Copenhagen is a beautiful destination to visit all year round. However, the city with the colourful houses, its many palaces and fairy tales is not necessarily known to be very budget-friendly. Is Copenhagen expensive? It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep on reading for our tips on how to make the best out of your visit to the Danish capital when budget travelling!

Save money on public transport

Are you visiting Copenhagen for only a few days? While the city centre is quite walkable, it can pay off to take advantage of motorized transport if you want to visit as many attractions as possible in a short amount of time. In this case, Hop-on Hop-off buses can be a great help!

The buses from RED Sightseeing take you to all the must-see attractions in the city, including Amalienborg Palace and the Tivoli Gardens. The tickets for the vibrant red double-deckers are valid for up to 72 hours and can even be combined with a boat tour through Copenhagen’s many canals and harbours to get even more value for your money. This way, you get to explore the Danish capital from the road and the water as well.

Free Copenhagen walking tours

Free walking tours are always a great way to discover a city when travelling on a budget. The tips based tour from New Europe is a guided walking tour that takes you through central Copenhagen for 2.5 hours. You’ll visit the city’s must-see spots such as Nyhavn harbour and the former home of Hans Christian Andersen with a local expert. At the end of the tour you decide what it was worth to you.

If you prefer to explore the city by yourself and in your own pace, free, self-guided walking tours are a great alternative. Many are app based, for instance, the free RED Sightseeing app or the StoryHunt app. The RED Sightseeing app shows you exactly where their buses and bus stops are, and has a City Centre Highlights walking tour.

In the StoryHunt app, you can choose from many different tours, ranging from tours through specific districts like Nørrebro or Østerbro to historical tours. Some of these tours are for free, others cost a small amount. While walking, both apps track your location and guide you through the city.

Free museums in Copenhagen

Ticket costs for museums can add up quickly in Denmark. Luckily, some of Copenhagen’s best museum offer free admission, either all the time or only on certain days. One of the museums that is always free to visit is the David Collection with its impressive collection of Islamic, European and Danish Early Modern art.

For museums with specific days for free admission, you will want to be in Copenhagen on a Wednesday. Every Wednesday, you can visit the Thorvaldsens Museum for free, which is dedicated to the Danish neoclassicist sculptor and collector. After 5 pm, you can visit the Kunsthal Charlottenborg for free until closing time. And on the last Wednesday of every month, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek opens its doors for free with its paintings and sculptures from both ancient and modern times.

Is Copenhagen expensive to visit? Discover Copenhagen on a budget

Famous but expensive Nyhavn

Once the busy commercial port of the city with ill repute and a hub for sailors, Nyhavn is now Copenhagen’s most photographed and hippest neighbourhood, making it one of the most popular sights here. The waterfront, canals and entertainment district from the 17th century are a must-see during a visit to Copenhagen.

The picturesque and brightly coloured townhouses from the 17th and 18th century have been renovated and provide a great atmosphere for relaxed evenings and good food. Do it like the locals to save money and grab a beer from the shops and sit down by the water, enjoying a magnificent view.

The Little Mermaid statue

Another must-see sight in Copenhagen is the statue of the Little Mermaid, Den Lille Havfrue, and it is free for all to see. The iconic bronze statue is located just off the shoreline. The statue created by Edvard Eriksen was unveiled in 1913 and is based in the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen who used to reside in Copenhagen.

According to Andersen’s story, the Little Mermaid saved the life of a shipwrecked prince. She fell in love with him and gave up her lovely voice and her mermaid’s tale to win his love. Other than in the famous children’s movie, her quest failed and she was turned into cold sea foam.

Is Copenhagen expensive to visit? Discover Copenhagen on a budget

Non-conforming Christiana

This one-of-a-kind district in Copenhagen is definitely worth a visit. Christiana is actually a small city right in the capital, making it unique in all of Europe, and one of the most visited attractions. Its history dates back to 1971 when the abandoned military area was taken over by squatters, hippies and dropouts.

While Christiana is best known for its ‘green street’ where marijuana is almost freely sold, this area has much more to offer. You can stroll around the district and see alternative architecture and housing culture, colourful street art and unique sculptures. The area is also famous for its unique bars and restaurants, alternative Christmas market and many concerts.

A royal experience at Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace is the winter residence of the Danish Royal Family. The complex consists of four palaces designed by Nicolai Eigtved in the 1750s. Today, they are major works of Danish architecture. Unfortunately, visiting the museum at Amalienborg Palace is not free, however, you can witness a special event here in courtyard.

Every day, you can watch the Changing of the Guards, Den Kongelige Livgarde, in the palace’s court yard. When the King is in residence the guards are accompanied by the Royal Guards music band. However, if the Royal Guards are accompanied by drums and flutes, one of the royal princes is residing at the palace in capacity of the regent.

At noon, the guards change at the palace. But the entire parade takes up to 2 hours. The guards’ home in the city is at Rosenborg Castle, from there the new guards march from their barracks to the Palace. And after the change at the palace the relieved guards march back to their barracks.

Is Copenhagen expensive to visit? Discover Copenhagen on a budget