Copenhagen in One Day on a Budget: A Walking Route with the Map

Copenhagen is the 8th most expensive city in the world. On this reason, many budget tourists avoid it, but they should not. First, you can make most of it in just one day. Second, you do not necessarily have to stay in Copenhagen overnight: there is a cheaper and easier option. Finally, having food in Copenhagen is not so bad if you know where to go. In this post we tell how to enjoy Copenhagen and make the best of it despite the rumors about high prices and how to see some unusual places, such as genetically modified Mermaid, on the usual tourist route.

Walking tour

If you are ready to walk 15-20 kilometers a day, you can totally see Copenhagen in one day only. This is the route we suggest.

Whether you arrive at the train or bus station, start with the Tourist Information Center: you can actually spend quite some time there having free 360’ digital tour, saying hi to the robot, or just getting a free map.

Pass by Tivoli Gardens: an amusement park with an entrance fee of 175DDK. Or just watch people having fun from the outside.

It is also up to you whether to enter Carlsberg Glyptotek Art Museum.

Continue to the Black Diamond Royal Library.

After enjoying its view, take the public boat just next to it to reach The Little Mermaid. This is a much cheaper option compared to the boat tours offered by the tourist companies. For around 3 euros only you will get to see most of the city from the boat. Make sure you have cash or euros: they do not take cards!

Before getting to the famous Mermaid, you will have to walk through the park.

Queue to take a picture with a Mermaid! It will take a while. In the meantime, you can watch the swans.

However, you will not find any people next to another version of the Mermaid—genetically modified Mermaid statue along with other post-modernist sculptures, including a pregnant man.

Next to the mermaids is a nice park and Kastellet Fortress. Kastellet is one of the finest and best preserved fortifications in Northern Europe. The inner five pointed fortress belongs to the Danish Defense Force and today the fortification is used as a modern military establishment.

Head to the Royal Palace Amalienborg, one of the friendliest and most liberal palaces in the world! You may want to stop by the Design Museum on the way.

Check if the royal family is in the palace: is there a flag on it? Also, check the Frederick’s Church.

Next stop by Nyhavn, a vibrant harbor allowing to take great pictures, especially at sunny weather.

It has a lot of restaurants overpriced even by Copenhagen standards, but what is more important is that Hans Christian Andersen lived here, at two addresses, at Nyhavn 18 and 20.

You may want to see the Freetown Christiania now or at the end of your tour. Walking there and checking it will take at least 1.5 hours. Or, you may want to leave it for the evening: it offers so many opportunities to relax! You can see all kinds of interesting people even before you enter it.

But the best way to find Christiania is by the church.

Christiania is a commune of about a thousand residents which formed in 1970s. The homeless and hippies occupied the military barracks claimed the territory. Christiania has been a source of controversy since then not only due to illegal occupation, but due to the cannabis trade. The attempts of the Danish government to stop the trade and reclaim the territories resulted in mass protests; the relations between Christiania and Copenhagen government are still tense. The drugs trade is prohibited there, but the weed literally flourishes.

The barracks in Christiania are now used not only for living, but also for concerts, markets, and restaurants.

The main street market is not only for the souvenirs. They trade light drugs here, wearing gloves. Why gloves? We asked. If the police invades (and they will get to know it from the others several minutes later), they will not have any traces of having drugs on hands. Of course, they do not allow you to take pictures at this street.

Continue to the old city center, see the Parliament, the Borsen Exchange, and the underwater sculpture “The Merman with 7 sons” referring to the the Danish fairy-tale “Agnete and the Merman”. According to the fairy-tale, a young woman Agnete married a merman and they had seven little mer-kids; once, she visited her old home and decided not to return to the sea, leaving her merman to be a single dad, forever pining for his lost love. In the statue, the merman and 7 sons stretch their hands towards Agnete to ask her to come back.

The next site, Round Tower, also has a story to it. When Peter the Great visited Copenhagen, he went up the tower by the horse, and his wife—by the cart. The tower does not have steps—it is a steep ascent all the way to the top.


For 25DKK only you can go up, unfortunately, not by the horse or a cart like the tsars.
The views from the tower are amazing: and in addition to the city itself you may see the famous Øresund Bridge running in between Sweden and Copenhagen. Check another post of ours to learn what is the best way to see and cross it.

Continue to the King’s Garden to enjoy the simple beauty of Scandinavian chic.

Finish at the City Hall and take your bus or train back to wherever you go.

Where to stay

We recommend you to stay in Malmö when you visit Copenhagen. First, you will save considerably on the price. Second, it is much easier: in our case, at least 5 hosts from Airbnb denied our request for one or two nights only, whereas we could book the place in Malmö from the first attempt. Finally, buying tickets from Malmö-Copenhagen bus in advance (for about 5 euros) will allow you to see the Øresund Bridge as many times as you travel.

Where to eat

In Copenhagen, we recommend:
Jensens Bøfhus steak house (at least two addresses in Copenhagen) where you can have a steak, chicken or pork tenderloin with your choice of potatoes and sause for about 8 euros only. This is the lunch offer only, of course (12.00-16.00).

Madglad Cafeteria with lots of cheap mainly vegetarian options.
Maed Ethiopian reastaurant with great lunch options.
Riz Raz restaurant with lunch buffet, more expensive that the previous ones though.

No Comments

Leave a Comment