Normally, this would have been April Fool when everyone would prank each other with some random joke or lie. Now with all coronavirus things going on around the world, I hope all of you are safe at home.
Again, when I decided to still have the $10 series despite everything that has been going across the globe lately, it’s not because I’m tone-deaf. It’s rather because I want to give some hope that this too will eventually end, and I hope it won’t stop you from your wanderlust.
And this week, we’re going to have Derek and Mike of Everything Copenhagen to share with you how you could spend $10 in one of the most expensive cities in the world: the capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen.
Some Things that Are Almost Free in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a fantastic destination for anyone interested in exploring Scandinavia. It also has the unfortunate distinction of being one of Europe’s most expensive cities for travelers.
While that reputation is true, Copenhagen is wonderful and there are ways to stretch your budget. Here’s what you can expect to get for $10 in the Danish capital and some tips, alternatives, and recommendations for making the most of your money in Copenhagen.
What You Need to Know Before Exploring Copenhagen
First, Denmark is a proud member state of the European Union but does not use the euro. Danish currency is the Danish Krown or DKK. When you convert 10 USD, you should have about 70 DKK.
This will most likely be done for you because tourists can get by without ever withdrawing Danish currency from an ATM. This alone can usually save you money on ATM withdraws and foreign transaction fees and it’s also convenient. Danes joke that “only tourists use cash” and it’s typically true.
Average Price Around Copenhagen
Visitors to Copenhagen are often faced with “sticker shock” when they make a purchase in Copenhagen and convert the price into their native currency.
For example, a large soy latte at Espresso House will cost you 59 DKK or just under $9 USD. That’s a lot of money for a specialty coffee!
For a quick bite, like durum, you can expect to pay $10 USD or 70 DKK for a wrap with fries and a small drink. It’s quite filling, but can empty your budget fast. Even nightlife can be expensive with a typical Carlsberg draft beer costing $8 USD or 55 DKK and a glass of wine costing close to $10 USD at 65 DKK.
There are reasons for the higher costs. In Denmark, you will pay a 20% value-added tax (VAT) on pretty much everything. For goods in most malls, boutiques and even souvenir shops you can ask for a refund form to be reimbursed at the airport and other locations.
Another reason for the higher cost in cafes, restaurants, pubs and cocktail bars is because Denmark is a no-tip culture. That price you pay is inclusive of tax and tip and most servers or baristas won’t even give you the option to tip. You won’t see a tip jar or even a line to add a tip on your credit card receipt. In Denmark, you know that service staff is well-paid well and can live without gratuity.
Fun Things to Do Under $10 in Copenhagen
There are a number of ways that locals stretch their budgets and make $10 USD last longer in Copenhagen. In fact, there are many low-cost and free things to do in Copenhagen every day of the week.
Most attractions and museums have student pricing discounts and many have free admission at least one day per week. Danes prefer to drink coffee later in the day so many coffee shops have discounted prices before 10 am.
Grocery stores do not charge VAT and food items are much cheaper than buying prepared items at a food stand. For that reason, locals love to buy a bottle of wine and food in the grocery store to make a picnic in any of the great parks or waterfront sitting areas. There’s nothing stopping tourists and visitors from joining in the fun!
A $10 picnic is easy to plan with a nice selection of $5 or 35 DKK wine bottles and plenty of similarly priced bread and cheeses. If dining out, prices are lower the farther you move out of the city center. The highest prices will always be in the touristic zones near Nyhavn Harbor, City Hall, and Tivoli Gardens.
Lastly, consider a city pass and using public transportation. Copenhagen has an efficient, clean and convenient public transportation network connecting the entire city and surrounding region. A two-zone metro ride will cost you about $7.50 USD roundtrip or you can buy an unlimited 24-hour pass for $12 USD and get around much easier.
Contributor: Derek and Mike from Everything Copenhagen
Derek and Mike are a couple of gay American expats in Copenhagen who love to travel the world. They want to inspire and equip you to see the world, whether it’s for a vacation or to live. Their mission is to change the fact that the world knows a lot about America, but some Americans know very little about the rest of the world.