9 completely free things to do in Copenhagen
The good thing about a city trip is that you can make it as expensive as you want it to be. You can take the most expensive plane and sleep in every bridal suite you come across, but of course that’s not how I roll ;-) What’s nice about a budget city trip, is that it saves you even more money for yet another trip! And the more we can experience of this world, the happier it makes us. That’s why we have to make smart decisions when it comes to our budget, especially at expensive places. So today we’ll have a lesson of how to make the most of free things: 9 completely free things to do in Copenhagen!
Are you visiting Copenhagen in spring or summer? Make sure to visit theme park Bakken. Dyrehavsbakke, which is the official full name, is freely accessible for everyone. If you want to go on one of the rides you have to pay though, but hey, just enjoying the atmosphere is nice too, right? If you’re thinking of going I’d certainly make sure to go on a Wednesday and pay cash, because this will save you an additional 50% on a ride. Make sure to bring your camera too, because you can take lots of great photos and videos here! Whenever you’re done with the theme park vibes, you’ll be in Jægersborg Dyrehave in no time.
2. Jægersborg Dyrehave
Surrounding Baken you’ll find one of the newest (July 2015) additions to the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jægersborg Dyrehave. This wooded park of about 11 km2 is known for its many deer walking around (and I mean many deer: about 2100). You’ll also find a lot of trees growing here naturally, in stead of being planted. Trees are only being torn down when they are dangerous to the public. You can imagine it’s a beautiful sight! It’s definitely a must-see when you’re in town for multiple days. It’s the perfect spot to unwind!
3. Papirøen (Paper Island)
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. In that case I guess I’m a very masculine woman. Now obviously food isn’t for free in Copenhagen (if only…) but visiting Papirøen definitely is: it’s heaven for foodies. They have all sorts of food stalls with food from all the corners of the world. Look around if you can find something tasty, sit down along the water and rest your legs from walking around Copenhagen.
If you’ve made it to Papirøen anyway, you might as well explore the area. Christiania is a neighborhood where you’ll find the creative and free spirits of Copenhagen. In 1971 a few hippies decided to create their own society, free from the Danish government. They made up their own rules and laws and still live by it. Don’t be mistaken though: there’s definitely rules here that you have to keep in mind as a tourist. Camera’s (the ones on smartphones too) are not appreciated (because of drug sales). When you enter Christiania there’s a list of do’s and don’ts and the advice is to really stick with those. Despite this, it’s definitely worth a visit, especially because the contrast with the clean and modern Copenhagen is so clearly visible. This city trip suddenly started to sound a lot more exciting, don’t you think?
Another district worth visiting: Nyhavn. If you’re looking for a spot to enjoy the atmosphere of the city, this is the place to be. You’ll find lots of nice terraces, (jazz) music, colorful houses and a pretty harbour. It’s definitely the most lively part of the city. A long, long time ago Hans Christian Andersen lived here. If you want to walk by his houses, make sure to keep in mind numbers 18, 20 and 67!
6. Visit different museums
The nice thing about Copenhagen is that it has several free museums, which makes it very easy to do a day of museum-hopping. The National Museum, (EDIT: as of 1 July it’s not for free anymore), the National Gallery and the Danish Resistance Museum are always free, but most of the other museums have one free day every week. Wednesday usually is a popular day regarding free entrance, so keep this in mind when booking and planning your trip.
7. The Little Mermaid
Is she big, impressive, mind blowing? No, and if you’re short on time I’d say you’d better skip her. But otherwise I would recommend going there; she’s often described as the most disappointing attraction in the world, which I think is kind of funny. Den lille Havfrue is supposed to depict the main character from the fairy tale written by, you guessed it, HC Andersen. If you want to take some pretty pictures, I’d recommend visiting her during sunset.
The tower of the Christiansborg palace is something that has to be on your list. You can climb this tower for free (or at least, the elevator will take you there, because you’re not allowed on the stairs) and it’ll surprise you with a beautiful view of Copenhagen. It’s the highest view of Copenhagen as well: with its 106 meters this is the tallest tower in the city. Keep in mind the tower is closed every Monday!
9. Free Walking Tour
Just like in other major cities you can find free walking tours in Copenhagen. It’s one of the most fun ways to learn more about the history of this city. You can choose from 1.5 or 3 hour tours. If you have some money left, you might consider tagging along on one of their pub crawls. This way you’ll discover several clubs in Copenhagen, you’ll get a discount on drinks (without hitting on anyone!) and if you’re a bit lucky you’ll even get a free drink. (I did the Sandemans tour and she can highly recommend it!)
When will you be visiting Copenhagen?
Great ideas! Free walking tours are my fave + I LOVED finally getting to see Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid during my visit a couple weeks ago!
Hi! Great work on this website and thank you for the fun tips. I will definitely be trying out some of these.
A big bummer, but the SMK – Statens Museum for Kunst also known as the National Gallery is no longer free either unfortunately! Great list! Cheers from Copenhagen!
Thanks for these tips we’re going next month!!