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Food and incidental expenses in Copenhagen on a student budget?

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I'm going to be spending about three weeks total in Copenhagen this spring (March 13-24 and then May 12 - June 3). I'm staying with some family friends in the city while I am there so all of my lodging expenses are covered. I'm going to give myself a tentative per diem of $45 because this is supposed to be a research trip for a thesis paper, not a vacation per se.

What can I expect to get out of that? Am I going to be able to pay for public transportation around Copenhagen and still be able to see some museums and entertain myself? I take it that my food options are relegated to grocery stores and food carts?

I've been reading reports of $30 dollar hamburgers and I'm starting to doubt the feasibility of my budget...

Also, any tips general tips for a single 23 year old female traveling solo in Scandinavia would be very much appreciated.

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    Two good bargain meal options include smørrebrød and pølser. Smørrebrød are a 300-year-old tradition in Denmark. Open-faced smørrebrød sandwiches usually cost around DKK10 (€1.50) per sandwich. They are very tasty, tiny treats. Locals usually order three smørrebrød a time.

    Another local food tradition is hot dogs, or pølser, which are sold at sausage wagons, or pølsevogn. The local hot dogs are the perfect bargain fast food, cheap and delicious. There's even a special word for gossiping, "pølsesnak," which translates as "sausage talk."

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    Your budget sounds fine and especially since you don't have to pay housing.

    I lived in Copenhagen during the summers, up to 11-weeks straight, and almost annually for 20 years and was always on a tight budget. This was especially back in the 70s and 80s, but we all survived on our tight, student and post-student budgets. Danmark was also expensive back then. I've been there in all of the decades from the 1970s to the 2000s.

    There are student restaurants that provide meals at a lower cost. There was/is one next to the Round Tower in Copenhagen. I believe it was still there when I was last there in 2009. I think I walked past it. Danish friends used to eat there. I remember the place from way back in my day. So, if you're connected to a university, then look into student restaurants.

    And students always know where to eat cheaply. We ate at inexpensive places back then and just stayed out of the more expensive ones. We were very flexible. So, ask around.

    We also ate a lot at very small Chinese take outs, usually located a bit in the suburbs. Now, there are Thai take outs. But, we all had bikes and just biked out to other areas. It saves money on transportation and it's very easy to bike in Copenhagen as there are separate bike lanes and bike-lane traffic lights.

    The public transportation is very good and not expensive. The S-tog (S-train) runs regularly as do the buses.

    There's also the department store cafes/cafeterias that I frequented. I used to eat at the cafe/cafeteria, on the upper level of Magazin department store in Copenhagen. It was good for a quick bite as I would buy some sandwich halves.

    One restaurant that I've been regularly eating at since it opened in the 80s is RizRaz. It's a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant in the center of Copenhagen. There are two locations, but I've always eaten at the one in Kompanistræde 20. I love the eat-all-you-want buffet there.

    I last ate at Riz Raz several times, both alone and with Danish friends, in 2009. It's in Danish, but you can click around to see what's offered. It's a good place to be able to really have a filling meal. I usually eat lunch there and then don't need to eat a regular dinner later. Caution...if you drink the tap water that's on the table, they charge you for it. The first time this happened to me was in 2009, I think. Before I hadn't been charged for tap water. And I only drank about half a glass of water and then the a charge popped up on my bill for a large carafe of tap water.

    Plus, since you're staying with people, there's always the option of making your lunch and taking it with you. We did that a lot. I lived in Otto Mønsteds Kollegium, for a good 10 years of trips, and had a kitchen. Then, when I moved out of the kollegium and was back with staying with friends, I would also make my lunch from time to time, and take it with me. I would also have a thermos along to store a hot beverage which is much cheaper than buying one. Maybe pack a few plastic lunch containers or buy a couple in Copenhagen as they have some nice ones. Have fun. Happy Travels!

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