Is Copenhagen Expensive? A Guide to Prices in Copenhagen

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by Maggie Turansky


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Is Copenhagen expensive to visit? What are the average prices in Copenhagen? These are questions that countless would-be travellers to the Danish capital ask themselves before planning a trip to this lovely northern European city.

With a reputation for being incredibly expensive, many potential visitors plainly assume that there is no real way to save money in the city and that a trip to Copenhagen is one that is bound to break the bank.

And while Copenhagen certainly is nowhere among the most affordable cities to visit in Europe, it isn’t actually horrendously expensive. If you plan in advance, are aware of average prices, and spend your money in a smart and calculated way, then Denmark’s vibrant capital doesn’t have to be the expensive destination its reputation would have you believe.

Nevertheless, unless you’re coming from nearby countries like Sweden or Norway you’ll probably find Copenhagen more expensive than most destinations. On average you can expect to spend €88-255 per person per day (roughly 656-1901 DKK or $95-237 USD) on a trip to the Danish capital if you are a budget or mid-range traveller. However, it is also possible to spend more or less depending on your travel preferences.

Copenhagen Price Guide

Accommodation Prices

Arguably the biggest portion of your Copenhagen trip cost is going to go to accommodation, but how much you spend on a bed in Denmark’s capital city really depends on where you’re staying — both in the type of accommodation and in the area in which you have chosen.

Like pretty much every city in Europe, the closer you are to the tourist attractions and city centre, the more expensive your accommodation in Copenhagen will likely be.

Copenhagen skyline
Copenhagen skyline

Denmark’s capital has the same kinds of accommodation options that are available in most other cities in Europe — ranging from hostel dorms to luxury hotels to Airbnb apartment rentals.

If you’re looking to save some money and are travelling solo, then, arguably, your best bet is to go for a bed in a hostel dorm. Dorm beds in Copenhagen tend to go for about €25 per night and will likely cost a bit more the fewer beds in the dorm.

If you’re travelling as part of a couple or with a friend, then you may actually find it less expensive per person to go for a private room on a platform like Airbnb.

This generally lands somewhere around €100 per night (again, depending on the kind of room) meaning that you’re only looking at about €50 per person per night. You also get the added benefit of sharing a home with a local and seeing what life is actually like if you live in Copenhagen.

If you would rather stay in a hotel in Copenhagen over a shared Airbnb or hostel, then expect a mid-range hotel to start at €125-150 per night. If you are looking for a luxurious stay in Copenhagen, expect prices to start at €200-250 per night and to increase from there depending on a variety of factors.

Conversely, if you’re looking for a private apartment rental on Airbnb, expect prices to start at around €125 per night and to go up from there. Arguably, this may be the most cost-effective option if you are a family or a couple looking to minimise their per-person cost on your trip to Copenhagen as you will also have access to a kitchen and the ability to cook your own meals.

All in all, if you’re visiting the Danish capital on the tightest of budgets, then plan to spend at the very least €25 per person per night — and far more if you venture away from shared accommodation.

Transportation Prices

One of the lovely things about Copenhagen is that the city centre is fairly compact, meaning that it’s easy to see all of the main sites of the city while relying on your own two feet — this means that you don’t really need to factor much into the cost of transportation in the Danish capital.

And, when you are a bit tired of walking everywhere, you will be happy to know that Copenhagen is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the entire world and at most times, there are more bikes on the road than motor vehicles.

But how much will transportation actually cost when you’re in Copenhagen? Well, with most things, it will depend on how you plan to spend your time.

As I’ve just mentioned, the Danish capital is an incredibly walkable city so it is actually unlikely that you will really need to rely much on the public transport in Copenhagen while in the city. Pretty much everywhere you would want to visit is accessible on foot — especially if you’re staying centrally.

Bikes parked in Copenhagen
Bikes parked in Copenhagen

If you’re arriving into Copenhagen by air, there is the necessity of getting from the airport to the city centre. Copenhagen airport is located about seven kilometres from the city centre and there are a few ways to get there that all have different price points.

Your cheapest option for getting from the airport to the centre is via the train. This is convenient and can take you directly to many different locations within central Copenhagen. A one-way ticket from the airport to the city centre is around €5. You could also opt to take a taxi, but keep in mind that this will cost around €40 and is the most expensive option.

In general, if you want to save money while in Copenhagen, one of the best ways to do that is by cutting your transportation budget. Because you can reach most everything on foot in this pedestrian-friendly city, then the only transport you would need to account for is the cost of getting to and from the airport.

If you do want to use the public transit system rather than walking absolutely everywhere in Copenhagen, then you will be happy to know that the Copenhagen metro prices aren’t exorbitant, either. You can get a single-ride ticket for about €3 and a full-day pass starting at around €10.

Food Prices

Aside from accommodation, you’re likely going to find that food puts the biggest dent in your total Copenhagen travel cost. Average restaurant prices are high in the Danish capital and if you eat every meal in a sit-down, you will likely leave the city thinking that Copenhagen is an incredibly expensive city. However, there are some great ways to save money on meals in Denmark’s capital.

There are tonnes of cool cafes and restaurants in Copenhagen and you would be missing out if you didn’t take advantage of all the city has to offer, however, there are times when it may be a good idea to prioritise which meals you want to eat out and when.

For instance, you’re going to find it more affordable to eat breakfast or lunch at a sit-down establishment then going out for a nice dinner.

If you do want to have dinner at a mid-range restaurant in Copenhagen, plan to spend about €40-50 per person depending on what you order. That is generally inclusive of an appetizer and main dish or main dish and dessert plus a glass of wine.

Copenhagen is also well known for its incredible fine dining scene, being home to renowned restaurants like Noma and Geranium. And while a meal at the latter will cost you over €500 per person, you can still get a great fine dining experience at other, less famous restaurants. For instance, a 5-course tasting menu at Høst is only around €65 per person.

If you want to experience Copenhagen’s food scene without breaking the bank, you will find that there are also lots of street food options. For instance, the Reffen food market (formerly at Paper Island) has countless food stalls curing out just about every cuisine imaginable at affordable prices for Denmark. You can eat a full meal here while spending about €20 per person.

pizza in Copenhagen
There’s a lot of international food in Copenhagen!

Grabbing breakfast at a cafe doesn’t have to be ultra-expensive, either, and Copenhagen has a number of very cool, hip cafes to choose from. If you’re going for brunch or lunch at a cafe in Copenhagen, plan to spend about €20-30 per person on food.

Of course, you can always save money more by cooking your own meals or opting for accommodations that include breakfast in the price. Even by making your own breakfast at home, you are able to save a lot of money on your overall food budget in Copenhagen.

If you do this and don’t plan to eat at any proper sit-down restaurants while in the Danish capital, then plan to spend about €30 per person per day on food in Copenhagen. If you want to incorporate some of the city’s top restaurants in your overall trip cost, then expect to spend closer to €60 per person per day.

Food prices in Copenhagen certainly aren’t cheap, but if you’re smart about where you put your money, they don’t have to be prohibitively expensive, either.

Smorrebrod in Copenhagen
Smorrebrod in Copenhagen

Activities Prices

Now that we’ve covered the absolute basics for spending time in Copenhagen including the price of accommodation, transport and food, it’s time to discuss how much it will cost to actually do things in the Danish capital. And here is where you really won’t need to spend too much money in order to really get the most out of your visit to this Scandinavian city.

One of the best ways to get to know the Danish capital, stop by a number of its main sites and attractions in Copenhagen and also learn about the city’s history is on a free walking tour and, as the name would suggest, the tours themselves are free!

There are a number of walking tours to choose from in the capital, they tend to last about three hours and they are a perfect way to begin your stay in the city.

It is worth noting that while these tours are marketed as free and you are by no means obliged to pay anything, the guides do only work for tips to it is good practice to give a few DKK at the end of the tour. There are also options for affordable paid tours such as this fantastic food tour or this bike tour.

Little Mermaid  Statue in Copenhagen
The iconic Little Mermaid Statue

Another classic Copenhagen activity that doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg is a tour of the harbour.

Boat tours leave frequently from Christianshavn harbour and last about an hour and these are an excellent way to see the city from the water. If this is an activity that interests you, expect to pay about €15 for this — a totally agreeable price in a generally expensive city. You can pre-book your canal cruise in Copenhagen.

If the weather is poor or you would rather learn more about Copenhagen by exploring one of the city’s many museums. Entry fees for museums, for instance for the National Museum, average around €15 (120 DKK) for a full-priced ticket. It is worth noting that there is almost always a concession price for students and seniors that is significantly discounted.

If you plan on doing a lot of paid activities in Copenhagen, then you may find it cost-effective to invest in a Copenhagen Card, which gives you significantly discounted access to most of the city’s top tourist attractions. If you end up going to more than a few places, the cost of the card can end up paying for itself with the savings offered.

Other than that, main sites in Copenhagen can be seen by just wandering around and not spending a dime, which means that you likely only need to budget about €15-30 per day on activities, and that’s if you plan to do more than one paid activity per day — you can certainly spend less!

The world-famous Tivoli Gardens
The world-famous Tivoli Gardens

Entertainment Prices

If you are trying to save money and visit Copenhagen on a budget, one of the most effective ways to do this is by not drinking alcohol, as the prices in the Danish capital are some of the highest in Europe. However, if you do want to sample some local beer, enjoy the nightlife, or just grab a glass of wine after a long day, just be aware of what the prices are.

In general, expect a beer in Copenhagen to cost somewhere around €6-8 and expect to pay about the same for a glass of wine. Spirits are going to cost a bit more and if you want to have a cocktail while out and about, plan to spend about €10-15 per drink, depending on what you’ve ordered.

In general, one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t spend a bunch of money while visiting Copenhagen is not to plan to party or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. If you want to include a couple of drinks in your budget, plan to spend about €15-30 per day on entertainment while in Copenhagen.

Colourful buildings on Copenhagen's harbour
Colourful buildings on Copenhagen’s harbour

Is Copenhagen Expensive? Average Prices in Copenhagen

So, how expensive is Copenhagen? Not prohibitively so if you budget well and know where to spend your money. If you’re curious about the minimum amount you should expect to spend per person per day, check out the average Copenhagen prices below.

These are calculated per person, assuming that you’re splitting some costs (like accommodation) between two people.

Accommodation: €25-125/night

Transportation: €3-10/day

Food: €30-60/day

Activities: €15-30/day

Entertainment: €15-30/day

On average, if you’re looking to enjoy a stay in Copenhagen while sticking to a budget but not sacrificing most things, expect to pay about €88-255 (656-1901 DKK) per person per day on your trip to the Danish capital. Obviously, if you want to save money in Copenhagen even further, there are still says to cut down costs.

This also doesn’t include any pre-trip expenses such as flights (search on Skyscanner for great deals!) or travel insurance. For travel insurance, SafetyWing is a good option if you’re travelling in Copenhagen on a budget.

Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace

Is Copenhagen expensive to visit? Well, it certainly isn’t the world’s most affordable city, however, it doesn’t have to be outrageously pricey if you know where to spend your money.

Are you wondering about the prices in Copenhagen? Have you visited the Danish capital? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Comments

  1. Would love if you could update this post and do the cost conversions to US Dollars. That would really help me as a reader get an idea of whether or not Copenhagen is expensive which was the reason I wanted to read this article.

    Reply
    • Hi Tammy, we’ve added an approximate daily cost in USD at the top of the article, however, due to currency conversions, it’s always best to check present-day rates. We recommend using xe.com

      Reply
  2. I am interested in treating my adult daughter, who is confined to a wheelchair, to a trip. We so enjoyed Seaside Hotel on PBS. I am wondering if you have suggestions for traveling with a disabled person. She requires a fully handicapped accessible bathroom with a roll in shower. Maybe we could hire someone to help push wheelchair. When she traveled to Berlin, pre Covid, a volunteer helped her for an entire day. She enjoyed the sightseeing immensely. Any suggestions and contacts are most appreciated.
    Best, Ann C. Stader

    Reply

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