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Copenhagen Neighbourhoods

Getting around in Copenhagen is relatively fast and easy due to an efficient public transportation  and a bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Hence, students live in all areas of the city as well as the suburbs.

It’s not uncommon to have a commute of 30-60 min either on bike or in public transportation, so when looking for housing don’t limit yourself to the neighbourhood where your university is located.

Student life and study resources such as libraries  are located around the city, so proximity to your campus is not as essential as you might be used to at universities in your home country.

Copenhagen is a very safe city, and there are no really dangerous areas to avoid. The city is planned to mix people from different walks of life in every area, but every neighborhood still has its own characteristics. To read more about the different neighbourhoods of Copenhagen click on the tabs below.

Note: this only covers the areas within the municipality of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, and not the surrounding areas within a short commuting distance.

Indre By

Indre by, or København K. What’s not to love? Full of history and beauty, you’ll never want to leave. Right in the center of downtown Copenhagen, you won’t have a problem finding everything you could possibly need. It is full of hidden gems and you will never be in short supply of things to do or places to eat

Shopping

First things first. When moving to a new place, one of the most important things is knowing where to buy groceries. Everyone needs to eat. Well, we have good news! The local grocery stores like Irma, Netto, netto_bydgoszcz
and Fakta are numerous and easy to find.
All are readily accessible and are normally within a few blocks of each other. A local grocery store is never more than a 10-15 minute walk from you when you are in København K. If you are willing to look, you can also find  specialist stores that sell food from China, Thailand, and India, among other places. Many streets on the edge of the city centre will also have a grocery store, the produce here is usually fresher than what you find in a chain store though the prices may be higher. If you’re looking for a more high class or specialist dining experience then

Torvehallerne Market near Nørreport Station has a variety of cafes, fishmongers, and butchers that can cater to your every desire. Check out this article on the New York Times if you want to know more about Torvehallerne.

The newly (late 2011) finished town market on Israels Plads in Copenhagen, Denmark

The newly (late 2011) finished town market on Israels Plads in Copenhagen, Denmark

 

When it comes to clothes or décor shopping, or even shopping for every day necessities that are not things you eat, Strøget, the walking street in København K is at your service. There you will find everything from H&M to Zara. You will find both Magasin and Illum, two major department stores in København K. If you want something different to the big brand names embedded in Strøget, take some time to explore streets like Studiestræde, Pilestræde, Grønnegade, Strædet, and Larsbjørnsstræde, you will find a variety of vintage, second hand and unique designer stores lining these streets.

Food

Still discussing food, anything you could dream of can be found in København K. Anything from shawarma or Indian to pizza, sandwiches, and even pie! For lunch, you could visit Sund Sandwich on Studiestræde for their convenient lunchbox option, FreshDaily on Vesterbrogade for delicious sandwiches, or the Green and Yellow Juice Bar on Nørregade/Gammeltorv for one of their lunch deals, to name a few. The juice bar also has a 10% student discount when you show your student ID. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, there are some great options on Pilestræde including 42Raw and Paleo, both of which are delicious even for those who are not vegetarian or vegan.

Brunch

Brunch is an entirely different subject. The Danes love their brunch, which is why the topic requires its own separate section. To start off, Café Paludan is a great place for brunch and is close to both KU and DIS buildings on Fiolstræde.  Café Norden, while on the pricey side, is known for its delicious brunch and conveniently located in the main square on Strøget. Another café, voted best café in Copenhagen for 2015 by AOK, Mad & Kaffe on Sønder Boulevard is a must for brunch. There are also places like KalasetCopenhagen Coffee LabUnion Kitchen, and Wulff & Konstali to name a few others. It’s safe to say you won’t have an issue finding brunch.

Cafe Paludan

Cafe Paludan

Bars and Cafés

Bars and cafés are wonderful places for college students to hang out. When we aren’t studying or working, you can find us in many of these local cafés and bars. First, let’s talk about bars. The bar scene in København K always has something going on regardless of what day of the week it is. Vestergade is home to a number of bars where both locals and international students hang out. On Tuesdays many people go out to KulørBar and LA Bar (La Tequila Bar), both offering drink deals that are considered cheap for Copenhagen. On Thursdays, Heidi’s (also on Vestergade) has beer pong and is also a great place to go to meet locals, Francis Pony has 2 for 1 drinks until midnight, and Butchers is a huge place and definitely worth checking out. Some other great options are TørstNight Fever and Zefside. If you are looking for a more relaxed place to drink, FermentorenKayak Bar, Bar 7, and Café Victor are great options for that.

As far as cafés go, they are EVERYWHERE. You’ll never have a problem finding a cup of coffee wherever you are in København K. The Living Room, for example, is a great place to lean back, relax, and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea in a very cozy environment. They also have good happy hour deals if you are looking for a super ‘hyggelig’ place to drink. Both The Big Apple on Fiolstræde and Next Door Café on Larsbjørnsstræde make amazing chai lattes among other coffee drinks.  Café PaludanCafé Retro, and The Coffee Industry will also make sure you are fully caffeinated and ready to take on the day.

Things to See

Finally, when you aren’t busy eating or drinking or shopping, there are plenty of things to see in København K. Home to Rosenborg Castle, you can take your lunch here for a nice picnic in the gardens on a nice day or go visit the crown jewels in the castle itself. Near there are the Botanical Gardens which are also worth a visit. Visit the picturesque Nyhavn and then make your way down to Amalienborg Palace to say hello to the queen. From there, continue on toward the famous Little Mermaid. København K is full of places to explore. Take your bike or take off on foot, you’ll never run out of things to see in this beautiful place.

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Christianshavn

History

Coming to Copenhagen for the first time, one of the first places you likely will get to know or hear of is Christianshavn, as it is one of the more popular districts of Copenhagen. This part of Copenhagen is a compact district which is just across the water from downtown Copenhagen and is part of the adjoining island of Amager.

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Church of our Saviour

Christianshavn was founded by King Christian IV early in the 17th century as an independent merchants’ town, although this would, later on, no longer be the case as it has now developed into a fashionable, diverse and lively part of the city, albeit with its own peculiar personality. It is an exceptional part of Copenhagen in that it is dominated by canals and has the most ‘nautical’ feel of all the neighborhoods in Copenhagen. The lower city side of Christianshavn, which is known as Christiansbro is the most affluent part of the neighborhood and very notably, the entire harbor front hosts the Danish headquarters of Nordea bank.
The upper city side of Christianshavn which stretches from Torvegade to the Trangraven Canal is replete with a number of big institutions such as The Ministry of Foreign AffairsThe North Atlantic House (art and culture from The Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland) and the Danish Architecture Center, while on the other side of the canal lies the more densely populated part of the
neighborhood, with more than half of the around 10,000 inhabitants of Christianshavn living there. The major attractions in Christianshavn; the Church of Our Saviour and Christiania are situated here however.

Accessibility

Getting to Christianshavn from any part of Copenhagen is not an hassle as the area is very easily accessible via the Christianshavn metro station located at Christianshavn Torv at the intersection of the Christianshavn canal and Torvegade, which is the main thoroughfare of Christianshavn and connects the Amager side of Copenhagen to the city center through Knippelsbro. The metro station serves the M1 and M2 line of the Copenhagen metro. Also, the Copenhagen harbor buses have a stop in Christianshavn at the end of Knippelsbro for the line 901 and 902. As with every other part of Copenhagen, every part of Christianshavn is easily accessible by bike.

Attractions

Christianshavn has a lot to offer, in sites and attractions, for everyone. Most notable are the ChristianiaPaper Island, the Church of our Saviour and several other leisure spots such as cafes, spas and the water front.

Christiania: commonly referred to as ‘Freetown Christiania’, it has come to be a very large and important part of the identity of the neighborhood of Christianshavn. It is an almost self governing part of the neighborhood, existing as an independent community in an area which contains abandoned military barracks. One of the striking things about Christiania is that it feels and looks totally different from any part of Copenhagen, with its graffiti and freestyle architecture, appearing like a city within a city. It is home to a considerable part of the population of Christianshavn and serves as venue for a lot of cultural events and concerts. In Christiania, purchase and use of cannabis was allowed until 2004, though it still thrives till now, resulting in frequent altercations with the police. However, Christiania is very popular among Danes and tourists alike, who come to experience this ‘wonder’ within Copenhagen. Inside this ‘city’ within Christianshavn, there are lots of nice cafes, vegan restaurants and green areas to chill out and mingle with friends. A nice piece of advice on Christiania: Do not take photographs in and around Pusher Street as this will not be tolerated by dealers and costumers, and you could end up finding yourself in a not so pleasant situation.

Paper Island: Called Papir-øen in Danish, this is another very cool part of Christianshavn you must visit. Located in Trangravsvej, 1436 København K, the Paper Island is home to Copenhagen Street Food, which is an aggregate of several food outlets in gastro-vans, with food from almost every part of the world. You can get anything from organic coffee to exotic Asian dishes here at cheap prices. The place got to be named Paper Island because it used to be a warehouse for the procurement association of the Danish press for many decades before it was converted into the food paradise that it is today. Now you get to enjoy food by the waterfront as it is situated in the harbour, and you get an array of choices as there are over 35 stalls present.

Front view of Experimentarium: one of the halls containing gastro vans in Paper Island.

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Church of Our Saviour: located at Sankt Annæ Gade 29, 1416 Copenhagen K, is a Dutch-baroque style church in Christianshavn, popular for its helix spire with an external spiral staircase which can be climbed to the top, providing an extensive view over Copenhagen. The church also contains the largest carillon in northern Europe, which plays melodies every hour from 08.00-midnight.

The church was built by King Christian IV (yes, he was quite the construction magnate) to serve as the church for the then new town of Christianshavn, which was intended to be a separate merchants town and hence needed its own church. The spire reaches a height of 90m and its famous external staircase turns four times anticlockwise around it. For a fee of DKK40, visitors can climb the stairs and enjoy an aerial view of Copenhagen.

Nightlife

Christianshavn isn’t necessarily the place to go for a dance all night but it does have its share of local, homely cafes and bars. Frequently, there are all sorts of concerts inside Christiania which attract a lot of people and the cozy cafes there are also a popular destination especially on Friday nights.

Other bars such as Eiffel Café and Café Wilder are cheap but nice places to chill, and Sofiekælderen, which overlooks the canals, is popular for its live jazz nights. Even though Christianshavn is always a beehive of activities especially during the weekend, you can be sure that you will always be safe no matter what time you decide to go out.

Shopping

There are a variety of stores in Christianshavn to meet all your shopping needs. Getting groceries is just a matter of a 5 minute bike ride or walk to the various stores in the neighborhood such as Netto, Irma, Meny, the 7-Eleven store and other kiosks where you can get almost anything you need. It is a good idea to get the product magazines from Meny and Netto especially, so as to know when products are on special sale and at considerably lower prices than they would normally be.

Flea Markets

A rather shrewd but effective way of getting clothes especially, is by taking advantage of flea markets. The basic idea behind a flea market is just to create an avenue for people, who want to sell items they no longer use or have never used and do not need anyways, and prospective buyers looking to get stuff on the cheap, to meet and potentially do business. These flea markets take place in Christianshavn but you need to be on the lookout for information regarding time and venue, as they are not always regularly held.

Flea markets are held somewhat regularly on Sundays at the Paper Island, and on some weekends in Christiania too. At other times there is a flea market at the square in the Christianshavn metro station, but as earlier advised, it is best to be on the lookout regarding specific times and dates. A good place to find out is on Facebook, as they are advertised as events there.

What to Avoid

It is very common to be on the wrong side of the law or do something wrong out of ignorance, so here I will give a few tips on stuff to avoid in Christianshavn.

First, is that given the ‘special’ status of Christiania, it is more policed than other parts of Christianshavn and vicinity . Even though it is ‘allowed’ to smoke cannabis inside Christiania, it will very likely land you in trouble outside, especially if you have any in your possession. The police conduct regular checks on people (especially youths) coming out of Christiania, so in light of this, it is better to be on the safe side and not have anything controversial in your possession.

Another very important but sometimes overlooked thing that could get you in trouble is not having lights on your bike. By now you probably know that Copenhagen is the city of bikes, and therefore rules regarding cycling are as strictly enforced as they are for cars and other automobiles. Be sure to have your lights on when it is dark; white lights in front and red lights at the back. Also, make sure to obey the traffic lights as there are specific ones for bikes also. Failure to adhere to the cycling rules could land you a fine as much as DKK750.

So, as long as you do not disobey any rules and do not bother anyone, you should be fine wherever you go in Christianshavn.

Places to Hang Out

There are a couple of restaurants in Christianshavn where you can get brunch or dinner for cheap and a few are highlighted here;

Lunas Diner: this is one restaurant in Christianshavn with a very wide range of brunch menus. It comes highly recommended as almost everyone has only good things to say about Lunas. They have a wide array of American food and that is something many foreigners especially cherish. Located at the heart of Christianshavn, it is very close to the Church of our Saviour and Christiania, and is the perfect place to go for dinner or eat-outs in Christianshavn.

Blue House: For those who are sandwich enthusiasts, Bluehouse is your go-to place in Christianshavn. For DKK48- 100, you can get really great sandwiches for lunch or anytime you want. Located on Torvegade, the main street of Christianshavn, it is really easily accessible and centrally located. The variety of sandwiches here is good especially as they also have a lot of options for vegans. As there is not much space inside to eat, it is always a better option for you to go enjoy your sandwich across the road on one of the benches by the canal while watching the boats on the water, especially if it’s on a sunny day.

Café oven Vande: Perhaps it is one of those days when you are walking on the Christianshavn canal and you want a quick lunch or you just want to enjoy some food by the canal, then, this restaurant is the place for you. The strategic location of the café by the canals and the fact that it has a large outdoor space with a nice view of the waterfront, where you can enjoy the sunlight, is quite catchy. The menu is varied, so you can be sure to find something that suits you.

Lagkagehuset: If you want to try out Danish pastries and the best bread around, then you need to visit this bakery. The name of the bakery is coined from the architecture of the building in which it is located. From the front, the building looks like a layer cake, which happens to be a Danish specialty cake. So the bakery is called the layer cake house – Lagkagehuset. Having a cup of coffee, with some cake here is something you will want to try out, as there are so many different options to choose from that you might get confused as to which pastry to have. Lagkagehuset is located on Torvegade, just opposite the Christianshavn metro station, so it is very easy to locate.

The layercake-styled house on Torvegade, Christianshavn (Lagkagehuset bakery is on the ground floor to the left in the picture)

Spicy Kitchen: As far as Indian dishes go, this is the place to visit in Christianshavn. Located on Torvegade 56, Spicy Kitchen restaurant is easily accessible. They have a variety of dishes to choose from, and the prices are very reasonable also. If curry with rice and salads is your thing, then you will like to visit this restaurant, plus they have quite a nice vegetarian selection too. Prices from DKK 65 are not very common in restaurants, so it is definitely one of the cheapest you will find around.

Frederiksberg

Situated between hipster Vesterbro and multicultural Nørrebro, Frederiksberg is a posh neighbourhood of cafés, shopping and green spaces. Home to the Copenhagen Zoo as well as beautiful Frederiksberg Palace, Frederiksberg might cost you a few extra pennies but is more than worth what you pay.

The entrance to Frederiksberg from the inner city is marked a white Victorian tavern known officially by the name Søpavillonen (The Lake Pavilion) but sociably as ‘The Chlamydia Castle’, drawn from its old use as a disco, though now it is merely a restaurant. While crossing the bridge to witness the infamous ‘castle’ is one way to reach Frederiksberg, it is also easily accessible by bus and metro. Both metro lines (not S-Train) from Nørreport Station take you into the neighborhood and run through multiple stops such as Forum and Frederiksberg, but like all of Copenhagen the most efficient way to get here for students is to hop on your bike.

Restaurants

The main street within Frederiksberg is Gammel Kongevej (translated to Old King’s Road), where you can find a wide array of pubs, cafés, delis and restaurants. Sticks’n’Sushi is a chain sushi restaurant in Copenhagen that has a store along the street that is very well known, however, the best way to achieve a sushi fix is this neighborhood is heading to a running sushi/ad libitum restaurant such as Nyu Sakura. These restaurants will cost anywhere from 150 to 250 DKK depending on the exact restaurant and day you decide to go.

If you happen to be in Frederiksberg during lunchtime one, of the best sandwich shops in the city would be District Tonkin, a Vietnamese themed deli shop. The owner himself emmigrated to Denmark in the late 1970’s from his native Hanoi. You will be hard pressed to find a shop that provides you with fresh ingredients, a ‘hyggelig’ atmosphere and cultural experience for such a low cost. If sandwiches are not what you seek, then this shop also serves the well-known Vietnamese Pho (noodle soup), making it the traditional way that requires a multi day preparation.

Supermarkets

You will find all the normal supermarkets that occupy Copenhagen riddled through Frederiksberg. Depending on your lifestyle preferences, you can find a supermarket that will serve your needs.

Attractions and Leisure

Frederiksberg itself has plenty of sights to see. One of these is the Copenhagen Zoo, one of the most famous zoos in Europe. Encompassing 27 acres, this zoo houses animals from all over the world. Polar bears and North Atlantic birds are housed in the Arctic area of the zoo, which includes an underwater viewing tunnel, and you may be lucky enough to be there while the polar bears are awake. Penguins can be found outside, and are notoriously silly creatures to watch, as well as the sea lions swimming around in their chilly pools. The usual African animals such as lions, giraffes, zebras and even rhinos are also found in this park. There is even an elephant exhibit design by a renowned Australian architect that houses six of these massive creatures.

Red pandas, South American primates and Tasmanian devils are just a few the other animals you can find within the walls of this zoo. If you get the chance to visit it during Culture Night the admission is free with the night’s badge. Also take notice of the black wooden tower that lays inside the zoo, it is one of the tallest wooden structures still standing in the world.

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Right next to the Copenhagen Zoo is Frederiksberg Gardens, home of Frederiksberg Palace. Designed in 1699 by Frederik IV, this park has an English styling to it with other cultural influences from around the world, complete with a Chinese summerhouse, river gondola ride and the famous pacifier tree. On a hill in the southern side of the park is Frederiksberg Castle, a beautiful picturesque building that comes right out of someone’s medieval dreams. This castle was built by Christian IV who is well know for his erection of many famous landmarks still standing today, and later housed kings such as Christian VI during construction of Christiansborg Palace (today’s parliament) and Frederik VI, son of  the famous crazy king Christian VII, made famous by the movie A Royal Affair. The castle, at times during its history, has even served as the ministry of war and the Royal Danish Army Academy which it still houses today. The palace is publicly owned, and some parts are available for daily rental for e.g. company events, dining and lectures.

Nightlife

Frederiksberg might not be the best Copenhagen area for nightlife. There are not very many nightclubs in this area, however, like most areas in Copenhagen this place does not lack for bars. At almost anytime of the day or night you can find a nice bar to throw back a few beers in. A few suggestible ones might be Café Intime (LGBT-friendly) , Salon 39Berlin Bar and London Pub, all located throughout Frederiksberg. You will be able to find any kind of bar you would want to in this area: ranging from gay bars to cocktails, burgers, and sports bars.

Vesterbro

Situated between budget Amager and posh Frederiksberg, hipster Vesterbro is home to the famous red light district and working class area of Copenhagen. Besides this there are plenty of places to eat, sleep and have a fantastic time in Vesterbro.

In 2014, Thrillist magazine ranked Vesterbro the #4 Hipster neighborhood in the world. Formerly known for its booming sex industry, although traces of this can still be found on Istedgade, the true mark of a Vesterbro resident is their nearly all black attire and their colorful Fjãllraven backpacks. In fact these colors may be the only colors within the neighborhood. Today the most famous part of Vesterbro is the Meat Packing District, home of gourmet restaurants and nightclubs alike.

Restaurants

Some of the best places to find good food to eat Vesterbro is in the previously mentioned Meat Packing District. Bakken is a grill/bar/club that serves anything from burgers, burritos and calamari. Head over on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night and you’ll find a club there usually filled. Head just down the way from Bakken is a craft beer bar: Mikkeller Bar. Imperial and Indian Pale Ales, Coffee Stouts and even seasonal Pumpkin Ale are on the menu. However a beer here may set you back close to 60 kroner, but the taste is worth it.

If you are looking for a bit fancier place to eat in the Meat Packing District, Fiskebaren is a lovely place to and it is just across the street from Bakken and Mikkeller Bar. While the restaurant is seafood in name that is not all you can get here. While much more expensive than your average restaurant, the mussels here are delicious and come in a large helping.

Supermarkets

You will find all the normal supermarkets that occupy Copenhagen riddled through Vesterbro. Depending on your lifestyle preferences and budget you can easily find a supermarket that will serve your needs.

Attractions and Leisure

While there are many things to do in Vesterbro, the best known is a trip to the Carlsberg Brewery. I will let you in on a little known secret; Tuborg and Carlsberg beers are produced by the same company. That being said, Vesterbro is home to the Carlsberg Brewery, while the Tuborg Brewery is in Østerbro. Officially, the brewing of beer stopped here in 2008 when the facilities were moved to Jutland, but you can still tour the old facilities that were used as far back as 1847. Horses are also housed here at the brewery, they are brought out to draw carriages for events that Carlsberg hosts.

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Another destination in Vesterbro came in 2007 in the form of Sønder Boulevard, a long green beltway park along one of Vesterbros’ main streets. 230 new trees were planted, artificial turf for sports, playgrounds for children, biking paths and many more things including an outdoor table tennis table. So if you are ever in the area stop by and enjoy the recreational amenities this lovely neighborhood has. Vesterbro is also home to the Vega concert hall, where many musicians and shows take to the stage all year round.

Nightlife

Vesterbro has a fantastic nightlife scene between Istedgad and the Meat Packing District, and there are numerous bars althroughout the area. Meat Packing District is home to numerous nightclubs: NoHoKB3 and others. Club hopping here is easy and quick most of the time within sight of each other.

Just one block away is Istedgade. This street is famous for being the Red Light District of Copenhagen but there are bodegas and bars all along the street. Bodega Skipper is a pleasant hangout right next to, well, a ‘red light shop’ and serves beers for 20 kroner each, a good deal on Istedgade. But just as you can club hop in Meat Packing District, you can bar hop, or crawl depending on your stage of inebriation, along Istedgade.

Østerbro

The words ‘family-friendly’ may send most students running in the other direction but don’t let Østerbro’s reputation stop you from visiting the beautiful neighborhood. Located just east of Nørrebro beside the harbor, Østerbro is conveniently close to the city center while providing some distance from the hustle and bustle.

There may not be much of a nightlife – or any at all – but why not let the other neighborhoods take care of that? After a night in the city, coming back to the safe and quiet boulevards of Østerbro is exactly what one needs. The neighborhood caters to families, but students might as well take advantage!

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Shops

When it comes to shopping, Østerbro has everything. Østerbrogade in particular will become your best friend and likely your most traversed route. For food, clothing, kitchen supplies, restaurants and hair salons Østerbrogade has it.

Supermarkets such as Netto, Fakta, Irma, Føtex and Kiwi are located throughout the neighborhood. Since they’re all within a five-minute walk of one another, students often make more than one stop to get the best selection and prices (Kiwi has the best frozen pizza selection and Føtex has you covered for cheap wine). Aside from the big box stores, the neighborhood has some smaller fruit stands that are particularly good for cheap produce, spices and Asian cooking supplies.

Outdoor Activities

The best part of living in Østerbro are the outdoor activities. The biggest park in Copenhagen, Fælledparken, is a popular spot for picnics, sports games and exercising. It is also home to the national stadium, a big draw for football fans. Slightly further north by Svanemøllen station is Svanemøllen Beach, great for swimming and lounging during the summer months. South of the park are the lakes, which are lined with cafés and restaurants and provides the most scenic route towards the inner city. After spending the day outside in Østerbro, make sure to stop at Olufs for a homemade ice cream before continuing into the city.

It wouldn’t be right to exclude the Little Mermaid since she is a symbol of the city and a popular tourist attraction. Though you may have heard mixed reviews, often disappointing, don’t let that dissuade you from paying her a visit. Everyone in Copenhagen seems to have an opinion on the Little Mermaid, so go decide for yourself.

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Food

Eating out in Copenhagen is expensive and in Østerbro it can be particularly difficult to find cheap eats. Most of the sit-down restaurants do not cater to a student budget, however, there are some places that accommodate tight purse strings. For breakfast or brunch (and laundry!) try the Laundromat Café. For later in the day, choose between Halifax and Østerbros Originale Burgerrestaurant for a burger or stop by Pixie Café for a coffee, dinner and guaranteed hygge.

Running late for class? Get food on the go at Wedofood or grab a sweet from one of the many bakeries in the area. Try Bager Bosse in Østerbrogade or Ehlers Bageri in Tåsingegade for traditional Danish baked goods.

Transportation

If you’re worried about being too far from the action, don’t be. By bike you can get to Nørrebro in 10 minutes and the inner city in 15 minutes. Buses (1A on Østerbrogade and 8A on Jagtvej) run frequently along the major streets, and the S-trains travel along the east side of the neighborhood towards Nørreport station. Getting to and from Østerbro is very convenient and if you’re riding your bike, try taking some different routes, the neighborhood is beautiful and you never know what you might find.

Hidden Gems

Cafe Strandlyst – Often referred to as “Dart Musik Hygge”, Cafe Strandlyst is a traditional Danish bodega. The bar is frequented by a few local residents and students who gather around to drink cheap beer and watch football games. The bar is located at Nygårdsvej 1.

Krejl & Kaffe – Grab a latte or a lamp at this cozy coffee/retro shop which opened in September 2015 in Østerbro. Aside from the reasonably priced coffees and teas, the shop also houses a small retro boutique.

Co-craft – Right around the corner from Krejl & Kaffe is a small boutique/studio run by women creating handcrafted goods. The showroom is a great stop for those looking for unique gifts to bring back home. Make sure to check the hours before going!

Nørrebro

Nørrebro is the most ethnically diverse neighbourhood in Copenhagen. It is a melting pot for many different cultures, due in part to its comparatively low rent. Nørrebro is mainly influenced by its Middle Eastern inhabitants, and the main street is dominated by restaurants, jewelry- and gold-shops, clothing, and of course kebab-shops.

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Many people are attracted by the busy streets of this neighbourhood; whether it be by day-time or night-time, you are always sure to find something to do. Here you can find many different types of shopping or leisure opportunities, so there is something for everyone. It is mostly in the lower- to the middle-class scale when it comes to price. The area has a more the rustic aesthetic, which a lot of places make an effort to uphold.

Nørrebro is the most densely populated borough in Copenhagen. The different cultures all help to give Nørrebro an international feel. There are three major streets, Nørrebrogade, Rantzausgade, and Mimersgade, as well as two squares, Blågårds Plads and Sankt Hans Torv. Each of them are dominated by a certain culture, but they all tie together to form the melting pot that Nørrebro truly is.

The further out from the city center you venture, the more Middle Eastern influences you can detect. Many areas have been built within the past 10 years to make this populated borough feel more open and inviting to all its inhabitants and those who are visiting. It’s worth a look around the side streets as there are many hidden gems.

Also known as the new hotspot in town, Nørrebro district grew up from being the notorious lower class countryside area into the “it” neighbourhood of Copenhagen. Once shabby, now chic, the up and coming quarter is painted in vivid urban colours expressing a casual but fashionable lifestyle. It is now one of the most popular destinations among newcomers to the city.

The relatively young cultural vibe is also a magnet for locals; trendy Nørrebro is a student-friendly area. Exploring the area, you will come across various recreational spots and green areas alongside a large variety of restaurants, cozy cafes, funky bars, and cheap kebab places.

If you are in town for shopping here, you can find fashionable shops, antique stores, and small designer outlets with a touch of vintage coolness. Later on into the evening you get carried away into the vibrant nightlife of Nørrebro.

Take the time to explore the most hip quarter in the happiest capital city in the world, in this district you can experience an underground groove combined with alternative rock and indie music. The large choice of bars, cafés and clubs gives a wide range of drinks, anything from cheap beer to fancy cocktails, making Nørrebro the perfect place for a pub crawl.

Everyday Living/Supermarkets

Nørrebro has a good mixture of more private residential areas as well as more central city-living, both have their perks. Every morning the streets come to life, as people go to work or for their studies. All the major streets have at least one grocery-store for your everyday needs. These range in price, there are the discount-stores, such as Netto and Fakta, to the more expensive whole-food-stores, such as Irma, and everything in between.

One of the many perks of living in Nørrebro is the green-markets, which offer fresh fruit and vegetables in lower quantities, meaning you only need to shop for a single meal, which avoids food-waste. Many of the discount-chains are selling meat and salads in single-sizes, making your dinner a breeze at a reasonable prize. You can also look for a yellow sticker – often with the text “stop madspild” (stop food-waste) – which is put on products that are about to reach their sell-by date. 

Leisure Time

The city offers a lot of different ways of relaxing and/or spend your free-time. The layout of the streets and lanes are ideal for strolling or jogging, when the weather allows it. The Danes loves to go outside, as you probably will notice. Danes are more likely to meet up in public, rather than private, so a cafe or a coffee-shop are popular choices when you are meeting up with friends.

Different cultural events mostly take place in the city-center, but do check out the libraries located on Nørrebro (Nørrebro Bibliotek in Bragesgade, Blågården in Blågårds Plads) and ask about upcoming events.

The health-wave hit Denmark hard, and a lot of Danes took it to heart. New organic cafes and juice-bars have popped up, and people jogging has become a common sight in the urban landscape. When the Danes don’t want to be dependent on the seasons, they take to a fitness-center. There are two major chains, Fitness World and Fitness.dk, both have their pros and cons but you can expect them to be up to a reasonable standard and price-level. Take a look at the available fitness-centers close to you and have a look at what they offer.

For those of you into the arts, Nørrebro Theater is located on Ravnsborggade and has everything from plays and musicals to stand-up shows and debate-meetings.

Restaurants/cafes

Nørrebro has a multitude of different types of restaurants. Due to the great diversity that defines this neighbourhood, you can find something from all corners of the world. On the main street, Nørrebrogade, you will find mostly Middle Eastern inspired restaurants and vendors. This type of food is usually fresh, tasty and not too expensive. Kebab is a popular choice among the locals, delicious and convenient as a take-away.

Another popular choice are the cafés you’ll find throughout the neighbourhood. These places serve a variety of dishes – the most common food you’ll find is the “regular” café-food, such as the café-burger, sandwiches, nachos and sometimes soups (Café Castro is one of the more popular examples). Most cafés also serve a brunch, which are popular in Copenhagen, especially on Sundays.

When you explore the side streets, you will find small places, that serve everything from classic French cuisine to fresh sushi. Another popular street, Rantzausgade, has a varied selection of culinary experiences, such as German, African and typical Danish style food. There are also a few cafés on this street that brew their own beer, another trait Nørrebro is famous for.

By Skt. Hans Torv, at the beginning of Nørrebro, you will find many cafés with their own style and dishes.

Blågårdsgade (Blågårds Plads)

This is one of the two areas that I’d like to point out. It is considered as a part of Nørrebro, though it has a strong sense of being its own neighbourhood. It’s located near Søerne (four artificially created lakes in the heart of Copenhagen city), Blågårdsgade leads on to a square which has its own chemist, library and community center. The street has small, cozy cafés, distinctive restaurants and specialist-stores, so it’s definitely a place worth visiting (Make sure you stop by Props Coffee Shop and Harbo Bar!).

Skt. Hans Torv

Also located close to the lakes, this area is packed with cafes and specialist boutiques.

Nightlife

Nørrebro is a great place for going out, especially if you are into tavern-styled bars and affordable beer. The people going out in this neighbourhood are mostly students and local residents. I would always advise you to go out with a group of friends whom you know and trust. The narrow streets and dark bars can seem unnerving, especially if you are unfamiliar to the area. On almost every street you will find a bar, but the most popular streets are Nørrebrogade (Temple BarUnderstelletRUSTDrone (entry-fee, but has dancefloor!), Rantzausgade and Mimersgade.

What to expect:

  • A lot of students (often more intoxicated the later it is!).
  • Regulars at the bar, often at times very talkative, even if they don’t speak or understand English.
  • Loud music, sometimes played from a jukebox.
  • No dance-floor, but don’t let it hold you back!
  • A small toilet, some just the bare necessities, a few places will have unisex toilets, most will be very colourful.
  • Indoor smoking allowed.

With all this said, most places have a very friendly and ‘hyggelig’ atmosphere; the choices are almost endless, so the chances of you finding a personal favorite is highly likely. Most nights out end up by a kebab-place, check out the topic ‘kebab’, and avoid an aching stomach with your hangover.

What to avoid

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Some might exploit the opportunity, Nørrebro, like most places, has many pick-pockets.
  • Beware of the biking lane, as people are likely to be less considerate (and sober) as the night goes on.
  • If anyone is being aggressive towards you, try to keep calm and diffuse the tension. (Simply say that you’re not looking for trouble, this is usually enough).
  • A few years ago, a knife-related assault took place at Café Louise (Nørrebrogade)and the bar has had a bad reputation since.

Nordvest

Nordvest is a neighbourhood that begins where Nørrebro ends – the border is mostly defined by Nørrebro station (S-train). The neighbourhood is on the outskirts of Copenhagen and is mostly residential zones, hence it does not have as many public activities as you may find closer to the center.

The municipality of Copenhagen does have plans for urban renewal, and is trying to cut back on the growing ghetto community, as many families with a different ethnic background also move to this neighborhood.

The rent in this part of the city is usually less than other neighbourhoods, and public transportation makes it easy to move in and out of the other parts of Copenhagen.

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Distances

 

Examples of distances:

South Campus, KU -> Nørreport
Bike: 12 min / public transport: 12 min

Nørrebros runddel -> Nørreport
Bike 7 min / public transport: 11 min

To look up exact distances or other destinations go to Google Maps and use the bike or public transportation function. For public transportation you can also use rejseplanen.dk.