Copenhagen/Indre By

Indre By (literally the inner city) is the central area of Copenhagen and the historical heart of Copenhagen, bounded by the lakes circling the inner city and the harbour, it reflects the entire city’s extent during the reign of King Christian IV, when the town was fortified. All the neighboring districts were only founded when the king allowed construction outside the fortification in the 1850s. Referred to by locals simply as City, it is the home of most of Copenhagen's attractions, nightlife options, and hotels.

Colorful facades of the Nyhavn
The house row at Gammel Strand seen from Thorvaldsens Plads across Slotsholmen canal


The old fortifications are still evident in the two strings of lakes circling the downtown area. The outer lakes are known to the locals simply as Søerne or The Lakes in English, and they do not only define the border to the inner city, they are also immensely popular with joggers. The inner lakes are laid out in a zigzag pattern, and are what remains of the old fortifications, if you look at a map or satellite photo this is still very visible. The remaining lakes, which used to completely circle the city, are now a string of parks; Østre Anlæg, with the National gallery, the Botanical gardens, Ørsteds Parken and finally Tivoli. The names Østerport (eastern gate), Nørreport (northern gate) and Vesterport (western gate), now associated with the stations carrying the same names, are actually the locations of the old gates leading through the fortifications, and into the city.

The heart of the district is the medieval city, shaped like a square with Rådhuspladsen, Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport as its corners. It is dotted with historic buildings, church spires and narrow streets. Many of them has been pedestrianized and is commonly known as Strøget, Copenhagen's main shopping area. But it gets much more interesting if you venture into the narrow streets and squares, since it hides some interesting shops, restaurants and old traditional bars hidden away for the curious traveler.

South of the medieval district is Slotsholmen, an artificial island, the name translates to the castle islet at the site where Copenhagen's founder, the archbishop Absalon's built first fortification in the city. The ruins thereof are visible under the present day parliament, housed in the massive Christiansborg palace. Slotsholmen is also home to a cluster of museums and the national archives. Børsen, the former stock exchange from 1640, is another striking Renaissance building located here, with its signature dragon spire.

Get in

Københavns Hovedbanegård, Copenhagen's Central Station, is a sprawling and magnificent historic building which is a landmark and a sight worth exploring itself.

Being the center of the capital, the majority of bus, train and Metro lines run through Indre By. From the airport you can opt for either the regional Öresundstog to the Central Station or Nørreport, the Metro with stops at Kongens Nytorv and Nørreport or, if you want to take it slow and enjoy the views, the buses 2A or 5A. All of the options cost the same in terms of ticket fares - you need a three-zone ticket, as the Indre By is Zone 1, the Airport is in Zone 4 and you have to cross Zone 3 on your way.

From the DFDS and Polferries terminals take bus 26 or 20E to Kongens Nytorv.

  Copenhagen Central Station (Hovedbanegården) lies on the border between the inner city and Vesterbro, and acts as a central hub, with all S-train, regional and intercity lines stopping here, as well as a large number of bus lines at the terminal between the station and the Tivoli Gardens. Served by the following bus lines:

  Nørreport station also has all S-train lines, as well as several regional lines stopping here, and acts as an interchange between these lines, and the Metro. It is also a major bus terminal for many lines going north and northwest from the city center. It lies at the northern end of the pedestrian district Strøget.

  Kongens Nytorv is a major square at the eastern end of Strøget and where Nyhavn begins. It has a Metro station and a bus terminal.

  Rådhuspladsen is Copenhagen's central square and features a large bus terminal. It is also the western access point to Strøget, and a short walk from the Central Station.

For information about where these lines go, please refer to Movia's homepage or the many signboards around the terminals.

Get around

The Indre By is easily walkable and in fact a large part of it has been pedestrianized and is devoid of both motorized and bicycle traffic. Public transportation is not of much use unless you want to travel between the extremities, and both the metro and the railway lines circle the Indre By with only two stations each. Biking may be a good option - in case you do not want to bring your own bike or hire one permanently, you can take advantage of the city's Byckylen bike-sharing scheme - as of 2014, Bycyklen stands in the Indre By are around the Central Station and by the Amalienborg.


The City Hall (Rådhuset)

Key sights

Christiansborg Castle
The Black Diamond
Amealienborg with the Marble Church seen from the water
Rosenborg Castle
The Palm House in the Botanical Garden

Museums and galleries

The Prinses Palæ, housing the National Museum, in the winter
Glyptoteket - main entrance


Main entrance to the Tivoli Gardens


  Tivoli (main entrance shown on map), Vesterbrogade 3. Open 11-23 daily (longer on weekends). Tivoli is a garden buitd around a lake stemming from the old fortification of the city. It was opened in 1843 by its founder Georg Carstensen, just outside the city walls. Since then Copenhagen has grown up around it, and today the world famous gardens and amusement park, is literally a magic and green oasis smack in the center of the city, between the central station and the city hall square. The magic is particularly obvious after dark, when the lights and lanterns in every color of the rainbow, lights up everywhere. Entry adults 85 Kr, children up to 11 years old 40 Kr (2008, discounts available for groups).

Main season is mid April to late September. From mid November to late December there is Christmas in Tivoli. Tivoli is especially beautiful at night when coloured lamps light up everywhere. Pop/rock concerts every Friday night, sometimes with internationally known names. Some evenings end with fireworks, consult the program. Also brass bands, pantomime theater etc. on the program.

The Pantomime Theatre

Event venues

Part of the lake in Tivoli, with the Chinese tower and Dæmonen in the background


The Imperial building houses both a hotel and a cinema



On a clear day you can see the Oresund Bridge from the Rundetårn

Parks and recreation


The best place for shopping in Copenhagen, is without a doubt Strøget. A set of connected pedestrian streets in the heart of the medieval city. It is claimed to be the biggest outdoor pedestrian shopping area in the world, regardless of whether this is true or not, it is a shoppers paradise, and the historic buildings as far as the eye can see, makes it a welcome alternative to any shopping center. The really interesting shopping however, is found in the small shops, in the many narrow side streets to Strøget, colloquially known as pisserenden or the Latin quarter. If you are out for traditional souvenirs, there are several shops on the section if Strøget running between the city hall, and Amager torv.

The magnificent Magasin du Nord

Department Stores

Royal Shopping in Amagertorv
  •   Royal Copenhagen, Amagertorv 6,  +45 33 13 71 81. M-Th:10AM-6PM,F:10AM-7PM,Sa:10AM–5PM. The flagship store of the world famous Royal Copenhagen porcelain factory, tracing its history back to 1775. It is really exclusive (and expensive) stuff. On the 2nd floor there is a museum, portraying the history of the company, with exhibitions of its porcelain products.
  •   Georg Jensen, Amagertorv 4,  +45 33 11 40 80. M-F:10AM-7PM,Sa:10AM-5PM. Georg Jensen was a Danish silversmith (1866-1935), today it is a company producing some exquisite products in silver, like watches, jewelry and interiors.
  •   Illums bolighus, Amagertorv 10,  +45 33 14 19 41. M-F:10AM-7PM,Sa:10AM-5PM. The best, most expensive and most exclusive of Danish interior, decorative and furniture design.

Danish Design

The Strøget opening onto the Amagertorv

An option for bringing home some unique and useful souvenirs is buying furniture, lamps or industrial design from one of Copenhagen's own superstar architects and designers like Arne Jacobsen, Poul Henningsen or Børge Mortensen, who helped to turn Danish Design into a world wide brand in the first half of the 21st century - but don't expect it to be cheap, there are other options however, Kitchen accessories by Bodum and glassware by Holmegaard are some options that can be found in many stores throughout Copenhagen.


Other options are Illums bolighus and the Danish Design Center store, both listed above.

Vimmelskaftet, an extension of the Strøget

The Danish fashion industry has long been lagging behind the interior and furniture design industries, where Danish design is a recognized brand in itself. But this has all started to change in recent years, and Copenhagen is fast establishing itself as a fashion center. Many of the important names in the industry, runs their own independent stores in central Copenhagen.


Shop for some of Copenhagen's music stars in these stores. Good buys of local bands from Copenhagen with international quality include; Kashmir and Mew for rock music, and Trentemøller is an international electronica superstar,


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget 99 Kr or less
Mid-range 100250 Kr
Splurge 250 Kr or more


Denmark, especially Copenhagen, is home to hundreds of traditional bakeries serving 'wienerbrød' (literally, bread from Vienna), the traditional and famous Danish pastries. While many are closing due to competition from 7-Eleven kiosks, a traditional bakery is still good to find and hard to beat. Look for signs with a pretzel on them or shaped like a pretzel, usually with a crown on top. The major department stores listed above also have bakeries, although they can be pricey.


Get yourself in the Rådhuspladsen/Frederiksberggade area for a combination of cheap and open till late

Frederiksberggade, the part of Strøget nearest to Rådhuspladsen, is packed with cheap burger joints, Shawarma places, and China boxes - which all shell out quick food, until very late at night on the weekends. Burger King on the corner of Strøget and Rådhuspladsen operates 24 hours.

Mid Range

There are many restaurants at Gråbrødre torv

There are many opportunities. The area around Gråbrødre square is popular.


Restaurant Gammel Mønt


Brewery pubs

Tivoli lake, Færgekroen

These listings are some excellent options for starting your night in Copenhagen, offering good food and excellent beers produced in the places' own micro breweries.


The Nyhavn canal is popular place to go for a drink
The Nyhavn canal at night
Amagertorv by night

Clubs & Venues

Tivoli at night


If you are in dire need of some caffeine the following morning, here are some places that should (could?) sharpen you up.

Hot Chocolate

If you don't drink coffee don't worry you're in for a special treat. I maintain that I had the yummiest hot chocolate I've ever had in Copenhagen. It came out as mug of hot milk with a wooden stick with a large block of milk and dark chocolate on it which melted as you stirred it in. I could not find the exact place we discovered on Google but this link will give you an idea of what I mean:



View from Danhostel City
The Swan chairs, now found in McDonald's all over the world, were originally designed for the Radisson Royal hotel (lobby pictured)



Hotel D'Angleterre decorated for Christmas, with the winter ice skating ring on Kongens Nytorv in front


The postal code for central Copenhagen ranges between 1000-1499 (København K), and is quite confusing compared to the rest of the country, since almost every street here has its own postcode.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, September 08, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.