Is Living in Copenhagen Expensive? 6 Ways to Save Money

Photo of Christianshavn in Copenhagen

If you’ve done any bit of research about Copenhagen, you’ll probably have seen numerous articles and answers to Quora questions talking about how expensive this city is. 

I don’t find living in Copenhagen *that* expensive. But I also grew up in London, so that’s hardly the best barometer to go by. 

While Copenhagen’s cost of living is arguably a little exaggerated, it’s definitely pricier than most other capital cities in Europe. Having said that, though, you don’t need to rack up a huge bill each month if you’re strategic. 

Here are six ways to save money while living in Copenhagen. 

Buy Danish Fruits & Veg 

The cost of some food items will make your eyes water, let’s make no mistake about that. This is especially true if you buy items imported from abroad. 

However, you can reduce your grocery bill dramatically if you focus on buying local produce. In particular, you can find well-priced carrots and potatoes – especially if you go to Netto or REMA 1000. The same goes for rye bread. 

If you’re not sure what is and isn’t Danish, you can easily spot these items by looking for a Danish flag. 

Look for the Yellow Stickers 

Like many other countries, Danish grocery stores will sell items for less if they’re close to their expiry dates. And if you buy goods going out of date tomorrow, you can save a lot of money. 

Items available for a reduced price are pretty easy to spot; they’ll typically have either a yellow sticker, or their cost will show up in yellow on the shelf. 

Buying larger packets of meat and dividing them into smaller portions when you get home, before freezing them, is an excellent way to reduce your cost of living in Copenhagen. You can also buy ordinary bread or rye bread and freeze these. 

Hold Back on Eating Out 

The cost of eating in Copenhagen restaurants is a shock to the system for many expats and visitors who come from countries where eating out is common. And if you continue those habits here, you can expect living here to be a lot more difficult. 

It’s important to remember that Copenhageners don’t eat out that often. Typically, this is reserved for special occasions; this is the case throughout the Nordic countries. 

Instead of eating out for every meal, limit how often you do this and pick the restaurants you really want to visit. In the meantime, why not challenge yourself to cook your favourite dishes from these places yourself? 

Look for Free Museum Days 

Copenhagen has a fantastic selection of museums, many of which are pretty affordable. Some of them offer free admission on certain days, meaning you can enjoy all they have to offer without waving goodbye to some of your hard-earned Kroner. 

One example is Glyptoteket, which isn’t far from Tivoli Gardens in the city centre. If you’re interested in going here, the museum lets you in free of charge on Tuesdays.

Book Your Train Tickets Well in Advance

Denmark is a joy to get around by train. The country is compact, and for the most part, trains are reliable. You can also get to Sweden or Germany without many problems. 

If you’re interested in visiting Aarhus, Odense, or somewhere else, you can save yourself quite a bit of money by booking your tickets in advance. 

To book train tickets around Denmark for a later date, you can visit the ticket office in Copenhagen. Alternatively, you can order them on the DSB website or mobile app. 

Read More: Mobile Apps to Download in Copenhagen

Living in Copenhagen Doesn’t Need to Be Pricey

Copenhagen is often cited as one of the most expensive cities in the world. But the cost of living isn’t astronomical by any means; it’s nowhere near as pricey as the likes of Oslo, Zürich, and Geneva. 

Like everywhere else, you can significantly lower your cost of living by planning in advance and budgeting well. Eating out less will certainly reduce your monthly food bill, as will writing up a list of your groceries in advance. 

By incorporating even some of the tips from this article and adapting some of your habits, you’ll find Copenhagen a more affordable place to live.

Published by Danny Maiorca

Danny is a freelance writer living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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