Win a free trip to Copenhagen
The ultimate way to visit a city for less is, of course, to WIN it and I have the perfect opportunity for you. Penguin Books and Visit Denmark are offering you and a friend a chance to win a two-night stay at the Hotel Kong Arthur in Central Copenhagen,including airfares, and a 72-hour Copenhagen Card. The Little Book of Hygge is a bestseller in the UK right now, and winning this competition will enable you to find your own ‘hygge’ – a Danish concept of relaxation and indulgence. To enter, visit the Best Served Scandinavia site to win a two night stay in Copenhagen. Entries close on the 31st December 2016. Good luck!
For those not fortunate enough to be the lucky winner, fear not however as my guest writer this week has some awesome tips to help you save money on a trip to Copenhagen.
Incredible Copenhagen for Less
It comes from Caroline of LoveLiveTravel, a blog dedicated to sharing her travel adventures as an expat and travels past and present.
Caroline’s love of travel was born when she was hired by a major cruise line and spent eight years exploring the world, visiting 60 countries on six continents. Today, Caroline lives in Copenhagen, where she is a tour guide and freelance writer. She is passionate about photography, food, and sharing her adopted city of Copenhagen with the world.
So without ado, let me pass you over to her so she can share her insight into how to visit Copenhagen for less.
Copenhagen is a fantastic city, with beautiful historic buildings, top-level cuisine, and friendly locals; it also has a reputation for being incredibly expensive, but it’s easy to discover and enjoy this Scandinavian capital without breaking the bank – you just have to know where to look.
As an expat working as a tour guide and travel writer, as well as a true lover of travel, I’ve discovered the best and most affordable ways to experience my adopted home town, Copenhagen for less.
Where to Stay and How to Get Around
There are some great deals on budget flights into Copenhagen through discount airlines like Norwegian, EasyJet, and RyanAir.
Kastrup Airport is only about twenty minutes by train or metro to downtown Copenhagen. If you are arriving by train, such as from neighbouring Germany, the Central Station is right in the heart of the city and has links by commuter train and bus to almost anywhere you need to go.
There are two great ways to stay in Copenhagen on a budget. If you’re with others, Airbnb is the way to go: you can often rent an entire apartment for less than the total cost of hostel beds. It’s the perfect way to stay somewhere with a truly local feel, where you can get a sense of Danish living.
Anne: let’s face it, it’s going to be a damn sight more comfortable too! Some of these are positively luxurious. Just check out my Rockstar post here to find out how luxurious they can really be.
The other option of course is a hostel: Urban House, Downtown Hostel, and Generator Hostel all offer reasonable rates in great locations in the heart of the city, which means you save on transportation, as you can walk almost everywhere.
Speaking of walking, it’s the best way to get around Copenhagen, and of course the most affordable. It’s a compact city, with most of the main attractions within easy reach of each other.
For a truly local experience, you can rent a bicycle and make good use of the city’s endless bike lanes. Seeing the city this way and avoiding motorized transportation, you can truly enjoy the tiny charming side streets and pedestrian areas.
If you do plan on using public transportation, for example if you’re staying further outside the city center, it’s best to buy a pass rather than pay per ride.
Things to Do
One of my favorite things about Copenhagen is that so many of the main attractions can be experienced for free.
You can stroll the famous Nyhavn canal, soaking in its colorful buildings and tall ships, continue along to Amalienborg Palace and watch the daily Changing of the Guard at noon, then walk the harbor to the iconic Little Mermaid, based on the fairy tale of the same name by Denmark’s most famous citizen, Hans Christian Andersen. (Anne: oh wow that takes me back. I inherited a beautiful, ancient fairytale book of Hans Christain Anderson tales from my grandfather, perfectly illustrated so that it felt positively magical!)
Across the harbor on the island borough of Christianshavn, you can stroll the Amsterdam-inspired canal and visit the unique free town of Christiania, a fascinating alternative society established in 1971. It’s a unique way to check out a truly non-traditional style of living.
Copenhagen is also home to the Strøget, one of the longest pedestrian streets in the world, full of historic buildings, squares, and fountains, as well as shops, restaurants, and Danish design stores.
If you’re interested in history and art, the fantastic Danish National Museum and the National Gallery are both free to visit daily, and both the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and Thorvaldsens Museum are free once a week (Tuesday and Wednesday respectively).
In the warmer months, the city’s many parks are the perfect place to take a picnic and enjoy the sunshine with the locals. One of the most popular is the King’s Gardens, which sit in the shadow of Rosenborg Castle, the former Royal summer home. Christiansborg Palace is home of the Danish Parliament and Royal Reception rooms. Both are open to the public, though Parliament tours are limited and must be booked in advance.
The tower at Christiansborg is the highest in the city and offers amazing views of Copenhagen and beyond – on a clear day you can see all the way to Sweden! Best of all, visiting the tower is free of charge.
A great way to get a feel for the city is to take a free walking tour at the beginning of your stay. This will give you the lay of the land and give you some background with tales of local history and culture. The guides work for tips, which means you can thank them with whatever you feel your tour was worth, and be sure to ask yours for some insider tips on what to see and where to eat.
Food & Drink
Copenhagen is globally renowned for its cuisine, and most notably for being the birthplace of New Nordic cuisine, which takes traditional Nordic ingredients and techniques, and marries them with new and innovative ingredients and techniques. It’s fresh, local, and delicious, and if you’re going to splurge on something while you’re in Copenhagen, this is where to do it. It’s never a cheap cuisine, but there are a few places that are incredibly reasonable for what you get.
The best value, in my opinion, is Höst, where a meal that is officially three courses will leave you stuffed to the brim with an extra snack in between every course. The food is sublime, the atmosphere authentically rustic and Nordic, and the service friendly.
Another great choice is Uformel, where you can create your own menu by ordering small plates, and if you love fish and seafood, visit Kødyens Fiskebar, which has the best around.
If New Nordic isn’t in your budget, you can still have authentic and delicious dining experiences. For lunch, try smørrebrød, a traditional open-faced sandwich served on rye bread with a variety of toppings, like fish, pork, shrimp and egg, potato and bacon, and my favorite, roast beef with fresh horseradish and crunchy onions.
Another inexpensive local treat is pølse, the Danish hot dog served up on almost every street corner. There are a dozen types of sausage to choose from, and they’re served with ketchup, two types of mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, and crunchy onions – the perfect bite on the go.
Copenhagen also has two incredible food markets with a huge assortment of tasty treats. Torvehallerne is the more traditional of the two, where produce, seafood, meat and cheese stands are found alongside shops selling delicacies like tea, chocolates, and spices, as well as a range of food stalls. Here you can nibble on everything from sushi to tapas to delicious Vietnamese baguettes, or just sit and have a coffee or a glass of wine.
Copenhagen Street Food at Papirøen on Christianshavn is another foodie paradise. It’s a quirky spot, with food stalls made of shipping containers and a disco cow on the ceiling. All the stands here serve at least one budget dish, and you can find everything from traditional Danish foods, to incredible pulled pork sandwiches, fish and chips, tacos, grilled meats, Asian dishes, pasta, and more.
In the warmer months, you can take your food and drinks outside and sit by the water, where you can find amazing views of Copenhagen harbor.
Anne: oh boy, Caroline you really have my mouth watering! I seriously think I must have missed half of this when I was in Copenhagen. It sounds amazing! It looks it too!
Caroline: Copenhagen is a city that should be on everyone’s ‘must-visit’ list; whether you spend two days or two weeks, there is always something to see, explore, and eat. So don’t be discouraged by its ‘pricey’ reputation – Copenhagen can be surprisingly affordable, and worth every penny. Happy travels!
Visit Copenhagen for less with Caroline
Anne: thanks so much to Caroline for really bringing Copenhagen to life. Her food tales really have me throwing any diet plans out of the window. If you would like to hear more from Caroline, feel free to connect with her on Twitter or Instagram.
As usual here’s my top tips for seeing any City For Less:
Have Your Say
Over to you lovelies, maybe you have some top money saving tips, or maybe you would like to share your experience of Copenhagen. Of course, you may have some questions you would like to ask Caroline and I am sure she would be happy to oblige. Don’t be shy, we’d love to hear from you!
Enter the competition
Don’t forget, if you like what you’ve read, enter the competition on the Best Served Scandinavia site win a two night stay in Copenhagen.