Venture into what used to be the roughest neighbourhood in Copenhagen: Vesterbro. Once the land of drugs, porn, and prostitution, today it’s one of the city’s trendiest districts — and also one of the best places to find a good beer. Listen to gritty tales of Copenhagen’s past as you share a brew or two (or four) with the locals.
Your Copenhagen tour starts at the city’s central station before venturing into what used to be the roughest neighbourhood in town. This was the world’s most famous red light district in the 1960s when Denmark was the first country to legalise porn, attracting curious visitors from around the globe. A few of those original shops still exist today, so no surprise that Vesterbro not only was, but still is, the centre of street prostitution in Denmark. In the 1970s and ‘80s, drug addicts, street prostitutes, tattoo shops, and shady dive bars dominated the neighbourhood. But wandering the streets today, you’ll see first-hand how gentrification can change a place.
We’ll start the tour with a visit to one of the few bars still standing, that has not been completely overrun by newcomers to the area. From there, we will make our way up Istedgade and you’ll hear stories of the Vesterbro of yesteryear. We’ll then stop at a place that’s a new take on the classic Danish bodega. Run by three friends and selling beer from a great brewery, it’s a local favourite with stories to share.
We’ll then wander the backstreets before reaching Sønder Boulevard, where we’ll do as the locals do and get a drink at a popular meeting point before reaching Kødbyen, Copenhagen’s old meatpacking district. Today there are still butchers and other shops that cater to the city’s restaurants, but they live next to stylish restaurants, bars, and galleries. We’ll tell you the #localsknow stories about the place, point out the great functionalistic architecture, and tell tales of the people who have worked there.
We’ll end the tour at one of the newest additions to the Copenhagen bar scene — a Danish-Texan brew pub and restaurant that’s making a name for itself around the world. Stay as long as you like, or, if you feel like exploring further, your guide will be happy to share dinner recommendations — there are many excellent places just around the corner.