Where To Stay In Copenhagen: The Ultimate Guide
Copenhagen is a wonderful place to be – no matter where you choose to stay – but depending on whether you are down for partying, relaxing or learning you might want to consider where you want to stay during your visit. So without further ado, here is our guide to the different areas of the city so you can make an educated choice of where to stay in Copenhagen when you visit our fantastic city.
The City Center
The old center of Copenhagen has been the home of kings and noblemen for centuries – and with good reason. In the maze-like center, history comes alive with impressive castles, timber-framed beauties and narrow cobble-stoned streets, and by the water you have magnificent views in all directions.
But the city center is not only historical, it’s also furiously modern. On the harbor front shining, architectural and iconic gems fight for your attention. Take it all in before stopping for some world-class food at some of the great eateries or street-food markets that are located in this area of the city. End your trip with a shopping bonanza with taking a trip down the longest pedestrian shopping street in Northern Europe, Strøget, and pick-up some of those Danish world-renowned designs and styles as a great memory of your stay here.
If you would like to do a tour with a native guide in this area of Copenhagen, you’re in luck. We have plenty of small-group tours to choose from for all budgets all buzzing with that elusive Danish concept of hygge. Come out with us and find out what it’s all about on our 3.5 hour long Good Morning: Hygge & Happiness tour, our 4 hour long Good Evening: Hygge & Happiness tour, or take the full ride and include 90 % of Copenhagen’s hottest landmarks as well on our 6-7 hour long Total Day Tour: Highlights & Hygge. If you don’t care about culture and just want to see the hottest landmarks, we even have a 2 hour long Copenhagen In A Nutshell tour you could consider. If you’re already signed up, buckle up for a lot of Copenhagen fun!
Our favorite food and drink picks: Väkst (New Nordic Cuisine), Far’s Dreng (Brunch), Boltens Food Court (Streetfood), Restaurant Palægade (Modern Open-Faced Sandwiches), Aamanns 1921 (Traditional Open-Faced Sandwiches), Restaurant Karla (Traditional Danish Dinner), Balderdash (Cocktails), Bootleggers Craft Beer Bar (Craft Beers) and Den Vandrette (Natural Wines)
Our favorite activities: Play a board game with the locals at Bastard Café, climb the locals favorite sight in Copenhagen – The Round Tower, make your best cannonball into the water at Ofelia Beach, take a bottle of your favorite alcoholic beverage on a canal tour and enjoy the views from the water, jump on the hidden trampolines at Havnegade, or/and have a picnic with the locals at the neighborhoods many green areas.
Best hotels in this neighborhood: Hotel Sanders, Nobis Hotel, The Villa, SP34, Skt. Petri, Hotel D’Angleterre, Nyhavn 71, Nimb Hotel or Manon Les Suites.
Surrounding Copenhagen’s City Center, you’ll find the three bridge neighborhoods (bro means bridge in Danish), named so after the bridges or gates leading into the fortified, medieval center of the ancient past. During the industrial revolution the areas transformed from countryside to densely populated areas for the working class, and with the influx of people from all over Denmark, and indeed the world, came vices and other seedy temptations.
Vesterbro has always been characterized by sex and drugs in abundance, but gentrification as well as social projects have turned the area into a safe paradise for hipsters. Vesterbro seem to have a bar, restaurant or diner on every street corner, and this is also where you’ll find some of the best beer in the whole of Copenhagen and some of the city’s best social initiatives. Vesterbro is the area in Copenhagen with the most hotels – and with good reason. It’s located in walking distance from the city center and Vesterbro has plenty of experiences in its own right.
We actually do a tour in this area with the name Vesterbro Beer Tour. When our guests have their first impression of Vesterbro, they’re always a bit skeptical. The area is very urban and without a guide, you can easily get lost in translation. So if you like areas like this, we definitely recommend booking our tour and if you’ve already booked it, we can’t wait to meet you!
Our favorite food and drink picks: Restaurant Cofoco (New Nordic Cuisine), Mad & Kaffe (Brunch), Kødbyens Fiskebar (Fish), Prolog Coffee (Coffee), Frk. Barners Kælder (Traditional Danish Dinner), Papa Bird (Gin & Beer Place), Lidkoeb (Cocktails), Ancestrale (Natural Wines), Fermentoren (Craft Beers), Hyggestund (Open-Faced Sandwiches), Isted Grill (Traditional Danish Street Food Lunch)
Our favorite activities: Pick your favorite craft beer from Kikoskh and sit down outside for a beer with the locals at Sønder Boulevard, join the locals for a community dinner at Absalon, eat or party your way through the Meat Packing District, play a game of ping-pong on Sønder Boulevard, at Papa Bird or at Absalon and/or have a beer with the locals at one of the neighborhoods many brown dive bars.
Best hotels in this neighborhood: Axel Guldsmeden Hotel, 66 Guldsmeden, Bertrams Guldsmeden, Scandic Kødbyen, Andersen Hotel, Central Hotel or Absalon Hotel.
Another neighborhood that used to be for the working class, but has undergone a somewhat different development than Vesterbro is Nørrebro. It is the most densely populated, most ethnically diverse and least green area in Copenhagen. While that doesn’t sound too appealing these circumstances make Nørrebro one of the most vibrant sections of Copenhagen with a truly multicultural feel that you wont find anywhere else.
In Nørrebro you’ll hear a multitude of languages on the streets and the buildings are covered in graffiti. You’ll quickly notice that the citizens are young, rebellious and artistic, and some of the best artisan design shops in Copenhagen you’ll find in this area of town. The citizens hate big brands and you’ll quickly notice that in the graffiti and art of the area, so it’s the perfect place to find a unique souvenir that most won’t find.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic Copenhagen experience, practically without any other visitors to the city, Nørrebro should definitely be your home away from home while you’re visiting Copenhagen. You can even experience the neighborhood with us on our: Nørrebro ‘Hood Explorer if you haven’t signed up already.
Our favorite food and drink picks: Relæ (Michelin-starred New Nordic Cuisine), Wulff & Konstali (Brunch), Oysters & Grill (Surf’N’Turf), GRØD (World’s First Porridge Bar), BÆST (Pizza), Gaza Grill (Organic Kebabs), Minas Kaffebar (Coffee), BRUS (Craft-beer), Esrom Kro (Cocktails), Friheden (Natural Wines), Andersen & Maillard (Bakery), Smørreboksen (Open-Faced Sandwiches), Lygtens Kro (Germanic Food & Drinks).
Our favorite activities: Go grab a craft-beer from BRUS and sit and people-watch at this hipster paradise, take a stroll around Copenhagen’s lakes, get a kebab or falafel from one of the many diners, have a picnic and play a game inside Assistens Cemetery before paying your respects to Hans Christian Andersen at his grave, channel your inner child at the cutting-edge and spectacular Superkilen, head up in the Maersk Tower for an amazing view over the city during their opening hours.
Best hotels in this neighborhood: This neighborhood only has a few hotels, but what it lacks in hotels it makes up for in rentals. Our best recommendation for a great homestay is checking out Airbnb for the most authentic experience of this amazingly diverse neighborhood.
Seemingly just another neighborhood in the Danish capital, Frederiksberg is actually an independent municipality surrounded by Copenhagen on all sides. Unlike the other independent area of the city – the hippie commune Christiania – Frederiksberg doesn’t seem to be that different from the rest of Copenhagen.
But while Copenhagen has been run by a left wing government for practically a century and has focused on bike culture and public transport, Frederiksberg is governed by conservatives and has always attracted big money. This means that the houses are a bit more lavish, the cars a bit bigger – and consequently the bike paths a bit narrower.
In Frederiksberg you’ll find Copenhagen’s Zoo, the cisterns, a large number of good eateries as well as one of the most beautiful parks of Copenhagen: Frederiksberg Garden and its wilder sibling, Søndermarken. For shopping, you’ll be blessed with Frederiksberg Centret, a lavish mall with a lot of nice places to stock up on those cute designer items.
Our favorite food and drink picks: Mielcke & Hurtigkarl (New Nordic Cuisine), Sokkelund Cafe & Brasserie (Informal Dinner Place), Hansens Gamle Have (Open-Faced Danish Sandwiches & Traditional Danish Dinner), Hart Bakery (Bakery), Granola (Brunch), Ancestrale (Natural Wine), Bertels Kager (Cakes), Pony (Great Dinner Place), Himmeriget (Craft-Beer), Duck & Cover (Cocktails)
Our favorite activities: Take a boat ride on the canals in Frederiksberg Gardens followed by a hyggelig picnic, admire the animals in Copenhagen Zoo from Søndermarken, walk through the old Carlsberg area and admire the elephant gate, relax in Landbohøjskolens garden, check out the cool architecture and design of the lobby of the natural og bio-scientific faculty or/and paint your own pottery at Creative Space.
Best hotels in this neighborhood: This neighborhood only has a few hotels, but what it lacks in hotels it makes up for in rentals. This area is also particularly suited for it with its amazing apartments, great supermarkets and specialty shops with really high quality produce. Stay home one night for a great homestay booked on Airbnb and cook your own authentic Danish meal.
If you want a similar mentality to Frederiksberg in Copenhagen proper, you can always go to the last of the three bridge neighborhoods, Østerbro. Despite its history as a working class area like Nørrebro and Vesterbro, over the years its location close to the water has attracted more wealthy people as well.
In Østerbro you’ll will find classic 19th century residencies as well as some more lavish housing by the harbor, and there are no shortage of things to do. This neighborhood spoils you with choice when it comes to a peaceful atmosphere, cozy cafés, airy streets and closeness to great green areas such as Copenhagen’s largest park Fælledparken, Copenhagen’s lakes and the beach at Svanemøllen. All of this make this area of town a hit for families.
Our favorite food and drink picks: Geranium (Michelin-starred New Nordic Cuisine), Guldkroen (Traditional Danish Dinner), Leckerbaer (Modernized Cookies), Juno The Bakery (Bakery), At The Counter (Café), Gro Spiseri (Rooftop Farm Restaurant), Hos Fischer (Italian), Søernes Ølbar (Craft Beer), Pasteur (Natural Wine), TAP10 – Nordisk Øl & Cocktailbar (Cocktails).
Our favorite activities: Watch a soccer match at Denmark’s national stadium of Denmark, Parken, home to the soccer team FC København, walk around Copenhagen’s lakes, channel your inner child at the many, really fun playgrounds in Fælledparken, find tranquility in Brumleby, check out the blazingly colorful Olufsvej, enjoy the nature at the rooftop farm ØsterGRO, start your day with working out with amazing views on Konditaget Lüders, take in stunning views of the city from the Maersk Tower, or/and plunge into the water at the beach located at Svanemøllen with the locals.
Best hotels in this neighborhood: This neighborhood only has a few hotels, but what it lacks in hotels it makes up for in rentals on Airbnb. Top it up with rented bikes and you have set yourself up perfectly for a great mix of nature and city right at your fingertips.
CHRISTIANSHAVN & REFSHALEØEN
On the other side of the harbor from the city center you’ll find the historical merchant harbor of Christianshavn with its scenic and beautiful canals. Modeled after Amsterdam the area was commissioned by King Christian the 4th in the 1600’s much like the vast majority of historic Copenhagen.
Christianshavn is quintessential hygge whether you stroll around the cute streets, have lunch by the canals or dive headfirst into the bohemian area in the unique Freetown Christiania. With the whole areas diverse set of citizens, walking or biking around in this area feels like roaming around in the village in the city with its own distinct identity.
The Christianshavn area is a very desirable place for us locals with its cute streets, fantastic eateries, captivating views, and green spaces at the waterside or on the old bastions of Copenhagen filled to the brim with cute little resting spots and wild nature.
Our favorite food and drink picks: NOMA (Michelin-starred New Nordic Cuisine), Lille Bakery (Bakery), Reffen (Streetfood), Broens Gadekøkken (Cocktails), Månefiskeren (Brunch), Christianshavn Færgecafé (Traditional Danish Open-Faced Sandwiches & Dinner), Rosforth & Rosforth (Natural Wines).
Our favorite activities: Hang out with your favorite alcoholic beverage in hand with the locals at Broens Gadekøkken, plunge into the water with the locals at La Banchina, hike to the top of Copenhill, get a bike and check out the old naval base Nyholm and the bohemian area of Freetown Christiania, enjoy the evening atmosphere at Reffen Streetfood, climb the narrow staircase of Our Saviors Church or/and head up for at beer or a glass of wine at Kulturtårnet for breathtaking views of the newer and older parts of the city.
Best hotels in this neighborhood: This neighborhood only has a few hotels, but what it lacks in hotels it makes up for in rentals on Airbnb. This is our best recommendation for the most authentic experience of this amazing neighborhood.