If you're planning a trip to Copenhagen and don't want to stay in the crowded city center, consider its up-and-coming green neighborhood of Ørestad. Development started in 1995 after a team of Finnish architects (ARKKI) won an international architectural competition to plan the district. Though some areas are still in the works, there's already a lot to see and do. Here are five reasons why it's a worthy base:1. There are hotels in every price range.
Within Ørestad's four neighborhoods -- Ørestad City, Ørestad North, Amager Fælled, and Ørestad South -- you can find everything from budget hotels like CABINN Metro to the sleek V-shaped AC Hotel by Marriott Bella Sky . For the environmentally-minded, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has been deemed the greenest hotel in the world by the EcoTourism Awards.
2. There's tons of innovative architecture to marvel at.
In this neighborhood, practically every building is Instagram-worthy. There's the concert hall DR Koncerthuset, featuring high-tech see-through screens on the outside and classic Scandinavian aesthetics on the inside, and the residential VM Mountain, with rooftop gardens protruding everywhere (unfortunately, you'll only be able to enjoy this one from afar). To explore all the development, you can take a guided tour, download a podwalk, or just wander on your own.
3. For all the urban development, you can also find lots of nature.
Ørestad Urban Park is perfect for picnics, walks, riding bikes, or playing on the equipment -- there's no age limit for the tire swings. If water is more your element, you can rent a solar-powered GoBoat, partly made from recycled plastic bottles, at Islands Brygge.
4. It's home to a huge shopping mall.
Field's is Scandinavia's largest shopping and entertainment center. You probably don't want to spend your entire vacation at a mall, but it can come in handy in times of inclement weather or hunger -- there's a large supermarket inside the mall where you can stock up on chocolate, water, local snacks, and other essentials.
5. Public transportation will take you anywhere.
There are six metro stations in Ørestad, making it super easy to get around. The Øresund train line also stops there, and it's just one stop away from Copenhagen Central Station -- convenient for visiting Copenhagen's tourist attractions like Tivoli Gardens. That's also the same train line you can take to Helsingør, home of Kronborg Castle, the inspiration for Elsinore in Hamlet, and a must while in Denmark. In the other direction, the train stops at the airport and Malmö, Sweden (another worthwhile day trip).