I had been dreaming of going to Copehagen for such a long time, it was almost becoming an obsession. However, as we all know, Scandinavia can get quite pricey for us, outsiders. I had some time to spare but no cash to spend. Yet it had become an urge I just couldn’t resist any longer. So I talked to one of my most adventurous and spontaneous friends, K. We put our creative minds together and came up with an idea: Let’s have a fab long weekend in Copenhagen spending only €50.
We managed to do a 4 day getaway from Belgium to Denmark spending no more than €50 each, all costs included. The good time was an added bonus. Here’s our methode…
How to spend a fabulous weekend in Copenhagen armed with only €50 and a smile
# 1 Hitchhike
Neither of us had done it before so we were a little nervous at first. Would we manage to get rides? – I mean after all, we are two little brown girls… What if a creepy looking person stops to pick you up… How do you refuse the ride? “sorry, you look like a rapist, I respectfully refuse your help”… Luckily, we’ve never had to deal with either situation and we quickly realised that when two girls hitchhike, they always catch a ride. The waiting time was so ridiculously short with an average wait of 1-3 minutes!
# 2 Bring along leftovers from your pantry
To reduce costs we brought along some leftovers found in our pantries: a pack of waffles, a couple of dried sausages, 1bag of pasta, 1 bottle of wine, 1 can of Frankfurters, 1 bag of soft sandwiches and couple of tea bags. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or snacks.
# 3 Get a ride from Suriname students that offers you a free McDonalds lunch
Some of the people that picked us up were so generous. Going out of their way for us, sharing their food, giving us useful things they had lying in their cars like bottles of booze and an umbrella… Others had interesting stories to tell, like the CEO who traveled around the globe and was bored of the classy 5-star hotels or the polish millionaire that had a semi-dodgy car businesses. The 65 year old truck driver who was madly in love with his wife of 40-something years or the three Suriname students who thought we were insane for hitchhiking and ended up buying us a meal at McDonalds. Each and every one of the drivers asked us the same question: “Isn’t this dangerous?” to which we would reply: “that will depend on you…”
# 4 Use cardboard from in the trash to make your signs
# 5 Use your puppy eyes to catch that ride
#6 To avoid rides from scary, dangerous men, always put on your “street face”.
# 7 Pyjama party at a local friend’s place
Once in Copenhagen we were welcomed into the home of a friend I had met two summers earlier. At that time she spent a week at my place so she was happy to return the favour and let us crash on her floor for a couple of nights. She was so kind to spoil us with a nice dinner when we arrived and a delicious breakfast in the morning. If you don’t have a local friend I suggest looking for a host/friend on Couchsurfing, hospitality club or BeWelcome.
# 8 Get your hands on a free city bike to cruise around the city
The free city bicycles of Copenhagen are so popular that they are not very easy to find, but if you look carefully enough you’ll be able to pick one up and leave it behind at one of the many bicycle stations around the city. No complicated ‘credit card registration-type’ arrangements here, you just slip a 20Kr coin into the slot and it unlocks your bicycle. Your coin is returned to you as soon as you park your bike in the foreseen slot. EASY!
# 9 explore the city by foot
Walking around town is always free. There are so much interesting architecture around the city that you don’t necessarily need to go inside any museums and palaces to soak in some of the culture and architectural beauty.
# 10 Ignore the morning flea markets
We started browsing saying “we’re not going to buy anything!!”. Guess how that ended… But if you really can’t help yourself… You can really get a good deal at these markets. Bangkok prices! Alternatively do some window shopping.
# 11 Visit free art expositions
# 12 Stumble upon a free (coffee) festival
There is so much going on in the city during the summer time, that you are bound to find some kind of (free) gathering. This mini festival had great artists performing and free coffee samples. We spent a couple of hours listening to Danish-Zanzibari hip hop drinking as many caffeine sample shots we could stomach. A perfect afternoon activity if you ask me.
# 13 Have dinner at ‘Morgenstedet’
It’s an amazing vegetarian restaurant in Christiana where you can share the huge portions with your buddy. The food they serve is made from fresh and organically grown vegetables. Check out this half portion…
# 14 People watch in Nyhavn
Or anywhere else by the water. Get yourself a bottle of cheap wine from the supermarket and perhaps a bag of mixed nuts. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view and the company.
And so we concluded our trip with a long hitchhiking day back to Belgium which we managed to do in one day. Although I don’t advise doing this many kilometres at once. It’s extremely exhausting; smiling to catch rides, chatting with the driver during hours, explaining who you are and what your trip is about every time you get in a car…
To remember: getting stuck on the road is part of the trip! Enjoy it!