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.
Where to Stay in Copenhagen for First-Time Visitors: Indre By
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:
- BUDGET: Bedwood Hostel – Housed in a nicely preserved mid-18th-century warehouse, Bedwood has dorm-room beds with power outlets and reading lamps. The hostel also has a cool common room where you can drink beer, coffee, and tea, as well as a courtyard with a lovely ambiance.
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Bethel – Situated right on the canal in the center of Indre By, Bethel is made up of three historic buildings: the red building, the yellow building, and the warehouse. Wherever they put you, you’re sure to have a comfortable room with a cozy mattress. Some rooms have stunning views of the canal. The breakfast is tasty and filling too.
- LUXURY: The Socialist – This luxe property boasts large rooms — some of which have very nice city views — that get a lot of natural light and have marble bathrooms (including plush robes), USB outlets, and oversized armchairs.
Where to Stay in Copenhagen for Shopping: Frederiksberg
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:
- BUDGET: CityHub – Located just over the border in Vesterbro, CityHub packs some perks for being a budget-friendly hotel. There’s a sauna, a self-service bar, and the dorms are made up of futuristic-looking (and comfortable) pods.
- MID-RANGE: Scandic Falkoner – Newly renovated, the industrial chic Scandic Falkoner has a theater theme, referencing Frederiksberg’s long-standing reputation for its acting scene. All rooms have comfy king-sized beds, and the rooms on the higher floors have stunning views of the city. The in-house bar and restaurant use only Danish ingredients.
- LUXURY: Hotel Sct. Thomas – Also nearby in Vesterbro, the Hotel Sct. Thomas is the most luxurious hotel that is close to Frederiksberg, just a short stroll away. It has a rooftop terrace with incredible city views, and if you book directly, the luscious breakfast buffet is complimentary. All rooms have desks, armchairs, AC, and international TV channels.
Where to stay in Copenhagen for Foodies: Nørrebro
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
- BUDGET: Globalhagen Hostel – Prized for its attention to environmental issues, Globalhagen is a nonprofit/NGO property with several types of comfortable dorm rooms. The hostel also has a large screening room to watch TV and films, and a full kitchen for guests to use.
- MID-RANGE: Avenue Hotel – The sleek Avenue Hotel, located on the border of Nørrebro and Frederiksberg, offers a bountiful organic breakfast. It has rooms of various sizes, including small singles and plus-sized doubles, all of which have comfy beds and high-quality bath products. There’s also a wine happy hour for guests in the early evening.
- LUXURY: Hotel Nora – A few blocks south of the cemetery, Nora has 42 high-ceilinged rooms in an ornate 19th-century building. All have refrigerators, electric kettles for coffee and tea, and air conditioning. Guests can also request Danish or international newspapers in the morning.
The Best Places to Stay in Copenhagen for Hipsters: Vesterbro
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:
- BUDGET: YMCA Interpoint Hostel – This 54-bed hostel in the heart of Vesterbro is a favorite summertime home for backpackers. It has every size dorm room imaginable, plus a large common kitchen and a lively common room for hanging out and meeting fellow travelers.
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Ottilia – Part of the former Carlsberg brewery, Otilia has won several architecture awards for its transformation into a lovely mid-range hotel. Its rooms have round windows with nice city views, large beds, coffee makers, and even workout equipment. If you upgrade to a suite, the food and drink options are complimentary.
- LUXURY: Scandic Kødbyen – Sleek and cool, this new hotel in neighboring Kødbyen is only a short walk to Vesterbro’s best bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The spacious rooms have large, thick, comfortable beds, and some even have French balconies.
Where to Stay to Feel like a Local: Amagerbro
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:
- BUDGET: Hotel Amager – For a budget-friendly hotel, Amager has a lot of nice perks, including a large breakfast buffet and a complimentary pint of beer when you check in. The hotel also has a sports bar.
- MID-RANGE: CPH Studio Hotel – This 149-room property has an extraordinary and large rooftop terrace, the perfect place to chill out after a day of exploring. Most of the rooms have kitchenettes too.
- LUXURY: Radisson Blu – Set not far from the famed Christiania neighborhood, the Radisson Blu is part of a chain that is reliable and comfortable. Try to request a room on the upper floors for scenic views. Rooms have tea and coffee makers, and the hotel has a large fitness center. There’s also an Italian restaurant on the ground floor.
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.