Five nights in Copenhagen seemed like it might be about three nights too many when I initially booked our hotels for the city. I did not know if we would be bored in Denmark’s capital city. We were far from bored. There is something about being in Copenhagen in July that made me feel so relaxed.
Once we got into the vibe of the city in summer, when it is still twilight at 11pm and the day begins brightening soon after 3am, we found long walks for hours beside canals and picnics in parks filled the long sun-drenched days. Every square is a gathering place for people lounging in the summer sun, eating, drinking, playing music, socializing.
11 pm at night in Copenhagen on July 15, 2015 about one hour after sunset.
Sometimes there are coincidences in travel. Last weekend I wrote about being in Camden Town, London and its rock music history. I photographed Koko, a place that was called The Music Machine in 1980 when AC/DC lead singer drank himself to death one winter night. AC/DC played the Roskilde Music Festival last night, about 15 minutes west of Copenhagen, and were probably on stage when I snapped the westerly direction photo seen above from the 17th floor of the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen.
Why do I write about the price of food and beer when I travel?
My primary expense for travel, after transportation and hotels, is the money I spend on food. Transportation is generally the cost of a plane ticket, the cost to travel between the airport and the city I am visiting and the cost to get around a city. In Denmark that cost is 36 DKK for a one-way ticket from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen central train station. The cost to take a bus in Copenhagen is 24 DKK for one way travel around the city.
All my hotels for two weeks in Copenhagen and London and one week in Boston were booked for free using hotel loyalty points.
That leaves food and beer as our primary daily expenses for travel.
Staying at the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen is a great location for food markets. Rema 1000, a discount grocery store is at the end of the same block as the hotel, when you turn left out the front door. Irma Market is across the street from Rema 1000 for higher quality foods, and bakeries are all around town.
Denmark is Scandinavian expensive.
The exchange rate is 1 USD = 6.80 DKK.
Food expenses are easily 400 DKK per day for the two of us to eat store food.
- Smoked fish 150 g = 18 DKK.
- Baguette = 10 DKK to 30 DKK for loaf of bread.
- Danish Cheese 10 slices = 35 DKK.
- Prepackaged Salad (many varieties) = 43 DKK.
- Cherries 200 g. = 20 DKK.
- Blueberries 200 g = 30 DKK.
- Strawberries 200 g = 15 DKK.
There are several Asian restaurants popular for wok stir-fry vegies, meats and noodle takeaway. Typical prices are about 60 DKK to 80 DKK for one box meal. Beer prices are typically about 30 to 40 DKK for a bottle of beer at a restaurant.
Comments on my post about London food cost mentioned not thinking about the cost or making currency calculations when buying food. Honestly, I don’t stress over the cost of the food. I simply want to know what I am paying to try and stay within a travel budget. I am a skilled budget shopper and when I say it cost 400 DKK to feed the two of us in Copenhagen each day, that is good food at low price. We could easily be spending 1,000 DKK per day, if I did not search for good deals and budget carefully. That is a difference between 2,000 DKK ($300) or 5,000 DKK ($750) for five days of eating and drinking in Copenhagen.
I budgeted for Denmark like we are living on Greek ATM withdrawal limits of 60 EUR per day.
Beer is on average around 15 DKK per bottle from a grocery store or 7 Eleven market, which are all over the city. Rema 1000 sold bottled Tuborg Pilsner 330ml bottles for 8 DKK and six pack cans for 30 DKK.
Am I in the Copenhagen loyalty program?
Yesterday was an interesting day for us in Copenhagen. The day started with my morning shopping and finding our favorite Middle Eastern pre-packaged salad with grilled chicken and salad marked 25% off from 43 DKK at Irma.
I used a debit card to pay for the store food. I only took out 500 DKK in cash from an ATM for two days in Copenhagen. I was down to 189 DKK after 12 hours in Copenhagen.
Then, I went to Rema 1000 for a baguette and a bag of spicy mixed nuts. I thought the price should have been 25 DKK, but the store only charged 15 DKK. My baguette was basically free.
After brunch, since it was about noon when we finally ate, we headed out to see Copenhagen on our last full day in Europe.
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
We never made it inside Tivoli Gardens this trip, even though we spent four nights across the street at the Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen. We went to Disneyland in Anaheim last month and I was in DisneyWorld and Universal Studios in Florida six weeks ago. We were too theme-parked out to spend a day at Tivoli.
We enjoyed the look of Tivoli’s mini-Matterhorn.
Tivoli admission is 99 DKK and then a rides pass is 209 DKK per person, or about $50 USD.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is the most popular museum in Copenhagen. The museum was created by Carl Jacobsen (1842-1914), the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Brewery. TripAdvisor reviews list the museum as #4 Things To Do for Copenhagen.
Admission price is 99 DKK per adult. We were museumed out from London and the weather was so nice in Copenhagen that we skipped museums, even the free ones.
Courtyard at Danish Jewish Museum. Christiansborg Palace spire, seen in background, holds the Danish Parliament and Prime Minister offices.
We passed by a bakery and Kelley wanted some scones. Three raisin scones cost 35 DKK. After we bought the scones, the counter woman asked. “Would you like a free loaf of bread?”
“Sure. Thank you.”
The brown bread she gave us is one of the best loaves of dark bread I have ever had.
This was the second loaf of bread I received for free yesterday in Copenhagen. I felt like I was on the Danish traveler food assistance loyalty program.
Picnic in Christiania
Christiania is an interesting green place once you get away from the masked men and camouflage netting of the Green Zone. No cars and no cameras. There are so many birds and dogs and creative people playing music and performing in a variety of ways. Murals abound and people watching is first-rate.
We sat down in a small garden space where two men were walking on a tightrope low to the ground. They alternated between the tightrope and raking leaves and twigs away from pathways and picking up garbage in the area. Every now and then, they would stop and stretch and do some kind of body dance performance poses for passers-by.
Christiania accumulates loads of garbage from the hundreds to thousands of visitors passing through each day. I assisted with garbage cleanup by picking up the litter around the bench where we were seated.
One of the guys cleaning the gardens came over and talked to us and paid me for my assistance in local Christiania currency. Nearby were a group of musicians playing acoustic instruments with guitars, wind instruments and even a didgeridoo.
Summer in Copenhagen. Yesterday’s kindness and generosity from several people around the city made me feel like I’m in the Copenhagen loyalty program.
The greeting of the Danish tightrope walker kind of sums up my stay in Copenhagen,
“Welcome home. You are in a wonderful space.”