Vesterbro, Copenhagen is the hottest area in the city. Here City by City Associate Editor Emily Cater reveals the insider spots for style hunters.
You will no doubt have heard of Copenhagen’s reputation for being a European style leader – famous for its impeccable interiors and directional design, and home to many a coveted fashion label including Han Kjobenhavn, Malene Birger and WoodWood to name just a few. You may have even heard that Vesterbro, the city’s old red light district, is the hippest place to be, full of cool concept stores, must-visit restaurants, and lively bars. But where are the insider spots? The spots the locals go, and the style hunters.
City by City Travel’s Emily Cater has the lowdown for you, with this 24 hour guide to exploring the area.
Wake up at…
Helgolandsgade 12 / 45 33314610
This colourfully eclectic, affordable boutique hotel is just a stone’s throw away from Copenhagen Central Station, as well as the popular food and drink spots of the uber hip Meatpacking District, making it the perfect place to stay to explore the area. The rooms are comfy and stylish, the staff friendly, and the breakfast is generous.
Værnedamsvej 5 / 45 31311536
This hipster cafe is reminiscent of a cute 1950s milk bar, serving Danish brunch classics like cheese on rye bread with jam and apples, and omelettes with cheese, mushrooms, tomato, ham and salad. On sunny days and at weekends the tables outside are full to the rafters with local cool kids and their flat lattes; great for people-watching.
Værndamsvej 6 / 45 32213357
Located in an old butcher shop, Dora is a beautifully quirky yet understated interiors concept shop selling an enchanting mix of new and vintage furniture, ceramics, art and design products. Truly one of a kind and well worth a visit.
DANSK AND DANSK
MADE FOR ROOMS
Istedgade 80 / 45 32180255
This interiors shop located on trendy Istedgade houses a selection of international interior brands as well as its own designs of graphic-focused cushions, blankets and prints.
Istedgade 95 / 45 33316636
Founded in 2001, Kyoto originally offered exclusively menswear, but having moved to a larger space, it now stocks edgy womenswear and accessories from a range of international and homegrown brands, including Acne Jeans, Alexander Wang, Red Wings and Whyred.
Værnedamsvej 6 / 45 60406914
Don’t miss cool Danish brand and design agency Playtype’s flagship store on bustling Værnedamsvej which sells unique prints, stationary and gifts playing with the art of typography. Pick up a poster with a stylised version of your initials on it like we did.
Gammel Kongevej 41 / 45 53640186
Hip menswear store Soulland has had another refurb and moved into a bigger space. It now offers not only its own slick ready-to-wear label and a select edit of pieces from designer labels, footwear and accessories, but a small womenswear line too.
Gammel Kongevej 47 / 45 35356264
Hip Danish multi-brand store Wood Wood has set up shop with a new store in Vesterbro, which is already home to cool stores including Soulland, Black and Kyoto. The store interior is framed by huge windows and colourful elements envisioned by its creative director Karl Oskar Olsen, and stocks its own line alongside Adidas, Comme des Garcons, Nike, Jacquemus and more.
Arts & Culture at…
Kunstforeningen GL Strand
Gammel Strand 48 / 45 33360260
Ok, although not strictly in Vesterbro itself, this museum is only around a 10 minute walk away, and is one of the lesser-known art spots in the city, featuring around 6-8 modern art exhibitions a year, plus a varied film programme. Head there before September 18 to catch the current Mario Testino exhibition featuring his most famous shots of celebrities, models and royalty.
Pre dinner drink at….
Viktoriagade 8 / 45 33310415
This cool beer bar, in the heart of Vesterbro from renowned brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergso is a great spot for a pre-dinner beer, from one of 15 taps on offer. Ten of the 15 are Mikkeller’s own brew, while the rest come from around Europe and the states. If you get peckish, there’s always cheese, pork scratchings and olives to snack on.
We’d recommend two options for dinner, depending on what you fancy.. if you’re after something light and affordable, offering al fresco dining in the summer, head to…
Høkerboderne 9 / 45 22275898
This always jam-packed, laid-back Italian spot in the trendy red-light district serves the best pizza in Copenhagen, with a young and hip crowd and great cocktails to boot.
Or if you’re pining for a healthy, yet substantial meal, go for…
Slagterboderne 1 / 45 39695557
Inspired by London’s Momo, this wine and tapas bar is housed in a former liver pâté factory right next to Bio Mio, a 200-seat concept restaurant serving up delicious organic fare. Paté Paté features outdoor seating and a serious love of food and wine. We loved the Harissa-roasted chicken for two served with beets, savoy cabbage, spicy carrots and French fries.
Stenosgade 1 / 45 29299276
This hot new Vesterbro bar is a regular fashion-pack hangout. It offers delicious modern cocktails and tapas, many of which feature the owner’s homemade syrups and bitters. The interiors are equally well thought out, featuring an ornately tiled bar, vintage furniture, and cabinets full of vintage silver and crystal bar paraphernalia.
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