Nørrebro, a trendy neighbourhood that’s known for being a cool area to hang out.
Cost: £45.77 (2 nights)
Airport travel (getting to Stansted airport)
Travelling by coach has become my number one method for getting to the airport these days. It’s great value as long as you can get to a coach stop. I use the easyBus website, which checks coach availability across National Express, Airport Express and Greenline coaches. You can get a one-way ticket for as little as £1.99. For this trip I got myself a return journey on the coach for £3.98 and £3 to take a bus (return and using an Oyster card) to the coach stop.
Cost: £6.98 (return)
Travel around Copenhagen (city passes)
Many cities now offer tourist cards like the Roma Pass or Copenhagen Card. These types of passes allow you to get reduced entry into attractions or museums as well as travel around the city. They can be more expensive because of that, so you can simply get a standard travel card. I opted for the city pass. It gives you travel on all modes of transport in Copenhagen’s 1-4 zones, either for 24, 48, 72 or 120-hours.
They start from first use and end at the exact same time but 24, 48 or 72 etc hours later. I bought two 24-hour passes. One covered Copenhagen city centre, while the other covered the centre and greater Copenhagen because I wanted to go to Frederiksborg Castle. I walked around the city quite a bit in between using the passes.
There were a few things I wanted to see and do which had an entry free or travel expense. One was a day trip to Malmö, Sweden (I really wanted to cross The Bridge), a visit to Frederiksborg Castle, and going up The Round Tower.
o Copenhagen to Malmo (bus no. 999) – £14.14
o Rundetaarn (The Round Tower) – £3
o Frederiksborg Castle – £9
There were plenty of other places I visited. They were either free to enter or ones I wanted to see but not necessarily go inside. I’ve listed them below in case you want to add them to your list. You’ll probably recognise a few well-known ones like The Little Mermaid and Nyhavn.
o Tårnet Tower (Christiansborg Palace tower)
o The Little Mermaid
o Amager Strandpark and beach
o Royal Library
o Hans Christian Andersen statue
o Fredericks Church
o Amalienborg Palace
o Christianborg Slot
o Rosenborg Palace
Food and drink
As I mostly travel alone, I don’t feel the need to visit a restaurant each day on every trip. I tend to do less of a “proper” sit down meal as I’m always on the go. I often try to visit at least one restaurant. To keep costs down, I did a little supermarket shop for a few things.
I also ate in little cafes or at pop up food stalls. Stopping by DØP (Den Okologiske Polsemand) near The Round Tower, I tried the well-known hotdog with mash roots.
Tucking into Copenhagen’s French style hot dogs and beer, and things like noodles (think Wok to Walk style) salads, toasties, some sandwiches and other snacks, I kept things basic.
That’s pretty much it! Pretty close. If I hadn’t used a travel money card or been so strict with myself, I would have easily gone over budget!