Finding a place to stay in Copenhagen is a nightmare! No kidding! I’ve been following different Facebook-pages where people offer and search for accomodation and, gosh, I am so happy I have found a nice place to live weeks ago. Posts like “What do I have to do to find a place to live? Do I have to donate a kidney or what?” or “Help! I’m homeless! Looking for a room ASAP!” aren’t rare.Especially now, that September comes closer and closer and university is about to start, people become more desperate by the minute. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find a nice place to live in just ONE (!) week. You need to be extremely lucky to find something within a reasonable price range. Well, what’s a reasonable price range in Copenhagen, though? From my experience, rooms in shared apartments start at 450€ and can go up to 700€. For that money you can already get a nice 60-70 square meter apartment in Vienna. But well, Denmark in general isn’t a cheap place to live.
But don’t despair: Here are 10 tips that helped me find a decent (read beautiful and close to the city center) accommodation in Copenhagen:
- Start looking for a place as soon as you begin to consider studying or working in Copenhagen!
Before applying for university, I have heard that it wasn’t easy to find an accommodation in Denmark’s capital city, but I never imagined the search to be such a nightmare. So start searching ASAP!
- Register to kollegierneskontor.dk as soon as possible!
Again, do so as soon as you are thinking about studying or working in Copenhagen. Kollegierneskontor is a site where students can apply for student housings all over Copenhagen. Registration is free and you can pick the student housings you are interested in. The problem here is that the waiting lists for rooms are incredibly long. My best spot is 203, my worst is over 2500. I’ll probably get an offer in about seven years… just kidding – use every opportunity you can find, and this certainly is one of them.
- Don’t be picky!
You might want to live in walking distance from your university or only in Zones 1 or 2, however, start being realistic and also consider housing opportunities a bit outside the city. The offerings there are usually cheaper. However, public transportation isn’t cheap, so you need to weigh the pros and cons.
- Get in touch with your embassy in Copenhagen!
A friend of mine advised me to ask the Austrian embassy in Copenhagen if they had any advice when it comes to finding a place to stay. I did that and only half an hour later got a friendly answer with some helpful tips. They told me there were two Facebook-groups that might help me. One was the “Austrian Club Copenhagen” the other is called “Young Austrians in Copenhagen”. Through these groups I got in touch with a few Austrians who live in the city and almost found a place to stay that was relatively cheap. I also found a used bike through this site that I’ll use as my main means of transportation once I get there (did I mention that public transportation is expensive in Copenhagen?).
- Join some housing and accommodation groups on Facebook!
There are many groups on Facebook to join. Some of them are “House/Room Renting in Copenhagen”, “Roommate in Copenhagen” and “Housing in Copenhagen”. However:
- Beware of scams!
There are lots of scams online! Be especially cautious when looking for a place on Facebook. I’ve heard of people who were ripped off and lost over 900€. Always try to be careful when somebody offers you a room whose Facebook profile seems to be brand-new. Also, be careful when people say: “I’ll send you the keys via mail, as I’m not in the country right now” or “Airbnb has my keys. They’ll give them to you.”
- Get in touch with the international office at your university!
I asked my university if there was any chance they could help with finding a room for international students. In my case, unfortunately they were struggling to find accommodation for exchance students, so there was no chance of helping me, but it’s worth a try.
- Join your university’s Facebook-page!
As there are always people going on exchange and renting out their room/apartment for a limited period of time. I was in touch with a girl that went to California for a semester and was renting out her room for half a year. That would have been a great temporary solution while looking for a more permanent apartment/room.
- Register to boligportal.dk!
Believe me, I get it, nobody wants to pay for joining a site that offers accommodation. I still think it’s better to spend 45€ on a one-month subscription than being homeless. Boligportal.dk is a portal, where landlords publish ads and people who are interested can get in touch with the landlords directly. Chances of getting scammed there are lower, though not zero, so continue to be smart. I got my room through this website and I don’t regret spending the money on it. The site was recommended to me by a Danish friend who said it’s a good way to find something. She was right.
- Don’t lose your spirit!
I once talked to another Austrian student about how he found his room and he told me that he didn’t find anything until a week after arriving in the city. It’s simple: Stay persistant and try and keep up your spirit. Eventually, you’ll find a permanent place to stay. For a start it might be useful to also consider short term contracts as it’s always easier to find a place once you’ve physically touched down in the city.
Good luck with your search!