Cost of Living in Copenhagen


Cost of living in Copenhagen
Cost of living in Denmark
Expat Living in Copenhagen
Quality of Living in Copenhagen
International Assignee in Copenhagen
International Assignment in Copenhagen
Moving to Copenhagen
Expat Salary in Copenhagen

Copenhagen offers a mix of modernity and tradition, making it an attractive destination for expatriates. Despite its high living costs, the city's safety, quality of life, and career opportunities make it a top choice for international professionals looking to move abroad. Whether seeking a dynamic job market or a stable, family-friendly environment, Copenhagen delivers on many fronts.

Copenhagen: A Comprehensive Guide for Expatriates and International Professionals

Introduction to Copenhagen

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is nestled on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand. The city faces the Øresund Strait, which separates Denmark from Sweden. Known for its mild summers and cold winters, Copenhagen offers a temperate oceanic climate.

Economy and Employment

Copenhagen's economy includes sectors like shipping, life sciences, and information technology. However, high taxes and living costs present economic challenges. Major employers include Maersk, Novo Nordisk, and Carlsberg, providing opportunities for professionals in logistics, pharmaceuticals, and brewing.

Immigration Requirements

To work in Copenhagen, non-EU expats need a work permit, typically obtained through a job offer from a Danish employer. The process can be complex but is well-structured, with various schemes for different skill sets.

Job Market and Opportunities

The city's job market is active, with high demand in the technology, pharmaceutical, and green energy sectors. Salaries are competitive, reflecting the high cost of living. Work culture emphasizes work-life balance, and career advancement is based on merit and job performance.

Cost of Living

Living in Copenhagen is notably expensive. Key expenses include:

  • Housing: Rent in city center is high.
  • Transport: Efficient but costly public transport.
  • Groceries and Dining: Both are priced above international averages.
  • Healthcare and Education: High quality but expensive.
  • Personal Care and Recreation: Comparable to other Western European cities.
  • Alcohol, dining out, and tobacco are particularly pricey, whereas technology costs like internet and mobile plans are relatively affordable.

Quality of Life

Copenhagen offers a high quality of life, with excellent public services, cleanliness, and safety. The city is often ranked as one of the world's best places to live.

Pros and Cons

Pros include a robust economy, high safety, and great public services. Cons are the high cost of living and the cold weather.

Culture and Community

Danish is the primary language, but English is widely spoken. The culture is marked by a strong sense of community and equality. Copenhagen is known for its open-mindedness and welcoming nature towards expatriates.


The standard of healthcare is high, with a well-organized public health system. Expats typically need health insurance to cover services that are not free.

Safety and Security

Copenhagen is very safe with low crime rates. Political stability and efficient emergency services contribute to the security of its residents.

Residential Areas

Popular areas for expatriates include Frederiksberg and Østerbro, known for their green spaces and vibrant community life.


There are several international schools offering diverse curriculums including the International Baccalaureate. The education system is high-caliber, known for fostering independence and critical thinking.

Social and Recreational Life

The city boasts a lively social scene with numerous cafes, clubs, and parks. Cultural festivals and public events are common, enriching the social fabric.


Copenhagen is renowned for its biking culture and extensive public transportation system, including metro, buses, and trains. The city is also well-connected by air and road to major European destinations.

Unique Aspects

Copenhagen's commitment to sustainability stands out. The city aims to be carbon neutral by 2025, influencing urban lifestyle and transport.

Overall Cost of Living

Copenhagen is an expensive place to live, though it offers high salaries and a quality of life that can justify the costs. Use Xpatulator’s Cost of Living Calculators and Tools for informed decision-making about the cost of living in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the salary / allowance / assignment package required to maintain your current standard of living.