Some people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I was in Copenhagen in January. It’s minus 10 degrees, there is snow everywhere and all the lakes are frozen solid. And it’s expensive. Really expensive. Not exactly somewhere a budget backpacker should go. But a Ryanair sale for £7.95 return flight enticed me into a short two day trip (in which I spent €40!!).
But imagine it; the sun is shining making it feel like 5 degrees instead of -10. The sunlight making the snow glitter and the lakes frozen, a light dusting of snow over the top. Add in the beautiful architecture of the churches, castles and gardens and you have the makings of a fairytale. And being the little bookworm that I am, I was also very excited to be in the home of Hans Christian Anderson.
I didn’t pay to visit anywhere in particular, just wandering around the city for two days, enjoying the beauty of the palace, feeling at home with the changing of the guard and loving the art of Christiana. I don’t know exactly what it was about Copenhagen that made me feel at home, but I can not shake the desire to return to the city to really get to grips with it.
Perhaps it was the similarity to London, perhaps it was the feeling of safety I felt there, perhaps it was even the beauty of the city. Perhaps it was all of the above. All I know is that I want to go back there again.
How to do Copenhagen on a budget?
1) Walk everywhere. The transport isn’t exactly expensive, at least not for a capital city, but it’s not cheap either. Copenhagen is, however, the first European city to introduce free bike hire. Pop €2 (or the equivalent DKK) in the machine, take your bike, and when you bring it back you get your coins back. Easy, efficient, and totally free.
2) Couchsurfing is hard in Copenhagen as everyone wants a free room for the night, but you may just get lucky if you try far enough in advance. If not, take to Airbnb. With hostels ranging around €16-€20 per night, it’s not exactly easy to stay cheaply. I stayed in the airport the first and third night and then booked a room on Airbnb for one night. Totalling £11.
3) There are tons of free things to do in the city. From parks, to walks around the canals and palace gardens, there are no shortage of places to visit. The statue of the little mermaid is also a free attraction, right behind some beautiful gardens.
4) Christiana. This is a place that I was stunned to find in the middle of the large city. Besides the fact that they sell hash on the streets it’s declared a ‘Free City’ in which people have built their own lives and houses all around the lake there. The amazing graffiti art throughout the district is a must see.
5) Make your own food. Sorry to be THAT person, but the restaurants and cafes aren’t exactly cheap here. It’s best to cook at home with food you got from Aldi or Netto. If you do happen to find a nice, cheap place to eat, LET ME KNOW!!!!
If anyone has has any suggestions for me for when I go back tell me in a comment 🙂