In May I will be traveling to Copenhagen for the first time. Any hotel recommendations or best areas to stay?
We stayed at the Kong Arthur and found it to be in a great location. We were only a five minute walk to the Norreport station, from which you can head to pretty much anywhere in the Zealand area or in Copenhagen (and also to/from the airport). We really liked the hotel too. Every day between 5 and 6 pm they have a "cozy hour," which includes a free beer or glass of wine. The rooms were nice and comfortable. I would stay there again for sure.
We tend to walk a ton on our trips to Europe, and we walked everywhere in Copenhagen from this location, except to Carlsberg. So if you want to be walking more and using public transportation less, I would recommend staying somewhere in Indre By, or parts of Christianshavn or Vesterbro.
However, Copenhagen has excellent public transportation, so there are several suburbs or further out places that are worth staying.
Last fall, we stayed in the Absalon Hotel--which is only one to two blocks from the main train station and convenient to public transportation. Although we loved the hotel, particularly the breakfasts, and had no problems with it, you may want to read Trip Advisor reviews as the hotel is located on the fringe of a transitional neighborhood.
Thanks very much for these tips. Very helpful!
As Darrel notes, the hotels near the central train station are convenient. We stayed at the Nebo (economical for Copenhagen, clean, convenient location but not deluxe). We splurged for the ensuite but the down the hall facilitates looked decent. As Darrel notes, the next to the train station environment is not for everyone but we felt pretty comfortable going out after dark (and dark comes pretty early in January).
City Hotel NEBO is a cosy budget hotel, situated right next to the
central station in the centre of Copenhagen.
Benefit of the near train station location is the quick transit via train from the airport CPH. Buy your ticket at the airport as there is no ticket sale on the train. The airport does have a staffed both that accepts cash or credit cards. Being the central train station, the area is well served by local buses. You can buy bus tickets on board with cash (coins, not large bills) and exact fare is not required as the operator will give you change.
Darrel notes: ... fringe of a transitional neighborhood.
Istedgade is a main street ending at the Central Railroad Station. The half full view is its an interesting neighborhood. The half empty view is that some gentle folks may be a little uncomfortable of the urban scene.
Different, vibrant, relaxed and lively. Walking down Istedgade, you
will experience a different and exciting side of Copenhagen where all
kinds of people hang out - students, hipsters, families with children,
etc. For many years, Istedgade was dominated by drugs, porn and
prostitutes, but today the street has cleaned somewhat up, but luckily
not too much, and is booming with shops, cafées, restaurants and bars.
Istedgade stretches from Copenhagen Central Station to Enghave Plads
and is not far from the Meatpacking District and Halmtorvet, where you
will never be bored.
Regarding the area behind the Central Station, I think the quote from Edgar describes it very well. It seems to be the same pattern in most large European cities, that the area behind the main station is a bit dodgy, but also where you find the cheapest hotels. It's not a dangerous place, but it's not the nicest place either. I have come there from time to time on friday and saturday nights, when I used to work in the area and I have been offered my share of illegal substances (always politly declined) but I have never felt threathened.
However if you feel you have to choose it for the convenient location near the Central Station, the area around Nørreport Station is much nicer and Nørreport is actually more convenient for public transport, since it serves the same commuter trains as the Central Station plus it's connected to the Metro line, that you can take to and from the airport. (For all public transport in Denmark, check out www.rejseplanen.dk)