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Visiting Copenhagen on a tight budget
The first step in understanding how to spend wisely in Copenhagen is to understand the layout of the city before landing. The capital of Denmark is a relatively small urban center compared to other locations in Europe. Like most European cities, Copenhagen is divided into city districts, each with their own distinct nature.
The inner core of the capital represents the oldest part of the town and its streets literally personify an age gone by. The narrow streets and crooked structures all over the area represent a time when master city plans didn't yet exist. That said, while the location is a popular destination with history, shops, cafés, restaurants, and canals, it is also one of the most expensive areas to eat and stay.
Eating on a Danish budget
For those who want to eat in the city center, try Madklubben (Kongesgade 66). The food is prepared with a Danish twist, but the restaurant is underground, so it can be easily missed. Because it is so popular, reservations are a must. A passing guest is unlikely to get a seat on a whim.
The neighborhoods of Vesterbro and Nørrebro are more conducive for a budget traveler’s budget. While Vesterbro is perhaps best known for being the city’s historic red light district, those who aren’t as worried about dinner table virtues can find a reasonably priced meal without much effort. Nørrebro is a well known multi-cultural center. It offers a wide variety of food as well as prices that match the patrons who favor such restaurants on a regular basis.
In terms of particular restaurants, visitors should try out the Laundromat Café (Elmegade 15). While it is technically a laundromat, it’s also an excellent good place to get a hamburger with all the fixings. Americans alone will enjoy the appeal. While the spot draws many customers, the tables empty quickly, so finding a seat is just a matter of a little patience.
Paludan (Fiolstræde 10) is a good place to check out for low-cost sit-down food. The allure of the establishment is a cross between a restaurant and a used bookstore, so it’s a favorite for local book lovers. Don’t be surprised to have a meal sharing tables around people-watchers, café drinkers and readers.
Finally, when it's not raining or storming, particularly in the summer, there are countless street food options available all over town. This may be some of the cheapest and best food to have if one can deal with eating without a chair or table readily available. Many locals and tourists frequent these street food stands right after a heavy night at a bar.
Getting a place to sleep The exchange rate for visitors means their wallets take a beating when in town. Tourists must be smart to survive the costs and sticker shock that occurs. For the most part, many tourists often plan their stay and hotel rooms weeks or months ahead so they can compare prices on the Internet. That said, there's always the chance of needing a room on the fly. Again, picking the right neighborhood can mean a difference of hundreds of dollars. Nørrebro as a neighborhood is often recommended for the budget-minded. It's a bit like Brooklyn in New York – close, but not close to Park Avenue-like prices. The location also has plenty of restaurants, food venues and bars for a long evening of relaxation after a day of museums.
Transportation Anything outside of city center will require travelers to rely on either rental car, public transportation, taxi or bike. Two of these options can be expensive, but the public options aren’t that cheap either. This is one aspect where visitors on a budget need to buck up and pay up. If in town for a while, it may be worth investing in a 2-week or monthly transit pass if they are available since they can cut down on costs significantly. They are available at the airport, as well as at the major bus centers around town.
Don't miss out There are plenty of things to see and places to go in Denmark's capital, but a tourist on holiday still needs to manage expenses to enjoy the entire trip. Using the tips about and some advance coordination, a trip to the Danish capital doesn't have to be boring. It can be an enjoyable affair, even on a budget and given that Scandinavia is one of the more expensive regions of Europe.
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