Cool Copenhagen: Counting the krone

As ever on these budget weekends, we'opted for a free stay at a kind stranger's place

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The Independent Travel

My third weekend away with just £100 to spend including flights took me to Copenhagen. The trip began with a frantic 4am sprint through east London as I realised too late that the Luton Easybus (£12.20 return; easybus.co.uk) departs from a different stop to its Stansted equivalent. Fortunately, Easybus allows an hour's leeway on ticket use, so my friend and I made it with time for a coffee (99p) before boarding (Ryanair, £35.98; 0871 246 0000; ryanair.com).

We rode the Danish capital's chic metro to Central Station (DKK36/ £3.48), cruised the independent galleries that line pedestrianised Stroget, then carried coffee and pastries from Holms Bager in Ostergade (00 45 33 14 40 02, DKK45/£4.35) to the waterside plaza outside the Royal Danish Playhouse.

We followed the river as far as Edvard Eriksen's Little Mermaid statue then looped back through the star-shaped, 17th-century fortress, Kastellet, where we ate a packed lunch from home. We ducked into the cool interior of the Marble Church (free) then ended with a cold Carlsberg (DKK30/£2.90) at a stall in Gammeltorv square.

As ever on these budget weekends, we'd opted for a free stay at a kind stranger's place, via Couchsurfing (couchsurfing.com). In suburban Fasanvej, we crowded into our host Geoffroy's kitchen to cook (ingredients from Netto; DKK56/£5.41) then – exhausted – passed on an invitation to go out in the busy meatpacking district.

On Sunday morning we took the underground to Norreport Station (DKK24, £2.32) to browse the food stalls at Torvehallerne market (torvehallernekbh.dk). We bought espresso and buns (DKK50/£4.83) to eat in the grounds of nearby Rosenburg Castle. Drizzle drove us into the National Museum (00 45 33 13 44 11; en.natmus.dk; free) which spans the millennia between runestones and Lego.

We crossed the river to Freetown Christiania, Copenhagen's self-governing commune, and found community café Morgenstedet (morgenstedet.dk). Enormous vegan tortillas set us back DKK90 (£8.69), leaving enough money for a pilgrimage to Mikkeller, the beer bar run by the Danish artisan brewer of the same name (00 45 33 31 04 15). I'd been told to remortgage before visiting, but found an elegant half of strong IPA for DKK35 (£3.38). We then joined Geoffroy at his local Italian, Ristorante da Claudio (00 45 38 87 26 16) for pizza (DKK89/£8.60) amid its flickering candles. On Monday at 4.30am we found ourselves back on the underground to the airport (DKK36/£3.48), in time for a final coffee bought with our last few krone (joejuice.com; DKK26/£2.51). Total spent: £99.12.

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