Considering that Copenhagen is a relatively small capital city, it is interesting to see how diverse neighborhoods in Copenhagen really are. Whether you are looking for hipster funk, city villas, or anything in between… Copenhagen has it all. That’s why we thought we would write a quick guide to neighborhoods in Copenhagen and where to stay in Copenhagen (for both, tourists and new arrivals 😉). Let’s get to it, shall we?
– Indre By
In some very general terms, Copenhagen is split into 5 districts: Copenhagen K (Indre By), Copenhagen V (Vesterbro), Copenhagen N (Norrebro), Copenhagen Ø (Osterbro), and Copenhagen S (Amagerbro). In addition, Copenhageners often refer to the neighborhoods of Kødby, Christianshavn and Islands Brygge. Frederiksberg, although often considered a part of Copenhagen, is actually its own municipality.
What is a BRO?
You may have noticed that many areas in Copenhagen end in ‘-bro’. In Danish, bro literally means bridge. Back in the day, the city outskirts were connected to the inner city via bridges and gates after which now entire neighborhoods are named.
Indre By: Tourist Magnet
Most travelers arriving in Copenhagen will not stray far from Copenhagen’s city center, Indre By. And in fact, most of the city’s attractions are located in the area. Real estate prices in the area are very high as residents make space for Airbnb’s and hotels. If you are coming for a short stay, it is probably a good idea to stay in this are so all major sights will be within walking distance.
Indre By Highlights
– Tivoli Gardens
– Rosenborg Castle
– The Little Mermaid
– Amalienborg Palace
Hotels in Indre By
Although technically a part of Indre By, most Copenhageners consider Christianshavn to be its own entity. Christianshavn is located on a series of artificial islands which were once part of a fortification project by King Christian IV. It was heavily inspired by Dutch merchant towns, and much of this influence can be seen in the canals of Christianshavn today. Although the area is mostly residential, it’s still worth a visit to just hang out and relax by the water.
– Christiania (alternative community)
– Noma (supposedly the best restaurant in the world)
Vesterbro: Hipster Paradise
Vesterbro translates to Western Bridge in English and is a district in Copenhagen west of the Inner City. Once known as a rather seedy area, home to prostitution and drug trafficking, Vesterbro today is a hipster’s paradise. Brimming with bars, cafes, and cool boutiques, it is attracting more and more visitors every year.
– Absalon (famous for its communal dinners)
– Carlsberg Brewery
– Kødby (Meat Packing District)
Hotels in Vesterbro
Nørrebro: Melting Pot
Well, every city has its melting pot, and Nørrebro is to Copenhagen what Queens is to NYC. The district’s main road, Nørrebrogade, reflects its residents in Turkish barber shops, African supermarkets, and Thai massage salons. It is probably one of the city’s most underrated areas. In fact, there is only one hotel in Nørrebro, but real estate prices remain relatively low by Copenhagen standards.
– Superkilen Park (an Instagramer’s paradise)
– Assistens Kirkegård (calm and beautiful cemetery)
Hotels in Nørrebro
Østerbro: Family Haven
Throughout its history, Østerbro towards the North-East of Indre By has been a rather wealthy area. To this day it remains an affluent and mostly residential city district. Not many visitors venture into Østerbro. I often think it feels almost like a completely different city, so far away from the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen.
Hotels in Østerbro
Splurge: Hotel Østerport
Frederiksberg: Posh Getaway
Okay, okay. Frederiksberg is not technically a district of Copenhagen as it is its own municipality. However, most people living in Denmark find it impossible to separate Frederiksberg from Copenhagen. It is my personal favorite hang-out spot in Copenhagen as it is simply beautiful. Much like Østerbro, Frederiksberg’s residents are mostly upper middle class, befitting Frederiksberg’s beautiful architecture and leafy allees.
– Frederiksberg Palace & Gardens
– Copenhagen Zoo
– Frederiksberg Allé
Hotels in Frederiksberg
Mid-Range: Hotel Sct. Thomas
Amager: Futuristic Chic
Amagerbro isn’t technically a district, but rather an area encompassing several districts of Copenhagen located on the island of Amager (Vestamager, Sundbyvester, Sundbyøster). Once purely agricultural land is now being developed into modern and push residential areas. Some of the city’s biggest hotels are located on Amager (due to its proximity to Copenhagen Airport) and real estate prices are slowly but steadily rising, particularly in the neighborhood of Islands Brygge.
– Amager Strandpark
– The Blue Planet
Hotels in Amager
Outer Districts of Copenhagen
Some of the outer districts of Copenhagen include Kongens Enghave, Valby, and Vanløse. While they do not have much touristic value, they can make great spots for people looking for a cheap apartment in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Areas to Avoid
I will start this last part of our article by saying that Copenhagen is one of the safest cities in Europe and visitors have nothing to fear in Copenhagen. However, if you are an anxious traveler, you may want to avoid certain areas of Copenhagen in the evenings. Throughout 2017 the city of Copenhagen struggled with emerging gang violence, in particular in Copenhagen N. Due to this stop-and-search zones were set up by the police throughout the late summer. The visitation zones have since been lifted, however, police presence remains in the areas. Again, most likely nothing will happen to you even if you’re in the area during the night, but if you are really concerned, avoid the areas North and East of Nørrebro Station (i.e. Bispebjerg, Bronshoj, Husum).
Other areas which may seem seedy, especially to families visiting Copenhagen, are Istedgade in Vesterbro, just off the central station (Copenhagen Red Light District) as well as Christiania. Both are popular tourist spots during the day but may seem a little shady during the night.
Now, what do you think? Which is your favorite area in Copenhagen? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!