With world-class antique stores, a thriving nightlife scene and cutting-edge restaurants, multicultural Nørrebro is Copenhagen’s best-kept secret.
Until a decade ago, the district north of central Copenhagen was somewhere you’d have no problem scoring a joint. This old working-class neighbourhood saw many clashes between the police and squatters in the early- to mid-Noughties, culminating in the largest riots in Danish history in March 2007.
But over 10 years on, Nørrebro has become one of Copenhagen’s most dynamic districts: a hip, multicultural area boasting indie boutiques, top-tier restaurants and hidden late-night bars. There’s much to explore and experience here – from designer stores and second-hand shops to flea markets and sprawling parks.
Read on for the ultimate guide to Nørrebro, the coolest place in Copenhagen.
The best shops and restaurants in Nørrebro, Copenhagen
Nørrebro is the best shopping district in Copenhagen for vintage and retro stores and Ravnsborggade is home to some of the best. A relatively short street, it nonetheless manages to contain antique stores, vibrant modern eateries and luxe shops.
Looking to stock up on your vintage wardrobe? Prag has an enormous selection of recycled gems from the Fifties to the Nineties, while Fremtiden also sells a range of second-hand items donated from the Red Cross store next door.
If you’re on the hunt for antique furniture, check out Bau Antik, which specialises in good-quality pieces from tables to glassware. Two doors down at ABC Antik, you’ll find a seemingly endless supply of brilliantly eccentric knick-knacks: think crystal carafes and Royal Copenhagen porcelain.
On selected dates, Ravnsborggade is transformed into a flea market selling furniture, jewellery, glassware, silverware, paintings and much more. Head to Loppemarked i Ravnsborggade to see the whole street transformed into an Aladdin’s cave packed with authentic Danish treasures.
Sankt Hans Gade
Just off Ravnsborggade, Sankt Hans Gade is also a fashionable spot for second-hand finds. Nestled between cafes and jewellery shops is Sankt Hans Bazar, a basement boutique crammed full to bursting with vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery. You’re sure to find an iconic ensemble – just as long as you can navigate your way around the shop.
Sankt Hans Gade Antiks is also special. This small antique shop has an amazing collection of second-hand jewellery and an extensive amount of homewares, from hand-crafted pottery to delicate crystal glasses.
A short walk from Sankt Hans Gade is the hipsters’ paradise of The Laundromat Café. Opened in 2004, the café combines laundry and socialising in comfortable surroundings where you can eat, drink, read, use the wifi and – you’ve guessed it – do your laundry.
Jaegersborggade in Nørrebro is currently one of the most talked-about streets in Copenhagen. A residential road, it’s home to around 40 art galleries and shops selling vintage clothes, ceramics, organic groceries and jewellery, as well as wine bars, coffee shops and restaurants – including Michelin-starred restaurant Relae.
Want proof that this street is seriously ahead of the curve? Grød on Jaegersborggade pioneered the global trend of posh porridge, offering warming bowls of porridge (featuring everything from chestnut to apple, almonds and caramel) since it opened its doors in 2011. There’s even a Grød cookbook (£35 plus shipping, groed.com).
There are plenty of unique shops to comb through on Jaegersborggade, but an absolute must-visit is Ladyfingers, run by a design collective of six Danish jewellers. They make custom pieces and take inspiration from everything around them (including each other).
If you’re on the hunt for more foodie treats, stop off at modern Scandinavian micro-roastery The Coffee Collective for a cortado. Then wander down to organic ice cream store Istid – the first shop in Scandinavia to make frozen treats using liquid nitrogen.
The best hotels in Nørrebro, Copenhagen
Surprisingly, Nørrebro is still relatively short on truly brilliant hotels. If you’d prefer to stay in the area instead of travelling in from neighbouring districts Indre By or Vesterbro (both which are well-served when it comes to places to stay), check into Avenue Hotel, which sits on the border between Nørrebro and Frederiksberg. The hotel’s building was designed by the architect behind the spectacular entrance to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, and it’s a cool, laidback place to stay, with Missoni textiles in the bedrooms, a coffee shop on-site and bikes available for hire.
If you’re looking for something a little different, one of Copenhagen’s coolest hostels, the eco-friendly Globalhagen Hostel, can also be found on Ravnsborggade in Nørrebro. With 20 rooms and a cosy café, it’s run by volunteers, with all profits going to projects supporting people living in poverty.
Things to do in Nørrebro, Copenhagen
Assistens Cemetery in Nørrebro is a beautiful space for a Sunday afternoon stroll before stopping off for coffee. Established in 1760 as a place for the Danes to bury the poor, it is now home to some of the country’s most notable figures. Fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen, existential philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, physicist Niels Bohr and Denmark’s first pin-up girl Dagmar Hansen are just some of the most famous names you’ll spot on gravestones here.
Visitors from all over the world come to Assistens Cemetery to see these noteworthy tombs, meaning that this green space is very much alive. On sunny days, you’ll find people sunbathing between the tombs, joggers running through the blossoming trees and local families taking a relaxing walk together. Events like theatre shows and concerts also regularly take place in the cemetery.
Two centuries ago, the Swedish poet Karl August Nicander described Assistens Cemetery as one of the most beautiful graveyards in Europe, writing that the trees and flowers came together to “transform this place of death into a little paradise.” His words go some way to capturing the magic of a world of overhanging trees, greenery and winding paths enclosed behind a high yellow wall.
Nørrebro is known for its multicultural diversity and modernity, and one of the best spots to observe this is Superkilen Park. Located in Mimersgade quarter, the space was designed through public participation with the surrounding community, representing more than 60 nationalities.
The park is split into three different sections: The Red Square, an area for cultural activities like music and sports; The Black Square, which features a fountain and park benches where locals come to play chess or backgammon; and The Green Park, a green landscape designed for young people and families to picnic, play sports and walk their dogs.
Designed to promote public health, Superkilen Park also features swings, a boxing ring, punch bags, skateboard ramps and a bicycle lane that runs through the entire park.
Built in 1953 as a warehouse for a lightbulb manufacturer, Osram House was acquired by the city of Copenhagen in 1980 to serve as a cultural and community centre. It underwent substantial renovations to make it more eco-friendly a decade ago – and today, it’s a light, airy space for families and friends to come together.
As well as dance and yoga classes, a choir and a volunteer programme, Osram House hosts theatre, concerts and workshops for families, children and young people. The centre also collaborates with Nørrebro jazz club to provide a huge selection of activities for the local community.
There’s even a biotech department, which teaches Nørrebro residents young and old about the importance of plants.
The best nightlife in Nørrebro, Copenhagen
Nørrebro is known for its vivid nightlife. Whether you fancy a quiet drink after a day of strolling around the city or want to dance until 5am, you’ll find something for you here.
The pedestrian alley Blågårsgade has everything from wine bars to quirky concept cafes. Try Props to meet cool locals and sample their wide selection of coffee, tea, organic juice and beer. Props is decorated with pictures, garlands and wooden tables, all of which are for sale.
Also on Blågårsgade is quirky café Kate’s Joint, which serves up fantastic vegetarian and vegan dishes influenced by Indian, Arabic and Malay flavours. They also have a great range of organic beers and natural organic wines.
A bit more upbeat is the Stengade music venue. Once a hotspot for Danish subcultures, Stengade has become more mainstream in recent years and hosts a number of club nights and events – including open jam sessions on Tuesday nights and a reggae club each Sunday.
The popular and vibrant side street of Elmegade buzzes with young and old heading in and out of small cosy bars and cafes. For beer lovers there is Ølbaren where there is a huge selection on draft and over 100 bottled beers. This bar is always filled with people and the staff are just as welcoming as they guide you through your beer tasting experience.
At the other end of the street is the basement cocktail bar Mexibar. Packed full of people from all age groups, the small bar is difficult to categorise. The experienced bartenders create the atmosphere by controlling the music and serving up fresh cocktails.
Nearby to Elmegade is the iconic Rust nightclub, which is open until 5am on Friday and Saturdays. The music venue turns into a multi-level dance floor, featuring local and international DJs, and range of music from indie pop and hip hop to electronica.
Situated on the outskirts of Nørrebro, the street of Ragnhildgade is one of the most difficult to find in Copenhagen. But if you do manage to get there, you won’t be disappointed. Despite its out-of-town location, Ragnhildgade is a hub of cultural and artistic activity.
A former candy factory, Bolsjefabrikken is now a non-profit, free space in Copenhagen focusing on cultural, social and political activities. They throw some of the best parties in the neighbourhood, including café nights, underground music concerts and artistic workshops. Next door is music venue Mayhem, which hosts a range of experimental and obscure acts.
From world-class antique and independent fashion shops to inspiring community-minded projects, Nørrebro is a must-see for inquisitive and stylist travellers. Don’t miss it.
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