Flights to Copenhagen can get freakishly low when flying in from elsewhere in Europe, making it a desirable backpacker destination. However, it’s worth noting that, despite cheap flights, the city itself is really quite expensive. Here’s my tips for taking budget a trip as a weekend backpacker in Copenhagen.
Hostel in Copenhagen
Flights to the city may be cheap, but accommodation in Copenhagen is not. Despite everyone recommending Airbnb for our weekend stay, we opted for hostel living (I wanted to see how this would work if I were travelling solo, and we like the fun and the prospect of meeting new people).
We booked into the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel. Great hostel, clean rooms, clean bathrooms, and brilliant social areas for solo travellers. The check-in area is connected directly to a large bar with big open tables, and is a common waterhole for both locals and travellers alike. I could have easily sat down there alone and made a few friends each night. Downtown Hostel is super central, and drinks were as cheap as we could find them (in the short space of time that we had).
Things to note:
- If you’re vegetarian/vegan, don’t be too lured by the free dinner they promise each night (inclusive of the room cost). The night that we were around for it, it was pretty basic; the one option offered was a pasta with chorizo (no, I don’t want to pick it out).
- If you can afford it, opt for the smaller 4 bed dorms. We took a 4 bed all-girls dorm (sorry boys, you snore more). Walking past them at night, the larger dorms were really rowdy.
- Staff are a bit standoffish on arrival and you really need to tickle them (metaphorically). Check-ins are busy, and you don’t get any of that nice, “let me sit you down with a map and talk you through the city” chit-chat that you often get in smaller hostels. That being said, if you invest some time, they warmed quickly. It’d still be the place I’d stay if I went back to Copenhagen.
The main sell:
- The giant bed/relax area that they have for guests was perfect. It was the ideal place to go back to sleep once you had checked out at 10 am with the hangover of your life. I’ve never seen another hostel do this so well.
Things to do in Copenhagen
We walked for miles (literally) to search out every cool thing I could find on Pinterest, trying to highlight some ‘off the beaten track’ style sights. Turns out, most of it was a bust. Disappointing, as this method usually uproots some really cool places. Here’s my do’s, and don’t bothers …
The Little Mermaid
I think this chick gets a hard ride. Everyone told me not to bother. Comments like, “She’s tiny”, “Its a disappointment”, and, ‘It’s too busy’, were thrown around an awful lot. Okay, yeah, she IS tiny, but (given that she’s called The Little Mermaid) it really shouldn’t be coming as that much of a surprise. I liked that she was so small, it almost added to the sadness of her story. She is an obvious attraction, but it’d be like going to New York and not seeing the Statue of Liberty. Go see her.
Go do this! If it’s the only thing you do. Go. Do. It! The Tivoli amusement park, located right in the middle of the city, is one of the oldest in Europe. Founded in 1843, the focus of the park is still very much it’s original old school feel; cool little restaurants dotted all over the places, large open park areas with big band stages on entry, and greenery. A lot of greenery. Even if you don’t want to take on some of the rides (which you really should), you could sit for hours just absorbing the atmosphere of the place. Discounted tickets apply to those just wanting to enter the park and not try out the rides.
Freetown Chrtiania is a self proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood in the city, regulated by it’s own laws. A cool, hippy feel with everyone rolling around having a smoke and generally just being a bit free thinking and arty. A visit for the large graffiti work alone is a must. This place draws a lot of tourists, but be prepared to leave your camera in your bag; the locals do not take kindly to having their picture snapped! A great place to explore for a half day and pick up some great veggie/ vegan bites (they had fallafel and humus coming out of their ears). It’s also a great place for food/drink in Copenhagen if you’re on a bit of a budget.
The world’s smallest hotel
One of the little walks that I’d say, “it’s worth it” for. Still on the hunt for a good Insta pic, we took a walk from the city centre up to this little beaut; a one bed-roomed hotel with a little coffee shop underneath. The girl serving at the shop was lovely, she gave us a postcard, made us a nice coffee, and seemed genuinely pleased that we’d come to take a few snaps and tick it of the list of places we wanted to see.
Located in the city centre, just off Frederiksborggade, this little indoor/outdoor market is a wonderful little spot fr pottering around. Great for either good or bad weather days, the little glass market houses lots of local produce shops and cafes under one roof. Head to the the Fresh Market pop-up for plenty of vegan/vegetarian snacks, sandwiches and puddings.
The Mirror House
I know what you’re thinking. This looks cool, right? I dragged my friend all the way up to the Central Park to get a snap of a house with a mirror on the side. The photo came out great. If you’re just out for some cool Insta snaps (like me), carry on. However, the house itself isn’t a house. It was an art project which (at one point) might have been pretty cool. However, it’s now a toilet. To add insult to injury (and what you don’t see in the photos), is that its now situated in the middle of a big kids play park. As a pair of females armed with lipstick, we got away with skulking around the play park taking pictures. Boys, be warned, you might not be so readily accepted. An early morning trip might be required.
The Pink Skate Park
Again, the photos you see make it look cooler than it was (sorry guys). It took us a good 40 minutes walk to get here. I’m sure it was pretty bright and impressive when it was first built, however, weather has taken it’s toll. It’s probably not worth the journey unless you’re really wanting a really good walk about the city anyway.
What are your favourite tourist spots in Copenhagen? Do you have any other suggestions for unusual things to see? I’d love to hear your thoughts.