Once a humble fishing village, Copenhagen has come a long way to become one of the most important commercial ports in Europe, and the most populous city in all of Denmark. If you're visiting the Nordic countries but limited by a tight budget, don't despair. There's plenty to see and do in Copenhagen that won't cost you a single penny.
1. NATIONAl MUSEUM
If you're looking for free things to do in Copenhagen, nothing beats the National Museum. Offering exhibitions and collections dating back to prehistoric times, the museum is a celebration of all things Danish, letting visitors get up close and personal with artifacts and unique pieces from the stone age, Viking era and beyond.
Admission is free for all, although a discretionary donation is welcomed. A must-see if you've got the time and need to watch the pennies, the museum itself dates back to 1743 and was once the home Frederick V of Denmark.
2. BOTANICAL GARDENS
This one's probably best left for summer visitors, but even in winter, Copenhagen's famous Botanical Garden is an essential destination for budget-conscious tourists. Completely free to visit, nothing beats a casual stroll through some of the most beautiful gardens in all of Europe.
If you're visiting the city in summer, make sure this place is on your list of places to visit, and enjoy bountiful blooms, vivid colours and stunning scents.
3. NATIONAL GALLERY OF DENMARK (STATENS MUSEUM FOR KUNST
A must for art fans, the National Gallery of Denmark boasts some of the most celebrated and important art pieces in Europe. Completely free to visit, it's easy to get lost among the endless exhibitions and showcases on offer here.
In fact, you'll find so much here you'll probably want to come back twice during your stay.
4. FRIHEDSMUSEET (MUSEUM OF DANISH RESISTANCE)
History buffs will no doubt enjoy a visit to the Museum of Danish Resistance, showcasing the testimonies and story of the Danish resistance during Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Essential if you are looking for some education during your trip, this museum is completely free to visit, all year round.
---due to a fire incident in the building the museum of danish resistance will be closed until 2018---
here we have an alternative activity for you:
4. SWIMMING IN ISLANDS BRYGGE
You wanna go for a swim right in the center of Copenhagen? We think that it doesn't only refresh you after a day full of sightseeing but also an amazing experience, which you probably won't find anywhere else. Located in a calm area, Havneparken (harbour park) is one of the most famous bathing spots in Copenhagen. You're visiting Copenhagen in winter? Don't worry, this place is so beautiful that even having a stroll in the park will give you an amazing time.
5. THE LITTLE MERMAID
Walt Disney might have catapulted the story into the limelight, but this bronze statue is in fact a depiction of the titular character from Hans Christian Andersen's famous tale.
A popular attraction since its unveiling in 1913, this iconic statue is a celebration of the popular Danish author, and a famous tourist attraction in its own right. Just don't forget your camera, because maybe taking a selfie with the Little Mermaid is something tourisrs do, but, honestly, it is going to be a nice memory isn't it?
6. CHRISTIANSBORG PALACE
Located on the island of Slotsholmen, this historic Royal Palace is houses within the Parliament building itself. One of the best preserved buildings of its kind, the palace is free to enter, but if you want to learn the ins and outs of its history, a guided tour can be arranged for a nominal fee.
A city within a city, Christiania was founded from an abandoned former military base. Today, the area is one of the most diverse areas to be found in all of Copenhagen, offering visitors a chance to explore a different flavour of Danish culture.
8. CHANGING OF THE GUARD
No, wer are not getting confused with London. Copenhagen has its very own Royal Guard and, just like the British capital, there is a Changing of the Guard to enjoy at noon every day. Follow the action from Rosenberg Castle, where the Royal Guard march on the city toward the Palace of Amalienborg.
9. FORTRESS KASTELLET
If you are visiting The Little Mermaid statue, make sure you reserve some time for a visit to the nearby Kastellet, one of the best preserved and biggest fortresses in all of Europe. Dating back to the seventeenth century, this historic fortress is free to visit and is guaranteed to impress.
Looking doesn't cost anything, but once you take a stroll through Denmark's premier shopping district, it'll be hard to keep your wallet in your pocket. This popular retail destination lies in the heart of Copenhagen and boasts one of the longest shopping streets in Europe, with more than a kilometre of retail outlets, boutiques and designer stores.
Fully pedestrianised, this shopping hotspot is a must for any visitor and offers a pleasant stroll for window shoppers looking to keep their trip to the Danish capital on budget.
11. ROYAL DANISH THEATRE
We know what you are thinking, how can this attraction be free? While it's true many performances and live events require a ticket, you'll find plenty of things to see and do throughout the year at this purpose-built performing arts centre. One of the oldest of its kind in Denmark, the Royal Danish Theatre is the place to go for ballet, classical music and plays.
Dating back to the late nineteenth century, the theatre itself is an architectural marvel, making it a must for sightseers.
12. ASSISTENS KIRKEGARD
It mightn't be on the scale of the catacombs of Paris, but Copenhagen's historic cemetery is still an incredibly popular destination for tourists. Free to enter and explore, be sure to make time to visit two tombs of note, those of fairytale author Hans Christian Anderson, and that of the famous Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard.
WHERE TO STAY IN COPENHAGEN ON A BUDGET
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Copenhagen that's strictly low cost, we would recommend the Sleep In Heaven. Thanks to its fantastic location, you will find even more great things to do for next to nothing or completely free, with the exciting district of Nørrebro just a short stroll away.
Each room is safe and secure, with keycard access for total peace of mind. And at prices that never exceed 19 EUROS a night per person. You can also check our list of hostels in Copenaghen.