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How to have a cheap holiday in Denmark this summer

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
How to have a cheap holiday in Denmark this summer
Photo by Marko Sabolić on Unsplash

Spending your holidays in Denmark doesn't need to be crazy expensive. The Local has put together some of our best tips for visiting this Scandinavian country on a budget this summer.

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Affordable travel and transport options

Your travel options in Denmark during the summer will most likely be – at least to a certain extent – influenced by your planned itinerary.

If you're going to be based in one city, such as, for example, Copenhagen, then relying on public transport is a good idea (tickets for a single fare will likely cost you between 20 and 30 kroner). You can also find a variety of passes (1-day or multi-day passes, as well as other options).

You can find more details on all the available ticket options in Copenhagen and travel options in other cities (such as Aarhus and Odense) on the DSB railway webpage.

In the capital, you'll be able to access the metro, busses, and S-trains through the same ticket.

Tickets can be purchased in person through ticket machines that accept Danish currency and widely used credit cards. Another option is to buy tickets at kiosks located at train and metro stations. Alternatively, tickets can be obtained online or through the DOT Billetter app.

Denmark bus

In Copenhagen, you'll be able to access the metro, busses, and S-trains through the same ticket. Photo by Victoria Morgan on Unsplash

You can also opt for bike rentals (which you should be able to find for roughly 140 to 190 kroner a day) to get around the most popular spots in your destination of choice. Locals tend to use bike-sharing programs often, so make sure to check out the available options (Bycyklen is the bike-sharing program of choice in the capital).

If you plan to visit several cities and you don't mind a little uncertainty, then hitchhiking is quite an easy (and free) option. Denmark is considered quite a safe country, and while hitchhiking isn't that common, you should be able to find someone willing to give you a lift (just remember to hold up a sign with your desired destination written on it).

If you can stretch your budget a bit, and if you book ahead of time, then renting a car for a day can also be a great option to visit several places in a single day (opting for a car rental – with daily prices starting from ca. 150 kroner – could end up saving you money, compared to the available bus and train travel options).

Bus travel is also a common way to explore Denmark on a budget, and Flixbus is the most recommended affordable bus transport company. Expect to pay between 150 and 300 kroner for a bus ride between some of the major destinations, such as the two-hour trip between Odense and Copenhagen.

Train travel is more expensive than travelling by bus, although it should also be more comfortable. The Danish railways provide budget-friendly tickets through their online platform known as "Orange tickets."

These tickets can only be purchased online and require printing before boarding the train. However, by opting for these tickets, passengers can enjoy savings of up to 50-60 percent compared to the prices available at railway stations.

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Copenhagen harbour

To secure good accommodation deals, it's essential to book accommodation well before your intended travel dates. Photo by Line Kjær on Unsplash

Save money on accommodation

First things first – if you want to find a good deal and attractive discounts, you'll need to start searching for accommodation options well ahead of your travel dates.

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Hotels in Denmark can be wildly expensive (you'll easily pay upward of 1,700 kroner for one overnight stay at a good hotel in Copenhagen), and the fact that you won't be able to prepare your own food in them puts extra strain on your budget.

Therefore, it's advisable to look beyond traditional hotels and explore alternative (and often more budget-friendly) options such as guesthouses, hostels, vacation rentals, or even camping sites. Remember to take advantage of online travel platforms and booking websites (such as AirBnB) that also tend to offer competitive prices and deals.

Furthermore, if you frequently travel to Denmark or plan to visit again, consider joining loyalty programs offered by hostels and booking platforms, as members of such programs can, at times, get exclusive discounts or (rarely) free overnight stays.

Pssst! Unsurprisingly, accommodation prices in city centres tend to be higher, so moving away from the centre is likely to make prices more affordable.

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Cheap activities for city breaks

There are many activities you can do for free – or for a low price – in Denmark's major cities.

If you intend to explore Copenhagen, it could be worth it to pay for a Copenhagen Card, which offers access to more than 80 museums and attractions, including renowned locations like the Tivoli Gardens. The card also includes free transportation within the central Copenhagen area.

Expect to pay around 450 kroner for a 24-hour card, but upgrades for longer periods (such as two or three-day cards) are also available.

Note that many museums in the capital offer free entry once a week (usually on Wednesdays). Examples include the Hirschsprung Collection, the Royal Arsenal Museum, and the Danish Architecture Centre. Furthermore, some of the National Museums in Denmark offer very affordable ticket options.

You can also find free walking tours in many Danish cities, which you should be able to identify with a quick online search.

As you will be visiting in the summer, after all, don't miss out on the Danish beaches – there are numerous beach parks across the country (such as the Charlottenlund Beach in the city's northern suburbs or the Amager Beach Park, Copenhagen's largest beach that is within biking distance from the centre) that offer free access.

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