Located just behind Tivoli Gardens, the once seedy Vesterbro area, famous for its red light district, is now the coolest part of Copenhagen. In the streets radiating down from Copenhagen’s central railway station, you’ll find new bars and restaurants, independent hotels, organic food shops and vintage outlets.
The area has become a creative hotspot, inspired by the likes of New York’s famous Meat Packing District, as artists, designers, photographers and filmmakers move in. It’s always fascinating to visit a neighbourhood in transition – think Brooklyn or Berlin’s Kreuzberg 10 years ago – before the tourists arrive en masse. And true to Vesterbro’s diversity and independent spirit, there are many different ways to explore.
Go for an urban run
Copenhagen will always be the city of the bicycle, but the newest craze is urban running. And Vesterbro’s kilometre-long Istedgate, one of the hippest shopping streets, is a fascinating route. Running Copenhagen (runningcopenhagen.com) offers a running sightseeing tour of Vesterbro with a local guide.
Try a breakfast pizza
After all that exercise, you deserve carbs. At Neighbourhood (neighbourhood.dk), an organic pizza and cocktail bar on Istedgade, they serve up breakfast with a difference. Try a pizza with eggs, potatoes, fried pancetta, red onions, parmesan and smoked cheese.
Turn coffee into an art form
Danes take their coffee extremely seriously. Istedgade is full of independent cafes-cum-galleries. Try breakfast bar Kaffee (kaffeistedgade.dk) or Petrol (@petrolkaffeoggear), a cosy pit stop with retro decor and old slot machines. Prefer green tea? Head for Byoh (byoh.dk) on adjoining Helgolandsgade, where you’ll find Denmark’s first matcha bar.
Indulge in all things green at Byoh (Byoh)
Lunch in the Meatpacking District
For over 100 years, Vesterbro’s Meatpacking District (dubbed White Meat…