Brimming with galleries, tattoo studios, chic restaurants, underground bars and music venues, Vesterbro has fairly earned the title of the hippest district in Copenhagen. For a long time Istedgade, the area’s main street, was known as a working-class neighborhood, but over the years became the city’s skid row, known for its strip clubs, porn shops and drug trade. It is still home to some seamy places but, as it has been extensively gentrified, it is now mostly popular for its hip hostels, cafés and organic restaurants, making it a favorite district among hipsters for both day and night.
Meatpacking District (Kødbyen)
Kødbyen is located in Vesterbro, just a few minutes from Copenhagen Central Station but it’s considered a separate neighborhood with its distinct style. Former slaughterhouses have been renovated and turned into hip restaurants and bars. Art studios and galleries couldn’t be missing from the city’s Meatpacking District and over the years more and more are added to the list. Copenhagen’s most stylish crowd comes here for an evening cocktail, a delicious dinner in a fashionable restaurant or a takeaway burger, before heading to one of the district’s underground clubs. During summertime, special events take place, including the locals’ favorite Food and Market, so the area gets even more packed.
On the north part of Copenhagen and just a few minutes from the city center lays Nørrebro, Copenhagen’s multicultural neighborhood. The area holds the reputation for being an artist and bohemian hangout, but it actually attracts a mixed crowd of people who just enjoy the city’s hidden corners more than the touristic center. The Assistens Cemetery (where Hans Christien Andersen and other notorious Danes are buried) in the middle of Nørrebrogade, the area’s main street, is the trademark of this hip district. One of the locals’ favorite streets is Jægersborggade, known for its stylish cafés and organic restaurants, and Ravnsborggade with its vintage and secondhand shops.
Copenhagen City Center
An area full of bars and stylish cafés stretches between Nørreport Station and Kongens Nytorv. Although this vivid neighborhood is just next to Strøget, Copenhagen’s main shopping street, it doesn’t look like a touristic area at all. Restaurants, takeaways and coffee shops for all tastes add a vivid atmosphere to the historic city center. Here you’ll find everything – from cheap smoky bars to elegant restaurants and jazz venues that stay open until late at night filling the air with tunes.
The Freetown Christiania
The Freetown Christiania couldn’t be missing from our list, as it is the most original, least gentrified neighborhood in the city. Sure, you’ll find souvenir stands and group tours, but its car-free pedestrianized alleys and the stunning lake to the east create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere away from the city noise. The former military base, occupied by a group of hippies back in the ’70s, is known for its Green Light District and Pusher Street, but it has much more to offer its visitors. The colorful bakery with the delicious cakes, the cute vegetarian restaurants with the fresh ingredients, the underground gig venues and the smoky jazz bars are only some of the places that compose Christiania’s unique scenery.
Christianshavn used to be a working-class neighborhood for a large part of the 20th century, but when Freetown Christiania was created back in the ’70s, it was considered Copenhagen’s bohemian district. Nowadays, it is known as a fashionable area, home to Copenhagen Opera House and the Michelin-starred Noma restaurant. Mapping across several artificial islands, it is surrounded by water and scenic canals, which, in combination with the colorful houses and the narrow alleyways, make the neighborhood one of the most beautiful and romantic parts of the city.
Every city has a posh neighborhood, where fancy restaurants take the place of smoky cafés and instead of clothing shops you see famous designer boutiques. In Copenhagen this area is Frederiksberg. The neoclassical houses, fancy restaurants and stylish coffee shops are what make this area so elegant. The city’s uptown crowd chooses this district for a night out but all Copenhageners favor Frederiksberg Gardens, one of the biggest parks in the city, for a picnic or a relaxed walk.
It’s probably the most touristic neighborhood in Copenhagen but its townhouses with the colorful façades are so beautiful that it’s worth a visit. Plus, it was Hans Christian Andersen’s neighborhood for approximately 20 years. What was once the city’s harbor and sailors’ hangout is now a picturesque district full of restaurants and cocktail bars. As it is one of the main attractions in Copenhagen, prices are a bit high, so if you want to enjoy the scenery without breaking the bank, grab a beer from a nearby kiosk and just perch yourself somewhere on the waterfront.