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With 600,000 residents, Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest city. Located on the east of the island ‘Zealand’, it’s inhabitants are known for being the happiest on earth. The ‘Danes’ are friendly and are also the world’s best non-native English speakers. Walking amongst the hustle of the city, you’ll see stunning architecture that mixes both traditional and innovative styles. The city has been growing since post-war from when the Finger Plan was implemented. The plan allows the growth of Copenhagen in order to spread across and absorb other towns. Today this makes up Copenhagen's metropolitan area, these municipalities brings the population to 2 million people.
The capital is popular amongst all and is a special place to both Danes and expats. With an increased quality of life and safer streets, as like most things in Denmark, apartments for rent in Copenhagen are expensive. On average a one bedroom ‘lejlighed’ meaning a one-bed apartment costs 8,000 DKK per month. Cheaper apartments are found in the suburbs, in the western suburbs rent on average will be as low as 5,000 DKK. You can minimise these costs by getting a shared flat. This could be a good idea for students or perhaps a ‘Kollegium’. A kollegium is either run by your university or privately. Here you typically have a room and a shared kitchen.
Exploring Copenhagen never gets boring. There are many places to live in the city. Depending on what you want or need, Nestpick has an array of apartments on offer varying in size and location.
For expats who do not want to be too far from the city centre, Østerbro or known as ‘Copenhagen Ø’ to locals, is a great district. It has broad boulevards and has the greenest spaces in the city, including Fælledparken and the new beach park Svanemøllen. Its inhabitants are mostly young families and some quieter young professionals share and enjoy the neighbourhood too.
If you want to rent a flat in Copenhagen’s livelier alternative, try the popular ‘Vesterbro’. With more people moving to this ‘hip’ neighbourhood, it is well worth a look. It is only 15 minutes by bike and is close to downtown. In Vesterbro you will find unique stores, boutiques and the famous Kalvebod Wave swimming area, although rental prices are going up, Vesterbro’s charm for now remains.
Valby is another neighbourhood that is not too far from Vesterbro, it is popular for its ‘village’ feel and cosy atmosphere. If you're feeling hungry, it is worth a visit to the Halifax Burger Restaurant here.
More cost effective housing look further out, only 25 minute transit by bike. Vanlose has more residential housing at reasonable prices so is worth a look.
Ørestad is architecturally developed and thus famous for its contemporary residences. It is a new district and was thought to attract a lot of residents. The new town has many attractions such as Fields shopping mall (largest shopping mall in Denmark) and the Bella Centre (largest exhibition and conference centre in Scandinavia).
All fun aside, moving to Copenhagen as a non-EU citizen or an EU citizen there will be bureaucracy. Things to know are:
- You will need a student visa or work/residency permit to stay in Denmark if you are not Danish or from a Nordic country. If you are from the EU, you can get this within 3 months from the ‘Folkeregisteret’, in your local town hall ‘Rådhus’. If you are from a non-EU country, you must get this prior to your move.
- It is important to register. Once registered it gives you automatic entitlement to the national health care thus you get your ‘Sygesikringsbevis’ insurance card. It is important to also get your residency permit and your CPR number because you will need this when applying for apartments for rent in Copenhagen.
The property market in Copenhagen contains private or social housing; both are open to the general public, there is, however, a waiting list for social housing unless rare circumstances permit. A person can have an unlimited lease in Copenhagen (you must live 180 days of the year there) or you can have a limited lease. A limited lease can be altered on request of the tenant, however, approval from Courts ‘Boligretter’ is needed. All properties in Copenhagen require a deposit, this will be predetermined by the landlord. On average it is 3x the rent and a further upfront payment for one month’s rent will also be needed. Furnished apartments for rent are available in most districts in Copenhagen. An ‘andelsbolig’ means shared apartment, on Nestpick there are lots of furnished rooms for rent or apartments. Renting a room in an andelsbolig is one of the cheapest alternatives in Copenhagen.
As a student looking to move to Copenhagen, it may be difficult to find where to begin, looking for student houses can be infuriating and time-consuming. Having necessities by you is very important. As a student this would typically be; your enrolled university, a supermarket, public transport alternatives, other local amenities and most importantly where you enjoy going out!
A great place to start is Christianshavn. This is an autonomous community and is self-governed separate from Denmark. The founders christened it ‘Christiania’ and it's in the borough Christianshavn. Being self-governed it can make its own laws. Here marijuana and other drugs are legal; marijuana and hash is sold on the open market, although it is not legal in Denmark. Visitors must take note ‘harder drugs’ are frowned upon in Christiania. With strict environmental policies, homes are self-built on Christianshavn. It is a special place to many and has a ‘hippy’ atmosphere.
For a more lively district, Nørrebro is perfect for students who are looking for a dive bars, late night snacks and coffees in dingy cafés. It’s always fun rummaging through vintage shops and wandering around it’s quirky galleries in the day. Stop by to the local craft brewery called Norrebro-bryghus for a nice craft beer. Afterwards, some parties like in night-club ‘Rust’ (which is over 3 floors) start midweek, on a Wednesday. This neighbourhood is one of the cheapest and most fun for students.
Vesterbro, as mentioned, is a hip area, it is also good area for students to live in, but it is more expensive due to demand.
The Tietgen kollegium is in this district, plus many other student residences. It is famous, as mentioned, for its architectural brilliance and innovative style.
Copenhagen has many Kollegiums (student housing), these are managed residences for international or national students across the city. Each student room can vary from residency to residency. Some students dorms are more luxurious for example ‘Tietgen’, here rent starts at 2,900-5000 DKK. Alternatives for students could be an andelsbolig (a shared house) or lejlighed (apartment). Most student residences will ask for a further proof of enrolment and reference for payment.
As Denmark’s oldest and largest university, it was founded in 1477. Now it is part of four campuses and its main campus is located centrally. Half of the university's international students come from Nordic countries, nevertheless all cultures are welcome.
North Campus - Located north of the city it is nestled between Østerbro and Nørrebro. Nørrebro is home to the university’s park and is across from Fælledparken.
Metro Stop: There is no metro station. Use bus stop ‘Universitetsparken’ for the North Campus.
City Campus - As the university's oldest campus it is also the administrative campus. It is located across the road from the Botanical Gardens on Øster Farimagsgade. This road is part of a succession of streets that connect Vesterbro and Østerbro.
Metro Connections: Nørreport Station
South Campus - It is situated on Amager island. The campus has a green plaza and café’s to relax in or walk in nearby Grønningen park. Ørestad hosts many students in its artistic architect designed residences.
Metro Stop: Islands Brygge Station
Frederiksberg Campus - Technically in Frederiksberg it occupies the former grounds of the veterinary school. Close by to Frederiksberg Have, this idyllic campus is home to notable buildings. Frederiksberg is one of the most expensive places to live.
Metro Stop: Frederiksberg St.
The Technical University of Copenhagen is just north of the capital and 25-minute drive from the city centre. It was founded as the first polytechnic university in Denmark and now located in the affluent city of Kongens Lyngby. The university's campus is on the previous site of the Lundtofte Flyveplads. The campus is divided into four sections and is organised via conventional quadrant numbering system (navigating the campus is easier than it sounds).
Metro Stop: No metro station. Please use IC commuter trains for transit into Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Business School is commonly abbreviated down to ‘CBS’. The business school is based in Frederiksberg. The campus is an urban campus, the university uses four notable buildings for its teachings. Their names are Dalgas Have, Kilen, Porcelænshaven and Solbjerg Plads. All four campuses are characteristically 'Scandinavian styled' and are all within walking distance from one another.
Metro Stop: Lindevang Station (Dalgas Have) or Frederiksberg Station