Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark is one of the most visited cities in Europe. Its famed canals, landmarks, and communities all add to its appeal, nurturing a growing tourist population of around four million. From outside, its easy to see why the world loves it so given its rich artistic upbringing. Once surrounded by its colorful danish architecture, it’ll be hard to see any reason to leave.
What to expect
Although Denmark is part of the European Union, it uses the Danish Krona instead of the euro. One krona is around 7 euro and 6 dollars. As with Iceland and other Scandinavian countries, Denmark is pricy.
A meal in Copenhagen, of course depending on the style of restaurant, will cost about 20 dollars, kebabs ran around seven dollars. Beers start around five dollars, but craft beers will run closer to eight.
Lodging is similarly priced, with hostels starting from 25 dollars per night, and Airbnbs around 100 per night for a private apartment.
Museums and attractions are reasonably priced, starting at around three dollars and going as high as 30 dollars.
Central Copenhagen is another city that is easily walkable for those who are able. There is a metro and a bus system, though stops are generally fewer in number than in typical European cities. That being said, a 24 hour pass for all public transportation can be purchased for around 20 dollars.
If you’re after even more benefits, the Copenhagen Card (available in varying hourly increments) provides free access to all city transportation, as well as free admission to nearly 80 of the city’s most famous museums and attractions.
What to see in Copenhagen
An autonomous community situated within Copenhagen, Freetown Christiania is famous for its laid back and liberal social and economic policies. The area decriminalized marijuana in the 1980s, and has been battling legal issues with the government of Denmark ever since. Today, the community welcomes all adventurous enough to wander through. The community often holds events in its centric Nemoland venue, just west of the more infamously known green light district, Pusher Street.
If you’ve googled “Copenhagen”, you’ve seen the brightly colored houses of Nyhavn. Home to one of the first homes of famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the canal centric district is a bustling tourist area, home to local restaurants, house boats, and related shops. The area itself can be walked through and around in a few hours and is a must visit.
The statue has become an international symbol of Copenhagen, and is one of the most well known statues in the world.This famed landmark located in the northeastern part of the city is worth a see either via canal tour or on foot. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, try visiting in the early morning, as the day will draw bigger crowds. It is a small statue, with not much around it, so adjust your expectations accordingly.
Copenhagen Street Food | Entry: Free
An amalgamation of some of Copenhagen’s top chefs Copenhagen Street Food is located in the heart of the city on Paper Island, a bustling converted warehouse building now outfitted with food trucks of varying cuisines. A meal here will, depending on where you choose to go, starts at around 10 dollars.
The vendors range from Mexican to Indian to Korean to traditional Danish, each eagerly offering free samples of their most popular items to help you decide. In addition to the food, there is beer, wine, cocktails and dessert. We tried a few different stands, but fell in love with the pulled duck burger from Duck It.
Canal Tour | Cost: 40-80 DKK
This is one of the times that doing the cliche “tourist” activity is worth it. Canal tours of different lengths and prices, offered by a handful of companies, begin out of the famous Nyhavn area and start at 6 dollars per person. For the price, it is absolutely worth it, as it takes you through the canals to all of Copenhagen’s most famous sites—from the Little Mermaid, to the Royal Danish Library, to the home of Hans Christian Andersen—in a little under an hour with historical insight. If you don’t have much time in Copenhagen, use this tour to see the city.
Round Tower | Entry: 25 DKK
If you’re in search of one of the best cheap, aerial views of the city, head to the Round Tower. Now a repurposed astronomical observatory, the tower was built by Christian IV in the 17th century.
Church of Our Savior | Entry: 35 DKK
Just north of Christiania, this church is famous for its spiraling, gilded tower. Similar to the Round Tower in terms of the view, this ascent provides an interesting insight into the history of Copenhagen, and another incredible (albeit windy) view of the city from the top.
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