By far the most difficult part of being a student in Copenhagen is being able to budget.
Everywhere you turn, prices for most things are (most likely) more expensive than they were in your home country. While Copenhagen is known for having incredible food and restaurants, it’s not price-savvy to eat out every day of the week- even though we would all like to. You’ll soon find that you will rely on groceries for about 90% of your food.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common grocery stores in Copenhagen.
Netto is a staple grocery store for any student in Copenhagen and a favorite among all students here.
While the stores are usually pretty small, Netto has a decent selection. It makes up for it’s size by offering by far the cheapest groceries in Copenhagen. If you’re looking for basic ingredients then Netto is the place to go. They’re on most street corners, so you won’t have to search long and hard for one of these gems. If you spend most of your food money here, then I guarantee that you’ll have some leftover for all of the nice restaurants in Copenhagen.
Fakta is a pretty normal and sensible choice. No one really seems so have a strong opinion about Fakta. When I ask my peers and roommates, they just kind of shrug and claim that it’s fine. I myself have shopped at Fakta and it’s about the same size as Netto except slightly more expensive.
The one thing that does give Fakta an edge is the variety of grab and go food. There is a large selection of pre-made salads, sandwiches, and small meals available. While I wouldn’t recommend doing all of your grocery shopping at Fakta, it’s a good choice if you’re in town and need a quick bite to eat but don’t want to spend a large amount of money.
Bilka is the ultimate shopping location, however it’s not always convenient.
Located in Field’s, a shopping mall in Ørestad, Bilka is a grocery store that is about the size of a small European country. Unless you live in Ørestad or Vestamager, it will take a metro ride to get there, but it is worth it for a big grocery haul.
Here you can find clothing, outdoor equipment, office supplies, electronics, and of course a massive selection of food. In addition to the vast selection, Bilka always seems to have a sale every week. Each sale has a different theme but you can count on something you plan on buying being on sale. Let’s say you need cheese. You like a certain brand of cheddar but the other brand is on sale. This is Bilka, where as long as you’re slightly flexible, you will be able to save a ton of money on your groceries.
Students, stay far away from Irma!
Unless you can spend heaps of money, this grocery store is not for you. With high-end and organic food, the prices here are insane. I know a few of my friends who did not know this and shopped at Irma for their first Danish grocery experience and they were shocked when they received their receipt. If you need some kind of fancy spice or ingredient, then you should probably check Irma.
Otherwise, stay away if you want you wallet to still be intact when you leave Denmark.
Hope this grocery guide help all current and future Copenhagen grocery shoppers!