When you move to Copenhagen, one of the first things you get to hear is that everything in Copenhagen is expensive. Those that say so are probably right, but then, there is no rule that is general. Expensive isn’t really a word that will resonate well with someone on a student budget, so the question then is; how do you circumvent this? Don’t despair yet! Living in Copenhagen doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. That is why you need to read this.
There are number of places where you can get really good deals in Copenhagen depending on what you want to buy. As a student trying to settle into life in Copenhagen, there are probably a few things you want to buy from the start, so here goes:
It goes without saying, that one of the first things you want to figure out once you are in Copenhagen is how to move around. You might already know that the easiest way to do so is by biking. However, getting a bike at a decent price could be a daunting task. The good news is, there are reliable and cheap avenues to acquire one.
- DBA: DBA is actually a website where all forms of items for sale in Denmark are advertised. It is one platform through which you can sell or buy almost anything. All you need to do as a prospective buyer is to go to the website and type what you want to buy in the search field. In this case, that will be a bike. You can limit your search to a particular geographical area and set the price range you are looking to buy for. The cool thing is that you don’t need to pay online and you get the contact of the seller there on the ad page. This makes it easy for you to arrange a meeting and inspect the bike. However, it is your responsibility to make sure you do not buy a stolen bike. It is not only bikes that you can get on DBA though, so, the website is definitely one that you will want to have saved in your bookmarks.
- Lauritz: This is one that not too many people are aware of. This website is actually one good place to purchase bikes for lots of reasons. Personally, I have only good things to say about Lauritz, as I got my bike there at a very cheap price. The used bikes that are sold on this site are actually ones which the police want to sell, so it’s a very safe place to get a bike, as you definitely will not run the risk of buying a stolen bike. You simply get on the site and type bicycle in the search box, then you will see all the available bicycles. How it works with this website is that the bikes are sold through a bidding process. Do not be alarmed, just because it is an auction doesn’t necessarily mean the bikes will be costly as many of the bikes go for less than a cumulative sum of DKK 800 (with few defects though). The bikes are cheap but usually, they also have some little defect or the other and these can range from rusted screws and chains to defective gears and brakes but it’s nothing expensive to fix. For example, you can get a very good quality bike for DKK 540 and spend around DKK200 extra to fix the gear, the brakes or a flat tyre. That’s still a very good deal considering that you will get a receipt in your name and not run the risk of having a stolen bike. Here are some tips if you want to purchase a bike on Lauritz. Seeing as the bikes are sold via an auction, there is always a set time when bidding for different bikes closes. What you want to do is to wait until a few minutes before the end of the auction before placing your bid. This is because that way, you can already assess the level of interest in the bike and significantly increase your chances of being the highest bidder. Also, I will recommend you go for the ‘female’ bikes because they are mostly without defects and they tend to go for much cheaper. You should also note that you need to create an account (free) on the site before you can place a bid for a bike and that online payment is the only accepted form of payment. However, you have until three days after you have won the bid to actually make payment and it is totally a good option anyhow you look at it.
- Facebook Groups: This is another cheap avenue to purchase a bike; however, you also have the responsibility to make sure you aren’t buying stolen property. Facebook is especially advantageous in that, most students who plan to leave Copenhagen imminently do advertise their bikes there, as it is the easiest option. All you need do is join any or (if you are desperate) many of the bicycle related groups, check the ads and arrange a meeting with the prospective sellers via private message. You can also just simply place an ad that you are looking for a bike and you get offers from people looking to sell.
There is a saying in Denmark that, ‘there is no bad weather, only bad clothing’. This singular statement gives you an instant picture of the importance of being well stocked in the clothing department for all forms of weather. In the case of dear Copenhagen, what you might need is a good stock on water-proof clothes as it seems to rain almost all the time. It’s also very quite windy, so adding some extra warm clothes won’t be a bad idea. You can conveniently and inexpensively do this in the following ways.
- Flea Markets: These are probably the best places to buy cheap clothes in Copenhagen. Almost every weekend, there is a flea market going on in one part of the town or another. Very frequently, Studenterhuset hosts a flea market and that’s one good place to make bargain purchases. Also, there are frequent flea markets at different kollegiums, at Paper Island and major parts of the city such as Frederiksberg, Island Brygge etc. Many of these flea markets are advertised as events on Facebook, so it’s a good idea to start your search from there. In my experience, most flea markets tend to have more items for females, so, for the ladies, you really will have a lot to choose from and better still, prices are very cheap. However, the quality of stuff varies a lot. You could get really good and relatively new clothe items and you could also get some crappy ones, so it’s a taste of both worlds.
- Red Cross Stores: The Red Cross (Røde Kors) has several stores all around town (around 230 around Denmark in total) where they sell clothes and other items for very reasonable prices. These clothes are actually donations that they convert to cash by selling and so, it’s more like killing two birds with one stone, when you patronize a REDCROSS store because you indirectly help to raise funds for humanitarian aid and also get cheap clothes for yourself. Another plus is that these clothes are almost new and still of good quality so it’s a win-win situation.
- Relatively cheap stores: Just in case you feel the above mentioned options do not particularly suit you, you could always patronize other reasonably priced stores in town. The H&M stores around Copenhagen provide very good clothes at relatively good prices but also make sure to find out when items are on clear-out sale, so you can get even better deals. Other options are Føtex stores and Bilka, they offer good prices on clothing items and as usual, the prices even get better when stuff are on offer.
Even if you don’t need to buy anything in Copenhagen, you sure need to get groceries from time to time. Initially, it might not seem like it but the costs of your groceries do add up over the course of the month, so cheap grocery stores might just be the thing for you. The stores with the cheapest prices are Lidl, Aldi and Neto. I have shopped in these stores and can say that you probably won’t get better discounts than you will get at those.
Apart from shopping in the stores, you could take the bolder option of dumpster diving. You might be surprised that many students get a large portion of their groceries through this avenue. If dumpster diving has never been your thing, then Copenhagen is the right place to explore. It is legal, you get to prevent wastage and most importantly, get free groceries. Best deal you could get!!
Electronics and Hardware
Arriving in a new town might mean that you need to get some new plugs, sockets or electronics for your room. This isn’t necessarily the cheapest thing to do but as far as electronics and hardware go in Copenhagen, the places you want to check out are Silvan and Elgiganten. Also, remember to use Google translate to open the website as it is in Danish. You also need to know that you could get better deals for almost the same quality by using DBA, as there is almost nothing you cannot get off DBA in Denmark.
So, when next you think about getting something for a good price, you know where to go. Copenhagen can be as inexpensive as you want; you just need to know where to look!