Is Denmark Expensive: Unraveling the Danish ‘Hygge’ Experience on a Budget

Explore the expenses associated with traveling to Denmark and learn how to make the most of your budget. From accommodation options to dining experiences, transportation costs to shopping tips, this article provides a comprehensive guide to navigating Denmark's expenses. Discover unique aspects of Danish culture and find budget-friendly ways to experience the country's charm.
Is Denmark Expensive
Table of Contents

Denmark is a captivating travel destination that offers a blend of rich history, stunning landscapes, and a unique cultural experience. But what about the expenses? Let’s dive into the cost of traveling in Denmark and explore how you can make the most of your budget while enjoying all that this beautiful country has to offer.

Cost of Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation in Denmark, there are options to suit every budget. Hotels range from budget-friendly to luxury, with an average price of around $100 to $300 per night. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider staying in Airbnb rentals, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per night. Comparatively, neighboring countries like Sweden and Germany may offer slightly lower accommodation prices. To find affordable accommodation in Denmark, consider staying outside the city center or booking in advance for better deals.

In Denmark, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations, from traditional hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, consider staying in hostels, which offer shared rooms at a significantly lower cost. You can often find hostels in popular cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus, providing a convenient and economical option for travelers.

Food and Dining Expenses

Denmark is renowned for its culinary scene, but dining out can sometimes be pricey. Expect to spend around $15 to $40 per person for a meal at a mid-range restaurant, excluding drinks. However, you can save money by opting for budget-friendly alternatives. Exploring local street food stalls and food markets can provide a delicious and affordable dining experience. Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne Market, for example, offers a variety of food stalls where you can savor Danish specialties without breaking the bank.

Additionally, grocery shopping and preparing your own meals can significantly cut down your food expenses. Denmark has several well-stocked supermarkets where you can purchase fresh produce, bread, and other ingredients to create your own meals. Not only will this save you money, but it also allows you to experience Danish cuisine from the comfort of your accommodation. A basic meal at a grocery store can cost around $8 to $15, depending on your choices.

Transportation Costs

Public transportation in Denmark is efficient and well-connected, making it a convenient option for getting around. Prices for a single ride on buses, trains, or metros typically range from $2.5 to $6, depending on the distance traveled. If you plan to use public transportation frequently during your stay, consider purchasing a Copenhagen Card or other regional travel cards. These cards provide unlimited travel within a specific area and often include free admission to popular attractions, making them cost-effective options for exploring Denmark.

Renting a car is another option, with daily rates starting at around $40, excluding fuel costs. Keep in mind that parking fees can add up, especially in city centers. If you choose to rent a car, it’s essential to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for your trip. To save money, consider using alternative transportation options like cycling, as Denmark is known for its bike-friendly infrastructure. Renting a bike can cost around $10 to $20 per day, providing a cost-effective and enjoyable way to explore the cities and countryside.

Attractions and Activities

Exploring Denmark’s attractions and activities can be a highlight of your trip, but admission fees can vary. Popular tourist sites such as Tivoli Gardens or the National Museum may charge around $15 to $30 per person for entry. However, Denmark also offers numerous free or low-cost attractions. Take a stroll along the picturesque Nyhavn harbor, visit the iconic Little Mermaid statue, or explore the charming streets of Copenhagen’s colorful neighborhoods without spending a dime.

Embrace the natural beauty of Denmark by visiting its many parks, forests, and beaches, which are often free to enjoy. Whether you’re hiking through the lush landscapes of Rold Skov or relaxing on the sandy shores of Skagen, Denmark’s natural wonders offer breathtaking experiences without straining your budget. Take a picnic with you and spend a day immersing yourself in the stunning surroundings.

Shopping and Souvenirs

If you’re planning to indulge in some retail therapy or bring back souvenirs from Denmark, it’s important to be mindful of your budget. Clothing prices in Denmark are comparable to those in other European countries, with a basic item like a T-shirt costing around $30 to $50. Electronics and souvenirs can also vary in price. To save money, consider exploring local markets and boutiques, where you can find unique and affordable souvenirs.

Take advantage of tax-free shopping options available for tourists, and be sure to check if you’re eligible for a VAT refund, which can save you around 15-20% on your purchases. The streets of Copenhagen, such as Strøget, offer a mix of high-end boutiques, international brands, and local shops, giving you plenty of options to find the perfect souvenir or treat yourself to a stylish Danish fashion item.

Miscellaneous Expenses

While planning your trip to Denmark, there are a few additional expenses to keep in mind. Health insurance is essential, and it’s recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. Costs for health insurance can vary depending on your home country and the coverage you choose. It’s important to review your options and select a plan that provides adequate coverage for your needs.

Communication expenses, such as purchasing a local SIM card or accessing the internet, can range from $10 to $30, depending on the duration and data package. If you rely heavily on internet access during your trip, consider checking if your accommodation offers free Wi-Fi or if there are public hotspots available in the areas you’ll be visiting. Denmark provides numerous cafes, restaurants, and public areas where complimentary Wi-Fi is available, enabling you to stay connected without incurring any extra costs.

Tipping is not mandatory in Denmark, as service charges are often included in the bill. However, it’s common to round up the total or leave a small tip as a gesture of appreciation. If you receive exceptional service or want to show your gratitude, leaving a 10% tip is generally considered generous. It’s important to note that tipping is a personal choice, and you should only do so if you feel it’s warranted.

Budgeting Tips and Saving Strategies

To make the most of your budget while traveling in Denmark, here are some valuable tips and strategies:

  1. Plan ahead: Research and book your accommodation and transportation in advance to secure better prices and deals. Look for promotions and discounts available during your travel dates.
  2. Utilize discounts and tourist cards: Look for discounted tickets, attraction passes, and city cards that offer savings on transportation and admission fees. The Copenhagen Card, for example, provides free entry to numerous attractions and unlimited public transportation.
  3. Explore free or low-cost activities: Take advantage of Denmark’s many parks, free attractions, and cultural events to immerse yourself in the local culture without spending much. Attend free concerts, visit museums on their free admission days, or simply wander through the charming streets of Danish cities.
  4. Embrace local experiences: Engage with locals and ask for their recommendations on affordable dining, hidden gems, and budget-friendly activities. They can provide valuable insights and insider tips that can help you explore Denmark like a local while staying within your budget.


While Denmark can be perceived as an expensive destination, with careful planning and budgeting, you can explore this beautiful country without breaking the bank. By considering affordable accommodation options, enjoying local street food, utilizing public transportation, and taking advantage of free attractions, you can have an incredible Danish experience while keeping your expenses under control. Embrace the Danish concept of “hygge” and the country’s unique charm, all while making memories that will last a lifetime.

Remember, traveling on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on experiences; it’s about finding the right balance between cost and enjoyment. With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on an affordable and unforgettable journey through the wonders of Denmark.