Vesterbro used to be known as Copenhagen's worker’s quarter and red light district. But In the last few years a genuine transformation has occurred in the area to the west of the Central Station, which is now one of the very hippest areas in Copenhagen.
Friday, April 19, 2013


This old, run down patch of dark tenements and cheap worker's accommodation which, since the 1960s, was known for its sex industry and having more butchers per square kilometre than anywhere else in Europe, is now one of the hippest places in the city.

If you want to spot the latest trends in Copenhagen this is not a bad place to start. As with Nørrebro to the northwest of the city centre, an influx of immigrants, students, creative media-types and bohemians has turned a neglected quarter into the trendy part of town.

Though the Meatpacking District has remained a locus for companies and activities relating to the meat and food industry, these original functions take up much less space. Since the early 2000's the area has been changing into a new creative cluster with galleries, nightlife and small creative businesses such as studios and architecture firms.

The most trendy part of the area is in the still active Meatpacking District in Vesterbro, which during the last couple of years has been transformed into a new creative cluster buzzing with galleries, bars, clubs, music venues, restaurants and small creative businesses such as studios and architecture firms. Read more about The Meatpacking District here.

The Øksnehallen exhibition hall

One of the city’s most charismatic exhibition spaces is Øksnehallen. Further confirmation of its ascendancy came in the November 2001, when Danish-themed issue of Wallpaper magazine proclaimed Vesterbro as Copenhagen's hippest quarter. However, the turnaround really began with the transformation of the old cattle market Øksnehallen into a light and stylish exhibition hall at the time when Copenhagen was the European City of Culture in 1996. Øksnehallen remains at the heart of Vesterbro's cultural life with a changing programme of art and photography exhibitions throughout the year.

Despite the change in the eastern end of Vesterbros’ former 'sex street' Istedgade, the area from Gasværksvej and down towards the Central Station, remains to a certain extent, red light. But walk for a few minutes further west beyond Gasværksvej and you’ll notice more and more groovy, boho-cafes, retro-kitsch clothes shops, cool designer shops and Copenhagens finest music venue, Vega, located on Fælledvej.

If you prefer to cook for yourself, Vesterbro is also packed with enticing food shops selling hard-to-find ingredients from Thailand, China, Greece, Italy and elsewhere. The quarter even boasts its own “food street”, Værnedamsvej – a gourmet’s paradise with specialist cheese, wine, fish and chocolate shops, as well as cafes and grocers.

The Carlsberg area

Carlsberg brewed their first beer in 1847 on their grounds in Valby, a neighbor area to Vesterbro. Carlsberg is now a well known international name and a new town area is under development on the Carlsberg grounds. There are now galleries, theaters, concert halls and all kind of cultural arrangements.

Grey factory halls stand beside the gracious older buildings and in the former brewing halls you will find several of Denmark’s high profile art galleries.

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