If you are a budget traveler, like me, you are often trying to ferret out the free or inexpensive ways to explore a new city. Below are 10 things to do in Denmark without breaking the bank.
Rent one of Copenhagen’s high-tech public bikes. They come equipped with tablet computers, GPS systems and even assisted pedaling to explore the city. Choose the Pay as You Go option and you’ll pay an hourly rate of 30 DKK. This is a neat way to get around Copenhagen and get your exercise! (30+DKK)
Take in a classical music concert. The 17th-century church, Trinitatis Kirke, in the city center regularly puts on free classical concerts. While you are there, you can admire the impressive gilded interior. Make sure to check the concert schedule for up to date information. (Free)
Snap a picture of the Little Mermaid, but be prepared to be underwhelmed, it’s actually pretty small. However, since you are in Copenhagen, it’s the kind of thing your family and friends will expect to see back home. For another photo opportunity check out the yellow row houses in Nyboder, south of Østerport train station. Once used to house local sailors, this district has been around since the 1600s. It’s a very interesting row of marigold colored houses. (Free)
Stroll down the quays in Nyhavn. During the summer this is a great place duck out of the sun and grab a beer. You can also enjoy the music and food. Originally, Nyhavn was a busy international commercial port, teaming with sailors, ladies of the evening, and pubs. Since then the old houses have been renovated, and trendy restaurants have moved in. No. 9 Nyhavn, dates back to 1681. Many of the houses lining the quays have been the homes of famous artists and writers. Hans Christian Andersen lived in no. 20, while he wrote the fairy-tales ‘The Tinderbox’ and ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ He also lived in no. 67 for twenty years. (Free to 61+DKK)
Witness the changing of the guard ceremony at Amalienborg. At noon each day the square outside the Queen’s house comes alive. Soldiers from the Danish Royal Guard parade around in their ceremonial uniforms. Get there early or you’ll be trying to see over a sea of heads. (Free)
Wander around the grounds at Rosenborg Castle Gardens. Spread out around a 400-year-old castle, these perfectly manicured gardens provide a relaxing place to have a picnic and kick your feet up after a day of sightseeing. The gorgeous gardens are free to visit, but the castle charges an admission fee. (Free)
Watch a free open-air film. Each summer, folks flock to Fælledparken loaded with drinks and snacks to take in a late-night movie on the big screen. You usually have to catch this in August but check in with Zulu Sommerbio for an update. Screenings often take place over six consecutive nights. (Free)
Visit the world’s oldest amusement park (founded in 1583). Bakken is a 20-minute train ride from the city center. During the summer families pack to the amusement park for fun-filled days. In all fairness, entry is free, but you’ll have to pay to hop on the rides. Browse the shops and soak up the nostalgia. The park is a mix of rides, restaurants, pubs, bars, entertainment, and live music.
For cheap eats try smörrebrød. You won’t get far without encountering smørrebrød. It’s an open-faced sandwich piled high with fresh, tasty ingredients including shrimp or roast beef. They are meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. If you are down for one of these, check out Hallernes Smørrebrød, inside the Torvehallerne food hall or the even more budget-friendly Ritas Smørrebrød at Fælledvej 11 (Mon–Fri 7am–2pm). There are more than 40 different types of inexpensive smørrebrød to choose from, including classics loaded with tuna salad, egg salad, meats, or sausages. Prices are around 40+DKK per sandwich.
Walk. Walk. Walk. Hook up with a free walking tour. Two main companies offer free walking tours around the city center: Copenhagen Free Walking Tours and Sandemans. The guides from both companies work for tips, so be generous.
Want to know how the Danes work out? Join the locals. Nordic gym chain Friskis & Svettis organizes free outdoor fitness classes in the summer at Fælledparken,(Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays).
Hunt for souvenirs at Nørrebrohallen’s Loppemarked. It’s an indoor flea market open every Sunday at Nørrebrohallen.
Check out the art while sipping on your coffee at Café Retro. This non-profit coffee shop puts on cultural events, dance sessions, live music and rotates in a new exhibition each month.
Munch on tiny morsels at one of Copenhagen’s indoor food markets. Places like Torvehallerne, often offer free samples. It’s a great place to test local fare before you buy. You can find freshly baked bread, cakes, pastries and other eats at this great food market.
Do you know of additional things to do in Denmark under $10? Let us know in the comments below!