Copenhagen was the only city in Denmark that we visited. It turned out to be a place filled with many wonderful gardens, as well as a safe heaven for people on a budget, who weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and open a trash bin or two. However, we have some bad news for couchsurfers.
We had a lot of trouble finding a host in Copenhagen. Either people had a full house already or they were not responding to our messages. We thankfully found one guy who accepted our last-minute request and saved us from spending the nights on the streets. He lived in a very, very tiny apartment with one room that worked as a bedroom, living room and kitchen, and he was kind enough to share it with the 3 of us. The thought that this guy was so genuine that he decided to let us sleep in his house even though he didn’t have much to offer himself was truly heartwarming. During our second day there, he had to leave to a different city for few days, but he let us stay at his place anyway, and he gave his bed away to yet another couchsurfer in need – a nice girl from Morocco; So we shared the apartment with her at that time and we really appreciate our host for being so kind ❤
Our first experience with Copenhagen started in the city center where we wandered around and admired beautiful buildings, such as the Town Hall. Since it was also the time of the Pride, there were many events going on in the City Hall Square, but we will say more about that in our next post about the Copenhagen Pride.
The city itself has a great atmosphere. It proved to be fun, quirky, hipster and perfect for young people. As usual, we decided to mostly chill and not rush anything. That’s why we weren’t running from one tourist attraction to another and spent most of our time in amazing gardens, instead. There are so many of them in Copenhagen and every single one we visited was great.
One of the first ones that we had the chance to see was Ørstedsparken. It is quite small but with a charming atmosphere and a big lake in the middle. Since it’s so close to the city center, it’s a great place to take a break in.
After that, we visited King’s Gardens (Rosenborg Gardens) which are huge! They are the oldest royal gardens in Denmark and are amazing to visit during late spring or summer since you can see spectacular flowerbeds there at the time. There is also a small rose garden and many sculptures. The Rosenborg Castle itself is also beautiful and nice to look at.
During our time in Copenhagen, we also went to see Christansborg Palace. It is a place where the Danish Parliament or the Supreme Court is placed. Some parts of it are being used by the Royal Family as well. We didn’t go inside since you have to pay for the entrance- and we were on a budget- but there is one great free attraction there- The Tower. It is the highest tower in Copenhagen and you can go to the very top of it completely free of charge. From there, you can enjoy the amazing view of the entire city and actual holographic pigeons, as weird as that sounds.
When we were taking a small break we decided to try busking, like we usually do. We unfortunately had a pretty big competition- there was a guy playing music, another one making giant bubbles and another one dancing while dressed in a fancy outfit. We figured out it will be way more difficult than normally, and we weren’t wrong. Copenhagen turned out to be a bad place to busk for us personally – even after some of the other buskers left, we still had trouble earning any money. People weren’t really interested in us, or pretended not to see us at all. We knew we had to come up with something else if we wanted to earn any money.
After a while, we finally figured out the best way to survive in Copenhagen: we started to collect plastic or glass bottles and cans to recycle them for money. You can return them in many supermarkets who have the special machines to do so. A neat trick we learned, considering many tourists don’t know about it, and simply throw their bottles away instead of cashing them in, wasting quite a lot of money. At first, we were only picking up the ones laying on the ground but after some time we had to roll up our sleeves -literally and figuratively – and started picking up the ones in the trash cans as well. It sounds silly and you might think that the money isn’t worth it, since you get so little of it, but that’s actually not true at all. When we arrived in Denmark we only had Euros, and no Krones. After collecting the bottles, we had A LOT of money. So much, in fact, that we even bought chocolate and other sweets and we had quite a lot of food ready to take with us to Sweden. Selling bottles is amazing, many people do it, and it really is a pity that it is not popular in all countries. We would certainly like to do it Poland if we could.
When we were sightseeing, we also had the chance to see the Botanical Garden. Botanical Garden in Copenhagen is free of charge and is simply amazing! There many, many various plants to see outside, along with beautiful lakes and ponds. There is also a lot of greenhouses with the biggest one being the Palm House. Before you go, remember to check opening times of those smaller greenhouses since they are usually open only for a very short time and only a few times a week – When we were there it was closed, so we unfortunately didn’t have the pleasure to see them from the inside, which was disappointing because we love succulents and cacti quite a lot : <. Thankfully, the Palm House made it up to us! You can enjoy many tropical species of plants there and there are cute white stairs that lead all the way to the top so you can see it from above! We definitely recommend this place to everyone!
When it comes to dumpster-diving, Copenhagen was incredible! We found lots and lots of food there and even had one supermarket with open dumpsters close to our host’s place. Every time we went there, we found massive amounts of food! Once, Dominika got Aleks a bouquet of white roses and a box of still good chocolate. It’s might not sound very romantic since it was found in trash but well… beggars can’t be choosers, and it was still a sweet gift! Another time we found tons of cartons of milk. Literally a bin full of cartons. Most of it wasn’t even expired – it was perfectly fine and we still have no idea why was it all thrown away. As we also found some corn flakes, we had the pleasure to eat them with milk for breakfasts, along with sandwiches with radish and cucumber.
Since we had so much free food, on our last day we decided to give it away to people. We went to the nearest shop, gave the person working there a piece of cardboard and asked if they can write “free food. take it if you need” on it. They thankfully agreed and we had our sign ready. We placed a few cartons of milk, apples, carrots, and other food inside a box, and placed it on the street near a church, with our sign. After a few hours almost everything was gone. It probably made someone in need very happy – at least we hope so! It is sad to think that someone on that street goes hungry, when there is a place filled with free food right around the corner, but people either don’t know about it, or are too ashamed to get their food from bins. But we are still happy that we didn’t waste the food and that someone else could benefit from it!
Copenhagen is a great city and we loved it a lot! It’s beautiful, with many astonishing parks where you can lay on the grass and relax. It’s also perfect for people who live on a small budget, since it’s very easy to dumpster dive there and you can easily earn some money by collecting bottles. We would love to come back there if we had the opportunity in the future!
We also were there at the time The Pride was taking place, so if you’re interested about how that went, be sure to check out our next post!