Surviving Copenhagen on a student budget

Alice Logan, University of Copenhagen, English Literature and American Studies

Firstly, as a disclaimer we all know that Copenhagen is an insanely expensive city to live in, however having spent five months there I did find some handy ways to save some pennies for summer travelling ☀️


The harbour at Nyhavn 

1. Transport

Get a bike.  Do not do what I did and stubbornly insist you were too scared to ride on the roads.  The roads are far safer than England and it will save you more money than taking the metro most days like I did.  Having said that the metro is fantastic and very reliable in the rain, but it is a cost so get a second hand bike at the start of term and make sure to lock it carefully as bike theft is quite high in Copenhagen.

2. Predrinks

If you do partake in the nightlife of Copenhagen (which is very buzzy and studenty) I would recommend being a true student and drinking your drink of choice at predrinks.  Alcohol tends to fairly cheap in the supermarkets but is super expensive in clubs and bars so save your pennies for the post-club snacks in McDonald’s on the metro!

A Greek fountain next to the Little Mermaid

3. Tupperware

Tupperware and Keepcups will become your new bestfriends.  Not only will you feel like a true eco-warrior saving the planet with your plastic-free lunch on campus, but you’ll also save money by avoiding the expensive uni canteen.

4. Eat seasonally

Food is noticeably pricier in Denmark than the UK, but what you will notice is that  certain fruit and veg tend to suddenly drop in price when they come into season.    This has the two-fold benefit of meaning you can pick up whole punnets of fruit for 7dkk (less than a £1!) and get to try new types of fruit and veg you might not have tried before! You’ll get super healthy and be eating the rainbow like a true foodie 🌈

Rosenberg Castle 

5. Landmarks

Much of Copenhagen is very student friendly, with many of the main attractions being free and cheap to get to.  Christiania in Chrstianshavn is the hippy commune and well worth a visit by bike to explore the graffitied wilderness they have created. Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid is located north of the city and is a picturesque walk from Norreport metro station.  Also the harbour at Nyhavn is beautiful to sit alongside in the summer and sunbathe with the locals! Finally, my absolute favourite place in Copenhagen was Frederiksberg park where you could see the Queen’s summer palace and watch the elephants from the outskirts of the zoo.

Seeing the elephants at Frederiksberg Palace 


6. Find a job

This one is a bit of a cheat, but I was able to have a gym membership and do some trips around Europe during my semester abroad because I found a job alongside my studies.  I would really recommend doing this if you have the chance, as it allowed me to see suburban parts of Copenhagen which I wouldn’t have sought out myself and it also allowed me to experience Danish culture first hand. I was able to find a lovely family to help with childcare which I found via a facebook page, but there were a number of au pair websites which were also very useful 🌟


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