Is Copenhagen Expensive To Visit In 2024?

The answer to “Is Copenhagen expensive?” is definitely yes.

Copenhagen is one of my favourite cities in the whole world, and I love it so much that I go back multiple times each year so I know all too well how pricey it can be.

Being in Scandinavia, Copenhagen automatically has a reputation around the world for being an expensive city to visit.

But just how expensive is it? I’ve put together a complete and in-depth answer, including a budget calculator so you know how much to bring.

Is Copenhagen Expensive?

To summarise this post, yes, Copenhagen is expensive.

You can expect to pay higher prices in Copenhagen than in other parts of Europe, especially Eastern Europe which is significantly cheaper than the western part of the continent.

The prices in Copenhagen are pretty high compared to worldwide destinations but are similar to other cities in Scandinavia such as Stockholm or Reykjavik.

Scandinavia is a pretty expensive part of the world to visit, and Copenhagen is no exception.

A picture of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen. Is Copenhagen expensive to visit? Yes.

But don’t just take my word for it. The Economist Intelligence’s Worldwide Cost of Living Report in 2023 revealed Copenhagen as the 8th most expensive city in the whole world.

The year before, Copenhagen was the joint 10th most expensive in the world, so things are only getting more expensive in the Danish capital.

Of course, it is possible to save some money by travelling on a budget which is how I visited the city my first two times, but even on a tighter budget, you will still spend a fair amount of money compared to other countries.

Even though it is costly and will cost a lot, Copenhagen is worth visiting without a doubt. I’ve never visited a city where I loved the atmosphere as much as I did in Copenhagen- the feeling throughout the city is so peaceful.

It’s expensive, yes, but it’s worth the money in my opinion. It’s a perfect case of “you get what you pay for” and as a travel lover, I always value experiences and memories over money.

And if you’re wondering, the rest of Denmark is expensive too, it’s not limited to just Copenhagen.

Nonetheless, the answer to the question is, yes, Copenhagen is expensive, no doubt about it.

How Expensive Is Copenhagen?

Copenhagen’s prices are some of the highest you will find. Everything is expensive in Copenhagen, even the smallest of things.

During my 3 days in Copenhagen, I bought a bottle of water for 25 DKK (£2.95 / $3.65 / €3.36), normally I would pay less than a third of this price at home in the UK.

Naturally, judging how expensive Copenhagen is depends on where you are from and where you are comparing the prices with.

The prices in Copenhagen compared to some cities in the US which are expensive are probably pretty similar, but compare the prices in Copenhagen to Southeast Asia, and they are more than 10x more expensive.

That being said, I can say that Denmark has one of the most expensive capital cities in Europe. Copenhagen has prices higher than the likes of Berlin, Rome, London and even Stockholm, which is also a pretty dear place to visit.

The only European capital ranked more expensive in the 2023 Report is Zurich – which makes sense since Switzerland is expensive. So when you are visiting Copenhagen, make sure you have enough money with you.

A picture of a windmill in Copenhagen, near the Little Mermaid statue.

Why Is Copenhagen Expensive?

As for why Copenhagen is expensive, it’s a similar reason to why the likes of Norway or Switzerland are so expensive to visit: because the quality of living is much better than in other countries. It’s a luxurious way of life.

For example, it’s very safe to visit Copenhagen. It’s one of the cities I have felt the safest in, anywhere in the world.

And that’s not just me speaking, it has been ranked as one of the safest cities in the world.

The way of life in Scandinavia is just so much better. There’s a reason Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world and that is because their lives are simply better.

When I visited Copenhagen, I could really sense this. The people are all so chilled out and nothing bothers them– the hygge mindset is definitely an approach to life everyone could take notes from.

Their work-life balance is the best in the world. Copenhagen is just one of those cities that has it figured out, it’s the best in the world for so many things.

And if you’re wondering, it’s worth saying that salaries in Copenhagen are in line with the economy of the city, so the prices don’t seem as unreasonable to locals as they do to us tourists.

The average salary in Copenhagen is 463,238 Danish krone, which is the equivalent of £54,289. In the UK, our average salary is much less than that because the cost of living is lower.

One perk the Copenhageners have is that because their city is so expensive, whenever they visit anywhere else, they find it cheap. Lucky them!

A picture of Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Budget Calculator

Even though I’ve visited Copenhagen and I know how expensive it was for me, everyone is different. Everyone has a different way to travel and different preferences when it comes to accommodation, meals, things to do and general travel expenses.

So to give you an idea of how much to put aside for your trip to Copenhagen, I’ve created a budget calculator where you can customise your trip details and it will give you a rough estimate of how much your trip will cost you, not including flights, visas or travel insurance.

Here’s what you need to know to use the calculator:
Accommodation: Luxury- high-end hotel with a spa, gym, king-sized beds, etc., Mid-range- standard mid-range hotel with basic room and only necessities, Budget Hostel- single bed in a dormitory room in a hostel.

Meals: The budget calculates one proper meal per day (dinner) and includes a budget for breakfast and lunch too based on your choice. Fine dining- fancy restaurants with 3-course meals and alcoholic beverages, Average- one main course with a soft drink, Budget- fast food or a cheap meal with water.

Activities: High-end- private tours, luxurious experiences, lots of activities, Average- one or two guided tours, see the main sights and an occasional paid attraction, Budget- only free or very cheap things to do such as a free walking tour.

Transport: Taxis (there is no Uber in Copenhagen), Public Transport, Walking

Other expenses: High- lots of souvenirs, lots of alcoholic drinks, give lots of tips, etc., Average- few souvenirs, occasional alcoholic drink, etc., Low/None- don’t spend any money unless necessary.

So go ahead and choose your options and put in the number of days you are staying and it should come back with a rough estimate of your budget in Danish krone. I’ve set it to overestimate your budget because it’s better to budget more and not need it than to budget less and need it.

Budget Calculator

How Much Is Accommodation In Copenhagen?

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Accommodation in Copenhagen isn’t too out of line with prices elsewhere in Europe. You can expect a night in a good hotel to cost about 850 DKK which is roughly equivalent to £/$/€100.

The best part of Copenhagen to stay in is near Copenhagen Central Station (København H) as you are within walking distance of most of the main attractions. It’s a 5-minute walk from Tivoli Gardens, for example.

A great hotel choice is Zoku Copenhagen. It’s a highly rated but affordable hotel located in the heart of Copenhagen, in the area recommended near Copenhagen Central Station.

Alternatively, if you want a cheaper option to stay in Copenhagen, the city is home to lots of great hostel options. I personally recommend Next House Copenhagen. It’s definitely the fanciest hostel I have ever stayed in- loved it so much that I wrote a complete Next House Copenhagen review. You get a personal pod rather than just a bunk bed!

➡️ Best hotel in Copenhagen: Zoku Copenhagen
➡️ Best budget-friendly hostel in Copenhagen: Next House Copenhagen

How Much Are The Tourist Attractions In Copenhagen?

The tourist attractions in Copenhagen are relatively expensive.

Entry into Rosenborg Castle costs 245 DKK which is just under £/$/€30 and Tivoli Gardens costs 155 DKK (just under £/$/€20 per person), for two examples.

It’s pretty costly when you start to add all of the attractions up.

A picture of me standing in Tivoli Gardens in front of a lit up Asian temple. The attractions in Copenhagen are pretty expensive and I would suggest getting the Copenhagen Card.

Luckily, the Copenhagen Card exists, which grants you free entry into most of the main tourist attractions and also allows you to take advantage of free public transport.

It’s a great way to save money while visiting Copenhagen. I got the 48-hour version and I got nearly double in value compared to what I paid! It makes visiting all of the attractions in Copenhagen a bit more affordable.

🚨 Make sure to buy a Copenhagen Card for your trip to save money.

How Expensive Is Food In Copenhagen?

Food in Copenhagen is one of the main reasons I answer yes to “Is Copenhagen expensive?” Everything is so highly priced.

As I said in the introduction, a bottle of water was costing me around 25 DKK, which is ridiculously high. Don’t worry though – you can drink tap water in Copenhagen.

A typical meal will cost around 170 DKK per person, which is equivalent to £20 / $25 / €23. I found even a burger and fries were this expensive.

The bakeries in Copenhagen are particularly high-priced, with a pastry and a small hot drink costing about 70 DKK (£8 / $10 / €9.50).

I was willing to pay this on multiple occasions though because they were delicious, Denmark is known for its Danish pastries, after all. I would recommend trying one of the Lagkagehuset bakeries.

A cinnamon swirl I got at Lagkagehuset to eat at Nyhavn. Is Copenhagen expensive? I would say yes for the food alone. It's so pricey.
A cinnamon swirl I got at Lagkagehuset to eat at Nyhavn.

How Much Is Public Transport In Copenhagen?

To be fair to Copenhagen, public transport prices are pretty standard for European prices. The average bus journey will cost the equivalent of about €3.

Another price example is the train from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen Central Station costs 36 DKK. This is about £4.25 / $5.26 / €4.84. It takes under 15 minutes, so that’s pretty expensive.

Luckily, public transport (including to and from the airport) is included in the Copenhagen Card.

During the duration of your card, you have unlimited free access to public transport in Copenhagen including the bus, train, metro and even the harbour buses! As I said before, it’s a great way to save money during a trip to Copenhagen.

A picture of a harbour boat in Copenhagen.
A picture of a harbour boat in Copenhagen.

The best way to get around in my opinion is the subway. It’s one of the best subway systems I have used while travelling. It’s self-driving without a driver too which I think is pretty cool.

And just another example of how Copenhagen have more modern facilities than other cities in Europe, leading to higher prices.


Below are some related questions to “Is Copenhagen expensive?” along with my answers.

How much does a meal in Copenhagen cost?

A standard meal in Copenhagen will cost about 170 DKK per person. This would be for a burger, fries and a drink, for example. 170 DKK is roughly equivalent to £20 / $25 / €23, so I would say it’s pretty expensive. It’s worth noting that tipping is not a tradition in Denmark, but you can of course choose to tip for exceptional service.

How much does a beer cost in Copenhagen?

Beers in Copenhagen are pretty expensive, especially considering Carlsberg originates from the city. A bottle of beer will cost around 30 DKK, which is roughly equivalent to £3.50 / $4.38 / €4.03.

How much money do you need per day in Copenhagen?

I would suggest bringing the equivalent of $70 per person per day during a trip to Copenhagen. The city is very expensive and you could easily spend a lot more than this. That being said, the Copenhagen Card is a great way to save money as it includes free access to the most popular tourist attractions and also includes free public transport.

Why is Copenhagen so expensive?

Copenhagen is so expensive because of how great the city is. The city is so efficient in how it is run, which costs a lot. But it has its perks. Copenhagen is one of the happiest cities in the world, and it is the safest city in the whole world. Salaries in Copenhagen are generally quite high too, in order to combat the high cost of loving. Locals also save money by cycling everywhere, as Copenhagen is also an extremely cycle-friendly city.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, a complete guide to “Is Copenhagen expensive?”

To conclude, yes, Copenhagen is expensive. It’s very pricey to visit, but it is definitely worth doing.

The Copenhagen Card is a great way to make a trip to Copenhagen more affordable as it includes entry to the main attractions and also free public transport.

So now that you know how costly it is to visit Copenhagen, you might want to consider reading my guide on how to visit Copenhagen on a budget.

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