Østerbro Through Tommy’s Lens

Tommy, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, studied in the Architecture & Design Program at DIS Copenhagen for his spring semester. He lived in a Rented Room located on Østerbro.

Read about Tommy’s surrounding neighborhood and some of his favorite places to explore with his camera:

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Tommy took over the @dis.copenhagen Instagram quite a few times and you may recognize him from there!

Østerbro is Copenhagen’s quiet and posh district situated just north of the inner city. Many families and older people choose to live here, but it has something to offer for everyone. Dotted with cafés, shops, and parks, it’s a neighborhood with many hidden treasures.

I live in a collective apartment with other Danish students here, and I’ve recounted a day-in-the-life experience in this corner of the city. Follow along with the photos below!

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_1.jpg

My bedroom sits on the fourth floor of our apartment building and overlooks the courtyard to the south, meaning it gets plenty of direct daylight. I have decorated with the essentials including greenery and the Danish flag. When it’s nice enough outside, I love to open my windows and let the fresh air flood the room. It has become one of my favorite places to spend my time.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_2.jpg

Biking is simply a way of life. Seen here is my bike parked to the right of our courtyard entry door. My building shares a central courtyard with several other neighboring buildings where we store our bikes, maintain a community garden, and have occasional social events.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_3.jpg

The facade of my building is nothing extraordinary, but the brick and simple window trimmings are some of the features I love about the quaint streets of Østerbro.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_4.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_5.jpg

Brunch at Kaffestuen: the best way to start a productive day is to fuel up with a Scandinavian breakfast complete with bread, egg, parfait, and more bread. The hygge atmosphere adds to the experience.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_6.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_7.jpg

After spending some time studying, there’s always room for adventure. Pictured here is some of the newest real estate in Copenhagen called Nordhavn. It’s transforming from an old industrial hub into a modern commercial and residential district.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_8.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_9.jpg

One of my favorite places to visit when I explore this area is the rooftop playground and exercise park atop this bright red parking garage! It’s a great way to put space to use that would otherwise go unused by the community.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_10.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_11.jpg

New development means exciting forms and new Nordic architectural language. The silver building with protruding balconies is an apartment complex created from an old silo, and features a rooftop bar and restaurant.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_12.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_13.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_14.jpg

By biking just a short distance down the street, we arrive at Kastellet and are taken back to 17th-century Copenhagen. Kastellet is one of the best preserved star-shaped military fortresses left still standing in Europe. Walking past the bright red barracks, iconic windmill, and iron park benches transport you back in time.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_16.jpgSP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_15.jpg

Østerbro has its own public transportation hub called Østerport that sees thousands of commuters and travelers every day. Only one train stop away from the inner city!

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_17.jpg

Oh, and did I mention the United States Embassy in Denmark is located here? It’s like a little slice of home every time I find myself walking or cycling past this wall.

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_18.jpg

SP18_Østerbro Tour_Tommy Mathews_19.jpg

And just when we thought Copenhagen couldn’t get any more colorful, this stretch of houses nicknamed Kartoffelrækkerne, or the potato rows in Engish, proves us wrong. These rows are located along the border of Østerbro and Indre By (inner city/city center), and were originally built and used for working class potato farmers. Today, they’re some of the most desired and expensive homes in the city for their vintage, 19th-century appeal.


This concludes my bike excursion through the neighborhood I’ve been calling home for the last few months. It’s hard not to find a little something for everybody in this sector of the city, whether you’re an architecture lover or history buff. I got to soak in Østerbro even more as the weather warmed up this spring. See you/vi ses!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s