Budapest to Belgrade Night Train

I had a weekend off from work and thought I would head to Belgrade as I had heard some great things and was intrigued by this city that has belonged to numerous countries in the past century.

The easiest option from Budapest was to take a train and to save some money on accommodation I decided to take the night train.

After looking at some blog posts and forums about the night train, I was slightly nervous about the whole idea. The posts ranged from “infamous night train experience” to “avoid avoid avoid” and theft seemed to be a recurring theme. However, it was 26EUR for a return ticket and I thought it’d see for myself what all the fuss was about…

My experience was not like any of those that I had read. Those stories were either highly exaggerated or untrue. The train was super comfortable, albeit a tad slow but there was everything I needed – including power points to charge my phone! For the first 30 minutes or so, I was on edge looking for the “thiefs” I had heard about, however it was clear everyone was purely on the train for the same reason as I was. I sat next to a really friendly Hungarian and across from me were some old Serbian ladies who spent some time drinking Palinka (Hungarian national drink) and giggling about the stories they must have been sharing. Crossing at the border was very simple – show your passport and travel documents and you’ll be on your way. After drifting in and out of sleep for most of the night, I woke at around 5am to the most incredible sunrise, it really was special. An hour later I found myself in the Serbian capital ready to start the weekend.

I would urge you not to believe every bad story you read on the internet and actually live the experience for yourself before making your mind up. As I said, the night train was a great experience and one I would do again.

The price for a single ticket is 15EUR or you can buy and open return for 26EUR.

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View over the Sava River, Belgrade.

Winter in Alicante

Alicante in the Costa Blanca, Spain is a vibrant little town with heaps to do. I found a return flight with Ryanair for a total of 17 pounds just before christmas and couldn’t help myself. I stayed at X Hostel and it was amazing. Check out this video montage I made of my time there!!

Amsterdam. Booze, bikes and being baked.

I went to Amsterdam for the second time with a few mates after I decided to book a ticket when I was drunk – always a good idea. Amsterdam has a lot to offer and this post aims to highlight that stuff as well as talking a bit about smoking doobies and licking boobies.

The first thing you’ll have to worry about is accommodation which is usually your biggest expense – or if you’re a lucky bastard like me, you’re mates will let you stay with them for free. Yass. If you’re alone, I’d definitely recommend booking a hostel because not only are they cheap but they’re full of like-minded travelers who will want to be your pal. Everybody wins. I’d recommend staying at either St Christopher’s at the Winston or The Flying Pig. They both boast an amazing atmosphere with a cool crowd so you’ll be sure to have a good time! However, if there’s more than two of you then maybe stay in an apartment and save yourself a few pennies that can go towards alcohol and other pleasurable “activities”. Check out airbnb who have endless apartments at a price to suit your budget.

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The Flying Pig Downtown hostel has a cool bar and it’s own smoking room. 

People always ask what is there to do in Amsterdam? Aside from the really obvious “get pissed, get high and shag a prozzy”, there’s heaps to do!

During the day I’d recommend doing what’s considered the “boring” stuff such as visiting the museums and getting your picture took with the infamous Iamsterdam sign. The Heineken Experience was one of my favourite places in Amsterdam, not only did I get three beers at the end but I found out a lot about what makes a good beer and why apparently Heineken is the best. Now, you’ve probably all heard about Anne Frank Museum and how you must go but to be honest, I gave it a miss both times I’ve been in Amsterdam. The first time I tried to go the queue was too long and the second, I was too hungover. However, I’ve heard it’s worth a visit so head to their website to find out more if you’re interested.

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The Heineken Experience, definitely worth the money!!

Amsterdam is packed with shit to get up to at night. From the famous Red Light District to the Leidseplein, there’s always something going on. The first few nights, we hung around the Red Light District. There’s heaps of bars and coffee shops and many a place to get your fix. Head to  For cheap pre-rolled joints head to Stone’s Cafe on Warmoesstraat – there’s many to choose from but beware this shit is strong, well at least for an amateur like myself. By the end of my first joint I thought I was genuinely on the Hogwart’s Express with Ginger Ron and Harry. Nonetheless, a good experience.

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Are we cool yet?? #amsterdamn

For a good night head to Leidseplein which is crawling with bars and clubs. We went into the first place we saw, not the best of places but “Club Nasty” still gives me and my friends a good chuckle to this day.

If it’s a quieter night you’re after then try Cafe Brecht, a German bar/cafe that offers good Deutschland beer for as little as 3euros. I was on a different flights from my friends so spent the most part of my first day here running up a tab. We returned later in the weekend and had some food too which was pretty good. The tortilla wraps are recommended by my mate but not sure if they were actually good or it was just her appetite after a space cake.

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Cafe Brecht. Good food and beer. 8/10.

Amsterdam is bustling with things to do and I’m certain you’ll find something that you will enjoy. I was there for a holiday so spent around 280euros over 4 days but it probably could be done even cheaper.Have fun and be safe.

Follow me on instagram – @euroboyontour

Budapest for backpackers.

So, last week whilst I should have been studying for my exams my inner-backpacker surfaced and I went to Budapest for 6 days instead. Smart idea, I know.

Budapest is an amazing city with tonnes to offer.

Where to stay

Deciding where to stay is always a difficult choice, especially with Budapest since there are so many places (hostels in particular) with 9/10+ ratings. However, I would look no further than Carpe Noctem Original (OG for short) – in other words the best fucking hostel on the planet. I’ve stayed at many hostels but I’d say there’s only one other than I’ve been to that comes remotely close to this place. It feels like you’re staying at a mate’s place for a few days not at a hostel. The staff are so cool and become more like friends. It’s also extremely easy to meet, well actually impossible to not meet people. There’s a different activity every day and night and even “family dinner” in the evening. Do no more research and book this fucking hostel!!! (It’s cheap too)

Things to do

Budapest is full of stuff to get up to so you’ll never be bored. If you’re not too hungover during the day, head over to the Buda side of town and see the Castle, Palace and Fisherman’s Bastion. These are all sick sites and will get you all da insta likes you could wish for.

If you’re staying at a hostel and especially a party hostel like OG, expect to start drinking alcohol at around 7pm or earlier. Each night activities can range from ruin bar crawls to boat parties and Spa parties (SPARTY!!!). I’d recommend doing all of these activities if time permits as they are awesome as fuck. The boat party was 7500 HUF which included a bottle of champagne and SPARTY was 12000HUF which was just a cover fee. During the day though, the thermal baths are only 4700HUF.

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At a PARTY on a BOAT with a whole bottle of CHAMPAGNE and the coolest people. What’s not to love??

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Chill out at Szechenyi Thermal Baths during the day then go all out at the SPARTY in the evening (right through til 3am).

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Take a stroll up to Fisherman’s Bastion to cure your hangover.

Drink and Food

I never ate out at night mostly because my hostel offered “family dinner” (a meal cooked by staff) for 700HUF (cheap as fuckkkk).

One day for lunch me and a few friends I made at the hostel went to the no.1 restaurant in Budapest on tripadvisor. It was AMAZING. The place was called Comme Chez Soi and sold everything from steak to pizza. The service was absolutley amazing and we even got some free wine, sorbet and Italian liquor. For 4 people we paid around 22000HUF which for the no.1 restaurant in the city is a steal!

For drunk food, hit up one of the many many kebab stands around town and grab a kebab for as little as 500HUF!!

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Comme Chez Soi. No.1 rated on tripadvisor. Must check this place out.

Alcohol in Budapest is not expensive at all. We pre-drank most nights at the hostel, mainly drinking $1 bottles of wine from the supermarket. But even at the bars and clubs you can get a vodka for as little as 500HUF and a good beer for 600HUF which is decent. Be sure to check out Fény Shots – carbonated vodka shots which are scientifically the quickest way to get drunk. They taste pretty good too which is a bonus. There are many ruin bars across the city with Szimpla Kert being the most famous. However, I preferred other smaller places like Anker’t and Kuplung.

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Anker’t Ruin Bar. Be sure to try a “Zubrowka and Apple” from this place – 10/10.

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“What’s your real job Jonny?” Me after one too many beers.

Other things to do in the city could include GETTING A TATTOO…. Yes that’s right I got my first fucking tattoo in Budapest. I actually got 2. Zero regrets. I went to Knuckle Up Budapest and they were great. The owner is a former backpacker himself and is totally clued up on what he is doing.

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Map of Europe and Africa. The smallest of my tattoos. 

 

There you have it. Backpacker’s guide to Budafknpest. Overall I spent around 100,000HUF which for 6 days I didn’t think was too bad. It could of course be done much cheaper but I treated myself many a time and that also includes the cost of both tattoos.

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Shoestring Paris

So, it turns out keeping up with a blog is harder than I thought – especially with all the Uni work I’ve being doing (or should have been doing). Anyway, I’m finally getting round to writing about my few days in Paris as part of my Eurotrip last Summer!

The first thing I always get asked about Paris is how did I ever afford 4 nights in one of Europe’s most expensive cities – especially for backpackers. Well, the truth is that Paris can be expensive, however there are bargains to be sought!

Accommodation

As with most places, accommodation will yet again be your biggest expense but that doesn’t mean spending hundreds of Euros on a room with a view of the Tour Eiffel. Paris is crawling with hostels and with airbnb now at our fingertips, finding affordable accommodation is easier than ever. Now, I won’t lie and say that hostels in Paris are cheap as chips because they’re not but if you’re travelling solo and want to meet like minded traveler’s then staying at a hostel may be your best bet! I traveled solo and stayed at St Christopher’s Inn Canal. For 4 nights I paid around 98€ which doesn’t seem that cheap but remember that Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world and I arrived in peak summer season! The hostel itself was good, nothing spectacular. But the staff were friendly and it was easy enough to meet other backpackers!

Another great option could be to couchsurf which is totally free and you get local knowledge of the place you are visiting!

Also, if there are a group of you airbnb could be your cheapest option – however if you’re looking for a great atmosphere and new friends it might be worth it to pay the extra money to stay in a hostel.

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Chill by the Canal with a beer or 2 at St Christopher’s Inn. 

Food and Drink

It’s no secret that the French capital is home to some of the world’s finest eateries, however I was on a very tight budget seeing as Paris was at the tail end of my trip and so fine dining was not an option!!

The hostel I stayed at offered food starting at around 5/6 euros – there was unfortunately no kitchen in my hostel but many other Parisian hostels do offer a kitchen to keep spending to a minimum. Using airbnb is also a great way to save money on eating out.

It is very possible to eat out and still have money left over for a beer to wash it down. A great place I found was Creperie Genia  – a stone’s throw from the famous Notre Dame. Here you can you get a crepe, a panini and a drink all for 4€!! Paris is filled with cheap Pizzerias and there are street food stands in many places – it won’t be hard to find some form of cheap food.

Bars and Clubs

My absolute favourite place in Paris was Rue de Lappe located in the heart of the trendy Bastille area. This place is the perfect spot for bar hopping and for those wanting a few quiet drinks – the street is packed with loads of great places. Many of the places do “happy hour” specials from around 6.pm until around 10.pm (some places even 11.pm) and you’ll be sure to grab a good few deals during these hours! However, even outside of happy hours the prices are kind to your wallet.

My favourite bar on this street was called Bar des Ferrailleurs mainly due to the rustic feel of the place and the real mix of locals, students and travelers like myself. The staff here are so friendly and very happy to help.

Another cool place on Rue de Lappe is Yellow Mad Monkey. This bar is decorated like a jungle and there’s a really buzzing atmosphere. A pint here cost around 5 euros which is pretty reasonable for Paris.

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The Yellow Mad Monkey – the place is as mad as its name suggests…

If you’re looking for more than a few chilled drinks then head to concrete, a nightclub situated on a barge! This place was pretty casual and was a lot fun. For full details on prices on specific nights and deals then check out their website.

Things to do

Paris has heaps of attractions that will keep you busy for a good while. The obvious places such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and L’Arc de Triomphe are easily accessible by metro. There’s loads and loads of information out there on these places so I’d rather not go into too much detail!

A great way to get a local’s perspective of the city is to take a free (tip-based) walking tour with Discover Walks. All tour guides are from Paris themselves and therefore know the city inside out. There are a number of walks ranging from Montmarte to Notre Dame. These tours are often much better than the over-priced bus tours.

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Notre Dame Free Walking Tour – a great way to see the city 

Another very cool place in Paris that’s likely to get you a ton of “insta likes” is Rue Crémieux – the most colourful street in Paris. This place is not very well known and is a hidden gem not far from Gare de Lyon sation.

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Take a stroll down Paris’ most colourful street 

One last activity is to visit Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement. The park is great for everything from quiet walks to picnics to outdoor cinemas. There are heaps of events here throughout the year and you can check them out on the park’s website.

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An outdoor cinema in Parc de la Villette I went to with some friends I made at my hostel. This is seasonal but there are plenty of other events throughout the year.

There you have it  – Paris on a shoestring!! If you liked this post then please like this post and give my blog a follow for more travel tips and stories!!

Follow me on Instagram @euroboyontour

 

Hamburg on a budget.

So, during my recent trip around Europe, I decided to stop in Hamburg – mainly because it was the cheapest place to travel to from Copenhagen. But, aside from that, Hamburg is a really awesome city that is somewhat different from the rest of Germany. I’m going to try and break down all the things that I think you should see and do in Hamburg – and how to do it on a budget!!

Accommodation

Accommodation can sometimes be your biggest expense, but there are plenty of cheap options in Hamburg. If you’re on a really really small budget – use couchsurfing and live like a local. However, if you’re like me and like to have a very social atmosphere then stay at a hostel. I stayed at Generator hostel, which is literally thirty seconds from the main station. This hostel is cool and has a really nice atmosphere with something for everyone. Generator has some great happy hour deals and drinks are pretty cheap even outside these hours. You can find rooms for as cheap as €15 a night. Don’t book too far in advance though, book around 2 weeks before you’re trip and prices will be a lot lower than say 2 months in advance! The staff are friendly and are always happy to help – what more can you ask for?

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Generator’s social and bar area. Plenty to do for all kinds of travellers.

Food

Fooooood. Everyone’s favourite thing. Now, I was on a tiny budget and couldn’t afford to eat out in nice restaurants – not sure if my flip flop and shorts would’ve been appropriate attire anyways. Not to worry though as Hamburg has plenty of cheap eateries worth checking out! If you decide to stay at Generator there is a HUGE food court across the road in the Hauptbahnhof. There’s everything from Thai to Chinese and of course, German. You can grab a meal for as little as €3. What a steal!!! There’s also a handful of street vendors to get a quick bite.

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Who knew that a train station could offer such fine dining?

Places to drink (and party)

Hamburg is crawling with nightclubs and bars. It’s famous for its nightlife and I now know why. Start your night at the hostel, drinking all the happy hour cocktails you can manage and then head to the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli district for a night you will not forget! Pubs, pubs and more pubs. I can guarantee there will be at least one place hear that you enjoy. Yes, it can at times feel a little seedy but genuinely isn’t. There are sex clubs and prostitutes to be seen but you have to remember prostitution is a legitimate trade in Germany. People won’t make you do anything you don’t want to. A simple “no” will do the trick. Now, you must go to the 99cents bar, where unsurprisingly everything is 99cents, from vodka to beer to shots. Spirits may be a little watered down but it’s cheap, so who cares? The Reeperbahn is the best place in Hamburg for a night out, make your way there and an unforgettable night will be had.

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The famous Reeperbahn in St. Pauli district of Hamburg. Shots. Shots. Shots.

If the Reeperbahn doesn’t seem like your kinda place (although trust me, there is something for everyone) then head to StrandPauli, an awesome beach bar not far from the Reeperbahn but with a much more relaxed atmosphere. Watch the boats dock as you drink an ice cold beer…or two. This place is amazing, really. There are nice beach chairs to chill on and there’s even sand – how cool is that? Go here and you will not be disappointed!

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Hamburg or Hawaii??? Could’ve fooled me.

Things to do and see

Hamburg is bursting with culture and history and this can all be seen by taking a free walking tour. SANDEMANS do amazing free (tip based) walking tours across Europe and I’m glad Hamburg is one of the cities they operate in. There are different tours to choose from such as a Beatles tour and even tours in different languages. I chose to do the standard tour, which was great. I learned and saw so much of the city that you just wouldn’t see on your own. Another great thing is that it picks up from the hostel before the main meeting point at the town hall. If you’re in Hamburg, I highly suggest you do at least one of these tours.

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My group on the walking tour. We’re trying to do some German hand gesture…

I’d also recommend chilling by Alster lake in the centre of the city. It’s really nice on a sunny day and you can even walk around it. Of course it’s free so you’ll be saving some cash too.

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Take a break from all the sightseeing and chill by Alster lake.

One other place I’d definitely check out is HaffenCity. It’s a new development in the city and a real contrast to the traditional and historical parts of town. Nonetheless, a must see.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If so, don’t forget to like this post and follow my blog for more of my travel advice.
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Copenhagen on a budget.

Copenhagen is known for ridiculously high prices and being an expensive city to visit. However, this isn’t entirely true. I recently visited Copenhagen for 3 nights and was surprised at how exaggerated these claims are. This post aims to breakdown how to spend time in Copenhagen on a small backpackers budget!

Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, 9 times out of 10, I would recommend staying in a hostel. And for Copenhagen, I would recommend doing so. Others might say if there’s a group of you, use airbnb or a similar site. However, Copenhagen has so many good hostels and half the things I experienced would never have happened if I didn’t stay in a hostel.

Now, hostels in Copenhagen aren’t cheap, but they are cheaper than hotels! I stayed at Generator Hostel and paid around 250 Kroner (£25) a night for my stay. The hostel was amazing, it had a nice terrace outside to sit and have drinks, and there was cool chill out areas for when you’d had one too many. Be sure to catch happy hour too as you can grab a litre of beer for only 50 kr! I met some of the coolest people at this hostel, some who I know will be friends for life.

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The bar and social area at Generator Hostel. A great spot to meet like-minded travellers!

Drinks and clubbing.

This is always a big question as it can sometimes be your biggest expenditure. However, there are some cheap and really cool bars and clubs in Copenhagen. Gothersgade is a stone’s throw from Generator and is packed with cheap bars and eateries. I would definitely recommend Mini Bar, here you’ll find a beer for as cheap as 30kr some nights and never more than 45kr which is so cheap for Copenhagen. There’s a good atmosphere in this bar and there’s even a PlayStation if you need some time out from drinking!
Right next door to Mini Bar, you’ll find Andy’s Bar, which is really rustic and has a real local feel to it. Drinks are around the same price as Mini Bar and there is a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.

There are no shortage of nightclubs in Copenhagen, so here are a few of my favourites:  

Zen is a little on the pricey side, however, I only stopped here for around 30 mins. The atmosphere is great and it’s free entry, so do what I did and get drunk beforehand and you won’t need to buy a drink inside. Now, when I say expensive I mean 50kr for a beer which isn’t actually that expensive, but after a few the total does add up! The reason I didn’t stay long is because we were meeting friends at another place and had to leave, but I would recommend checking it out.

Hive is known to some as the best night out in Copenhagen. Although I don’t entirely agree, the place is pretty good. The crowd is young, the tunes are good and the alcohol is relatively cheap for CPH. The club has numerous floors and some of the best DJs. There is an entrance fee which can differ from night to night, so do check beforehand.

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Party right through the night at one of CPH’s best clubs.

REMEMBER: It’s LEGAL to smoke inside pubs and clubs in Denmark!

Food in CPH.

Eating out in Copenhagen can be expensive and being a backpacker meant that I decided to get my food from street vendors and bistros serving traditional Danish food.

Rita’s Smørrebrød is somewhere you have to check out. It’s a small deli that sells traditional Danish smørrebrød and it’s delicious! It’s cheap and filling too which is always great when you’re on a budget. I got two slices of smørrebrød and a coke for 40kr – a steal in the Danish capital!! You’ll find Rita’s at Fælledvej 11, 2200 KØBENHAVN.

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Traditional Smørrebrød, it tastes better than it looks!

If smørrebrød doesn’t seem like your thing then go to one of the many, many street vendors. You can easily find a hot dog with hundreds of fillings for 20kr. There are also loads of creperies and kebab places in the city. Bagels also seem to be popular!? Not sure why, but I got a HUGE bagel for like 50kr and I could only eat like 1/4 of it. So yeah, for food go to smaller bistros and street vendors!!

What to do and see

Copenhagen is bursting with attractions. From Tivoli to Christiana, there’s something for everyone. Now, there’s simply too many things to mention so I’ll cut it down to a few of my favourites.

Nyhavn or New Harbour is amazing and if you stay at Generator, you’re a five minute walk from here. It’s full of culture and picturesque buildings and you can even buy a beer for 40kr in most of the bars. Or head to the supermarket and buy beer of your own and sit on the banks!

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Nyhavn on a glorious summer’s day. The hub of CPH in my opinion.

So, if you’re one of those people who can’t get enough of museums, statues and the like then CPH is great for you. Check out Christiansborg Palace which is now the home of the Danish parliament. Once you’ve seen this, head to Rosenborg Castle, again a great piece of architecture where you can even spot some cool changing of the guards ceremonies! I’m sure you’ve all heard of The Little Mermaid statue in CPH but seriously, it’s so underwhelming. The place is swarmed with tourists and you’ve seen every aspect of the statue in 30 seconds…

One of my favourite places in CPH was Christiania, a free town that has its own laws and rules. It’s like a commune filled with really cool art and amazing people. If you’re into weed, here is where you can buy it. A pre-rolled joint will cost you 50kr. This place is packed at night and has some really cool bars. You can take photos of the entrance but inside the community it’s a no-no. Nonetheless, a must see.

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Welcome to Christiana!!

Hej KBH

Hej KBH is an organization that hosts events across the city. I was lucky enough to attend a beach party they held at AmagerStrand Park during my stay. It’s fair to say the beach party made my trip. I went with a few mates from my hostel and had such a good time. Entry is free and alcohol can be bought for 30-40kr per beer. However, I’d recommend buying your own and saving yourself some pennies. The atmosphere was amazing and the locals were so friendly towards us. If you’re in Copenhagen, check out their Facebook page for events they are hosting and if there’s none whilst you’re there, then definitely still check out Amager Beach. I was in Copenhagen during summer so it was really warm but I’ve heard it can get cold, so be sure to take a blanket to keep you warm.

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Beach party hosted by Hej KBH at AmagerStrand Park.

Well, there you have it, Copenhagen on a budget. Follow my blog for more posts and be sure to follow me on social media!

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