When Visit Copenhagen sent me a list of areas to see in Copenhagen that were less touristy I was excited to go and explore. I’ll be telling you what my favourite things to do in Copenhagen were, including the best cafes, restaurants, parks and areas. The areas I’ll be covering are Vesterbro, Norrebro, Frederiksberg and Refshaleøen. Each area has it’s own unique atmosphere, architecture and is full of locals rather than tourists! I’ll also be telling you about Hotel Alexandra, where we stayed. It was perfect as it was right in the middle of all four areas that we explored.
What to do in Vesterbro, Copenhagen
Vesterbro is west of Copenhagen station and one of the trendiest areas we went to. Here there are plenty of cafes with outdoor seating, tattoo shops and street art to see. It is also home to the former Meat Packing District that has now been transformed into amazing restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating in the sun. Also located within the meat packing district is Øksnehallen, an old cattle market. Now there are different exhibitions on throughout the year and during our stay, there was a graffiti exhibition on here.
Where to Eat in Vesterbro
Tommi’s Burger Joint
Located in the meat-packing district, Tommi’s has a quality over quantity menu. I chose the vegetarian burger, which was definitely one of the best vegetarian burgers I’ve ever had. Boyan had a classic Tommi’s burger with fries.
If you’re still looking for more meaty options in Copenhagen, Warpigs is the meat lovers heaven. With all different kinds of meat on the menu from beef brisket to pork shoulder to spareribs, there’s something for everyone. As you come in, you grab a tray and head to the meat counter, where they cut the meat fresh in front of you, with a choice of sides such as pickles or mac’n’cheese. We were lucky that it was a beautiful day, so even at 8pm when we had dinner, we were able to sit outside. The location of Warpigs means that it’s one of the last restaurants here that gets the light for the longest!
Best café in Vesterbro
Mad & Kaffe
This was a recommendation from a friend who lives in Copenhagen, and it was a great one. Mad and Kaffe is great for cheesecakes and brownies as well as healthy juices and coffee. They also do great main meals for lunch as well as having a bakery with amazing rye bread.
What to do in Norrebro
Norrebro starts near the centre right by the river. This is a perfect place to watch the sunset and is an area where many locals bring a picnic and drinks and sit by the riverside, or on the bridge in the sun. Again, Norrebro is full of great architecture and cafes and home to the best pizza restaurant, as well as some interesting parks and designs.
Shot by @boyanoo
Superkilen is a public park in the heart of Norrebro. During the day it is full of skaters, bikers and people just hanging out. The park has three sections, The Red Square, The Black Market and The Green Park. Many of the objects in the park have been designed based on foreign architecture. For example the fountain in this photo is based on a Moroccan fountain.
Shot by @boyanoo
This is the main shopping street is Norrebro where you will find the most cafes and restaurants.
Where to eat in Norrebro?
Baest is perfect for the pizza lovers. Although the pizzas are small and a bit overpriced, this is made up in quality. The ingredients are all organic and many are made right on site of the restaurant. They make their own cheese and all ingredients are local. There is no cutlery, you just tuck in and enjoy eating by hand!
Your guide to Refshaleøen
I think this was my all time favourite area! Perfect for a sunny day, it’s either an hour walk from the centre across many bridges, or hop on the 9A bus from the centre right into Reffen, the most amazing street food area! We decided to walk here, which takes you through the busy but lovely centre of Copenhagen with the colourful houses along the river. Then as you start to cross some more bridges to get to Reffen, the buildings get slightly more industrial and artsy. It is also a very green area and there are a few nice lakes along the way. Refshaleøen is actually and old industrial area that had one of the largest shipyards.
Where to Eat?
Reffen Street Food Area
I love street food, where you can choose form loads of different stalls and Reffen is right on the river bank which makes it even better, as once you have your food you can sit on a lounger right by the water. Some of the food options include Mexican food, Greek food, jerk chicken or hotdogs! It’s a nice place to hang out on a sunny day, and people actually swim here too.
Right on the riverfront, and part of Mikkeller, this is the perfect place for beer connoisseurs. Baghaven means backyard and it really has that feel as if you’re in someone’s backyard. The atmosphere is great and everyone was so friendly.
Broaden and Build
Right next to the Copenhagen Contemporary, Broaden and Build uses only seasonal produce, so the menu changes depending on the season. It is another lovely place to sit outside here and get some food and a drink.
What to do in Refshaleøen?
My favourite thing to do in Refshaleøen was visiting the Copenhagen Contemporary art gallery. I love modern art and this is a great place to experience some modern art. During our stay there was an exhibition by Claudia Comte, as well as a video exhibition. It’s all very interactive and you can really get involved with the exhibition.
What to do in Frederiksberg
Frederiksberg has more of a residential feel to it than the other three areas. The main road is very fancy with lots of clothing stores, restaurants and cafes. Frederiksberg was definitely the greenest area we went to in Copenhagen.
We ended spending a few hours here by accident! It’s such a nice park to wander around and sit and chill in the sun. As you get to the park, to the left there is a small gate that goes to a different much smaller park too, here there is a lake, a flower garden and a small maze even.
Where to eat in Frederiksberg?
For THE most amazing cheesecake, you have to head to Bertel Salon. With a very minimalist entrance, my expectations were exceeded. There are about 12 different cheesecakes on offer, all at 48DKK each. We chose Oreo cheesecake and Blueberry cheesecake and both were incredible. They also have great coffee and it is the perfect place to sit and people watch.
This is a great Thai restaurant with a very tasty menu. There is also outdoor seating and it’s the perfect place for a long lunch. We had a few sharing platters, with chicken satay, wontons, chicken and beef dishes. I would definitely recommend it. Each sharing dish is about ten pounds, so a little more expensive but the main dishes are reasonably priced.
Where to stay in Copenhagen
Hotel Alexandra is right in the centre, about a five minute walk from the train station. The rooms all have a very classic décor, and the minute you walk in, the lobby has some interesting furniture and great areas to relax. The breakfast was 100DKK per person and full of delicious food. We had a great stay here, with big windows to watch the sunset and lovely staff to help us. They also have luggage storage, which was perfect on our last day, as once we checked out we still were able to explore the city without our bags.
How to get around Copenhagen?
Thank you to Visit Copenhagen for our Copenhagen Cards! These are valid for 72 hours and include admission to many of the most popular places to see and also include all transport around the city. We were able to go into all the galleries we went to for free and the buses run everywhere and are so frequent that once we had walked for too long, there was always a bus right around the corner. For 72 hours, the card costs 99 Euro for adults and 49 Euro for children. It was well worth it and we didn’t actually have to get any local currency out as even the taxis take card. Then with the Copenhagen Card we had all entrance fees paid and travel around the city.
Where to next?
Malmö is just a short train ride away over the bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. Unfortunately, on the day we took this trip there was an electrical fault with the train lines. However, there were buses ready from Copenhagen airport to take us to Sweden!
I hope you enjoyed my top tips on things to do in Copenhagen, and that you will be able to explore some of the less touristy areas yourself!