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Pompette in Copenhagen
Photograph: Giuseppe Liverino, courtesy of Copenhagen Media Center

What to do in Nørrebro, Copenhagen's coolest neighbourhood

Great restaurants, trendy bars and swan-shaped pedalos? Welcome to Nørrebro.

Written by
Sara Schmidt

What’s the deal with Nørrebro?

Copenhagen’s Nørrebro is an objectively cool neighbourhood. We once named it the coolest neighbourhood in the whole world, so you can trust us on this one (if you want more inspo, check out our list of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2024). 

And we know, you’re asking ‘What defines cool?’. Well, your first thought might be stylish, creative people, congregating in trendy wine bars and sipping on drinks that look frightfully orange. But there’s so much more to a cool neighbourhood than that, like galleries with regular, unique exhibitions. Cracking food spots. Indie clothes stores you can’t wait to browse. All over Copenhagen you’ll find brilliant bars, restaurants and things to do, it’s true, but Nørrebro just hits different every time. 

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Firstly, this is the spot to find seriously good takes on traditional Danish grub (hit up Selma for a heavenly smørrebrod). But Nørrebro has wide-ranging diversity, which helps bolster a keen sense of community spirit. This, after all, is where the city’s huge Pride march took place this summer, and it’s also where any notable (peaceful) political protests tend to kick off.

Throughout the neighbourhood a diverse range of shops, bars, and restaurants sit side by side, creating a feel reminiscent of a tidier, prettier east London or maybe Neukölln. You’ll find award-winning Thai restaurants, the city’s finest shawarma and falafel and African fusion menus of all stripes (Sasaa’s Ghanaian peanut curry slays). Those after some entertainment will find it at one of the city’s most revered new music venues, with its ever-eclectic programme. Whoever said the Danes were a quiet bunch?

Assistens Cemetery
Photograph: Giuseppe Liverino, courtesy of Copenhagen Media Cente

If you only do one thing

Pig the eff out. As you may well know, Copenhagen is all about long, leisurely, candlelit meals. Try the moreish chicken burger and silky, eye-watering hot fried mapo tofu at Poulette, the sister kitchen to natural wine bar Pompette next door. Exquisite yet unpretentious all-round. If you’re looking for more natural wine, Bar Vivant is also good (and only a five-minute walk away).

Rent a swan pedalo (or ice skate)

Head to Queen Louise’s Bridge, which you pass as you enter and leave Nørrebro, and you’ll find one of those classic swan pedalo rentals you’ll find in cities the world over. Here, it’s definitely worth it – you’ll get amazing views of the lakes and the old apartment building that line them. Note that in winter, the city gives the go-ahead for ice skating on the lakes’ frozen surface.

Picnic next to Danish royalty

Take in the evergreen firs of Assistens Kirkegård cemetery, the final resting place of fairytale boss Hans Christian Andersen and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. You’re allowed to picnic here, so stock up on wraps, salads and sauces from Dürüm Symfoni or Ahaaa and bring a new purchase from Ark Books on nearby Møllegade.

Assistens Cemetery
Photograph: Sebastian Himmelstrup, courtesy of Copenhagen Media Cente

Shelter from the Nordic chill

If it’s nippy out (which it definitely will be in autumn and winter), we'd recommend browsing Prag and other second-hand shops on the same street and nearby Elmegade. Come evening, you’ll want to check out music venue Alice, where you’ll catch everything from jazz to noise rock.

Meet the locals at a dive bar

Since you’re in Copenhagen, you should probably try to get to know some Danes – and there are few places better than Nørrebro’s many dive bars, where the regs will greet you loudly amid the jukeboxes and billiards tables. We’d recommend Esrom Kro, Props or Harbo.

How to get there

From the airport, take the yellow line metro to Nørreport (around 15 minutes) and then walk for five to ten minutes. Alternatively, switch to the ring metro at Kongens Nytorv and take it to Nørrebros Runddel. You can also get buses 5C and 6A, but as almost anyone will tell you; Copenhagen is cheapest, funnest and easiest to get around on a bike. Hire one along Nørrebrogade.


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