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How to Survive in Copenhagen

As a newcomer in Copenhagen, I too was confused when I first stepped on Danish land. It’s my first experience abroad it was quite a lot to take in at once: The transport, the food, prices the fact that everything felt so flat because there were no mountains nearby. Thankfully, my brother had lived in Denmark for about 5 years by then. He taught me all that I needed to know to start my journey in Copenhagen.

I realize that not everyone has the comfort of having a sibling abroad that can help you out in a new environment. It can be very confusing to get around in Copenhagen. Knowing how to tackle some of these problems can relieve some stress pretty early on, as well as save some unneeded expenses. Let’s explore some of the topics so as to make you experience in Copenhagen easier and more enjoyable.

Shopping Advice



It is very easy to get caught up in the comparison of prices of things with your home country and finding that Denmark seemingly very expensive. Budgeting is important but so is realism. Items generally cost more here so unless you can find an alternative source through friends and family or the internet, you need to consider if it’s a necessary purchase. For groceries, Aldi, Lidl, Netto, and Kiwi are great budget supermarkets and typically offer good deals. (Discuss more what the average price for things like eggs, bread, wine, and meat is)


Each week you find your post box full of a pile of promotional pamphlets from local stores. Don’t dismiss this as annoying junk mail. The supermarket brochures will tell you where the bargains are and also give you a good snapshot into the food and consumer culture of Denmark. You can also see which your local supermarkets are and which are in line with your budget.

Getting Around


Public Transport

You may find that the public transport in Copenhagen is quite complex and confusing at first, however, you will find it to be very efficient, safe and practical once you’ve settled in. Transport options in the city include:

  • Stog Trains travel to almost every district in Copenhagen and are available between every 10 to 20 minutes
  • The Metro is a driverless train that runs frequently every few minutes. It’s a very simple and fast way to get around, it takes 15 minutes to travel from the Copenhagen Airport to the centrally located Norreport station.
  • Busses are very frequent and a great way to travel far distances. You can always ask the bus driver if they are going to your destination. They also operate during the nights on some routes.
  • Copenhagen might very well be the biking capital of the world. Thousands of people use a bike in Copenhagen every day as their main mode of transport. Biking here is also a means of exercise and often the fastest and easiest way to get around.

Ticket Options
  • Zone ticket - This is a single trip ticket you can buy it either from the train stations or bus drivers on the bus or using an app you can download on your mobile phone. The zone ticket is valid between 1 to 2 hours depending on the number of zones you’ve purchased.
  • RejsekortRejsekort is an electronic ticketing system that can be used on most public transport methods. It’s a simple blue or green card that can be topped up online and physically “tapped” into bus or train access.
  • Pendlerkort – If you travel on the same route every day you can buy the Pendlerkort Commuter Pass. You’ll pay a fixed amount every month and you can travel an unlimited number of times in the same area.
  • DSB Ungdomskort – The DSB card is available if you are a student or under the age of 25. This card gives a discount of up to 50 percent on some regional travel in Denmark as well international travel.

Going Out


Eating Out

Copenhagen is expensive, what I mean by this is that simply getting a coffee can leave a dent in your budged even in the most unassuming of places. With that said, it's also a city that caters incredibly well to lovers of fine food and casual dining, with a real mishmash of cuisines on offer and lots of ways to have a great time without paying too much for it. Keeping that in mind be prepared to spend from at least 100 to over 200 dkk if you sit down at a restaurant. If you look for places for a quick lunch break the city is filled with shawarma shops pizza places selling budged meals for around 80 dkk.

And if you’re looking to spend a night out with colleagues a beer pint typically costs 60 dkk. However bottles of beers in supermarkets are much cheaper prices as low as 2 dkk. And Copenhagen does not have any restrictions as to drinking on the street, at least to my knowledge.   


I am more of a bar person and I enjoy sitting around with my friends having great conversations and listening to good music. Therefore, I spend most of my time out in bars. You always find great people to talk to in Copenhagen's bars and they are normally from everywhere and of different ages. If you are more of a party person, I will suggest the Meatpacking District, which is a cluster with a trendy nightlife, where you can find bars and clubs and a broad range of high quality restaurants.

Parks & Recreation

Copenhagen is a city full with parks. All of them are beautiful and the all deserve to be visited. I would definitely advise you to visit the Botanical Garden, its located in the center of Copenhagen. The garden is a park that spans about 10 hectares filled with different paths that let you explore the park and admire the exotic plant life. The Botanical Garden is particularly noted for its impressive historical glass house dating all the way back to 1874.

Other parks that you should visit in Copenhagen are:

  •  The King’s Garden - The King’s Garden also referred to as Rosenborg Garden is a personal favorite, during the summer months you can witness spectacular arrangements of the gardens. The gardens are the country's oldest royal gardens. Today the park is a very popular retreat in the center where during the warm days you can get together with friends, family and colleagues. In midsummer there puppet shows for children and theatrical plays, during the Jazz Festival several bands can be heard playing in the area
  • The Frederiksberg Gardens – English style design the Frederiksberg Gardens are the largest, most romantic greenspace in Copenhagen spanning at approximately 64 hectares.
Written by
Martin Slavov