Østerbro is a mainly residential district of Copenhagen, just north of the inner city. With its quiet cobblestone and tree lined streets, and its excellent shopping and cafe life, it makes for a good excursion from the downtown area.
Along with Frederiksberg in the west, Østerbro has long been considered the posh or upper class district of Copenhagen. These days this is mainly due to the demographic of young, liberal leaning, well paid academics, which has earned Østerbro nicknames like the Latté district and 2100 Spelt. But it has been a neighborhood of the upper middle class since modern Østerbro’s inception, when Copenhagen expanded beyond the old fortifications in the 1850s.
The district takes it name from being near the old eastern gate of the city, and translates roughly into the Eastern borough, and before the city’s defenses were dismantled, the area were largely dominated by grazing cows and grassy meadows, traces of which is still visible in the huge park; Fælledparken, dominating the area. When Copenhagen was finally allowed to grow out over the ramparts following a cholera epidemic, Østerbro was not build up as quickly and disorganized as its neighbours Nørrebro and Vestebro, and it was mainly the bourgeoisie who moved here in pompous villas in green surroundings, a heritage which has stuck to the district, many of the mansions still stand today, and a lot of them are occupied by foreign embassies. When development finally took hold at the turn of the century, it was better planned, and more upscale than its counterparts, and with its big apartments and nicely crafted ornamented buildings. Even the construction of a new and dirty harbor by the waterfront and new factories could not quite take the bourgeoisie aura away from the district, something it has retained to this day. And while Østerbro is still trailing behind Frederiksberg and its posh northern neighbour, Hellerup in terms of wealthy residents, visitors should still expect it to be fashionable, rather than “hip” or “cool”, but watch out for the swarms of expensive prams parading the neighbourhood!