I think it is fair to say that most of us students and budget travellers cut the Scandinavian countries out of our travel plans due to financial reasons. I’m not going against that and I will be honest and say that it can be expensive, but with a little bit more research and some tips and tricks, it’s still very possible to visit the place with the friendliest people in the world without breaking the bank.
If you haven’t already, you must subscribe to RyanAir or Easyjets email lists so you can get all the information about travel deals. I was lucky enough to pick up a return flight from London Luton Airport for 14 pounds. As I am living in Leeds, it did take a little bit of travelling to get to and from but once again, there are cheap busses to thank for *raises a glass to Megabus*. If you are planning to go in summer, then be sure to book in advance as it will get a little bit more expensive being peak time.
As I was in Copenhagen for 5 nights, I decided to split it up with where I was staying so I could see different parts of the city and also be exposed to a new bunch of people. First of all, I stayed at Downtown Copenhagen, a hostel part of the St. Christopher’s chain and apart from not being able to extend my stay there, it was faultless. Each night I paid a different price, but on average it was around 14 pounds for a 10 bed mixed dorm which is a very reasonable price for Copenhagen. The beds were comfortable, the bathrooms were clean and the service was extraordinary. All of the workers each added their own little quirky touch to the hostel which made the experience extra groovy. Every night from 6:30pm they have a communal dinner which is a nice way to meet like minded travellers and indulge in some free, but very delicious home cooked food. Located just a short 10 minute walk from the Central station, Downtown is the perfect place to base yourself to see all of the sights the Danish capital has to offer.
After three nights at Downtown, I moved over to Sleep in Heaven in the neighbourhood district of Nørrebro. Unlike Downtown, Sleep in Heaven was much quieter, but it did boast some great features – one of the best being the cinnamon scrolls they baked every morning. They were so good that I ate three in one sitting! Apart from not having a communal kitchen or fridge, I had a great experience at Sleep in Heaven and thankfully I survived sleeping on the top of a triple bunk bed for two nights. (Note: if you toss and turn in your sleep be sure to request a lower bunk as there are no railings and it can get quite daunting!) I found that I enjoyed the location and didn’t necessarily feel like I was too far away from the city to venture in. On average I paid 13 pounds a night here.
Food and Drink
There are some great places to eat in Copenhagen, especially in the city centre, but don’t be fooled. It can get quite pricey! Over the 6 days, I ate mainly at Falafel and Doner cafes as well as the take away food from 7/11. The bonus of Nørrebro is not only the fact that the cafe culture is incredible, but it’s a lot cheaper. In fact, you can almost eat there for half the price of some places in the city centre. I’ve listed a few of my favourite places below, so be sure to check them out for a delicious, affordable and filling meal.
Durumbar, Nørrebro: The best falafel doner in Nørrebro. It’s an absolute hot spot with the locals and you will see why. It’s very affordable at 3 pounds for a large falafel pita filled with salad.Nørrebrogade 195
7/11: A convenience store that is located practically on every corner of every street in the city and neighbouring suburb, Nørrebro. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but wherever you are in Copenhagen, I can guarantee you that you will see one every 5 minutes when you are walking around. When I was living back in Australia we had 7/11’s but I never thought anything of it as it was always overpriced, bad quality food that left you feeling down in the dumps. But trust me, this is a totally different story in Denmark. They have a huge range of food, for all health diets including a wide variation of Paleo foods. For breakfast you can pick up a delicious paleo granola or a bircher for two pounds and for lunch or dinner, the salads will impress you so much that you will be returning the next day for another round. Depending on the location of the 7/11, some will have seating, but most others will just have the take-away option. This deemed somewhat difficult during winter to have to brave the cold weather whilst eating, but for the price you pay, I can say that it’s definitely worth it.
Food-stalls: Being a very picky eater and only eating chicken, I wasn’t able to fully experience the food stalls but I can assure you that if you are a meat eater, this should definitely be on the cards. In the city centre there are numerous amounts of hot dog stalls and you’ll never walk past one without a line. Being one of the cheapest options to grab a bite to eat, it’s something you shouldn’t pass down, even on a rainy day.
Travel: No need forking out to get a rail or bus pass, the city is one of the easiest to walk on foot. If you fancy getting around on two wheels, most hostels including Downtown and Sleep in Heaven have them available to hire for the day for a cheap rate. By seeing the city on foot, you are able to uncover some of the untouched spots that are rarely seen by the everyday tourist, not to mention that some of the greatest places I ate and saw were simply from wandering the streets unknown. If you are planning on getting out of Copenhagen to do some day trips elsewhere, then try and get your hands on Orange tickets from the DSB website. These are budget tickets which cost 99 DKK (10 pounds) but must be purchased in advanced. Just make sure you have a printer available as you do need to have a physical copy of your ticket to have it valid for travel.
So what are you waiting for. Get to it!