Osterbro
Credit: Stig Nygaard

The Østerbro district: Copenhagen’s upscale paradise you must visit

Østerbro is one of Copenhagen’s wealthiest suburbs; living in and exploring this part of the city is joyous and peaceful in equal measure. The district is an excellent place for raising a family and offers the Danish capital’s most luscious green spaces — coupled with fancy apartments and upscale stores. 

If you’re a sports fan, you’ll probably end up in this part of the Danish capital during your time living or visiting here. Besides Denmark’s national soccer team playing its games here, you’ll find plenty of spots to run, kick a ball around yourself, and much more. 

Before you visit or move to Østerbro, it’s worth doing a little research to help you understand the district better. That way, when you come here, you’ll fit in perfectly. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the neighborhood defining “Scandinavian chic” better than any other. 

Where is Østerbro in Copenhagen?

Østerbro stands for “eastern bridge” and is northeast of downtown Copenhagen. The district borders Nørrebro to the west, with Hellerup to its north. 

The “København Ø” postcode includes Nordhavn, a new waterfront neighborhood between Østerbro’s older core and Hellerup. From here, you can get the ferry to the Norwegian capital Oslo. 

To get a better grip of the district, you can refer to the map of Østerbro we’ve added below.

Things to do in Østerbro

Østerbro is distinctly residential, and most of the people who live here are families with children. If you move to Denmark from abroad, you might end up in this part of the city to renew your passport or seek advice; the US, Russian, and Spanish embassies—plus many more—are located in this district. 

Don’t worry, though — the neighborhood offers much more than diplomacy. Below, you’ll find our top recommendations for things to do in Østerbro.

Green spaces

If you want an abundance of green spaces, Østerbro is one of Copenhagen’s best districts to live in. Here, you’ll find Fælledparken — which is the city’s largest park. It’s a superb place to play soccer with your friends, and you’ll find locals walking, cycling, and running along its tracks throughout the year. 

When the sun comes out, expect to see Copenhageners sitting in their droves on the grass. 

In Fælledparken, you’ll also find several playgrounds to let your kids run around. The park also has a skate park and a place for children to learn traffic safety rules. 

Next to Østerport station, you’ll find Østre Anlæg — a park which runs from the edges of Østerbro into the city and opposite Rosenborg Castle. Although much smaller than Fælledparken, it’s still an excellent place to go for a leisurely Sunday stroll.

Winter bathing

Winters in Denmark are long, dark, and often pretty cold. What’s the best thing to combat these? Jump in the water, of course. 

As a foreigner coming to live in Denmark, someone will almost certainly ask you to go winter bathing at some point. Saying yes is a rite of passage on your way to becoming a full Viking, and the northern parts of Østerbro are ideal places for getting started. 

Nordhavn has a bathing club that you can join for as little as 175 Danish Kroner per year; sauna access is a little pricier at 400kr annually. However, you can hop in even if you aren’t a member — though you also won’t have access to changing rooms. 

A bit further north, you’ll find another winter bathing spot at Svanemøllen. 

If the winter months are too much for you, you can also hop in the water during the summer. But a word of warning: both areas get pretty busy as soon as the weather heats up.

Sports and exercise

Østerbro stakes a pretty good claim for being Copenhagen’s most active district. We’ve already touched on running in Fælledparken; another popular route is around Kastellet, while The Lakes and promenade heading into the city center are close by. 

If winter swimming is too much for you, Øbro-Hallen is an indoor swimming pool that might fit your needs better. At the time of writing in November 2021, it’s currently closed for renovation — so you’ll need to wait before giving it a shot. 

Nordhavn is a popular place to exercise for locals, and you can get yourself in shape without needing to buy a gym membership. On the top of a parking lot next to the German Embassy, you’ll find Konditaget Lüders — an outdoor gym equipped with handlebars, running tracks, and more. 

Are you feeling lazy? If so, don’t worry; you can watch others run and toil around instead. Østerbro is home to the Parken stadium, which is one of Denmark’s most iconic sporting arenas. FC Copenhagen plays its home games here; the club is one of the country’s biggest in soccer and regularly competes at the top of the Danish Superliga. 

Denmark’s national team also plays many of its games at Parken. All three of the side’s group games in its run to the EURO 2020 semi-finals took place here, and you’ll be able to grab tickets for friendlies and tournament qualifiers throughout the year.

Osterbro
Credit: Bine Rodenberger

Sunbathing

As soon as the temperature rises above 10 degrees Celsius, winter is over in many Danes’ minds. And from around mid-June until late August (or early September if we’re fortunate), beaches throughout the country are packed with people trying to get as much vitamin D as possible. 

Although Nordhavn doesn’t have a beach, it’s not uncommon to see groups of people sunbathing along the promenade. It’s a great way to dry up if you’ve just finished swimming and aren’t in a rush to go anywhere, too. 

If you’re after sand, you can go to Svanemøllen Strand instead. Keep in mind, though, that the beach is relatively small, so you might struggle to grab a spot if you don’t get there early in the summer.

Shopping

If you’re looking to confirm all of your preconceived ideas about fancy Danish design, Østerbro is one of the best places to shop in Copenhagen. Here, you’ll find a wide selection of stores that cater to the appearance-conscious shopper. 

One of the most popular shops in Østerbro is moshi moshi mind. The shop is located across the street from The Lakes and isn’t far from the US Embassy. Inside, you’ll find a broad range of clothes, bags, and items for your home — plus more.

Along Østerbrogade—which is the district’s primary street—you’ll also find several mainstream stores. Flying Tiger has a reasonably-sized shop near Trianglen, and Marathon Sport is a good spot for picking up any gear you need for that run you’re planning around Fælledparken. 

It’s almost impossible to go into a Danish apartment or office and not find a vast array of plants, and Østerbro won’t disappoint you if you’re looking to spice up your home a bit. You can shop at several flower stores, such as Blomsterdrøm and Øbro Blomster.

Eating

Some residents look at Østerbro in Copenhagen as a little boring, especially when it comes to food. However, the district offers more than enough choices if you’re looking for a place to sit down. 

Halifax Burgers is a popular burger chain in Denmark, and it has a restaurant not far from Parken that you can try out. Besides a fair few burgers, you can also order snack baskets, salads, beers, and more. 

If your taste-buds fancy something a little more international, Østerbro more than has you covered. Another good choice worth exploring is IRON WOK on Nordre Frihavnsgade. While it’s a takeaway, you’ll get some of the best Thai food that you can taste anywhere in Scandinavia — let alone Denmark. 

It’s not uncommon for Danish families to visit the local bakery on Sunday morning and grab some fresh-baked goods for breakfast. And if you want to join in with the local culture, you can do a lot worse than live in or visit Østerbro.

One of the most popular local chains is Meyers, which has a couple of stores dotted throughout the city. At its bakery on Classensgade, you’ll find freshly-baked cinnamon buns jostling with a wide selection of bread, sandwiches, and sweet treats. 

Arguably the fanciest bakery in Østerbro is Juno the Bakery, located on Århusgade. It’s best to come here with deep pockets because the menu certainly isn’t cheap. However, you’ll get quality for your money; the bakery sells buns, cakes, and pastries, plus much more.

Places to see and visit in Østerbro

Østerbro is Denmark in a nutshell, and there’s more than enough to keep you entertained for a while. Besides all of the experiences we’ve listed above, the district has plenty of must-sees. 

Below is a breakdown of the best places to see and visit in Østerbro.

The architecture in Nordhavn

Nordhavn is a multi-year project to turn one of Copenhagen’s former industrial areas into a sustainable and liveable neighborhood. This part of the city will crush any thoughts you had that Denmark can only offer cute, chocolate-box houses. 

Compared to the inner city, Nordhavn features a lot of distinct newer buildings. The UN has a large campus here, which is perhaps the district’s most iconic structure. Also worth checking out is the Silo Building, which is a cutting-edge structure featuring some of the fanciest apartments you’ll see anywhere. 

The Portland Towers also deserve an honorable mention. These former silos now house the German Embassy, along with several offices.

Kastellet

Kastellet is theoretically part of Indre By but fits Østerbro’s atmosphere much better. The citadel is still in use today but is an excellent place to go for a stroll or run around. 

Kastellet has a star-shaped moat running around it and is easily accessible from Østerport station. It’s also not far from Nyhavn and the city’s traditional core, making it an easy spot to spend an hour getting some fresh air.

Osterbro

The Little Mermaid

If you came to Copenhagen expecting the Little Mermaid to be some kind of imposing monument, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. However, it’s worth seeing once — just to say that you’ve seen it. 

The Little Mermaid is on the waterfront route that connects Østerbro with Copenhagen’s inner-city; you’ll notice the groups of tourists surrounding it before you see the statue itself. You can avoid the crowds by coming here early in the morning when you can snap that Instagram shot and get on with your day.

Nyboder

When it comes to preserving its older architecture, few cities in Europe do a better job than Copenhagen. If you want to transport yourself back a few centuries instantly, you have to check out Nyboder —  a row of houses right next to Østerport station. 

Dating back to the 17 and 18th centuries, these colorful low-rise buildings used to be naval barracks. Now, though, they’ve been transformed into places to live — and maintain much of their older charm. 

The space is free to walk around and open to the public, but be respectful and remember that people live there.

Osterbro
Credit: Leif Jørgensen

Places to stay in Østerbro

Compared to other parts of the city, the Østerbro district in Copenhagen doesn’t have the largest selection of accommodation for tourists. Your best bet is to look for listings on Airbnb unless you can make friends with someone who lives here. 

When talking about hotels in Østerbro, you’ve got a few options. We’ve listed the best of these below.

Hotel Østerport

One of Østerbro’s most budget-friendly accommodation choices is Hotel Østerport. Conveniently located next to the main train station, this three-star hotel has that chic Scandinavian interior that you’ll desperately want your home to look like. 

The hotel offers several room choices, including singles, doubles, places for families to stay. Pets are allowed to stay for an additional price, and you can also add breakfast to your booking.

Rye115 Hotel

If you’re looking for a hotel that’s a little cozier, Rye115 is another popular place to stay in Østerbro. Single, double, and triple rooms are available, and the hotel also accommodates business meetings if you’re traveling for work. 

Rye115 allows children of all ages to stay, with those under the age of two being free. You can get breakfast as part of your stay.

Adina Apartment Hotel Copenhagen

Another Østerbro hotel worth considering is Adina Apartment Hotel Copenhagen, a high-end hotel right on the waterfront. Here, you’ll find several fancy apartment suites — some with one room, others with two. 

The hotel has several amenities, including a fitness center and places to store your bike. You can also enjoy breakfast and other food at the restaurant, and you’ll also have access to a kitchen.

Moving to Copenhagen: Finding an apartment in Østerbro

Østerbro is one of Copenhagen’s most desirable neighborhoods to live in, meaning that finding an apartment when you first move here is likely to be complicated. Having said that, it’s not impossible to eventually get yourself here.  

Despite its elegance, you’ll find young professionals and students living here. Much of the time, though, they’ll have got an apartment through their network of friends in Denmark  —so you should consider doing likewise as soon as you get here. 

Websites that you might want to consider include: 

  • BoligPortal: A popular portal in Denmark for finding a wide range of accommodation. 
  • LifeX: Co-living apartments throughout Copenhagen.
Osterbro

Transport in Østerbro

Østerbro is well-connected to the rest of Copenhagen, and you can get a train direct from the airport to Østerport station in around 25 minutes. Østerport is a helpful base for getting around Denmark; you can go to many northern parts of Sjælland directly from the S-train, as well as going further afield — such as to Odense. 

Copenhagen’s metro also makes it easy to get from Østerbro to the city center. Østerport, Nordhavn, and Trianglen—plus other stations—will get you into the city center in little time. Østerport and Trianglen are both on the Cityringen line, which will get you to almost every corner of Copenhagen.

Østerbro: Copenhagen’s fanciest district

If you tell your friends and colleagues that you live in Østerbro, they’ll probably look at you with envy. Well, either that or they’ll think you’re a snob. The district is one of Copenhagen’s best to live in and offers a peaceful environment with family-friendly spaces and beautiful architecture.

But even if you aren’t coming to live in the Danish capital, Østerbro is still well worth exploring for a day or two. Here, you’ll find some of Denmark’s best bakeries and several inviting restaurants to spend an evening. And if you’re big on sports, it’s an excellent place to both play and watch. 

Regardless of where you go in Copenhagen, you’ll almost certainly find yourself captivated by the sensation of hygge. It’s an integral part of Danish culture, so reading up on it before you land is a smart idea. 

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Now read these:
Get to know Copenhagen’s neighborhoods
Nørrebro, Copenhagen’s intriguing melting pot
Vesterbro, the hipster district of Copenhagen
Indre By, Copenhagen’s central district
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 sunshine in Islands Brygge
Unearthing Copenhagen’s red light district
Circumnavigating the Lakes of Copenhagen
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