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Between the people, the canals, the skittering bicycles, and the brightly colored buildings, Copenhagen, Denmark is a friendly city, and it is surprisingly easy to get around considering its size. Copenhagen’s neighborhoods each have their own identity, and it’s worth taking a minute to find the one that matches your matches your style and budget. Just as punk rockers want to stay in New York’s East Village, wooden boat lovers will want to stay in Copenhagen’s Nyhavn neighborhood, aka New Harbor. Here is an overview of Copenhagen’s most important neighborhoods along with hotel and hostel recommendations.
Our recommendations for where to stay in Copenhagen:
Indre By (Old City)
Indre By means inner city, and this neighborhood is Copenhagen’s oldest (it really began to develop around 1167). Walking its streets is an utter pleasure, and it is here that you’ll see many of the city’s most famous museums and churches. The main streets are Strøget and Købmagergade, and both have been inundated with name brand stores. Use these streets as reference points, then explore the surrounding streets to find the local atmosphere. You’ll find some of the best hotels in this area.
Nimb Hotel 5-Star $$$$
Located near the train station and with a view of the Tivoli Gardens, this Luxury hotel offers a unique style and a Michelin starred restaurant. You’ll have every amenity and top level service at the Nimb Hotel.
Best Western City Hotel 3-star $$
This hotel feels Danish with its modern, but warm style. Expect excellent service at the City Hotel, which is within walking distance of everything.
Address: 24 Peder Skrams Gade
Nyhavn (New Harbor)
Nyhavn is a neighborhood as well as a canal, and it is located within Indre By. It is the seat of Copenhagen’s restaurant culture and one of the trendiest places in the city. Many of the best-known boat tours operate out of Nyhavn’s harbor, which is a pleasure simply to stroll around or grab an outdoor table and a Danish beer. Restaurants can be overpriced and touristy or pricelessly innovative.
Hotel Bethel $$
A practical hotel for a good price, Hotel Bethel is located right on the harbor and the main drag.
Address: 22 Nyhavn
A residential neighborhood full of canals, Christianshavn is on the east side of the city. Copenhagen’s main waterway, Inderhavnen, separates it from the rest of the city, and it can be accessed by a number of bridges. Most sights are within a 20-minute walk, depending on which part of Christianshavn you’re in. And the public transportation and bike paths are copious. You’ll find Noma in Christianshavn, the restaurant voted ”Best Restaurant in the World in 2010 and 2011″ by Restaurant Magazine.
Chicken’s Private Pension $
As the name reveals, this ain’t your typical hotel. Located in a 16th century townhouse, it’s in a great location and costs very little.
Slotsholmen looks like a city block that has been cut out and surrounded by water. A handful of bridges connected Slotsholmen to Indre By. Here you’ll find the regal Christianborg Palace, home to Denmark’s government. This neighborhood is a joy to walk around, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of accommodations.
The one-time Red Light District of Copenhagen (some argue that it still is), Vesterbro’s got style, thanks to artists, art gallery owners, fashion designers, and ethnic restaurants and markets. The neighborhood is south of Indre By, and west of Copenhagen’s main train station. Halmtorvet, the main square, is bustling with bars and cafes; live music and raucous drinkers spill out the doorways. If you don’t mind a little noise, the atmosphere here is electric
Axel Hotel Guldsmeden 4-stars $$
A modern styled boutique hotel, the Axel Hotel Guldsmeden offers airy rooms with flat-screened TVs. Spa facilities are on site. The location is central to all the Copenhagen has to offer.
City Hotel Nebo 2-Stars $
A true budget hotel, it is clean enough and quiet enough, and the location is central.
Address: 6 – 8 Istedgade
This neighborhood is adjacent to Indre By, and separated by a strip of rectangular lakes called The Lakes or Søerne. Indre Nørrebro, commonly called just Nørrebro, is a little more budget friendly and a little rougher around the edges. This is where you’ll find cheap hotels and all night parties. It has a strong middle-eastern population, and a bunch of budget friendly restaurants (more on Copenhagen’s restaurants next week).
Cabinn Hotel Scandinavia 2-stars $
The rooms are designed after cruiseship cabins, which means they’re small, but the hotel is clean and well run. A great deal for budget travelers who are willing to make the 15-minute walk from the Frederiksberg area into the city center.
This isn’t actually a neighborhood, but a small fishing village south of Copenhagen. This is a good place to stay if you want to escape the city and visit Copenhagen as a day trip. Buses run regularly between Dragør and Copenhagen’s main train station, and the trip takes 30-45 minutes one way.
Next week we’ll check out Copenhagen’s world-renowned restaurant scene and the traditional food of Denmark.
Written by Mattie Bamman for EuropeUpClose.com