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Copenhagen: Can a family of four have a city break for under £1,000?

Simon Calder’s Travel

Denmark’s pretty, pristine capital has lots to entertain younger visitors, but a break in Copenhagen usually comes at a hefty price. One report from 2023 pegged the home of hygge among the 10 most expensive cities in the world; another found that the average spent on a city break anywhere in Europe is almost £1,000 per person.

Sensing a challenge, I set out with my wife, Anna, and children, Heidi (nine) and Barnaby (five), to see if we could enjoy a 48-hour stomp around Copenhagen for under £1,000 between us.

Waterfront Reffen is now a trendy hotspot with independent food stalls (Visit Copenhagen)

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Day one

Flights were the first expense, and with forward planning we secured affordable returns with Ryanair for £180. We played the ‘local grandparents’ card for free rides to and from Stansted, and packed sandwiches to tuck into as we waited to board. So far, so cheap.

We also front-loaded our adventure by buying a set of Copenhagen Cards. An adult’s 48-hour card (£86 each) gives unlimited public transport across the city plus free entry to over 80 attractions around the capital. Children under 11 get a free card with an adult’s purchase.

For accommodation, we settled on the Generator hostel (£256 for two nights, family room). On arrival, we headed straight for its game-heavy bar area. Alongside table football, air hockey and pool, there was shuffleboard (£13), with which the kids instantly became obsessed.

Shuffleboard at Generator’s Copenhagen hostel (Dom Tulett)

The fierce competition fired appetites. We shared a late plate of nachos (£11) from a menu full of bar favourites, before heading to our room. Generator’s spacious family rooms are more hotel than hostel, with an en-suite bathroom plus television and comfortable beds.

Daily spend = £632

Day two

Despite the kids’ pleas to spend the day at the shuffleboard tables, we set out to explore, starting at St Peter’s Bakery for breakfast (£37). The oldest bakery in Copenhagen, St Peter’s has been spoiling visitors with sweet and savoury treats since 1652.

Fizzing with sugar-boosted energy, we decided to Solve A Mystery (Copenhagen Card), a follow-the-geographical-clues whodunnit game based around a true-crime case from 1899. This child-friendly piece of Scandi noir served as a fascinating DIY tour of one of the oldest parts of the…

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