Budget for a student in Copenhagen

I will be spending three days in Copenhagen at the end of May, as a student on a fairly tight budget, how much can I expect to spend per day not including a hotel? How much should I withdraw from the ATM once I get there?

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

I'm going to Copenhagen on Thursday for a few days and I'm worried about the cost as well. From what I understand (from a Danish friend I will be traveling with), drinking at bars and eating at sit down restaurants is quite expensive, but buying beers at a corner market and eating hot dogs and "ethnic" food like Doner Kebap is reasonable. Another option is self-catering (i.e. going to a grocery store and buying a picnic lunch). I'll share my own experience once I get back on Monday.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

I'm back. :) But the bad news: Copenhagen is REALLY REALLY expensive. I was traveling with a group of friends and we were all trying to keep it really cheap but it still ended up costing quite a bit. We only had one proper sit down meal, and it was lunch, and it wasn't even IN Copenhagen, and a burger, potatoes, and beer still cost $32 per person. Ouch. The rest of the time we lived on hot dogs, doner/schwarma/pizza, and self-catering at our apartment. The cheapest you can get a filling meal for is probably a schwarma at 35-55 DKK. ($6-$9). The famous hot dogs are more snacks than meals, they're mostly toppings and bun so they're not particularly filling. They start at $4.50 a pop. The cheapest beer I found in bars was 28 DKK for a .33 bottle of Carlsberg, or 30 DKK for .50 from the tap during a happy hour. Students and travelers on a budget buy beers at corner stores and drink them outside to save money, this is perfectly legal and very enjoyable in nice weather. Still expect to pay about $3 per beer this way, though. I would say that a super-budget traveler with access to a fridge and kitchen could get by for $35/day, barely. No alcohol really in that budget. I'd raise it to $50 if you plan on having a couple beers per day and/or have a bigger appetite. If you plan on sampling actual nightlife in a bar, or having a sit down meal, I'd budget $100/day. Just for food and drink. For admission fees and transit, get a Copenhagen Card. The 72 hour one is $90, but I did the math and we saved an additional $90 by buying it. It covers all your transit in eastern Zealand and admission to almost everything except the Viking Ship Museum. If you're a busy traveler (and you should be!) it's a bargain, despite seeming high. It was also super convenient.