Copenhagen’s Vesterbro neighborhood was once a famous rough-and-tumble red-light district. After receiving a thorough makeover, the area is now known for its fashion-forward art scene, extensive restaurant selection, and vibrant nightlife.
Walk along Vesterbrogade and Istedgade—the main streets of Copenhagen’s hippest quarter—and explore an eclectic selection of bars, restaurants, cafés, and shopping boutiques. A growing collection of brewpubs and Danish craft beer bars serve up frothy pints, while Vesterbro’s trendy Kodbyen area (a former meatpacking district) features some of the city’s coolest nightclubs, art galleries, tattoo shops, and music venues.
The streets of Vesterbro are better for walking than driving, so most tours take place on foot or include transportation via bike or Segway. Food tours are another option for exploring, and typically focus on the district’s vibrant food and drink scene as well as the city’s history. Most Copenhagen tours include a stop in Vesterbro and also visit highlights such as the 17th-century Nyhavn waterfront and the famous Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) statue.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Vesterbro is a must-see for art, music, and food lovers.
- Vesterbro is also home to the amusement park Tivoli Gardens, a fun spot for kids in Copenhagen.
- The city’s official tourist office, Copenhagen Visitor Service, is located at Vesterbrogade street in Vesterbro, just a few minutes from Copenhagen Central Station.
How to Get There
Copenhagen Central Station and Vesterport are major stops for almost every train and bus line in the city. Vesterport is served by the S-train network, and train lines B, C, and H continue along the southern edge of the district with stops at Dybbolsbro, Carlsberg, and Valby stations. Buses 1A, 3A, and 6A also stop in Vesterbro.
When to Get There
Opening hours for Vesterbro’s shops and galleries vary by season, while many of the district’s bars and clubs stay open until the early morning. Summer is the most popular season to visit, when bars, restaurants, and sidewalk cafés can be packed with people.
While Vesterbro was once known for its red-light activities and bustling meatpacking industry, the city of Copenhagen has worked hard to make the district a desirable place to live close to the city center. The famous red-light district is no more, and the area’s former meatpacking industry has been replaced with hip bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.