Posted: 2/8/203 | February 8th, 2023
Copenhagen is a lively, modern, and fun capital perfect for weekend getaways or as a base as you explore the region at large.
It’s a laid-back city with a high quality of living, boasting charming rows of colorful houses, inventive green spaces, inviting canals, and bike lanes galore (there are five times as many bikes as cars in the city, and more bikes than people too).
The Danish capital is very compact and made for walking. And every neighborhood has its own distinct flavor and personality. For this reason, it’s important to have an idea of which part of town you’d like to plant yourself in while here.
To help you decide where to stay in Copenhagen, here are the best neighborhoods – and why I like them – so you can choose the area that best suits your travel style and budget.
But, before I get to the specifics, here are some common questions I get asked about Copenhagen neighborhoods:
What’s the best neighborhood for first-time visitors?
Indre By is one of the most picturesque areas of town and where much of the action is. If you’re new to the city, this is the best place to base yourself.
What’s the best neighborhood for shopping?
Frederiksberg is an upscale neighborhood with plenty of boutique shops and cafés where you can sit back and watch the city go by.
What’s the best neighborhood for foodies?
Nørrebro is the most diverse neighborhood in the city and is bursting with delicious cuisine, from cheap street food to Michelin-starred eateries.
What’s the best neighborhood for hipsters?
Once a run-down neighborhood, Vesterbro is now lined with chic shops, third-wave cafés, and cool galleries.
What’s the best neighborhood to feel like a local?
Amagerbro is a largely residential neighborhood perfect for taking in the local pace of life.
What’s the best neighborhood overall?
Indre By has something for everyone and really shouldn’t be missed!
With those questions now answered, here is a more specific breakdown of each neighborhood — with suggested accommodations for each, so you’ll know exactly where to stay in Copenhagen.
Indre By, also known as Copenhagen Center or downtown, is probably the first neighborhood most first-time visitors explore when they set out to discover this city. After all, it’s one of the most picturesque areas of town, complete with rows of colorful, centuries-old houses on the harbor, medieval thoroughfares, a castle, the main art museum (Statens Museum for Kunst), Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street, and even the queen’s residence. Tivoli Gardens, the city’s small amusement park, is also located here.
Indre By, literally “inner city,” or as locals call it, Nyhavn, is the most convenient place to stay for those wanting to pack a lot in on their first visit, since all the main sights are just a few steps away — including Freetown Christiania, the city’s (in)famous commune/micronation.
Best Places to Stay in Indre By:
If you like a dose of sophistication with your travels, book yourself at a hotel or hostel in Frederiksberg, a neighborhood west of downtown. Upscale clothing boutiques, theaters, fancy coffee spots and restaurants, and quiet cafés flank the district’s streets. You’ll also find a quaint park, a diminutive castle, and picturesque canals that are perfect for strolling around when the sun is out.
Best Places to Stay in Frederiksberg:
Northwest from the historical center sits Nørrebro, home to the famed Assistens Cemetery, where you can view the grave of author Hans Christian Andersen (he wrote The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling, amongst many other noteworthy stories). Nørrebro also happens to be the most ethnically diverse district in town: walk down the street and you’ll hear dozens of different languages.
It’s also home to a slew of restaurants and cafés, from great no-frills spots to Michelin-starred eateries. If you’re not sure where or what to eat, come to Nørrebro and you’ll be spoiled with a rich variety of great restaurants.
Best Places to Stay in Nørrebro
There once was a time when Vesterbro, located west of the historical center and nearly hugging the main canal, was a no-go zone, its streets prowled by drug dealers. Some of these elements are still there, but today Vesterbro is one of the hippest places to hang out in the Danish capital. The streets are now lined with cutting-edge art galleries, hipster bars, third-wave coffee shops (emphasizing high quality), and excellent restaurants.
There are not a ton of accommodation options in Vesterbro, but what’s there — and just across the border in neighboring districts — is good for a few nights.
Best Places to Stay in Vesterbro:
Situated to the south, Amagerbro is a sprawling neighborhood with a large residential section. It’s also on Amager Island, which once had the moniker “Shit Island,” because it was the place where the city’s sewage was deposited.
Today, the sewage is gone, and the neighborhood is one of the most sought-after places to reside, as the streets are flanked by cool cafés, restaurants serving elevated Danish fare, and unique shops.
Best Places to Stay in Amagerbro:
Copenhagen has a lot of things to see — from Tivoli Gardens to the National Museum of Denmark to Christiansborg Palace to the alternative and hippie-laden Christiania district. With an abundance of charming, beautiful, and laid-back neighborhoods that showcase Danish culture, Copenhagen is easy to enjoy, no matter in which you choose to base yourself.
Book Your Flight
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Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
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