In June 2018, I packed three suitcases and booked a one-way flight from Texas to join my husband in Denmark. We met in 2016 and had been dating long-distance for much of our relationship. We were excited to get married and build a home and life together.
We found a wonderful apartment online in a new building in Amager, located in the southern part of Copenhagen. My husband viewed the apartment in person and sent me photos while I was still in Dallas.
Today, we rent our 1,020-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment for $2,100 a month. The neighborhood is a decent commute to work — I’m a primary school teacher and my husband is in finance — with plenty of beautiful outdoor space and fun places to take our two-year-old son.
We have a small entryway with a built-in closet, and a bench to sit on when you take your shoes off.
Our sleek, modern bathroom doubles as a laundry room. We’re lucky to have both a washer and dryer in the unit.
The second bedroom was initially our guest room and office, but we turned it into a nursery when our son was born. What’s nice about our main bedroom is that it came with a wardrobe already built in, which isn’t the case for many Danish apartments.
The main area in our apartment is one big room that includes our kitchen, dining room and living room.
The kitchen sits along one wall, and is somewhat small by American standards, but we actually have a good amount of storage, especially because we have drawers instead of cabinets.
The neighborhood is very family-friendly, with plenty of restaurants, bakeries, shops, parks and playgrounds within walking distance.
We have a number of international neighbors. There is also a great beach nearby, which is bustling in the summer. And we have a small balcony that my son loves to play on when the weather is nice.
For our utilities, we spend about $210 per month: $36 for heat, $55 for water, $66 for electricity and $53 for WiFi.
We have a car and pay $120 a month for a parking spot in an underground garage. We also have renter’s insurance that comes to about $40 a month.
The cost of living in Copenhagen is sometimes high. But I know that my salary goes way further here than it did in Dallas, especially in terms of what I was paying for healthcare and transportation in the U.S. And the rent we pay now is a good value for the amount of space we have.
We live close to the metro, so I can easily get anywhere in the Copenhagen area. I pay about $90 a month for a public transportation pass that covers my work commute and everywhere else.
On public transit, it’s 15 minutes from our front door to the city center in one direction, and 15 minutes to the airport in the other direction, which is very convenient.
Looking ahead, we’d like to eventually get some more space, and we may need to move a bit further out of the city to achieve that. But we love Copenhagen, so we wouldn’t go too far. And I have loved living in this apartment. It has been a great first home in my new country.
Ilana Buhl is an elementary school teacher. She studied abroad in Denmark and quickly fell in love with the city. She now lives in Copenhagen with her husband and son, and shares snippets of her life on social media. Follow her on TikTok and Instagram.
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