Is Copenhagen on your travel list? The capital of Denmark is known for its connection to Hans Christian Anderson, the Little Mermaid, and it’s colourful port. However, it’s also known for its hefty price tag. Denmark is part of Scandinavia which is known to be expensive. So, just how much does it cost to go to Copenhagen? Read on to find out.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest 4 Days and 3 nights in Copenhagen. It’s not a huge city, but there is enough to see and do to keep you busy for a few days. Please note that this guide is based on the costs of a single person, so if you are a couple, make sure to double these estimates (except for hotels).
Copenhagen trip cost
Local transportation $70
Food and drink $220
Random Spending $100
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.
Flights to Copenhagen are not as common as flight to other major European destinations, but it’s still pretty accessible. For those flying from North America, you can expect to pay about $900 for a return ticket. That said, there are a couple budget airlines that fly from major American hubs (such as New York and Miami) that offer cheaper flights with longer layovers.
Some people may be thinking to themselves that $900 seems high, and you’re right. The reality is that since Copenhagen isn’t a major hub, getting there is more expensive. You could try to catch a budget flight from one of the major European cities, but when you add up the costs, it’ll still be around $900. If you’re travelling from Asia or the Middle East, you might end up spending even more on airfare.
As with other major cities, Copenhagen offers a range of options when it comes to accommodation. The terms ‘cheap’ and ‘budget’, however, need to be considered in terms of the local prices. What is considered to be inexpensive here is more midrange in other countries around the world.
With that in mind, I based the estimated accommodation cost for this guide on the price of a midrange hotel in Copenhagen which comes to $150/night.
If you are looking for some ideas of where to stay, consider the following:
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.
The heart of Copenhagen is quite small with pedestrian only zones and safe walking paths. That said, some sites, such as the Little Mermaid statue, are a little more out of the way. You can buy a 4 day (96 hour) ‘large’ transit pass for about $70. The ‘large’ option means it’s valid for the entire city of Copenhagen, including any sites, attractions, and even beaches outside the heart of the city. There is also a ‘small’ option available for half that cost if you plan on just staying in the downtown core. Both passes include public transit to/from the airport.
If you are someone who likes to walk a lot, then nix the card and buy tickets for the bus or metro as needed.
When it comes to attractions in Copenhagen, there are plenty of museums to choose from as well as palaces and historical buildings. I suggest getting the Copenhagen card for your visit. If you are a museum enthusiast you can get the 3 or 4-day card, if there are only a few things you want to see and do you can get a 1 or 2-day card.
Most people tend to fall in the middle so for the purpose of this estimate I’m going to suggest the 48-hour card which is $90 per person.
It’s worth noting that many people who visit Copenhagen will also do a day trip to Malmo in Sweden. Malmo is linked directly to Copenhagen by train and only takes 40-minutes to get to. The cost of a ticket is about $13 each way. Malmo does have a few interesting attractions and it’s an easy for people who are trying to cross more countries off their travel list.
Food and drink
As you have no doubt guessed, eating out in Copenhagen is not a cheap experience. If you’re on a budget, there are ways to save, but you’ll probably still spend more than you would like. First off, try not to eat in the super touristic areas (such as Nyhavn) as prices are going to be higher. Also, if you can, consider doing a bit of grocery shopping, even if it’s just for breakfast items to eat in your hotel room.
If you do decide to eat out for all meals, you can expect your daily food expenses to look something like this:
- Breakfast: $10
- Lunch: $15
- Dinner: $40
Which is a total of about $55 per day for food and drink. Although there are many traditional Danish dishes, I wouldn’t say any of them are MUST haves. Take a look at the menu descriptions, if they appeal to you, then go for it.
You should have some extra cash on hand for random spending. This could be for souvenirs, an extra attraction that you wanted to see, a higher end meal etc. I recommend having an extra $100 tucked away for random spending purposes, just in case.
So, how much does it cost to go to Copenhagen? Based on my suggested 4-day, 3-night itinerary you can expect to pay $. Keep in mind, as a Scandinavian city Copenhagen is quite expensive. However, it’s also pretty small so if you only have a few days to explore, it’s a very cool city to spend a few days in and, if you follow some of the tips above, you can cut down on these costs.