Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but there are many ways to explore it on a budget. Here are Marco Polo’s top money-saving tips:
Many discos and clubs entice customers on Thursdays with free admission and cheap drinks. ‘Happy Hour’ offers are available from late afternoon to early evening.
Tickets which have not been collected for performances at the Det Kongelige Teater (Royal Danish Theatre) and the Operaen (Opera House) are available half price on the day of the performance – from 4pm. You have to collect the tickets yourself, but the wait is worthwhile. Billetcenter | August Bournonvilles Passage 1 | Tel. 33 69 69 69 | 10am–9pm
The Copenhagen Jazz festival takes place every July and many of the concerts are free. The public celebration of the entire jazz spectrum is certainly a highlight in the city’s calendar.
You can’t get much cheaper than camping! (from 60 DKK): Bellahøj Camping | Hvidkildevej 66 | Tel. 38 10 11 50 | www.bellahoj-camping.dk | Bus: 2A, Rødkildevey
The Saga Hotel has 78 rooms, which are simply furnished and most of them have their own bathroom. Families can ask for extra beds to be put in the spacious rooms. Colbjørnsgade 18–20 | Tel. 33 24 49 44 | www.sagahotel.dk/en | Bus: 1A, 5A, 6A, Main railway station
Used and well-loved: find good old vinyl records or second-hand CD rarities at reasonable prices from Accord. Vestergade 37 | Bus: 10, 12, 14, 26, 29, 33, 48, 67, 68, 250S | Rådhuspladsen
For fashionistas with an eye for a bargain: half-price Danish and international designers on sale at the Langelinie outlet store. Daily 11am–6pm | Langelinie Kaj | Bus: 26, Indiakaj/Langelinie
Souvenirs: Knick-knacks and all those things you buy which you don’t actually need – for just a few krone at Søsterne Grene. Amagertorv 29 | Metro: Kongens Nytorv | Bus: 15, 19, 26, 350S, Kongens Nytorv
If you want to eat traditional Danish food on a budget, the many smørrebrød (a Danish open sandwich) takeaways offer a great alternative to gourmet cuisine. Rådhus Smørrebrød (closed Sun) | Vester Voldgade 90, Ritz Smørrebrød (closed Sat/Sun) | Vester Voldgade 8 or Centrum Smørrebrød (open daily) | Vesterbrogade 6D
Look out for the ‘All you can eat’ signs. Many restaurants offer reasonably priced lunches between noon and 4pm, especially around the university. Some of the best include: Jensens Bøfhus (Gråbrødretorv 15), Restaurant Samos (Skindergade 29) and RizRaz (Kompagnistræde 20). All are open daily | Bus: 5A, 6A, Metro: Nørreport
Café Sorgenfri: If you love classic Danish cooking then order the warm national dish Flæskesteg med rødkol (roast pork with red cabbage). The crackling here is particularly crisp! Daily | Brolæggerstræde 8 | Tel. 33 11 58 80 | www.cafesorgenfri.dk | Bus: 14, 15, Stormbroen
Ristorante Italiano: The chef prides himself on being the first pizza baker in Copenhagen. He serves up pasta and pizza at reasonable prices. In good weather there is also the option to sit outside. Daily | Fiolstræde 2 | Tel. 33 11 12 95 | Bus: 6A, Universität, Vor Frue Plads
The view from the Bascule bridge is just begging to be photographed: from up here you can see from the inner harbour as far as Christiansborg Slot. Once over the bridge, you are in Christianshavn – Copenhagen’s mini version of Amsterdam. There are two things here that you cannot afford to miss: the ‘free state’ of Christiania and the climb up the tower of the Vor Frelsers Kirke.
Had enough of the city? Then get down to the sea and the beach at Amager Strandpark. The sand has been piled up to create almost 5km (3 miles) of man-made beach along a lagoon – and there’s no admission charge either.
Architectural dreams in Ørestad: For some, the short journey by Metro to Ørestad is a culture shock but others are fascinated by the architecture along the overland section of the Metro line. Ørestad resembles a free open-air museum of modern architecture. The futuristic residential and office buildings seem to hail from another planet.
The state-owned museums Nationalmuseet (National Museum), Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery) and Frihedsmuseet are free. Others charge no admission fee on certain days of the week: Ny Carlsberg Glyptothek on Sundays, Thorvaldsens Museum on Wednesdays, and Dansk Design Center Wednesdays 5pm–9pm.
Buy the Copenhagen Marco Polo Guide.