Copenhagen, as well as the rest of Scandinavia, has an expensive reputation. But it’s also been voted the happiest place on earth so I figured it was worth a look.
And I seriously LOVED this city (read more about why over here).
But was it actually as expensive as people make out?
How Much I Spent In Copenhagen
Flights are extremely affordable to Copenhagen. Whenever I do that Skyscanner search where you choose ‘Everywhere’ as your destination to see where’s cheap (we all do that, right?), it’s usually the first in the list. I’ve seen flights from London to Copenhagen for as little as £9. I kid you not, pal.
As we went in the first week of Jan though, flights were a little more expensive. I’m guessing because people are still travelling back from Christmas break so they’re inflated a bit. It was cheaper for me to book two singles on this occasion, rather than a return, so I flew out on the Friday with Easyjet for £28.50 and flew back with Ryanair for £19.50.
What I spent: £48 Return
Cheapest possible option: £18 Return
With 12 of us travelling together to Copenhagen for my birthday, I wanted us all to stay together, y’know somewhere nice. So it wasn’t the cheapest thing ever.
We stayed in a gorgeous 5-floor house that we booked on Airbnb. It was big and spacious and had room for up to 20 people to sleep. It was also in a great location in the middle of the city centre, so it was pretty much perfect for my group. (This is it, if you fancy a nosey). For two nights it set us back £128.50 each, which equates to £64.25 per night.
There are definitely more budget options out there though.
I visited the bar at Copenhagen Downtown Hostel whilst I was there (see ‘Drinks’ section) and it looked like a really nice hostel. And apparently it has won awards and that, so must be decent. Rooms here start at £18 (155 DKK) for a dorm and £48 (400 DKK) for a private room, so totally budget-friendly. (This is in low season FYI)
What I spent: £64.25 Per Night
Cheapest possible option: £18 Per Night
Copenhagen is an easy city to get around on foot, so the only transport I needed was the Metro to and from the airport. A 3-zone ticket gets you from the airport to Norreport station for 36 DKK which equates to £4.30. So that’s £8.60 for outbound and return.
What I spent: £8.60
Cheapest possible option: £8.60
Food prices in Copenhagen can vary considerably, from a few quid for a kebab to hundreds of pounds for a meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant. So restaurant choice is definitely key if you’re on a budget.
To be honest, as I was in such a large group, sit-down meals were a bit more difficult. So we actually went for a lot of budget options in the end.
For breakfast, I HAD to have Danish pastries and coffee. Because Denmark, right? And actually that’s quite affordable. For a cinnamon roll and a cappuccino from The Living Room, a really nice cafe, it set me back 64 DKK. About £7.50.
The cheapest brekkie I’ve managed to find online is at Bevar’s, which has a toast, jam and cheese situation for 35 DKK (about £4). Or if you do stay at Copenhagen Downtown Hostel, they have an all-you-can-eat breakfast for 70 DKK (just over £8), which could mean you only need a small lunch, y’know?
What I spent: £7.50 x 2 = £15
Cheapest possible option: £4 x 2 = £8
For lunch one day we all went to Hot Buns, a burger place near Nyhavn, that is pretty much the equivalent to Hooters but my pal told me did A+ food. I had a really good triple cheeseburger and some “chilli cheese tops”, which are just jalapeno poppers, for 185 DKK. About £22.
I actually also split a pitcher of sangria with some pals. Because I was on holiday, innit.
So it turned out to be around 30 quid in the end.
But on the second day I had a hotdog and a bottle of water from Steff’s Place. A much more budget-friendly option at £7. Plus, hotdog stands are all over the city so easily accessible in the middle of a day of sight-seeing.
What I Spent: £30 + £7 = £37
Cheapest possible option: £7 + £7 = £14
Dinner-wise, we went real budget.
Just because we had a long day and didn’t fancy a restaurant with a big group of us. So one night we got takeaway pizzas at £6 a pop and another night we had a kebab for a fiver. You can’t really get more budget can you? But hey, that falafel wrap was amazing. No judgement.
What I Spent: £6 + £5 = £11
Cheapest possible option:£5 + £5 = £10
This is the hardest part to figure out. Being my 30th birthday in Copenhagen, I can’t quite remember how much drinks were in bars, nor how many I had… But let’s try to figure this out.
Pre-drinks bought from the local supermarket are extremely affordable. A pack of 6 small cans of beer came to 28 DKK, £3.30. That’s just over 50p a beer. Winning.
It’s the going out part where the drinks can get expensive.
Like I said, we scouted out a hostel bar – Copenhagen Downtown Hostel – so luckily it wasn’t too shabby. A rum and coke cost 50 DKK, about £6, and it was 45 DKK for a pint of Carlsberg, just over a fiver.
So say you have a couple drinks in a bar after dinner, you’re looking at about £10-12.
At McJoys Choice, another bar we visited it was a tad more expensive at 57 DKK for a glass of red wine or 60 DKK for a pint of Carlsberg (both about £7).
Still not bad for Copenhagen but if you’re on a budget, stick to the hostel bars, for sure.
What I Spent: ???
Cheapest possible option: Depends on how many drinks you want but £5 looks like the minimum per drink.
My trip was more about exploring the city and soaking up all of the hygge in the cafes. But we did manage to visit a few tourist attractions. Here’s what they set me back:
- The Round Tower Observatory: 25 DKK (£3)
- Nyhavn colourful houses: Free
- The Little Mermaid sculpture: Free
- The King’s New Square: Free
So y’know, pretty budget, right?
Here’s some of the other biggies and what they cost:
- Tivoli Gardens: 80-110 DKK depending on season (£9.50-£13)
- Rosenborg Castle: 110 DKK (£13)
- Carlsberg Brewery: £11.50
So even the expensive attractions aren’t actually that expensive really.
What I Spent: £3
Cheapest possible option: Free
Total cost for a weekend in Copenhagen
For an idea of the overall cost of a weekend in Copenhagen, I’ve taken into account the following:
- Return flights from London
- 2 nights accommodation
- Approx 6 meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners)
- A couple of drinks each evening so 4 in total
- The best tourist attractions.
I spent a total of £271.10.
But with the cheapest possible options, dorm rooms et al, this could have been a measly £114.60.
HOW BLOODY CHEAP IS THAT.
Granted that’s buying 4 alcoholic beverages across the weekend and you may like to indulge in more. Plus it only takes into consideration the free tourist attractions. But they’re all pretty affordable so adding one or two won’t break the bank.
So I reckon add on Tivoli Gardens, The Round Tower, a couple more drinks and you’re still looking at under £150 for a fabulous weekend in a new city.
I can easily just spend that at home.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, BRUV. Go book those flights!
PIN FOR LATER, PAL: