Denmark is an expensive expat destination and the cost of living is high, even by European standards. Eating out, utilities and petrol are especially pricey. Luckily, salaries are relatively high and go some way to balance out the high cost of goods and services in Denmark.

Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, is one of the most expensive cities in the world and was ranked 25th out of 209 cities in the Mercer 2020 Cost of Living Survey. Life outside of Copenhagen is not quite as expensive but is far from cheap.

The good news for expats in Denmark is that they can expect a high quality of life, which tends to make up for the high cost of living.

Cost of accommodation in Denmark

Accommodation will account for a large percentage of expats’ monthly expenses in Denmark. Expats should consider the location of their housing carefully, as this can often affect the price. In particular, Copenhagen's small size, along with its popularity, means that accommodation is scarce and expensive.

The cost of utilities is not usually included in the rental price so it's important to budget for this additional expense. When searching for somewhere to live, the cost of the initial deposit will be up to three months' worth of rent, and some landlords will ask for an additional three months of rent to be paid upfront and in advance.

Cost of transport in Denmark

Transport in Denmark can be affordable if commuters use trains and buses, but can also be very expensive if they make use of taxis on a regular basis. Petrol is also notoriously pricey, as is the cost of buying a car. On the other hand, cycling and walking are popular and cost-effective ways of travelling.

Cost of food in Denmark

Groceries tend to be on the expensive side in Denmark and expats may experience 'sticker shock' the first time they venture into a Danish grocery store. However, with careful budgeting, it's possible to minimise costs. Buying locally produced, seasonal goods and avoiding imports as much as possible can bring down expenses.

Cost of schooling in Denmark

The cost of education in Denmark is very low as tuition is completely free. While it's all too easy to rule out public school as an option due to the language barrier, expat parents should consider the fact that there is a robust support programme for non-Danish students. There are even some public schools that offer the International Baccalaureate in English or teach the curricula of France or Germany in each country's language.

For those who decide to opt for private education, schooling in Denmark can be very expensive with international schools fees being particularly exorbitant. These schools offer a wider range of curricula than that found in public international schools and may be the best fit for families planning to stay in Denmark for the short term only.

Cost of living in Denmark chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Copenhagen for June 2020.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

11,000 DKK

One-bedroom apartment outside city centre

8,500 DKK

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

17,000 DKK

Three-bedroom apartment outside city centre

13,000 DKK


Dozen eggs

27 DKK

Milk (1 litre)

9.50 DKK

Rice (1kg)

15 DKK

Loaf of white bread

20 DKK

Chicken breasts (1kg)

67 DKK

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

45 DKK

Eating out

Big Mac meal

75 DKK

Coca-Cola (330ml)

24 DKK


40 DKK

Bottle of beer (local)

50 DKK

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

700 DKK

Utilities/household (monthly)

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)


Internet (uncapped ADSL)

220 DKK

Utilities (average per month for small apartment)

1,600 DKK


Taxi rate/km

16 DKK

City centre bus fare/train fare 

25 DKK

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

11 DKK

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