Okay, first of all nothing comes for free – we both know that. But let’s just pretend you’re on a super tight budget, while you are here in Copenhagen. Most people are only here for shorter stay doing their trip around Europe or maybe you’re here on business, probably witout a free spending account.
Things like a hop on/hop off bus will easily set you back 25 euros, entrance to Tivoli garden 13-14 euros, some museums with the same price level 10-15 euros entrance fee. But no worries, I did all the hard work for you and found a way to get high quality Copenhagen experiences nearly for free – be willing to use your own two feet, as walking/biking Copenhagen is super easy. Nothing is really too far away.
So let’s get to it. How do you fill three days of high quality experiences on a budget and still have all the facebook pictures to impress, showing you’re a world traveller.
My suggesstion is you mix the days/activities around in correspondance with the weather forecast, as rainy days is good for museums and to get cozy with cake and coffee. When sun is out you should definitely hit Nyhavn, Freetown Christiania or a park like Kongens Have (Kings Garden) for a refreshment.
Roundtower, free walking tour, Little Mermaid, Kastellet, Nyhavn.
9 am – 11 am
For the early riser there are two options. The easy start or dive right into the action.
First option, is to do an easy start with a coffee and a full breakfast somewhere – just blend into the life of Copenhageners. Relax and use the wifi – get ready for a busy day.
Ask your host whether its a hotel, hostel or private stay where you can take a breakfast at small cozy local cafe. This should be possible to do for around 10 euros. Talk to the owner of the cafe if he/she have any knowledge of something interesting going on locally.. you never know, something might turn up for the next days. If not you follow this ”script”.
The second option is to already get started your day walking the city – get a map, if you need one. Copenhagen city centre is relative small and easy to navigate. If you want a destination, walk to the Roundtower and get up high, opens 10 am and cost a small amount of 25 DKK (3,5 euros) to enter. Get in right when it opens and you get it pretty much for yourself. (Make facebook photo) Now walk to the Townhall Square via Krystalgade, make a left on Nørregade towards ”Vor Frue” church (Make facebook photo), take a look inside. Danish Crown prince Frederik and Crown princess Mary were married here May 14, 2004. Continue down Studiestræde and make a left on Vester Voldgade which will take right to townhall Square(Make facebook photo). The total walk is 1 km. from roundtower to Townhall Square and take no more than 15 minutes. You will probably do it in 30-35 minutes including a stop or two.
11 am – 14 pm – daily FREE walking tours, show up at the stairs of Townhall Square. You can’t miss the SANDEMANs tourguides or the FREE WALKING TOUR guides with their red and yellow umbrellas. The reason its free, is because you leave a tip for the tour guide at the end of the tour – be reasonable but don’t overdo it either. Midway the tour will have a small coffee-break and you can use the restroom.
Remember to ask the tour-guide for suggestions for your stay depending on your interests. The tours will also offer you a cheap pub-crawl – consider to do it, if you want to meet with other travellers. I imagine you can do at least 10 facebook photos on one of these walking tours.
14 pm – 17 pm
The walking tour ends at Marmorkirken, take a quick look inside, find a bench/chair inside and rest for 10 minutes while you enjoy this impressive church and then decide your next step.
You can now continue walking down Bredgade towards the Little Mermaid (FREE), 1,3 km, approx. 15 minutes (make facebook photo). In Bredgade, on your right hand side, you’ll find two very interesting museums – highly recommendable. The first one is Medical Museum, entrance 50 DKK(7 euros), students 30 DKK (4 euros). Opening hours: http://www.museion.ku.dk/opening-hours/
The second is a Design Museum, entrance 90 DKK (12 euros), students and everybody under 26 get to enjoy a FREE ENTRANCE. Opening hours: http://designmuseum.dk/en/information/under-punkt
Choose one of them depending on your interest or if you are completely low-budget, you just continue towards the little Mermaid. Expect to be kind of disappointed – she is indeed little – and to get your photo can be a bit stressful, as she is probably the most photograhed lady in the Kingdom of Denmark.
So no need to stay here for a longer period of time. Instead enjoy a stroll at Kastellet (FREE) with a hot drink or an icecream, depending on the season. Now walk all-the-way back to Nyhavn and Kings New Square. Can be done along the seaside to Skt. Annæ Plads, here you make right turn towards Toldbodgade where you make a left. Be sure to stay on Toldbodgade, as you make the last push to Nyhavn. You will end up on a bridge, where you can do the most fantastic photos. So get the camera out and you’ll have few more fantastic shots to show your friends and family.
Now decide whether to head home and get some rest before you’ll probably head out again for a dinner, meet up with friends or maybe a pubcrawl.
Or if you can’t get enough of this picture perfect slice of Copenhagen, I have a great cheap tip for you how you enjoy some people watching. Instead of choosing one of the expensive restaurants in Nyhavn you walk to Lille Strandstræde which is a street located on the same side of all the restaurants, more or less in the middle. In this street you’ll find a small kiosk on your left handside coming from Nyhavn. It’s in the basement, so take the stairs down. They have beers, softdrinks and snacks. Now head the 30 m. back to Nyhavn and sit down on the habour.. like everybody else and enjoy your drink and some people watching (FREE). Again, perfect time for a facebook photo.
National Museum, Christiania, Our Savior’s Church
10 am – 12 pm
Visit the National Museum – Ny vestergade 10, 1471 København K – www.natmus.dk – tue-sun 10am-17pm, mondays closed. FREE ENTRANCE to all exhibitions. A restaurant and a cafe can be found at the museum and its even possible to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy in the lunch room or in the garden, if weather permits.
Another recommendation is for you to head for ”Papirøen” (Paper Island) – it hosts Copenhagen Street Food. Cross the water by using the habour bus. Here you find between 20-40 food stalls presenting food from all over the world and of course Nordic food, as well. You get a meal for the small sum of 50 DKK (7 euros).
13 pm – 15 pm
Christiania is a must-see for almost all tourist coming to Copenhagen and its FREE ENTRANCE – www.christiania.org – if on the other hand its not for you – you should still make the suggested walk to Christianshavn and be happy you have more time to indulge yourself with all the other things a long the way.
So, I suggest you make the 1,8 km. walk there from the National Museum, as you will pass historic buildings along the way with great photo opportunities: You’ll also walk close by The Royal Arsenal Museum (Tøjhusmuseet) FREE ENTRANCE, Danish Jewish Museum (7 euros entrance fee), and the The Royal Library, exhibitions FREE ENTRANCE, also referred to as the Black Diamond because of the structure of the building. If any of these hold your interests make a short stop there. You will pass Knippelsbro – the bridge crossing from city centre to the area named Christianshavn. Nice photo opportunity again. Eventually you walk along the small canals of Christianshavn in the street Overgaden oven Vandet, make a left on Bådmandsstræde to make the last push to Christiania. In Overgaden oven Vandet 58 you’ll pass Naval Museum (Orlogsmuseet) FREE ENTRANCE – especially interesting if you are here with children, as they made a section for them to play and learn at the same time.
Yes, hash, weed or whatever people call it these days are sold here out in the open – it’s no secret! And is probably why you also have heard of it. But it is still criminal and possession is punishable in Denmark. The selling area is confined to Pusherstreet. NO PHOTOS! I suggest you walk casually through Pusherstreet and see what its all about – that is no problem! Then head to see what Christiania is really about, the houses, the community, the music/art/handycraft and more.
Please observe that there are rules to be respected for everybody including tourists visting Christiania. I recommend you to read their guide in english here: http://www.christiania.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Guideeng2.pdf
Find a place to enjoy lunch here, if you didn’t eat at the National Museum or Paper Island – there are several reasonable priced options in Christiania.
15 pm – 16 pm
Get up high! If you didn’t go to Round Tower on day 1 now is your chance to have a perfect view of Copenhagen from ”Vor Frelser Kirke” (Our Savior’s Church). Opening hours depends on the season. Check website: http://www.vorfrelserskirke.dk/ – costs 40 DKK to enter (5 euros) and totally worth it.
Kings Garden, The Royal Life Guards barracks, Nørrebro (trendy shopping, food and beers)
10 am – 11 am
Map of the day
Starting in Kongens Have (Kings Garden) today, walk the park and enjoy the views of beautiful Rosenborg Castle and of course remember to make yet another photo. It’s possible to get inside, but this will set you back 90 DKK (12 euros), 60 DKK (8 euros) for students. Since we are on a budget, I suggest we move on.
11 am – 13 pm
Walk in Gothersgade towards the lakes of Copenhagen, known as Søerne. On your way to the lakes you will first pass the The Royal Life Guards barracks (Den kongelige livgarde kaserne), next is Botanical Garden (Botanisk Have) FREE ENTRANCE, and Sct. Andreas Church (Skt. Andreas Kirke). Make a stop at any of these if you wish otherwise make a push for the lakes.
Find a bench on bridge or a stretch of grass and make a rest – or cross Queen Louises Bridge. Take in the scenery, which can be quite spectacular depending of the time of day and the weather conditions of course. Remember to make a few photos.
Now you in a the area of Nørrebro. Its quite interesting and diverse. You find trendy streets, trashy streets, cool shops, coffee shops, food from all over the world, organic food restaurants, a bar and nightclub scene and people here representing more than 50 different nationalities.
I suggest you walk to Skt. Hans Torv (a nice square with cafes), walk along the lakes via Sortedams Dossering, make a left at Sankt Hans Gade and all the way to Skt. Hans Square. Find The Mad Hatter shop – buy a bubble tea and you make the judgement. Weird or really weird? But the taste is sweet and fruity.
Find your way to Elmegade, which will be on your left handside. Move on through Elmegade (trendy street), and do some shopping. Cross Nørrebrogade walk towards city centre again and make a right on Blågaardsgade – here you also find lots of cafes and more. You will find plenty of food options to cater your lunch at very reasonable prices in the area around Blågaardsgade, Blågaards Plads and Rantzausgade. A suggestion is Nordisk Brødhus at Rantzausgade 58B for that genuine organic bread experience which shows that this way of producing doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.
What else do I find in Rantzausgade?
I recommend Tijili Pop in number 28 – Berlin style hang-out for coffee, beer and food. Also Bar Ræv in number 44 for popcorn, cheap beers and danish meatballs. Gilt in number 39 is probably the most reasonable priced for a fancy cocktail bar in Copenhagen, opening hours 18 pm – 02.00 am, cocktails come at 11-13 euros. Often you would pay 15-17 euros in other fancy cocktail bars.
13 pm – 16 pm
Now walk from Rantzausgade through Hans Egede Gade and probably 150m. on Jagtvej – make a left onto Jægersborggade. As we speak, its probably in top 3 of trendy streets in Copenhagen. More than 40 special shops of gourmet food, caramel production, photo display and galleries, clothes and jewellery, coffee roasters, wine bars, organic butcher shop, vinyl records, special liquor store. Everything you want from that big city life. And now comes the contrast! Only 5 years ago this street was dominated by gangs, and the sale of hashish – its still going on, but a lot of happened in 5 years. The people took over. The turnaround came with the opening of restaurant Relæ, August 20, 2010 by former NOMA chef Christian F. Puglisi. In March 2012 the restaurant received a Michelin star. A 4-course-meal with wine menu including bread and water will set you back 115 euros. The cheapest Michelin star restaurant in Copenhagen and 90-100% of the ingredients are certified organic.
Across the street from restanrant Relæ you will find its little brother called Manfreds & Vin. Here also offering high quality meals and take-away, soup of the day starting at 7 euros. 90-100% certified organic.
Now you’re at the end of Jægersborggade, make a right on Stefansgade, and soon you will see Mikkeller and Friends, microbrewery. Have a beer, man! Or two! You deserved it. Not a beer guy or girl, just head a little further for a few nice coffee shops. Recommended are Riccos Kaffebar and Goodlife (also vinyl records) in the basement.
Head to the end of Stefansgade, you should have Stefanskirke (Stefans Church) on your left handside, but you make a right onto Nørrebrogade towards city centre. Head for Nørrebros runddel – here you will have options to go in whatever direction you will need by public transport. The Metro will open here in 2019.
You want more? Go to Assistens Cemetary – also functions as a normal park. Bring a book, something to drink and laziness. Cannot be mistaken as its surrounded by a long yellow wall. As a curiosity, you will find the grave yards of some great Danish personalities, namely Hans Christian Andersen (writer) and Søren Kierkegaard (poet and philosopher) and 1922 Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr (physicist).