Copenhagen (or København) is expensive! I had budgeted around 300 DKK for lodging and 400 DKK for transportation and five meals, but it was nowhere near enough. I quickly learnt how to budget money because I had only exchanged 700 DKK. The remainder of my money was in Euros.
Walking around the city center, I examined the food prices at the restaurants around popular tourist areas. These were small business, presumably family-owned, that served visitors. To establish an idea of the price range, the average burger was 200 DKK (35 cdn) for a burger and 20 DKK (3.5 cdn) for a glass of tap water. And these seemed to be the norms around Copenhagen. Nørrebro, or Little Arabia, as the locals call it, was out in the suburbs of the city and the food prices were very similar. A roll of sushi would set you back 120 DKK and a coffee would be at least 30 krona.
I was forced to take my meals to the cheapest places that I found and it still took all of my 400 kronas. Sacrificing the transportation costs by spending an hour walking into the city, I managed 30km on foot of sightseeing, traipsing up and down castles, and marching along the streets of the city to visit museums, art galleries and other notable areas. I found Christiansborg Palace to be the most impressive attraction. Visitors are able to walk around the grounds and go up into the tower for free to take in the amazing view at the top.
I wondered how the locals could ever afford to eat out. The minimum wage was 32 DKK (~5 CDN). I felt that even with a gracious allowance for food, the Danish would have trouble paying for a meal that equaled half of their daily wages. Nevertheless, the food I tried was pretty amazing, but a bit on the salty side. The gastronomic highlight of my experience in the city would be visiting Rita’s Smørrebrød, a small, family-run deli mainly selling this traditional danish open-faced sandwich. They served a variety of toppings including pate, pork, fish, or eggs and combined it with fresh veggies all piled on top of a healthy slice of rye. Of my five meals in Copenhagen, I took two of them at Rita’s because it tasted great and the prices were reasonable.