After a fun day exploring Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood on a budget, I was determined to carry this mindset on for the rest of my trip. Starting with the center of Copenhagen.
Here are 5 ways to explore the city for a fraction of the price most people pay
1. Take a Free Walking Tour
Offered in most cities throughout Europe, free walking tours are a great way to get your bearings, learn some local history and get in a bit of exercise. The tours often run for several hours, so it’s customary to tip the guide for their time. This amount can be whatever you think the tour was ‘worth’. You can find information on the different free tours on offer in Copenhagen here.
The main sites of the city include the Royal Palace of Amalienborg (where the royal family live) and Christiansborg Palace, the seat of Danish parliament.
There are also several old buildings with interesting histories. These include the tiny attic apartment at Hôtel du Nord where Hans Christian Anderson lived as a youth and the home of J.C Jacobsen, where he isolated a new strain of yeast which was used to brew a consistently good quality, tasty beer- Carlsberg! The discovery of this yeast changed the concept of brewing forever and all yeasts used to make lager beer are still derived from this original yeast.
2. Beers at Nyhavn Like a Local
With it’s colourful conjoined houses, the Nyhavn waterfront area is synonymous with Copenhagen.
From here you can take sightseeing tours by boat or dine at one of the many restaurants. However, these restaurants are touristic and expensive, so for a more local and budget friendly option, buy beer from a bottle shop and sit on the edge of the canal to enjoy the atmosphere. In Denmark it’s legal and common to drink in the streets.
3. Relax in a Beautiful Park
There are many stunning parks and gardens in Copenhagen. My favourite was the Rosenborg Castle Gardens, the oldest and most frequently visited gardens in Copenhagen. As well as expansive green areas, you’ll find historical buildings and monuments. There are even concerts and art exhibitions in summer.
It’s the perfect spot for a picnic lunch, sunbaking or afternoon beers.
4. Explore Free Town Christiania
This self-proclaimed autonomous community within the city of Copenhagen is a free state operating semi-independently of the Danish government.
Famous for the open trade of marijuana, this has also brought great controversy to the area. Hard drugs were outlawed many years ago, yet there remains pressure from the Danish government to eradicate all drugs. There’s also controversy surrounding the ownership of the land, as the settlement was originally formed by squatting in government military property. Currently, the government strictly enforces a ban on the construction of new buildings in the district.
The main trading area of Christiania is known as ‘Pusher Street’ or the Green Light District and is very popular with tourists. It’s busy and noisy, with many different market stalls and places for live music. The leafy areas around the canal are more peaceful, with many locals unwinding on the banks.
Tip: take one of the higher quiet paths that lead between the houses and the canal- these beautiful, peaceful tracks away from the crowds are full of overhanging branches and pretty views.
5. Take in the view from The Tower of Christiansborg Palace
What better way to end the day than a sunset view of Copenhagen from above? Located in Christiansborg Slotsplads, The Tower of Christiansborg Palace is the highest tower in Copenhagen and unlike many other aerial views in this city or elsewhere, it’s free!
It’s open everyday except Monday and there’s a lift going up, more info here. There’s also a restaurant in the tower- book ahead if this interests you.
Tip: be sure to leave enough time for waiting in the lift queue (around 30min).