Student living costs in Denmark

A reliable choice for living – such as cycling to university and eating at home – life in Denmark shouldn’t blow your budget. Read about living expenses and how to open a bank account

Denmark is an expensive country – but the standard of living is among the highest in the world.

Although Denmark's no tuition fee policy is very attractive to EU students, living costs are generally higher than most places, well above the European average. To be able to meet these costs you will have to carefully budget your monthly expenses. A rough estimate of your overall monthly living costs in Denmark would amount to 750 – 900 EUR monthly. Living in Copenhagen is more expensive than in the smaller cities, and may go as high up as 1200 EUR/month. You may be able to keep your costs lower at around 650 EUR/month if you plan to live in a smaller town.

Accommodation costs

Out of the total monthly expenses of EU students, they usually pay around 36% on accommodation. You will pay an average of 300 – 500 EUR/month for accommodation and utilities, going as high up as 800 EUR in Copenhagen. If you start looking for housing early you may be able to find places with 200 EUR/month in housing outside the city.

Here are some average accommodation costs for students living in shared apartments or alone:

  • Students living alone – 436 EUR/month
  • Students living with partner/children – 458 EUR/month
  • Student halls of residence (kollegier) – 342 EUR/month

Getting student accommodation from the university is not always easy, as European statistics show that around 11% of students living in Denmark manage get a place to live provided by the university. However, around 68% of students are really satisfied with the living conditions in university student halls, above the European average. Therefore, you might have to rent a place from a private land owner.

Food costs and inexpensive shopping

Average food expenses in Denmark will amount to 200 – 270 EUR/month, depending on your spending habits. You can save a lot on food if you do your weekly shopping at discount supermarkets such as Bilka, Lidl, Netto, Fakta or Aldi.

Dining out in the city costs an average 25 EUR/person, and a beer or a soft drink at a bar is around 5 EUR.

Transportation costs

In Denmark, almost 50% of students use bikes to get to their university, while 30% use public transport. The cheapest monthly public transport pass amounts to 50 EUR/month. You can purchase a second-hand bike with 30 – 135 EUR, depending on its condition.

Opening a bank account

All international students are advised to open a Danish bank account. To do so, you must first obtain a Danish CPR number (i.e. ID number). When choosing a bank, we suggest that you ask your fellow students for recommendations. Opening an account is simple. Just bring your passport or ID card and CPR card to a branch.

You will need to bring enough money or a credit card for the first few weeks of your stay in Denmark. For example, you will need enough cash to pay the rent and deposit on your accommodation – as well as to buy housewares for your new room. Make sure you can use your credit card in Denmark. Check your cash withdrawal limit. If you are already a customer of a large international bank you should soon be able to transfer money directly from your home account to your Danish bank account. You can also transfer money from your Danish account to your home account. Transfer may take a few days and will most probably cost you a fee. For further information, please contact your bank.

"Nemkonto" - the public payment system

You need to register your Danish bank account with the Danish tax authority as a ‘Nemkonto’ (i.e. an ‘easy account’), which will allow public authorities to make direct payments to you – like wages, tax rebates or maintenance payments. Seek advice from your Danish bank.

Cost of living

In terms of living expenses then these will depend on your lifestyle and habits. But to give you an idea of average monthly expenses here is a rough budget:

 

TYPE APPROXIMATE COST OF LIVING PER MONTH
Rent Varies from 2,500 - 4,000 DKK (utilities are usually included)
Insurance approximately 200 DKK
TV licence 100 DKK
Books and supplies 150 DKK
Mobile Phone 150 DKK (internet, around 250 DKK, may be included in your rent)
Food 1,500-2,000 DKK
Transport 300 DKK
Other personal expenses 1,500-2,000 DKK  

Price examples

  • Purchase of second-hand bicycle: 250 – 1,000 DKK
  • Cinema ticket: 95 DKK
  • Dining out: 200 DKK
  • Nightclub entrance: 0 – 100 DKK
  • Beer or a soft drink at a bar/café: 30 – 50 DKK
  • Beer or a soft drink from the supermarket: 5 – 15 DKK
  • Coffee at a café: 30 – 50 DKK

Based on user reports the site numbeo.com also holds useful information for comparison between living expenses for individual countries. Bear in mind the validity is heavily dependent on the amount of users reporting, and when the figures were last updated.

The Danish currency

The Danish currency is called kroner (DKK)

  • Purchase of second-hand bicycle: 250 – 1,000 DKK
  • Cinema ticket: 95 DKK
  • Dining out: 200 DKK
  • Nightclub entrance: 0 – 100 DKK
  • Beer or a soft drink at a bar/café: 30 – 50 DKK
  • Beer or a soft drink from the supermarket: 5 – 15 DKK
  • Coffee at a café: 30 – 50 DKK