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As part of the Hipmunk City Love project, I am working together with Hipmunk to research top destinations I would love to visit, in order to give potential travelers advice and plan my own trip out as well.  Here is the first such article, for Copenhangen, Denmark!

Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful and underrated destinations in Europe, as well as home to the happiest people on Earth, according to surveys. Travelers find plenty to enjoy in Denmark’s capital city, but the high average incomes in the country translate to higher prices for visitors.

However, with a little planning, tips from locals, advice on cheap hotels in Copenhagen, and immersion in the Danish lifestyle, you can have a great time in Copenhagen without going over your budget.

Photo by Dixie Downing via

Buy a Copenhagen Card

The city’s Copenhagen card guarantees free admission to 72 museums, discounts in some restaurants, as well as free public transport by bus, train, and the metro. A 3-day card costs 78 euros, but the price is well worth it considering all the money you will save on transport and sightseeing.

Use the CityBike Service

Copenhagen is a bike-friendly city, so take advantage of the places that rent bicycles around town. The city provides a free CityBike service with more than 110 bike-parking stations around town! Just deposit a DKK 20 coin and you will get it back when you return the bike. Exploring Copenhagen on bicycle gives you a better feel for the city as you cycle through its various streets and neighborhoods. Don’t worry about safety, as bicycle travel in Denmark is highly regulated and very popular, so locals and cars know how to maneuver through the streets while sharing the pavement with bikes.

Check Out the Local Hostels

Even if you are not usually the “hostel type” of tourist, hostels in Denmark bear little resemblance to the hostels you might conjure in your mind. Places like the Danhostel Copenhagen City Hotel offer rooms for $27 a night, yet boast a five-star rating because of their modern, clean, and spacious rooms. Research different Copenhagen hotels and hostels to find the best option for you.

Eat the Danish Way

It’s common for Danish locals to eat just one big meal in the morning or early afternoon, then graze on light snacks throughout the day. Since dining out in Copenhagen quickly eats through your budget, try to follow the Danish approach to food to reduce expenses. Head to the local restaurants around lunchtime, when they offer a cheaper menu, and eat one big meal before continuing your sightseeing for the day. Also, US travelers should know that tips in Denmark are customarily smaller than tips in the US.

Stick With Beer

Travelers who want to experience the Danish nightlife should keep in mind that high taxes on most alcoholic beverages make drinking in Copenhagen an expensive pursuit. Stick with beers and ciders, which are the cheapest and lowest-taxed drinks in the country, if you want to stay out all night without spending all your money.

Keep Your Receipts

Most visitors to Copenhagen don’t know about a Danish rule that lets you claim back VAT on purchases.  When you’re shopping around the city, simply keep your receipts and then give them to the relevant office in Copenhagen’s airport to get 25% of your spent money back.

A vacation to Copenhagen doesn’t have to break the bank. Keep extra expenses manageable to ensure a pleasant but economical trip.