Nørrebro is the one area in Copenhagen that is constantly lively, even during the quiet hours – there’s always something going on, and there’s plenty to see. It’s the more interesting place to visit if you’re craving a little more than the typical tourist-attraction museums, parks, and older architecture you see all over European cities – and want to see where the young Copenhageners actually go to hang out. So if you’re all about cool vintage shops, street art, people-watching, skate parks, and bars, restaurants & cafes…this is the neighbourhood for you. And if you like taking photos like I do, there are lots of interesting little details on the streets worthy of a snapshot, as you’ll see below!
This week’s version of a ‘Sunday Museum’ will be this awe inspiring expressionist-style church in Bispejberg, Copenhagen – Grundtvigs Kirke. It’s free to enter, and I arrived maybe a half hour before its closing time, and basically had the whole church to myself. Here are the photos I took…Happy Sunday!
(photos taken before lockdown)
I mentioned in an earlier blogposts that cemeteries are really something else in Copenhagen – they’re akin to parks, well manicured, garden-like, and utilised also for recreational purposes. Simply beautiful green spaces to stroll around in. I’ve shown you the famous Assistens Kierkegaard, which is located in Nørrebro, and now I will share with you Bispebjerg Cemetery, which is further up north from Nørrebro. It’s quite a distance away from the city centre, but if you’re looking for a bit of tranquil within access to the city, this is definitely the spot to visit. I heard it’s lovely in the spring time with cherry blossoms, so I’ll be sure to return next year!
The more I visit Nørrebro, the more it grows on me – the part of Nørrebro close to town is, in my opinion, the busiest and most interesting part of Copenhagen (at least for a young person like me). It reminds me a lot of the neighbourhood I used to live in Bristol in the UK (Stokes Croft/Montpelier) which was an area with plenty of street art, skaters dragging their wheels on the roads, the coolest music venues, lots of vintage, charity, and independent shops, vegan cafes, alternative cinemas, and so on. Nørrebro is like a cleaner, even more “hip” version of Stokes Croft, and could probably be compared to many up and coming areas of London.
Compared to my beloved own neighbourhood – Vesterbro – Nørrebro feels more hectic, more diverse, more artsy. I say those things in a good way. In Copenhagen, Nørrebro unfortunately has the reputation of being a “dirty” area with “gang activity” “crime” and so on – I don’t know how true those claims are, but either way they are terms I tend not to attribute to city neighbourhoods because I think they are loaded terms, and well – let’s just say Danish standards for a rough neighbourhood are quite different to that of one in the UK. Of course, ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ areas come with a certain level of hype – but if I could pick a street in the neighbourhood that really captures and distils the unique vibe of Nørrebro it would be Blågårdsgade (try saying that twice as fast)!
Just take a look below for all the weird and wonderful sights you can take in the length of a single street.
One of the first things I noticed after moving to Copenhagen is how well kept the cemeteries are – none of that haunted or creepy feeling about them. They are honestly quite beautiful green spaces. Assistens Kirkegård in Nørrebro is certainly no exception. This is reflected in how people use and pass through the cemetery as well. People come in here to have a picnic or drink with friends in the grassy areas, to lay in the sun, and have a quiet chat on the many benches dotted around the place. There are also cycle and walk paths through the cemetery that allow you to make shortcuts across parts of the neighbourhood.
Some of the individuals buried here whose names you may be familiar with are H. C. Andersen, Niels Bohr, and Søren Kierkegaard. For this post, however, I’ll share with you the more garden-like features of the cemetery, rather than the gravestones.