I guess, I chose wrong the time to go to Denmark, because it seemed a never ending rain, cold and windy. I think I felt it worse because I was coming from Italy, where at that time was warm, sunny – shortly said spring like.
Anyway, Denmark is not a cheap destination at all. If you’re a budget traveler, think twice and plan very very well or take a credit card with you 🙂
Talking about bank cards, it’s a MUST HAVE! I know some people aren’t used or maybe dislike the idea of using a bank card somewhere abroad (from security reasons), but in Denmark you’ll use it almost everywhere. I say almost, because you won’t be able to use it to pay your bus rides or for some other very small expenditures. Therefore, keep some small money for “just in case” situations 😉
How it happened?
One day coming back to Bologna, after a trip to Poland, a colleague of mine, Davide, happened to be excited about his next trip to Denmark…and as I’m always into trips he managed to spread this joy and convince me that the right thing to do is to buy an airline ticket to Copenhagen haha
After 2 days of thinking, I’ve got the tickets and was waiting only for Friday to come 😀
My friend promised that will pick me up, and he did so….thanks God he was a person that values his words 🙂 Then we went straight at his brother’s apartment for a nice chat and lunch. During the lunch we made some plans for evenings, as none of us wanted to interfere with the others travel plans in this new city (for me) 🙂 Davide spoke with his brother about my stay in Denmark and they agreed to let me stay there for my whole stay. I discovered this new Davide that I had no idea about 😀 Another reason to visit Copenhagen was that I knew some locals and intended to meet them during my short visit there. I could not ask too much as I knew them not so well and because I preferred to have my freedom and go wherever I wanted without disturbing people around me.
My plans for Denmark were big: to visit Roskilde and even go to Malmo….well I didn’t and the excuse was the rain and lack of mood to fight the wind as well 🙂
In the first day I met my acquaintances (one of which was my housemate for 5 months in Italy). I even went to a birthday party! What I saw there surprised me: a lot of alcohol – from beer to very strong liquids :D, food almost nonexistent – some crackers and chips only! And people grouped here and there talking about God knows what! haha A very different scene than what we have in Moldova! In Moldova we PARTY! And our parties are noisy, with a lot of food and yes, drinks too…maybe not so many though! Was a nice experience, the only drawback was that I felt a bit out of my comfort zone and people will had to speak English when I was around….and not all were happy of this new change in language. Not saying that most of them had no idea where Moldova was hehe
I don’t remember well now, because this trip was back in 2009!, but someone told me that in Scandinavia they have this alcohol kind of trips. If the taxes are lowered and the alcohol is cheaper, say in Sweden, then a lot of Danish or even Norwegians will go to Sweden to buy alcohol!
After the first day was clear that at Davide’s brother we were in too many people and with a few month old child in the house was better to go to a hotel. And here again, Davide helped me to find a nice place to sleep (Rossini Hotel) not really far from his brother’s apartment, so in case of any emergency I could ask for their help 😀 It is handy to have some backups, no?
How to keep your budget low in this expensive city?
- book a hostel or find last minute offer from central located hotels or try to find apartments for rent, so that you’ll share the price. If it’s a central location you’ll save on transportation costs.
- never go to restaurants in the central area of the city, they are for tourists, therefore more expensive 😀
- consider renting a bike because it’s free of charge!!! and use it for your day trips. Never heard of problems with thieves there, but be cautious!
- take from home an umbrella or a raining coat, so that you’ll not be forced to buy any of these in case of a sudden rain.
- make a list of places you want to visit and set a budget for it, don’t forget to check places in Copenhagen FREE of charge, some have free entrance on Sundays.
- want some souvenirs? Don’t leave this shopping for the last day, because almost in every case you’ll tend to spend more to get the first thing you see and head to the airport. Make some time for the best price/value souvenirs hunting 😉 One of the best places to do it is Strøget steet.
- make sure you get to the airport on time, use the subway, it will be cheaper than rushing to the airport in a cab!
For those who want to do the most of their money in Copenhagen, I have found this amazing page (I wish I saw this page earlier 😀 ). Visit Copenhagen web page offers more information on how to save money in Copenhagen, therefore will help you plan better your budget and trip. Have a look!
If you travel to Denmark sometime in February, you may want to attend one or more events during the Wondercool Festival. It will be held in February 2014. Visitors will be able to experience a wide range of cultural events in the fields of food, architecture, design, music and fashion but, there are also dedicated festivals within each of these genres.
If you’re not afraid of the cold weather and want to experience some of the Danish happiness, then the information from this page will help you to achieve your goal 😉
What I loved the most in Copenhagen?
In my second day I decided to take a canal tour. The guides will speak Danish, German and English! The tour gave a clear idea of what to see next, while walking. On this tours you’ll hear the history of many buildings by the canal, the new opera house and about an exclusive apartment building.
When searching information about Copenhagen, most likely you’ll see pictures taken in Nyhavn.
If you walk to this old port, do not miss the no. 9, Nyhavn. At no.9 you’ll find the oldest house in the area dating back to 1681. The design of the house has not been altered since that time.
At no.20, no. 67 and no. 18 you’ll see the houses that at one point in time hosted Hans Christian Andersen!
The Round Tower is another is next on my list. This tower was built in the 17th century and hosts and observatory. It is considered to be the oldest functioning observatory in Europe! Take the chance and go up to the top, the view from there, over the old part of the city is amazing!
The old churches that this city has. Just to mention some of them: Frederiks Church, Church of Our Lady, St Nicolas Church.
The little Mermaid is next. It is a nice sculpture, but I thought it would be bigger and closer to the walking side. It’s the symbol of Copenhagen, therefore is a must see.
Some other places that I liked about this Northern capital are: Radusplatsen, Amalienborg Castle and Amaliehaven, the Royal Denish Theatre, the Copenhagen City Hall and the Stock Exchange building.
Rest assured that there are plenty and plenty things to be told about and seen in Copenhagen. I have missed some places and hopefully one day I’ll go back and visit those places.
Three last things:
- if you want to visit Tivoli gardens, check their opening to visitors program, there are months in a year when they are closed for visit!
- Malmo (Sweden) is at 30 – 35 minutes away from Copenhagen. In 2013 there was held one of Europe’s most famous song contest Eurovision. You can check train schedules and ticket prices on the following 2 web pages:
- be aware of the red district in Copenhagen! Yes, there’s one and they will try to sell you lots of stuff there – even cocaine! I will suggest you not to go around that are late in the night or do not walk alone! The city is safe, but has it’s weak parts and better be careful than sorry! 😉
I hope that you enjoyed reading my post and that all the links I left will help you find a way to save money when traveling in Copenhagen.
Travel safe and wise!