I looked at my bag full of cereal bars and bananas and one thought ran through my mind – “Visiting Copenhagen could be the best way to lose weight ever.” While Copenhagen is known for some of the best restaurants in the world, however Copenhagen (and all of Scandinavia) is also known for pricey if you’re planning to stay for awhile. Above: Nyhavn Harbor Copenhagen.
I was able to find a fabulous boutique design hostel. Generator is known for their cool design and shared spaces which invite socializing – and the Copenhagen location was certainly hip. My big surprise though was how many families and older travelers I saw staying there.
I stayed in a private room (starting at $38 per person/night – $76 total for the room with ensuite bathroom) and it was honestly nicer than most hotels I have stayed at – quiet, beautifully designed, and I had a great view of Copenhagen. Seriously…this (see above picture) is a great option if you’re rather pour your money into food and other atractions.
The breakfast is reasonable in Copenhagen terms (aprox. $13 USD) mainly because of these four little words which won me over – “All you can eat”. It included bottomless coffee – my heart was a flutter – from the caffeine and the excitement. It also included a good array of brown bread, rolls, meat, cheese, cereal, yogurt, fruit, and juice.
My smørrebrød – a Danish classic!
I did splurge a couple of times – once in order to try the famous Danish open face sandwiches – Smørrebrød and once to try out a kitschy Laundromat café I had read about while researching unique things to do in Copenhagen. The sandwiches were definitely worth it – a great way to get a feel for the food culture which seem to be heavy in fish and all things dill. In addition the dark brown bread is unique to the region – sort of half bread and half cracker – but totally delicious and filling. The staff at Aamanns was really helpful at suggesting what I should try – I took their advice and had the super tasty beef tartare with egg emulsion, fresh tarragon, cornichons, capers, onion rings and crispy potatoes – odd combination – but ohhhh so good. While you are there, try out their array of local sodas. The smørrebrød was so good that I recently went to their sister restaurant in NYC/Tribeca to have more!
Biking in Copenhagen is the norm.
Copenhagen is the city of bikes – however I did the ultimate budget transportation – my two feet. The city and the sights are small enough that you can easily walk all over town to see things. Yes, it takes longer, but you also see more and find some hidden gems. I did take the bus a couple of times – but that was only because I had screwed up when I got off the train initially and bought 10 tickets for public transportation and then realized that it really wasn’t necessary.
One of the best things about Generator Hostel was the ridiculously helpful people at the front desk – better and peppier than any concierge service I have had. They know a good deal and will help you figure out how you can get around and see the sights.
On the recommendation of Martin, my walking guide I decided to get an aerial view of the city from the tower of Church of our Savior . The ticket to walk up this ancient spire was $6USD but I didn’t know that it would be such an adventure. I was surprised and slightly terrified when I found out the spiral stairs were on the outside of the tower! I swallowed hard, and held on to the railing with a Hulkish grip and tried not to think about how easy it was to fall over the edge of the railing. Like any terrifying challenge that you survive – it was worth it – and the views were indeed spectacular!
Facing my fears – painting a smile on my face!
The view from the stairs…dizzy…
Denmark is the home of where Legos were created and if you don’t have time or money to go to Lego Land in Billund, then make a stop at the Lego store in Copenhagen to get in touch with your inner child. You’ll be amazed at the amount of Lego pieces that exist on the Lego wall in the back of the store. Plus, the store has special edition Lego sets, and plenty of ‘play/work stations’ to create your own Lego people or structures. And if you don’t feel creative – then watch the store employees go to work and put together displays! I even tried my hand at some of my own creations – a fun stop among all of the other shopping along Strøget street. I also had a perfect day for photographing the botanical garden, enjoying the lakes, and the castle.
Botanical Garden Copenhagen
Overall – I was able to get a good feel for Copenhagen, it’s history, and culture without spending a ton of money. I will admit that my time was too short to really integrate and find locals – but I am sure I will be back again to eat more Smørrebrød and find more money saving tips.
Generator Hostel Copenhagen
• Generator has 8 stylish urban design hostels which were created to enable guests to meet new people and explore Europe in comfort and style.
Walking tours Copenhagen
Website: Copenhagen Free Walking Tours
Runs daily year round regardless of weather conditions. They start by picking up people at Generator Hostel at 10:30am and then walk to Town Hall Square. The official tour meets at 11am at the Town Hall Square, runs for about 3 hours and do not require any sign-up before the tour. Some of the highlights of the tour: Amalienborg Palace, Slotsholmen, Bishop Absalon’s statue, Nyhavn, Marble Church, Christiansborg.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Generator Hostel Copenhagen for my 3 day stay – however all of the opinions expressed here are my own.