All you need to know about cost of living in Denmark

Denmark has a high standard of living and correspondingly high wages, but it is absolutely possible to get by as a student. Here is everything you need to know about living costs in Denmark. 

Housing, food, transportation and leisure activities can be expensive in Denmark, but salaries are correspondingly high and many services such as medical treatment and education is paid through taxes.

Cost of accommodation in Denmark

The price of housing in Denmark varies greatly depending on type of accommodation and location. Individual apartments tend to be more expensive than e.g. dormitories and the larger cities are less affordable than rural areas. Here are a couple of examples:

  • 1-room apartment in dormitory in Horsens, 39 m2 with own bath and kitchenette: 2400 DKK/month + utilities
  • 2-room apartment through a housing association in Herning, 48 m2 with own bath and kitchen: 3800 DKK/month + utilities
  • 1-room apartment through private landlord in Aarhus, 42 m2 with own kitchen and bath: 6250 DKK/month + utilities
  • Furnished room in shared apartment in Horsens, 20 m2 shared kitchen and bath with 3 others: 2800 DKK/month including utilities

Learn more about Housing in Denmark

Food costs in Denmark

woman looking at juice in supermarket

When it comes to the cost of food Denmark range among the more expensive countries in Europe. Depending on your shopping habits you should expect to spend 200-270 EUR/1500-2000 DKK on food per month. You can save a lot of money by cooking your own meals and shopping at discount supermarkets such as Netto, Fakta and Lidl. Most super market chains have apps with cupons and members offers. The app "Too Good to Go" is also worth checking out. It is a platform where you can buy surplus goods and meals from super markets, bakeries, restaurants and the like at great discounts.

Here are some examples of prices of common foods (updated April 2023):

1 liter of milk 12-13 DKK
1 loaf of bread 15-25 DKK
1 kg apples 20 DKK
1 kg potatoes 10 DKK
½ kg boneless chicken breast 35 DKK
12 large eggs 25-30 DKK

Medical and dentist prices

Denmark has free, universal healthcare for all residents funded by taxes. Therefore, most expenses in relation to medical treatment are free of charge. This includes checkups at your general practitioner, treatment at hospitals and emergency services.

The Danish healthcare system and how it works

However, medicine and dental work are not covered. You could consider getting additional health insurance for these expenses. Learn more about insurances in Denmark. Here are a couple of price examples:

10 paracetamol tablets 20 DKK
Checkup at the dentist (diagnostics) free for 18-21 year olds/175 DKK if you are older than 21

Transportation costs

Denmark has a great and cheap public transportation system. Busses, trains and light rail systems make it easy to get around in and between the cities. Expect to pay 20-25 DKK for a short bus ride within the city limits. You can also purchase a monthly bus pass for around 350 DKK/month or use "Rejsekortet", an electronic ticketing system that can be used across transport operators and travel zones and offers discounts based on when and how often you travel.

When arriving to Denmark, you will, however, quickly notice that there are bikes everywhere. Around 50% of students get to campus on bikes. You can purchase a reasonably good used bike for 500-1000 DKK and get the added bonus of daily exercise!

Having a car is uncommon for Danish students as both cars and gasoline are heavily taxed in Denmark. Expect to pay 30,000-50,000 DKK for a small used car. Gasoline costs 12-14 DKK per liter (April 2023). Go to Insurance in Denmark to learn more about car insurance and bringing your vehicle to Denmark.

Other living costs in Denmark

When making your budget, make sure to also include other expenses such as utilities, books, phone, internet and the like. Expect to spend at least 6500-7500 DKK per month supporting yourself. Here is an example of a student budget:

  • Rent incl. utilities EUR 400-500/ DKK 3000-4000
  • Insurance EUR 30/DKK 200
  • Phone, internet, tv EUR 40/DKK 300
  • Books and other school supplies EUR 40/DKK 300
  • Food EUR 200/DKK 1500
  • Transport EUR 20/DKK 150
  • Other personal expenses EUR 120/DKK 1000
  • Total EUR 850-1000/DKK 6500-7500

Opening a bank account in Denmark

Once you have you CPR number (ID number – read more about how to get a CPR number in Denmark, you can open a bank account at any branch. Just bring your passport or other picture ID and your yellow CPR/health insurance to the bank of your choice. It may take a few weeks to get your new payment card, so make sure you have enough cash or a credit card from home to get you through the first weeks in Denmark.


Once you have your Danish bank account, you need to register it as a “Nemkonto” with the Danish tax authority. Nemkonto litteraly means easy account and allows public institutions to make direct payments to you, e.g. salary, tax reimburments, housing benefits and the like. Your Danish bank can help you set this up. Go to Nemkonto’s website to learn more about it.

Frequently asked questions about living costs in Denmark

  • Compared to other countries, Denmark may seem more expensive to live in for students. However, the standard of living in Denmark is high and as are the salaries. In addition, healthcare, schools – elementary as well as universities – in addition to a number of other public services are finances through taxes and are thus free of charge. This means that students are able to live rather cheaply. Often, student discounts are available at e.g. bookstores, restaurants, hairdressers, which makes student life more affordable. You can support yourself by getting a student job – learn more about student jobs in Denmark here! and of course EU citizens can apply for Danish education support SU

  • Denmark is quite expensive to live in compared to other countries around the world when it comes to the prices of food and accommodation. However, free education and healthcare financed through taxes as well as proportionately higher salaries makes it more affordable to live here. Learn more about the Danish healthcare system and how it works here.

    There are multiple affordable accommodation options available to international students in Denmark – go to our Student accommodation in Denmark page to learn more about them.

  • No, dental care is not free in Denmark, as it is only covered for children and you people under the age of 25 through the universal, tax funded healthcare system. Therefore, residents have to pay for dental care themselves. It is also possible to purchase private health insurance to cover some or all of the expenses connected with dental care. Learn more about insurances in Denmark here. Contact your local dentist if you need dental care. It could be a good idea to ask for quotes from a few dentists to compare prices and get the best deal.

  • Yes, all residents in Denmark have access to free healthcare through the tax-funded public healthcare system. This means that it is free of charge to visit your general practitioner, get treatment at a hospital or clinic and receive emergency services. However, medicine is only covered partially through subsidies and dental care is only covered by the public healthcare plan if you are under the age of 25, so you have to pay for these yourself if you are older. Learn more about the Danish healthcare system and how it works here.