Nørrebro is an iconic and vibrant district of Copenhagen. Find out everything there is to know about this multicultural neighbourhood, and why Copenhageners from all over the world love it!
Attributes: Vibrant, multicultural, creative atmosphere, cafe-life, hip, lively, authentic city life
Perfect for: Young adults, Creatives, Metropolitans, Community-minded individuals
Distance from center to:
Opera house - 4.9 km, 14 min bike
The lakes - 1.5 km, 5 min bike
Nyhavn - 3.8 km, 12 min bike
Tivoli - 3.9 km, 12 min bike
Frederiksberg have - 3.3km 14 min bike
CPH central station - 3.9 km 11min bike
Fælledparken - 800 meters, 4 min bike
Norrebro is an iconic and vibrant district of Copenhagen. It holds many titles, as one of the hippest and most vibrant areas, but it’s most commonly recognised for its multiculturalism. In fact, over a quarter of Norrebro’s inhabitants don’t have a Danish background! So many cultures form the fabric of Norrebro, so it’s no wonder that this neighbourhood is full of amazing restaurants, cafes, and bars; serving flavours from all over the globe. There are tons of shops to visit and lots of art to take in, both in galleries and on the streets. Living in Norrebro means you can experience a little slice of the world every day, without leaving the lovely Danish capital.
Read on to get an idea of daily life in Norrebro, the history, and what you should check out when you’re living there!
What’s covered in this guide:
- Living in Nørrebro
- Things to do in Nørrebro
- Best of: Shops, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes
- History of Nørrebro
Norrebro is an intriguing and welcoming neighbourhood, home to all kinds of people. It’s a very distinct area of Copenhagen, you will feel it when you arrive! You get the sense that each of the 70,000 residents has contributed a little piece to it. What will you add?
It’s located to the north of the city centre, a quick bike or walk will have you downtown in no time. This means you will find fewer tourists and more locals, giving it an authentic feel. It also has great metro and train connections should you be venturing out of the city.
Norrebrogade is the main street in Norrebro, and though it is busy, it’s mostly bike and bus traffic. The area was built out slowly from the city centre, so it doesn’t quite follow the traditional grid layout that you see in newer areas of the city. So there are plenty of quiet side streets tucked away to explore!
Norrebro, neighbours Frederiksberg, Østerbro, and the famous Copenhagen Lakes. There is quite a bit of green space surrounding and inside of the district, not to mention some highly coveted lakefront!
Residents of Norrebro come from many different backgrounds, but they share a certain je n'est ce quoi; or ‘jeg ved ikke’ if you want to be Danish - though it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Despite all the different backgrounds, occupations, and lifestyles, Norrebro’s residents share the common thread of spending their time in a diverse and active community! In general, you will find lots of young adults, students, and small families living in Norrebro.
Norrebro is a buzzing district year-round, if you take to the streets there’s never a dull moment. In fact, it’s home to the most cycled street in Copenhagen (maybe even the world)! Every day about 40,000 bikers cross Dronning Lousie’s Bridge, which is the main access point to Norrebro, and the start of Norrebrogade. How do we know that? There’s a digital meter on the bridge counting bikers each day of course!
As an active international neighbourhood, there’s always a wide variety of things to do. You can be sure to find plenty of cafes, shops, and restaurants which are unlike anything you’ve tried before. Cafe patios are often teeming with locals (year-round because Danes know how to make it hygge) socialising with friends and watching the bikes go by. There are also lots of bars and small music venues, which makes the Norrebro district a popular starting point for Copenhageners getting ready for a night out. There are also a number of one of a kind boutiques lining sprawling pedestrian streets. If that’s not for you, there are some great outdoor spaces perfect for a relaxed hang out like Assistens Kirkegård or Superkilen. See more in our ‘things to do in Norrebro’ section.
Things To Do In Nørrebro
Norrebro has an interesting and complicated history, as is often the case in cities' most progressive neighbourhoods. Norrebro hasn’t always been as strong of a community as it is today, and in some ways, it’s still building its cohesiveness. A dive into its history can shed some light on this.
The history of Norrebro dates back to the middle ages, the area has undergone many transformations. It originally existed as farmlands supporting the walled city of Copenhagen. Norrebro, as we know it, started to come together in the mid-1800s. Around that time period, the city lines expanded and there was a rush to build infrastructure and housing. Many of these buildings are still standing today! In the late 1800’s it was a working-class neighbourhood, where many families lived and a number of major industries began to form. Norrebro’s growth continued until the mid-1900s when it reached its peak population of 125,000 residents, which is still significantly higher than today!
Norrebro’s history as an independent and against-the-grain neighbourhood began during the second world war. During this time period, the resistance movement was run out of Norrebro. This led to ongoing tensions in the neighbourhood and many families were leaving Copenhagen. This led to a fairly sharp decline in the population. Due to this, many stores closed and buildings fell into disrepair. As such, the area faced social challenges which came to a peak in the 1970s and 1980s. Around that same time, Norrebro was undergoing a drastic redevelopment plan. This redevelopment plan led to a new chapter for Norrebro, and the population began to grow again; becoming popular among international citizens and younger Danes. In many ways, the Norrebro we enjoy today began then!
Norrebro is growing and always evolving, true to its roots, it’s still the home to many social movements. This multicultural district remains expressive, and its community continues to grow and spark important discussions in Denmark. You may have read about the area before as it’s the starting point for many progressive national movements. Home to the open-minded, the multicultural, and those who enjoy a neighbourhood in motion!