Where to stay in Copenhagen for first time: 7 Best areas + Safety

Finding where to stay in Copenhagen as a first-time visitor can be a daunting task. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Copenhagen for first-timers and tourists.

I’ll provide you with my recommendation for the best areas to stay in Copenhagen, along with a helpful map and the areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Copenhagen and suggest some of the best hotels for all budgets.

Before get into the detail of the main topic, let’s look at some facts about Copenhagen:

Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, located on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand and is connected to the southern part of Sweden by the Öresund Bridge. 

The city has a history dating back to the Viking Age. It became the capital of Denmark in the 15th century and has played a significant role in the country’s history.

It is home to many famous landmarks, including the Little Mermaid statue, Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Round Tower, Rosenborg Castle, and the iconic colorful townhouses of Nyhavn.

History buffs and art lovers museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Gallery of Denmark, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and the Royal Danish Opera.  

Copenhagen is renowned for its bicycle-friendly infrastructure and culture. It has an extensive network of bike lanes and is often considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, and Copenhagen is the political center of the country. The Danish parliament, known as the Folketing, is located in the city. It is also home to the University of Copenhagen, which is one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe.

Copenhagen has a burgeoning food scene, with several Michelin-starred restaurants, food markets, and a strong tradition of New Nordic Cuisine.

Is Copenhagen safe to visit?

Yesm Copenhagen is often known as one of the safest cities in the world with low violent crime rates. But, like any urban area, it is not entirely free from petty crimes like pickpocketing, so it’s advisable to take care of your belongings, especially on public transport and touristy spots. 

You should pay extra attention to pickpockets around the Central Station, City Hall Square, the Strøget pedestrian shopping street. Don’t walk out alone in isolated places, especially at night.

Additionally there is the risk of terrorist attacks, so alway update local news and follow advice of local authorities, as well as be aware of your surroundings and avoid crowds. 

Also, adhering to local laws, customs, and regulations such as following the policy of no photography in Christiania, especially in and around Pusher Street.

Where to stay in Copenhagen for the first time?

The best areas to stay in Copenhagen for first-timers and tourists are Indre By, Vesterbro, Nørrebro, Christianshavn, Østerbro, Islands Brygge, and Frederiksberg. These are generally safe districts with plenty of accommodation options and easy access to major attractions.

Indre By (City Center) is the most popular place in Copenhagen for first-time visitors. It is the historic heart of Copenhagen where you’ll find many attractions, shopping, and dining options. It’s generally safe, but it can be crowded, so be mindful of your belongings.

Vesterbro is a great base for those who want a lively nightlife scene. It has become increasingly popular and is a vibrant district with a mix of trendy bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. It’s generally safe, but like any urban area, it’s a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings.

Nørrebro offers a more local and authentic experience. It has more choices for budget-friendly accommodations. While it’s generally safe, some areas can be a bit edgier, so be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Christianshavn is known for its canals and is home to the famous Freetown Christiania. It’s generally safe, and is a great base for a relaxed atmosphere.

Østerbro is a more residential and family-oriented area. It’s generally safe and provides a quieter atmosphere compared to some other districts. It’s further from the city center but easily accessible by public transport.

Islands Brygge is a modern and trendy neighborhood located along the waterfront. It’s considered safe, with beautiful parks and green spaces.

During my trip to Copenhagen, I stayed in the central area at the mid-range Hotel Skt. Annæ. The breakfast was fabulous and my room was clean and comfortable. It is within walking distance from some major sights such as the Amalienborg Castle and Royal Danish Theatre. Also easy access to the Central bus routes and Kongens Nytorv Metro Station.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Copenhagen for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Copenhagen first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Copenhagen first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Copenhagen, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Copenhagen have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

7 Best areas to stay in Copenhagen for first-timers and tourists:

1. Indre By 

Indre By, without a doubt, is the best area in Copenhagen for first-timers and tourists who want to be in the heart of the city and have easy access to major attractions. It offers a central and convenient location to explore the city.

Indre By is home to iconic Copenhagen landmarks like Tivoli Gardens, the Round Tower, Rosenborg Castle, and the picturesque Nyhavn waterfront. You can easily walk to these attractions and explore them at your own pace.

You’ll find a wide range of shops, boutiques, and restaurants, serving traditional Danish cuisine to international fare. This area is home to The Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets, offers a great shopping experience.

Indre By’s cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and charming squares give it a unique atmosphere. It’s a delightful place for leisurely strolls and exploration.

Indre By has good access to public transportation, including bus and metro lines, making it easy to explore other parts of the city from this central location.

While the neighborhood itself is not known for a wild nightlife scene, it’s close to Vesterbro, which offers a wide array of bars and nightclubs for those looking to enjoy the evening.

Keep in mind that staying in the city center can be more expensive compared to other areas, and it may get crowded with tourists, especially during the peak travel seasons. But it also has a wide range of accommodation options, I’m sure you will find one that suits your budget.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Indre By for first-time tourists:

  • Luxury ($$$): Copenhagen Admiral Hotel, popular 5-star waterfront hotel located close to Amalienborg Royal Palace and Opera House. Easy access to the Nyhavn, where you can find the harbor’s water buses stop. Also near the Kongens Nytorv Metro Station and Strøget shopping street. It has Fabulous breakfast, 24-hour front desk, and comfortable family rooms.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Skt. Annæ, popular 4-star boutique hotel in a quiet area in central Copenhagen, a short walk from the Nyhavn Harbour and Kongens Nytorv Metro Station. Easy access to the  Central bus route, Amalienborg Castle and Royal Danish Theatre.
  • Budget ($): Hotel Bethel, great 3-star hotel located in a wonderful location in the Nyhavn area, easy access to major sights such as David Collection, Rosenborg Castle and Church of Our Saviour. It has Very good breakfast, family rooms, and 24-hour front desk.

2. Vesterbro

Vesterbro is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood in Copenhagen, and it’s a popular choice for travelers who want a mix of cultural experiences, nightlife, and a taste of the local scene. 

Vesterbro is conveniently located near Copenhagen’s central train station, making it an easily accessible area for both residents and tourists. It is relatively close to the city center, allowing you to easily reach Copenhagen’s main landmarks and attractions.

Vesterbro is known for its lively nightlife scene. The Meatpacking District, or “Kødbyen,” is a must-visit area with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants. You’ll find a variety of venues to enjoy drinks, live music, and dancing.

Vesterbro offers an abundance of dining options. The neighborhood is known for its culinary diversity and is an excellent place to explore Danish and international cuisine.

You can visit cultural venues like the Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum, as well as many galleries and street art displays.

Vesterbro offers several parks and green spaces, such as the Søndermarken and Frederiksberg Gardens, where you can relax and enjoy nature.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Vesterbro for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Radisson Collection Royal Hotel, 5-star hotel, located right next to Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station, offering Fabulous breakfast and paid airport shuttle services. You can find many coffee shops, restaurants, bars and sites nearby.
  • Mid-range ($$): Absalon Hotel, great 4-star  family-run hotel close to Copenhagen Central Station and Tivoli Gardens, in the Vesterbro district. You can rent a bike from the hotel and enjoy a Scandinavian breakfast buffet. Easy access to the Kødbyen area (Meatpacking District), where you can find many trendy bars and restaurants.
  • Budget ($): CPH Hotel, popular 3-star hotel located in Vesterbro, offering an Indoor swimming pool, Scandinavian-style rooms and spacious bathrooms. It is within walking distance from Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Central Station for trains to Copenhagen International Airport.

3. Nørrebro 

Nørrebro is a great base in Copenhagenfor travelers who are looking for a budget-friendly stay and want to explore the city’s alternative and local scene. It’s relatively easy to access the city center and other parts of Copenhagen via frequent bus services and the metro.

Nørrebro is famous for its cafes and bars. Jægersborggade and Elmegade are streets filled with cozy coffee shops, trendy bars, and vintage stores. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and experience the local cafe culture.

The neighborhood is adorned with street art and colorful murals, making it a unique and artistic place to explore on foot. It’s a haven for street art enthusiasts and photographers.

Nørrebro offers several parks and green areas like Superkilen, which is known for its unique and diverse design, making it a great spot for picnics and relaxation.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Nørrebro for first-timers:

  • Budget ($): Urban Camper Hostel & Bar, popular backpacker hostel and good value for money accommodation located 3 km from Copenhagen city center in the trendy Nørrebro district, offering dorm rooms for guests. It is close to Nørrebro metro station, making it easy to get around. 
  • Budget ($): Sleep in Heaven, 3-star hostel located in Nørrebro, offering a beer garden, lockers and a luggage room, as well as free walking tours, and city maps. It is within walking distance from Griffenfeldsgade Bus Station and Forum Metro Station.
  • Budget ($): Rye115 Hotel, 2-star charming accommodation located between Østerbro and Nørrebro,  in a quiet area, close to Parken Stadium and a 10 mins bus ride to  the city center. It is only a 2 mins walk from Søerne (the Lakes) which is a popular area for joggers.

4. Christianshavn 

Christianshavn is a charming and unique neighborhood in Copenhagen, located on an island with canals and historic architecture. It’s a fantastic choice for travelers who want a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, and a glimpse into Copenhagen’s alternative scene.

Christianshavn is often referred to as “Little Amsterdam” due to its picturesque canals, houseboats, and historic buildings. It’s a beautiful place to take leisurely walks along the canals and bridges.

The famous Freetown Christiania is located in Christianshavn. It’s a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood with a unique atmosphere. You can explore the alternative culture, street art, and creative spirit of this community.

The neighborhood is home to the Church of Our Saviour, which offers stunning views from its spire, and the Danish Architecture Center, which showcases architectural exhibitions and events.

Christianshavn offers a variety of cafes, restaurants, and bars, many of which have waterside seating with beautiful views. It’s a great place to enjoy Danish cuisine and international fare.

The neighborhood features parks like Christianshavns Vold and Christiania’s green areas, which provide spots for relaxation and picnics.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Christianshavn:

  • Luxury ($$$): NH Collection Copenhagen, very popular hotel located on Christianshavn, featuring Superb breakfast, private parking, a restaurant and a bar. It is within walking distance from most attractions of the city.
  • Mid-range ($$): Kanalhuset, great accommodation located within a short distance from the  Church of Our Saviour, easy access to major sights such as Christiansborg Palace, The David Collection and The National Museum of Denmark.
  • Budget ($): Esben Juhls Guest Room, good value for money accommodation, located in quiet, right next to a canal in the historical Christianshavn district, 500 m from the Christianshavn Metro Station. Easy access to the former Vold ramparts and Strøget street on foot and by metro.

5. Østerbro

Østerbro is a tranquil and family-friendly neighborhood in Copenhagen, known for its green spaces, upscale atmosphere, and a more relaxed pace of life. It’s a great choice for travelers who prefer a quieter environment while still being relatively close to the city center.

Østerbro is one of the greenest areas in Copenhagen, with parks like Fælledparken, the city’s largest park, and the beautiful Kastellet, a well-preserved star-shaped fortress. These parks are perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, and outdoor activities.

The neighborhood offers easy access to the beach at Svanemølle Beach Park, where you can relax, swim, and enjoy the waterfront.

Østerbro offers a variety of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops. It’s a more local dining experience. Like much of Copenhagen, Østerbro is bicycle-friendly, and renting a bike is a great way to explore this neighborhood.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Østerbro for visitors:

  • Mid-range ($$): Comwell Copenhagen Portside Dolce by Wyndham, extremely popular 4-star hotel located in Østerbro, 3 minutes to Orientkaj metro station for access to the city center, and bus 25 to get to the port. It is perfect for those going on a cruise.
  • Mid-range ($$): STAY Seaport, great 4-star good value for money accommodation located  in the North Harbor district  within walking distance from Nordhavn train station. It has Laundry, heating system, parking, and spacious family rooms.
  • Mid-range ($$): Adina Apartment Hotel Copenhagen, 4-star accommodation located in Nordhavn Harbour, 10 mins walk from Ocean Quay and the Little Mermaid statue.

6. Islands Brygge

Islands Brygge is a dynamic and up-and-coming neighborhood in Copenhagen located along the waterfront. You can enjoy scenic views of the harbor, canals, and nearby islands. The area is great for waterside walks and relaxation.

The neighborhood features green spaces and recreational areas like Islands Brygge Harbour Bath, a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. You can also rent kayaks or paddle boards to explore the waters, as well as ride a bike along the waterfront.

Islands Brygge is close to the city center, and you can easily reach downtown Copenhagen and its attractions via public transportation or a short walk.

Islands Brygge is a great choice for travelers who enjoy waterside living, outdoor activities, and a relaxed, yet contemporary, atmosphere. It’s a particularly attractive option during the summer months when you can take full advantage of the waterfront amenities.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Islands Brygge:

  • Mid-range ($$): STAY Bryggen, good value for money 4-star hotel, located near Islands Brygge, offering stunning views of the river. It is close to bus stops, river ferry,  30 min walking to the center, 10 minutes taxi ride from/to the airport.
  • Mid-range ($$): Bryggen Guldsmeden, great 4-star accommodation, featuring an outdoor swimming pool and Fabulous breakfast according to 2000 guests’ reviews, 5 mins walk from the metro stop.
  • Budget ($): Hotel CPH Living, 3 star accommodation located 15-minute walk from Copenhagen Central Station, featuring a sun deck with wonderful city views. Within 10-15 mins walk from Klaksvigsgade Bus Stop, Christianshavn Metro Station, and Tivoli Gardens.

7. Frederiksberg

Frederiksberg is a residential area located between Vesterbro and Nørrebro. It’s an excellent choice for travelers who prefer a peaceful and residential environment while still being close to the city center. 

Frederiksberg is renowned for its beautiful green areas, including Frederiksberg Gardens, a large and picturesque park with a palace, canals, and gardens. 

The area is home to cultural sites like the Copenhagen Zoo, the Tycho Brahe Planetarium, and the Frederiksberg Palace.

Best places to stay in Copenhagen in Frederiksberg:

  • Mid-range ($$): Scandic Falkoner, 4-star hotel located next to metro station, within walking distance from Frederiksberg Have and the Zoo. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Ottilia by Brøchner Hotels,4-star hotel located in Carlsberg distric, offering complimentary wine hour for all guests.
  • Budget ($): CityHub Copenhagen, great value for money accommodation and easy access to both Vesterbro, Frederiksberg, and Copenhagen city center.

In conclusion, Indre By, Vesterbro, Nørrebro, Christianshavn, Østerbro, Islands Brygge, and Frederiksberg are the best places to stay in Copenhagen for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe areas with a variety range of accommodation options for all budgets.

You can continue reading about Copenhagen and other Scandinavian/Nordic destinations in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Copenhagen. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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