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  • The backpacker’s guide to Denmark

    Copenhagen

    Copenhagen

    Like all other countries with a high standard of living, Denmark is not the most affordable travel destination you could find, especially if you are a backpacker constantly strapped for money. But what can you do when the pull of Denmark’s many attraction becomes too strong?

    You visit it on a budget. Backpacking in Denmark is not impossible, and with some careful planning you won’t have to miss out on any of the best parts of the country.

    Backpacking through Denmark will bring you closer to the country’s rich cultural heritage, its effortlessly cools towns and cities and its natural assets. Here’s a backpacker’s guide to Denmark that will help you plan your trip this modern former homeland of vikings.

    Transport

    Copenhagen Train Station, photo by mararie on Flickr

    Probably the single most expensive way to get around Denmark if to rent a car, and a backpacker would hardly consider it an option. If you are used to planning your day around public transport schedules, you can travel around the country for pretty reasonable fares by bus or  by train.

    You can save a pretty penny on train travel if you buy a discount card valid for 10 train journeys. Reserving a seat will add DKK 25 to the cost, but reservations are not necessary unless you travel during peak periods. Youth discount cards and senior cards are also available, so if you qualify for them they are another good way to save money on transport.

    Hitchhiking is legal in Denmark except on motorways, so if you don’t mind waiting a bit for a ride, it’s possible to get around the country for free. In cities, skip public transport if the weather is good, and get around the Danish way – by bike! If you are planning on sightseeing a lot, renting a bike will be cheaper than bus tickets or taxi fares.

    Accommodation

    Thanks to the Right of Access, camping is a great option for backpackers in Scandinavian countries, but since Denmark is so small and densely populated you won’t be allowed to camp wherever you want. However, there are over 500 designated camping grounds scattered over the country, as well as several hostel chains that are perfect for the needs of backpackers.

    Danhostel operates almost a hundred hostels throughout Denmark, and Copenhagen and Aarhus have several independent hostels too. Another great way to find cheap lodgings in Denmark is through hospitality exchanges, either house-sitting or swapping if you plan on staying longer, or couch-surfing, which is increasingly popular with the Danes.

    Food

    Copenhagen, photo by Jim G on Flickr

    Denmark is a gourmet dream come true, but the delicious dishes served in restaurants don’t come cheap. As a backpacker on a limited budget, you can eat the way budget-conscious local gourmets do: on the street! Mobile street food is all the rage in the big cities, and you can get even affordable and yummy seafood dishes from the back of a moped.

    If you want to try the national cuisine, you can hit the small shops serving smørrebrød open sandwiches for less than 30 kroners. If you’re just looking to fill your tunny without having to sniff out little known local places, then you can get a quick meal at the ubiquitous stands selling pizza by the slice, hot sandwiches and kebab.

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