From Tivoli Gardens to Nyhavn, Copenhagen has some AMAZING sights that I can’t get enough of! But outside of the busy city center, there are there’s a quaint neighborhood in Copenhagen with cute houses, awesome restaurants, and even palaces! Vesterbro is probably my favorite neighborhood in Copenhagen, and I have lots of recommendations for things to see in Vesterbro 🙂
I first explored Vesterbro when I studied abroad in Copenhagen in the winter, and I went with a group o people to check out some thrift stores. It was a crazy cold and snowy day, so the streets were empty and most of the stores were closed. Five years later, I explored Vesterbro again on a bright, sunny day in June, and thankfully, things looked a lot different!
Vesterbro is a very popular place to live since it’s right outside the city center, and there are lots of great restaurants and shops. It didn’t start being built up until the 1850s when the cholera epidemic hit, and people wanted to get out of the city center (just like what I learned about Greenwich Village when yellow fever hit NYC).
It’s known as being a “hipster” neighborhood (but it seemed more upscale than the more grungy, hipster neighborhoods I’m used to in Philadelphia like Fishtown), and it actually used to be a bad part of town with drugs and prostitution only 20 years ago. Things have certainly turned around since then, and it’s such a pretty neighborhood!
On the outskirts of Vesterbro is a palace! Frederiksberg Palace (not to be confused with Frederiksborg Castle, the Versailles of Denmark) was built 1699-1735, and it was the royal family’s summer home until the 1800s. The Royal Danish Military Academy has used it since 1869. They only have two tours on the last Saturday of the month, so I wasn’t able to go inside. But you can get some pretty views of it in the palace gardens, which are open to the public!
Frederiksberg Palace is right next to the Copenhagen Zoo, so you can get a peek of the flamingos!
In Vesterbro, there’s a Carlsberg neighborhood! If you don’t know about Carlsberg, it’s a famous Danish beer, and it’s spread to the U.S. pretty recently. Four years ago, I walked two miles in the middle of the summer to the one store in D.C. that sold Carlsberg, and they had one case in the very back of the fridge. Today, most bars I go to have Carlsberg on tap!
A neighborhood around the brewery is being built up with new apartment buildings, and they recently added a train station. The neighborhood around the brewery has lots of historic houses, which are my favorite 🙂
Carlsberg was founded in 1847 by J.C. Jacobsen, and the Carlsberg Foundation was founded in 1876. Jacobsen was an art collector and philanthropist, and the foundation supports things like scientific research and the arts. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek houses Jacobsen’s art collection, and it’s one of my favorite art museums in the world!
You can take a tour of the Carlsberg brewery, which I’ve actually never done, but I’ve heard good things about it. If you don’t want to take a tour, you can check out the brewery store or drink a beer in the courtyard.
Somersby is my all time favorite and it’s FINALLY being sold in the U.S.!
Jacobsen and his son Carl (who Carlsberg was named for) had a falling out, so Carl opened a “new” brewery in 1882 (Ny Carlsberg) so Jacobsen renamed his as “old” (Gamle Carlsberg). They were later merged together after Jacobsen’s death.
They’re building up the area, but you can just see the famous elephant statues through the archway
On that freezing cold day, Kebabistan came to the rescue and helped warm me up! Definitely recommend their shawarma 🙂
Istedgade is probably the most well known part of Vesterbro. It’s a long street where tons of shops and restaurants are located, and Visit Copenhagen has lots of recommendations for places to eat since I haven’t been able to eat everywhere yet! You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in that area though.
My favorite part is the colorful buildings, of course
There are lots of antique stores with good deals! My family has collected the small Danish plates for generations, and I’m always on the hunt for more!
So if you have time to see more than the main sights in Copenhagen, spend some time in Vesterbro! (And Østerbro is a pretty cool neighborhood to visit, too!) This quaint neighborhood in Copenhagen has everything from breweries to antique stores, and you could spend hours checking out all these things to see in Vesterbro 🙂