Norrebro

The Nørrebro district: A guide to Copenhagen’s intriguing melting pot

As you begin to edge away from Copenhagen’s tourist trail, you might well find yourself crossing into Nørrebro. Although the Nørrebro district is well-known and frequented by locals, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves among tourists. 

That’ll probably change soon, though. Time Out Magazine named Nørrebro the coolest neighborhood in the world in 2021, meaning it’s almost certainly going to be on the lips of more people coming to Copenhagen. 

And if you get here before the crowds come along, you’ll find a rough diamond that has something for everyone. 

The Nørrebro district in Copenhagen is one of Scandinavia’s most international neighborhoods and home to people from Denmark, the Middle East, and many other corners of the globe. It used to have a reputation for being rough but has since cleaned up its act and become one of Copenhagen’s most desirable places to live. 

Despite its recent rise to fame, Nørrebro remains down to earth and holds onto its working-class roots. If you care to step out of Copenhagen’s city center, you’ll uncover a gem that rewards the curious traveler. 

So, what can you do in Nørrebro? Where can you stay, and how do you get to and from there? Let’s take a look and answer all of these questions.

Before we start…

We’ll dive deeper into Nørrebro in a moment. But before we start, it’s worth providing a little background to help you understand the district better. 

In English, Nørrebro translates to “northern bridge”. The district is northwest of central Copenhagen and is connected to the inner city by Dronning Louises Bro — which transports cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers across Peblinge Sø. 

Nørrebro is a bit of a paradox. Despite being distinctly less posh than both Frederiksberg and Østerbro, the neighborhood borders both districts. To the northwest of the district is Bispebjerg, which is known locally as “Nordvest”. 

The neighborhood starts at the end of Dronning Louises Bro and is separated from Frederiksberg by Ågade. Going toward Østerbro, you can use the top end of Fælledparken as the natural separator between both districts. 

So you can get a better geographical understanding, we’ve added a map of Nørrebro for you to check out below.

Things to do in Nørrebro

When searching for things to do in Nørrebro, you’ll quickly find yourself asking: “What isn’t there to do in Nørrebro?”. This part of Copenhagen has enough food places to keep you entertained and your stomach full for a long time, and you’ll also find plenty of places to have a drink and mingle with the locals. 

To help you get the most out of your time here, we’ve listed the best things to do in Nørrebro below. 

Gaza Grill

Copenhagen’s food scene has transformed itself in the 21st century, and now, you’ll find excellent grub from all corners of the globe. Arguably the best place to try Middle Eastern food in the city is Gaza Grill, which has a store on Fælledvej. 

Gaza Grill is quite expensive, but the quality—plus the amount of food you get—is well worth the price. You can try several bowls, including falafel, chicken, and halloumi. If you feel like splurging, you can pick from a variety of side dishes too.

BRUS

Copenhagen is one of Europe’s most rewarding beer experiences, and Nørrebro has several excellent places to drink. BRUS is one of the cornerstones of the Danish capital’s beer scene and has over 30 beers and cocktails for you to try. 

In addition to its wide selection of alcoholic drinks, BRUS also has a food bar if you’re feeling hungry. Here, you’ll find beef and veggie burgers — plus snacks, desserts, and coffee.

Mikkeller & Friends

Mikkeller is arguably Denmark’s most famous craft beer brand, and the company is well-known in all corners of the globe. Considering that it originated in Copenhagen, you won’t be surprised to hear that you can visit several Mikkeller breweries and bars throughout the city. One of these is Mikkeller & Friends on Stefansgade. 

The Mikkeller & Friends bar in Nørrebro isn’t as famous as its Vesterbro equivalent but is still worth checking out. Throughout the year, the bar holds several events — such as bingo and quiz nights. Aside from that, you’ll get the standard Mikkeller experience — a cozy bar with a great selection of beers.

Norrebro
Credit: Krists Luhaers

Distortion festival

Nørrebro is lively throughout the year, but it takes things to a whole new level when the weather gets warmer. Around summertime each year, Nørrebro and Vesterbro come alive with the huge Distortion festival

Distortion is the biggest street party in Copenhagen and symbolizes the city’s constant quest to have a good time. You’ll hear all kinds of music, including hip-hop and techno. Each year, you’ll be joined by hundreds of thousands of people.

Shopping

Copenhagen is a shopper’s paradise. If you want to avoid the crowds of the main shopping streets in the city center, don’t worry; Nørrebro more than has you covered. Here, the emphasis is primarily on independent outlets. 

As an environmentally-conscious country, you’ll find it unsurprising to hear that Denmark has several entrepreneurs looking to help minimize humans’ impact on the planet. GåGron is one such store, and all of its items are made from sustainable materials. 

Nørrebro’s bohemian heart hasn’t deterred some of Scandinavia’s most prominent fashion brands looking to make their mark here, though. The neighborhood is an excellent place to shop for retro clothing, and Acne Archives sells a variety of the Swedish brand Acne’s clothing from seasons gone by. 

Generally speaking, you’ll find the best shopping places along Jægersborggade and Emlegade. Blågårdsgade is another famous street for independent sellers.

What to see and visit in Nørrebro

The Nørrebro district in Copenhagen is big on experiences. But besides eating your way through international cuisines and checking out the capital’s best independent stores in between your craft beer tour, you’ll also find a lot of things to see and visit. 

Below, we’ve broken down Nørrebro’s top attractions into a digestible list.

Superkilen

In addition to being Copenhagen’s most multicultural district, Nørrebro also has a stronger sense of community than almost most—if not all—of the city’s other neighborhoods. Nowhere is this more evident than at Superkilen, a public space that has found its way onto several Instagram accounts in recent years. 

Superkilen’s designers intended to highlight Nørrebro’s diversity and promote integration, and they’ve done a pretty good job. This is where Nørrebro’s residents gather frequently; you’ll see parents chatting away as their kids run around, with skateboarders riding past ping-pong players. 

In the summer, this spot is bustling in the evenings and on weekends.

Assistens Kirkegård 

Assistens Kirkegård is over two decades old and one of Copenhagen’s best-known graveyards. Here, you’ll find the grave of the legendary Hans Christian Andersen—one of Denmark’s biggest gifts to the world. 

But Andersen isn’t the only famous person who has been laid to rest here. You’ll also find the likes of HC Ørsted and Søren Kierkegård, both of whom have played crucial roles in Danish history. 

The cemetery is quite large, but you’ll find helpful maps dotted throughout. And even if you don’t fancy spending your afternoon spotting famous people’s graves, Assistens Kirkegård is a pleasant place to stroll mindlessly.

Norrebro
Credit: Leif Jørgensen

Dronning Louises Bro

Dronning Louises Bro is one of Copenhagen’s grandest and most famous bridges. Most importantly, though, it’s the world’s busiest cycling street. 

If you come here at rush hour on a weekday, prepare to be mesmerized by the sheer volume of commuters traveling to their workplace on two wheels. It’s a little daunting at first, but the best way to get over that anxiety is by bringing your bike and getting involved. 

On the rare occasion that Denmark’s weather plays fairly, Dronning Louises Bro effectively becomes a large communal area. You’ll find locals drinking beer on the banks of The Lakes, along with people selling coffee from portable stools and music beaming from speakers.

Politimuseet

When you come to Denmark for the first time, you’ll probably question why such a peaceful country even has police. But crime does exist here, and the best place in the country to learn about Danish police is at Politimuseet. 

The museum is in an old building and relatively easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Inside, you’ll learn about how the Danish police operate — along with discovering more about the country’s most famous criminals. 

Norrebro
Credit: Leif Jørgensen

Places to stay in Nørrebro

Nørrebro is mainly residential and doesn’t cater to tourists anywhere near as much as Indre By or some of Copenhagen’s other neighborhoods. If you’ve got a larger budget and want to stay in a fancy hotel, you’re better off looking at places to stay in the city center. There, you’ll find a much broader range of accommodation. 

If you’re on a tighter budget, though, you’ll find a selection of mid-range and lower-end hotels in Nørrebro — plus a selection of hostels. We’ve outlined the best of these below.

Mid-range hotels in Nørrebro

Most of the popular hotels in Nørrebro are close to or on the main street. If you want to balance staying centrally with soaking in the district’s atmosphere, Avenue Hotel Copenhagen is an excellent place to stay. You’ll do a good job not to overdose on hygge here, with cozy seating areas and stereotypically sleek Danish design. 

At Avenue Hotel Copenhagen, you’ll find a wide selection of single and double rooms — plus suites. The hotel also has a bar and offers breakfast. 

Hotel Nora Copenhagen is another good option if you want to stay in Nørrebro. You can get single economy rooms from 770 Danish Kroner per night, with standard ones rising to 970. Double rooms edge into the higher-end budget range. 

Hotel Nora is immaculately designed inside and has an outdoor terrace for taking in the city on warmer days. If you want to drop your bags and get exploring, you can take advantage of the hotel’s luggage storage. 

One thing worth noting is that Hotel Nora is on the main street in Nørrebro, which can get quite noisy at times. 

Budget places to stay in Nørrebro

If you don’t have as much cash to spend but want somewhere good enough to lay your head down, Nørrebro has a couple of more affordable options. Sleep in Heaven is one of the most popular hostels among young people visiting Copenhagen and focuses on creating a communal feeling to help you make friends easily. 

Sleep in Heaven offers bike rental for all guests and welcomes guests aged between 16 and 35. You can book an affordable stay in a private room, along with a bed in dorms ranging in size. 

a&o Hostel Copenhagen Nørrebro is another budget option that you might want to consider. Located on Tagensvej, the building looks unassuming on the outside. However, it’s a hotbed of Scandinavian design as soon as you step through the doors. Pets are allowed to stay at the hostel, and you can order both food and drink at the bar. The hostel also offers breakfast.

Norrebro

Transport in Nørrebro

Although Nørrebro feels quite far from the city center, it’s well-connected to the rest of Copenhagen. You can get here directly from the airport by taking the S train to Nørreport station, which is also a good base for traveling to other parts of Denmark. 

Nørrebro is also easy to get to and from via the metro. Nørrebro, Nuuks Plads, Norreport, Skjolds Plads, and Nørrebros Runddel will all get you into the city center in little time. 

You can also get from Nørrebro to the city center by bus, and a bike ride won’t take you long either.

Nørrebro is Copenhagen’s most varied district

Although Nørrebro doesn’t have as many places to stay as the rest of Copenhagen, that’s probably a good thing — because the district is also distinctly less touristy. You’ll almost exclusively find locals here and will be greeted with enough experiences to last a lifetime. 

While it has become a little more upscale in recent years, Nørrebro maintains the grit and atmosphere that make it special. If you’ve spent a lot of time in the inner city, its intensity might put you off — but if you look deeper, you’ll find a vibrant district of independent thinkers with a desire to do things differently. 

Nørrebro is a microcosm of the high levels of social cohesion in Denmark. Part of this success is due to the country following the Nordic model, which has led to the region becoming one of the planet’s most prosperous. So, why not next check out a full explanation of how this works?

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Now read these:
Get to know Copenhagen’s neighborhoods
Vesterbro, the hipster district of Copenhagen
Indre By, Copenhagen’s central district
Østerbro, the paradise of Copenhagen
Frederiksberg, Copenhagen’s leafy enclave
Amager, explore nature in Copenhagen
Strandvejen, Copenhagen’s coastal suburbs
Valby, Copenhagen’s lesser-known district
Unpacking Copenhagen’s meatpacking district
Exploring the charms of Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Enjoy the sea and sun in Islands Brygge
Unearthing Copenhagen’s red light district
Circumnavigating the Lakes of Copenhagen
What is Denmark famous for?

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