Some people try to see Copenhagen in a day, squeezing in as many canals, cafés and Carlsbergs as possible. But to really get to know the Danish capital you’re going to need somewhere to sleep. Trouble is, accommodation is expensive – especially if you’re staying in a hotel or renting a place through Airbnb.
Luckily, Copenhagen has one of northern Europe’s coolest, quirkiest and most sophisticated hosteling scenes, with slick modern digs offering comfy doubles and dorms for a fraction of the cost of regular hotel rooms. There are around a dozen cheap hostels to choose from in the city centre alone, ranging from simple pads with self-catering kitchens to sophisticated, resort-style places with their own bars and saunas. You don’t have to be a backpacker enjoy cheap sleeps in Copenhagen.
Not all of the city’s hostels are created equally, though. Use our guide to book the perfect hostel for your trip, whether you’re up for peaceful sleeps or all-night parties. This handy map will help you find your way.
Urban House Copenhagen
Late-night DJs, a pool table, a huge bar serving cheap beer, and even a proper tattoo shop – what more do you need to have fun with your new-found travel buddies in Copenhagen?
This vast, well-run place is more like a giant hotel than a hostel, pulling in party-hungry tourists from all around the world. It’s in Vesterbro, the city’s increasingly gentrified red light district, and is just a block away from Copenhagen’s main train station – ideal if you’re arriving by rail.
Rooms come in lots of shapes and sizes, from compact singles, twins and doubles, right up to cramped but sociable 12-bed dorms. All of them have free wifi and en-suite bathrooms. Dorms have lockers for stashing your valuables in, but you’ll need to bring your own padlock or buy one at reception.
Other good reasons for staying at Urban House: bike rental is available, there’s a self-catering kitchen and there are reasonably priced long-term storage lockers for those awkward days when you’ve got to check out of your room and don’t want to be carting your stuff around town all day.
We can’t write about this place without mentioning the ‘hangover room’. It’s chock-full of squidgy cushions and makes a good place to recover after long nights in the bar. Or at least that’s what we’ve heard.
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Another of Copenhagen’s mega hostels, Generator is easily one of the city’s best budget places to stay. Modern, colourful and as fresh as a daisy, it’s got a great bar area complete with a couple of lazy hammocks, a terrace and a proper full-size pétanque court. These public spaces are all gloriously well designed, with the kind of cool Danish furnishings that’ll trick you into thinking you’ve stumbled into a much more expensive hotel.
The mixed-sex and female-only rooms are best for those travelling on a tight budget, with lockers, metal bunks and big, wall-spanning mirrors, as well as en-suite bathrooms. For a more peaceful stay, go for one of the private twins or doubles – the most expensive ones come with desks, which might be handy if you’re here on business. Family rooms are also available; just bear in mind that there are nightly events in the bar, from pool tournaments to live bands.
The calendar at Copenhagen Downtown is jam-packed with free things to do, making this one of the most lively and sociable hostels in town. It attracts the youngest crowd of any hostel we visited in the city, with plenty of guests on gap years. Location-wise, it’s hard to beat: Copenhagen’s main shopping street, Strøget, is a three-minute walk away.
There are themed parties on Saturdays, and there’s some kind of live music every night. Other freebies include film screenings on Sunday afternoons, nightly dinners in the basement bar, walking tours and free iPad rental. Most people hang out in the ground-floor bar or on the terrace out front, which overlooks a little square.
Rooms range from two-bed affairs with their own bathrooms to mixed-sex 10-bed dorms with shared facilities. There’s a kitchen here as well, but it’s a bit on the small side. You probably won’t need it in the mornings, anyway; the all-you-can-eat breakfast is a steal at 65 DKK.
This quirky, half-timbered hostel has a cracking location. It’s set in a quiet courtyard just steps from Nyhavn’s waterfront restaurants, making it a great choice for foodies who want to get a decent night’s sleep and still have plenty of pennies left over for tasty eats and drinks.
The hostel occupies a lovely mustard-coloured warehouse from the 18th century and has a cosy downstairs bar, along with a little courtyard terrace for when the weather gets warm. It’s not nearly as party-focused as some of the other hostels we’ve listed here, but there are still some sociable events to get involved with (pizza night, anyone?).
Dorms are as characterful as the building itself, so your comfort level will depend a bit on where in the warren of rooms and corridors you end up – some of the open-plan dorms have big wooden beams running right through them.
A nice touch is that all the bunk beds at Bedwood Hostel have curtains for added privacy. If you want to avoid sharing with strangers completely, you can check into one of the hostel’s two double rooms.
Sleep in Heaven
If you’re looking to stay in a quiet part of town without too many tourists but still like the idea of being within pedalling distance of the main sights, Sleep in Heaven is worth checking out. Surrounded by redbrick buildings in Nørrebro, it’s close to a couple of parks, and there are a few cheap restaurants on the surrounding streets.
Inside the hostel you’ll find a big, airy lobby lounge with a bar and a pool table. You can grab a super-cheap breakfast here (muesli is just 15 DKK) and although there isn’t a kitchen, you’re free to bring in takeaway food from outside. When summer arrives you can cool down in the hostel’s beer garden.
Dorms at Sleep in Heaven are pretty basic, with free wifi and classic-style bunk beds. Female-only dorms are available, as are private rooms sleeping up to three people at a time. Note that age limits are in place here (16–35 for the dorms and up to 45 years old for the private rooms).
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN COPENHAGENMORE TOURS
For travellers on a skinnier-than-usual budget, Copenhagen Backpackers is a good central option with some of the cheapest room rates in town.
There’s no kitchen and the dorms here are about as basic as you’ll find in Copenhagen, but there is a nice, sociable lobby area with wooden bench seats. The whole place is also clean and colourful, and it has friendly, helpful staff.
Perhaps the best thing about this hostel is the location; it’s about as near as you can get to the station without trespassing on the tracks. If you rent a bike you can keep it safely stashed away in the hostel’s courtyard, too. There aren’t any private rooms.
Danhostel Copenhagen City
Set in a big grey tower block, this YHA-run place isn’t as lively or as stylish as some of the other hostels in Copenhagen, but it still has reasonable rooms and dorms. It’s a decent choice if the other places listed here are fully booked. There’s a modern bar on the ground floor, and some of the rooms on higher floors have good views over the city.
All of the dorms and rooms at Danhostel have en-suite bathrooms but bedsheets aren’t included in the rate, so either bring your own or pay to rent a set from reception. Other amenities include a guest kitchen, a ping-pong table, vending machines, and easy parking for bikes (there are spaces right outside the door). A free walking tour leaves from the lobby at 10.15am each day.
H.C. Andersens Boulevard 50