Copenhagen cost for a week

With the trip in the rearview mirror, and a week for all transactions to post, I figured I’d write up what the week cost.

This review will provide an “all in” cost for a week long trip to Copenhagen, for two people traveling from Minneapolis, in August of 2018. Airfare will be the largest variable, depending on where you’re originating from. All costs will be in US dollars.

I will break the costs down in a couple ways, hopefully allowing you to use this as a guide to plan your trip. First, I’ll give a day-by-day breakdown of what we spent our money on, and then at the end, I’ll group costs totals together as Transport, Accommodations, Activities, Food, and Extras.

I’ll also give a generalization of whether I think Copenhagen is “expensive” or not. This is highly subjective, since what’s cheap to me might be expensive to you, so YMMV.

I will say that, for me, this was a mid-level trip in terms of how I created my budget. Certainly not budget travel, but not at my high end either. This was mainly down to food choices. Copenhagen is world renowned for its cuisine, but given I was traveling with my teenage son, I knew we wouldn’t be eating 10 course tasting menus at Noma. We still ate at some highly recommended spots, but nothing with white table clothes.

Pre-purchased Logistics

The destination was chosen from a list of options in a great Thrifty Traveler deal. The round trip tickets on Icelandair came to $1304 after taxes and fees, or $652 each person. I’ve since seen this same trip as low as $392 per person.

I used Airbnb to find a wonderful flat in Frederiksberg, which is a neighborhood just outside of the Copenhagen city center. The total cost for six nights was $656 after all the fees and taxes, or $109 per night. The flat was perfectly located for us, and exactly what we were looking for. If you’re interested, here’s the place.

We also pre-purchased bike rentals through Bycyklen, which is the city bike system. Over the course of the week we bought two blocks of 300 minutes each, which ended up being $95, or $47.50 for each block. I would highly recommend this option for getting around the city. There are pickup/drop off locations all over the city, the bikes are motorized, have GPS and the cost is super reasonable compared to the other options (metro, bus, taxi). Also biking the city is the absolute best way to see the city. Probably our favorite thing from the trip.

Day One

Our flight didn’t leave Minneapolis until 7:30pm, so costs are possibly a bit lower on this day than others. At the MSP airport, we kicked off our trip in style by stopping at Surdyk’s Flights for some mac n’ cheese, a soda and two glasses of bubbly … my favorite way to start any vacation! A bit spendy at $45, but terminal 2 doesn’t have any lounges, so Priority Pass wasn’t an option.

On our first leg flight to Iceland, I ordered a $9 Gin & Tonic to help me fall asleep, and our layover at Keflavik in Iceland was first thing in the morning, so we grabbed coffee, hot chocolate and a snack, which was about $11.

Upon arrive in Copenhagen, using the Metro was the most efficient way to reach Frederiksberg and our tickets were $9.

That afternoon we grabbed some pastries in the neighborhood ($7) and for dinner had delicious fish and chips, and a lobster roll at Hooked, which totaled $51.

Total: $132

Day Two

Started the day with pastries ($6) and coffee/hot chocolate ($11). We spent the day just exploring with no real plan in mind. We ate amazingly delicious tacos from Hija de Sanchez (you’ll notice a theme on this shortly) at Torvehallerne, which came to $43. Eli also snagged a yummy dolce de leche milkshake at Is à Bella for $7.

More biking and more exploring, and we ended up at Cafe Pixie for a mid-afternoon snack. We enjoyed cookies, cokes, olives and an Americano cocktail while soaking in the Hygge. All told it was $24.

Being Sunday in Europe, we had to take advantage of watching football (soccer) at the proper time (instead of early mornings like back home). Eli is a massive Chelsea supporter, so we made our way to the London Pub to take in the match. A coke and a pint set us back $13. Thankfully Chelsea won, which offset some of the high cost.

Dinner was down in the meat packing district at mother. This amazing Neapolitan style pizza place was one of my favorite meals. Dinner included bufala bruschetta, margarita pizza, a coke and a negroni, priced nicely at $31.

Total: $135

Day Three

Early morning coffee at Coffee Collective was $7, and a delicious porridge breakfast at Grød was $25.

Mid-afternoon coffee and hot chocolate at Prolog was $13. A stop at Rundetaarn, the Round Tower, to enjoy the view cost us $8 for the two of us.

We got caught out in the rain in the late afternoon, so scrapped plans for dinner in the city. Back in Frederiksberg, we grabbed burgers and fries at Blaabjerg & Madsen, costing $31, and ice cream afterwards for $14.

Total: $103

Day Four

Up early again for another cup of coffee at Coffee Collective ($7). Breakfast at Cafe Taxa was $39. Eli had eggs, bacon, avocado and toast, with hot chocolate. I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast stew and coffee.

For lunch, we finally got around to trying the Danish hotdogs at Døp, enjoyed with a soda for $15 (2 hotdogs, 1 soda). The daily afternoon coffee stop was at Forloren and came to $13 for a latte and a hot chocolate.

For dinner, we landed at Bæst, another “it” spot in town for more delicious pizza. We enjoyed bruschetta and a pie, washed down with a coke and a negroni, at a cost $65 (our most expensive meal of the trip), and capped the night with ice cream ($8).

Total: $147

Day Five

No early morning coffee, but breakfast at Grød again (so good!). Coffee, hot chocolate, a couple of porridges, all for $31.

A return visit to the Round Tower, set us back another $8. Afternoon coffee at the wonderfully charming Sonny was $22, and included a double latte, hot chocolate, and a couple slices of banana chocolate chip bread.

Next we decided to see the city in one of the most unique ways possible. We rented a boat at GoBoat. After a quick “how-to,” we cruised the city’s canals in style. I would highly recommend this, it was super fun and super chill, even for someone that’s never driven a boat before. The hour rental cost us $71, and was well worth it.

In the afternoon, we biked up to Reffen, the new food hall/artist’s workshops which just opened this summer. It was really fun, and there were so many great food options it was hard to choose. I landed on satay from Thrilla in Manilla ($13), and Eli grabbed more tacos ($11), this time from TacoPop. He washed them down with an ice cream cone from Tit Is ($6).

Biking around Islands Brygge led us to Vor Frelsers Kirke, a beautiful church built in the 1600s. It still has access to its spiral tower, so we paid the $10 and made our way up the tower to view the city from one of its highest points.

All the biking had us ready for dinner, and we settled on … you guessed it, tacos! We visited Hija de Sanchez’s other spot. We each grabbed three tacos, Eli had a soda, and I imbibed on a refreshing paloma, all for $52.

And in our usual fashion, we capped the day by splitting a HUGE ice cream sundae ($14). I also grabbed an esspresso ($3).

Total: $233

Day Six

A rainy day, and while it didn’t dampen our ambitions, it certainly made it hard to do much. We walked to breakfast at Grød ($31) for the standard hot chocolate, double latte, and porridge.

At breakfast, we decided to try to revisit some of the places we’d been that we felt we didn’t spend enough time at. This led us back to Torvehallerne for lunch, where I finally had the chance to try the famous and traditional Danish Smørrebrød, from Hallernes Smørrebrød. I tried the liver pate, beet, lingonberry, thyme and also the fish cake topped with creme fraîche and shrimp. Very delicious and decently priced at $18. Eli opted for more tacos, from Hija again, which came to $21. After lunch, I grabbed an espresso ($4) and he a macaroon ($5).

To cap our fantastic visit to Copenhagen, what could be better or more fitting (for us) than taking in a football match. Our timing was right, and we had the chance to catch a Europa League match between FC Copenhagen and Atalanta (from Bergamo, Italy). For such a big match, tickets were relatively inexpensive at $74, or $37 each. What a deal!

At the match, we shared a hotdog, coke, popcorn and water which set us back $18. I guess sports event food is expensive everywhere! After the match I bought Eli a FC Copenhagen scarf for his collection, which cost $16.

Total: $187

Day Seven

With our flight departing at 2pm, and Copenhagen airport having a couple of lounges available with Priority Pass, we decided to grab breakfast and head to the airport early.

As you’ve surmised, Grød was the spot of choice (Eli’s favorite). I opted just for the double latte, while Eli got his usual porridge and hot chocolate, with the bill coming to $24.

Metro tickets to the airport were more expensive than the way in for some reason, but still only $11 for the 20 minute journey.

When we landed in Iceland for our return layover, we were both pretty hungry for lunch, but were running short on time. We grabbed a burger, fries, club sandwich, a coke, a water, bag of chips and 2 mars bars at the airport deli ($36). Sounds agressive, but flying is hard!

On the six hour flight to Minneapolis, we also ordered 2 flatbread pizzas and tapas kit, and I grabbed a gin and tonic, and a scotch, with the airplane prices setting me back $41. Yikes!

Total: $112

Initial Budget: $3000

Actual Cost: $3134


Transport (airfare, metro, bike rentals): $1419

Accommodations: $656

Food: $850

Activities: $171

Extras (scarf, and I bought a pair of socks): $38

Is Copenhagen expensive?

Depends … overall I would say yes, its on the spendy side. Coffee, in particular, was pretty crazy. I’m used to paying $4-5 for a 10oz fancy pour over here in the states, but $7 gave me pause.

Our Airbnb was very reasonable, in a great neighborhood, easy to get to/from, and cozy when we were there. At $100 a night, I think that’s right in the sweet spot. Sure there were cheaper options, but not by much and possibly not as perfect for us.

Food, in my opinion, was hit or miss on cost. Tacos seemed on the extreme side, but our dinner at mother was excellent and very reasonable at $31. As a broad generalization, I would say eating out was on the expensive side. However, I was prepared for that in my budget, so wasn’t put off by spending for delicious meals.

Getting around the city is super inexpensive when using the bikes, and there is a ton of stuff to see for free (think castles, gardens, fountains, statues), and the sights we did pay for were cheap. Also, our two big splurges (boat rental and soccer match) were each only $70, which for me is well worth it.

Bottom Line

If I were to remove the airfare (again, the most variable item), I think our $1830 spend was very reasonable, and would be confident you could do a trip as low as $1500 if you got a bit more budget on food. I would also say that had I done the trip with Christine, we would have been looking at closer to $2000 – $2200, since we would certainly have indulged in several gastronomic delights.

Also be aware, I did not include any of the purchase Eli made, since they were a) ridiculous b) not relevant to the cost of the trip.

I could have easily stayed under my initial budget of $3000, but there were a couple of things I missed on or just adjusted to in real time.

  • My initial budget only had us purchasing one 300 minute block, but we enjoyed biking so much we had to purchase the second, which was an extra $47.50.
  • The football match was on our agenda before we left, but we had initially targeted a Sunday match in the Danish Superliga, where the tickets were only $20 each, so we paid almost double for the Europa League match we did attend.