Accommodation: To be quite honest, I booked this hostel a few weeks before leaving, but it was pretty cheap (cheap is relative in Denmark), close to everything and had good reviews. Looking back, I would highly recommend the Copenhagen Downtown Hostel. The crowd staying there was really social, so whether it was meeting people staying in your room or down at the bar, striking up a conversation came easily.
Another great feature of this hostel was that the bar inside stayed open till 5 a.m. and offered some pretty great happy hour specials (but when they say happy hour, they literally mean 1 hour). The other travelers, friendly staff and fun bar scene definitely made up for any lacking amenities.
Restaurants/Food: Copenhagen is probably the most expensive place I’ve ever been (this might include Australia too). A latte will cost you $7. Want to find something more budget friendly? My recommendation is finding street food. There are hot dog stands pretty much lining the streets, and even though it will still cost you around $6, it's by far your most budget friendly option and a great way to try something local (and tasty).
Most of the restaurants were going to cost you somewhere around $20 for a meal, so we didn't go to many, but one place I would check out is the Gasoline Grill. It doesn't seem like much to look at, and I'd never heard of it (maybe because I hadn't done a ton of research), but it's actually been named one of the best burger places in the world. It' a bit like a Danish version of In-n-Out...one of those iconic places you just have to make a stop at whenever you're in the city. The only difference? It's located in what used to be a store off a gas station and still has a working gas pump in the parking lot.
I decided to just blow the budget a little bit (I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to eat) since I was only there for a few days, but my best tip if you are looking to stick to a backpacker’s budget is to cook for yourself.
Free Things To Do: Copenhagen is an expensive city, but there are a few things that you can do for free. I like to spend some time in each city I visit just getting lost because it's usually when I stumble on cool things. This is how I found the Christiansborg Palace located right down the street from my hostel. Take a stroll along the water and check out the palace.
Then, get ready to burn off all the hot dogs and beer you've been consuming with a nice, long walk to the Little Mermaid statue. To be honest, it's a little underwhelming, but I'd read that in reviews before going (and it's kind of an iconic Copenhagen thing), so I was prepared. As you head that way, there's plenty of things to stop and see, like the colorful, canal-side buildings on Nyhavn that appear in every picture. There's lots of life around this area, but be warned that it's notorious for being extra pricey.
Copenhagen's food markets are up-and-coming, so check out the Torvehallerne, which includes over 60 stands selling just about everything. Take in the sights and the people and enjoy some local cuisine.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most churches are free to enter and look around and can offer some really beautiful architecture that you just don't find anywhere but in Europe.
Nightlife: We really only left our hostel bar once while in Copenhagen. We decided to trek out on Friday night to find some cool clubs, but quickly found out that Friday's and Saturday's out in Copenhagen were a bit out of our price range. For most of the big clubs, you can probably expect between $10-20 cover plus overpriced drinks once inside. Your best bet is to check out the big clubs on a Thursday if you're around.
That's how we found the Drunken Flamingo, which was conveniently located right down the street from our hostel. For about $10, you got entry to the club, a free drink (it is a pre-determined drink) and either a free coat check or a shot (wish we would have known that because we just ended up leaving with a whole bunch of coat check poker chips). We played some beer pong/listened to some music, but it definitely was a little more low-key compared to the rest of the bars.
Attractions: Head to the Round Tower for a 360 view of Copenhagen. For about $5, you can get a workout climbing up the tower and taking in a nice view from the top. For about the same price (with your student ID, so bring one or dig it out if you still have it), you can take in the Botanical gardens. I'm not sure exactly why they call it the Botanical "Gardens" because everything I saw was in a temperature controlled indoor space, but it was really cool to walk around and take it all in. Once you're done inside, take a walk around the park outside because it's equally as nice, especially in warm weather.
The last thing I would recommend is doing a day trip to Malmo, Sweden. It's about an hour and a half bus ride and costs maybe $25 max round trip. Malmo was the cheaper and smaller version of Copenhagen. I pretty much just walked around the main area and took in the sites and people, which were beautiful, but there are a few cool things to see if you have the time. Unfortunately, I had to get back to catch my plane to Germany, but I would highly suggest planning to spend most of the day in this beautiful city getting another taste of European life.