When you think of going on holiday on a student budget, Copenhagen isn’t the first place that springs to mind. Denmark’s quaint capital, nestled on the west shores of the Øresund, long has a reputation for being a ridiculously expensive destination. However, the city is packed full of free culture that means it can actually be a pretty cheap place to go. It’s also one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, home to the picturesque Nyhavn, dramatic harbour and Strøget, the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street.
If you visit Copenhagen, chances are that your experience will be largely based around the main city centre, flanked by the harbour on its south-east side, and the three man-made søerne (lakes) to the north-west. Of course, around Strøget, there is the usual city shopping to be enjoyed, but there’s also a multitude of cultural highlights to check out. The Botanisk Have, part of the University of Copenhagen, are scenic botanical gardens that are free to the public, with the impressive Palm House at their centre. For rainy days, the Design Museum of Denmark is not only free for students with ID, but to everyone aged under 26. The museum is one of Denmark’s finest, showcasing everything from a permanent poster collection to special exhibitions, such as Erik Mortensen’s ‘I Am Black Velvet’, which is running now.
Undoubtedly, the panoramic views around the city are not to be missed. The Round Tower offers incredible views stretching all the way to the famous Øresund Bridge, which links Copenhagen to Malmö, in Sweden. The multi-coloured Nyhavn, recreated on almost every postcard, is the perfect place for an evening stroll. Crossing the harbour, Copenhagen’s world-famous Opera House is an architectural triumph. There’s also the new cultural development of Refshale Island’s Reffen, at the mouth of the harbour. Opening in May 2018, the project will offer creative workshops, pop-up shops, and a range of street food, with full meals from as little as 60 DKK (around £7). Christiana, an autonomous community filled with street art, well worth a visit, is also found on this side of the harbour.
On the city’s north-west side, Nørrebro is an up-and-coming district filled with cool bars. Hiring bikes is a great way to explore this area, as well as neighbouring Vesterbrø. And that’s the best thing about Copenhagen – there’s always a hidden corner just waiting to be discovered.