Valby

Valby district: Discovering one of Copenhagen’s lesser-known neighborhoods

For many years, Valby has been an afterthought in the minds of many Copenhageners. It’s nowhere near as sought after as the likes of Vesterbro and Nørrebro, nor is it as affluent as Frederiksberg or Østerbro.

However, Valby’s stock is rising. In recent years, various housing developments have contributed to a neighborhood diverse in architecture and the types of people living there.

Compared to most of Copenhagen’s other inner districts, buying and renting a place to live in Valby is still relatively low. This, combined with its close proximity to the city center, has made it a popular spot for expats and young Danes alike.

So, what is there to see in Valby? Can you do much, or is it merely a residential area with little to shout about? Let’s take a deeper dive and find out.

Where is Valby in Copenhagen?

If you move to Copenhagen, you’ll probably visit Valby within your first couple of days. One of the Danish immigration agency’s offices is located in this district, and you’ll need to visit as part of your residence permit application.

You’ll also need to visit Valby to get part of your NemID sorted; without this, you can’t access digital banking and whatnot in Denmark.

The Valby district in Copenhagen feels a little like the leftovers from Frederiksberg and Vesterbro, and this isn’t surprising; you can go into either neighborhood without even noticing that you left.

Valby borders Frederiksberg and Vanløse to the north, and Vesterbro to the east. It’s around 15 minutes from downtown Copenhagen by bike. If you go any further west after leaving Valby, you’re no longer in the Copenhagen Municipality.

South of Valby lies Sydhavnen, a new waterfront district that was built on old industrial land. The neighborhood features several modern apartments and is easily accessible from the city center.

We’ve added a map of Valby below to help you better understand its position in Copenhagen.

Things to do in Valby

“What to see in Valby”, we hear you ask?

Valby is primarily a residential area, so you’re not going to find much in terms of tourist attractions. Having said that, the district offers several intriguing experiences; we’ve listed our top picks below.

Nordisk Film: A guided tour

Nordisk Film is a huge movie production company in Denmark. It operates several theaters throughout the country, and one of the most iconic is in nearby Vesterbro.

Nordisk Film is the oldest studio that’s continually active in the world, as well as one of the oldest film studios full stop. Its headquarters are in Valby; in many Danish films, the surroundings serve as backdrops.

At Nordisk Film’s main studio, you can join tours and get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes. You’ll need to book these in advance; the minimum group size is 10 on weekdays, but this threshold is lower on the weekend.

Visit Carlsberg

The Danes love beer. You’ll see cans and bottles of lager at almost every social event you go to, especially if you’re invited to someone’s house for Julefrokost (Christmas lunch). But emerging above the countless local breweries and recent craft beer revolution, none are as well-known globally as Carlsberg.

Carlsberg is an integral part of Danish culture, and to this day, it remains essential for Copenhagen’s economy. Its head office recruits people from all over the world, and it featured as FC Copenhagen’s main shirt sponsor for several years.

To this day, Carlsberg still uses its brewery in Valby. You can join tours to learn more about the company and get behind the scenes for “probably the best beer in the world”.

At the time of writing, the Carlsberg area in Copenhagen is undergoing significant renovation. Tours are currently not running, but they will resume once the works have been completed.

Valby
Credit: webjay

Shopping

If you want to go shopping in Copenhagen without the crowds of Strøget, Spinderiet in Valby might be what you’re looking for. This shopping mall has dozens of stores, ranging from clothing shops to jewelry stores.

Inside Spinderiet, you’ll also find a selection of places to eat. Moreover, you can get a workout at SATS — which is one of Scandinavia’s largest gym chains. As part of your membership, you can choose a tier that gives you access to all of its centers in the Nordic region.

Eating

If you’re interested in good food, Valby has an excellent selection of places to eat and get some of that “hygge” feeling. Valby’s restaurants cover a wide range of global cuisines, and one of the best places to get Persian food in Copenhagen is Khayam — The Persian Restaurant on Valby Langgade.

Khayam serves a broad selection of dishes, including kebabs and mixed grills. You can also buy bread, dessert, coffee, and a wide range of side dishes. The portions are huge, and you don’t need to worry about going hungry.

For something a little less heavy, you might want to consider Ramen to Bííru instead. This chain has several stores throughout Copenhagen, including one on the main street in Valby. You can choose from 16 ramen dishes, three of which are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

At Ramen to Bííru, you’ll get to choose how spicy you want your ramen to be. It’s worth noting that even if you prefer mild, it’s still going to be pretty intense; make sure you get something refreshing to drink on the side!

In addition to the main dishes, you can pick from a variety of sides. Go for the fried chicken, and we promise you won’t regret it.

Ramen to Bííru has a partnership with the Danish craft beer giant Mikkeller, and you can choose from several of its beers — in addition to soft drinks and more. It’s worth noting that the inside is pretty compact, so you might need to squeeze up to fit all your friends in.

If you’re on the lookout for something more elegant, Valby Brasserie might take your fancy instead. The French-themed restaurant on the district’s main street offers a sizable menu that includes snails, ratatouille, lemon tarts, and much more. Its price is higher than the other choices we mentioned earlier, but the restaurant is a great place to go for a special occasion.

Valby
Credit: Rossini Hotel

Places to stay in Valby

Places to stay in Valby are limited if you’re only coming to Copenhagen for a short period of time. But you can find a few hotels in Valby and its surrounding areas, including Hotel Rossini.

The hotel is not far from Valby Station and is a no-frills place to stay. Hotel Rossini offers a complimentary breakfast buffet, along with rooms at a reasonable price if you’re traveling on a budget.

If you head a little out of Valby, you can stay at Scandic Sydhavnen — a functional hotel that is a little more expensive but will offer a comfortable stay nonetheless. Scandic Sydhavnen has a fitness center for all guests, in addition to a broad selection of rooms. You can also get free breakfast included in your rate.

Generally speaking, you’re better off looking for hotels in Vesterbro than thinking of where to stay in Valby for a short visit.

Moving to Valby

If you’re moving to Copenhagen and are looking for a place to live, Valby is one of the first places you should narrow your search down to. The district has a broad range of housing, including modern apartments and older villas. In between these, you’ll find places to rent and buy in some of the older and more typical Copenhagen-style apartments.

Regardless of your budget, you should find something to cater to your needs in Valby. It’s an excellent place to stay as a student if you can’t find something in Frederiksberg and go to Copenhagen Business School, and the neighborhood is also close to Aalborg University’s Copenhagen campus.

If you’re an expat coming to work in the Danish capital, Valby’s transport links (more on that in a moment) to the rest of the city mean that you shouldn’t have much trouble getting around.

Over the coming years, Valby will have even more housing available. A new quarter of the city, known as Carlsberg Byen, is seeing several modern apartments built around Carlsberg’s breweries. Some are ready to buy, but you can expect to pay a premium compared to other parts of the district.

In terms of places to search for somewhere to live, BoligPortal is one of the largest portals for rentals in Denmark. You can also check Lejebolig for places to rent an apartment, and it’s worth asking your friends and colleagues to see if they know anyone who can help you out.

Valby

Transport

Valby is easy to get to from the rest of Copenhagen. Valby train station is part of the S train network that runs throughout the island of Sjælland, and you can get there directly from Copenhagen Central in 10 minutes.

Carlsberg station will also get you into the city center in little time. From Copenhagen Central, you can then get to the airport and travel onwards to Sweden, as well as other parts of Denmark.

If you happen to not be anywhere near the train network, a selection of Copenhagen’s buses run through the district. The neighborhood doesn’t have any metro stations, but it also doesn’t need them. If you need to use this service, Frederiksberg, Vanløse, and Vesterbro are all covered by the city’s metro system.

Valby is a great place to live if you’re coming to Copenhagen

Valby is often looked at as an outpost to get your admin stuff done when moving to Denmark. But if you’re willing to scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find a vibrant district with excellent restaurants and several housing options at an affordable price (affordable for Copenhagen, at least).

Over the next few years, Valby will almost certainly have more eyeballs gaze in its direction with the construction of Carlsberg Byen. This innovative district already houses several company offices, and it’ll become a sought-after place to live once its apartments are fully constructed.

Whether you’ve lived in Copenhagen or Denmark for your entire life, or you’re coming from abroad to work or study, Valby is a superb place to live and close to the city center by bike and public transport.

If you’re coming to Denmark for work, you’ll quickly learn that its business culture is different from the US and UK. You will walk into a flat hierarchy that is less formal, and it’s essential to understand the cultural differences before you start. Luckily, we’ve written a guide for that — so why not check it out?

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
Østerbro, the paradise of Copenhagen
Frederiksberg, Copenhagen’s leafy enclave
Amager, explore nature in Copenhagen
Strandvejen, Copenhagen’s coastal suburbs
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


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