While it’s obvious that there’s something French to the DNA of Værnedamsvej, the street seems to have trouble deciding where it belongs. With one side of the street belonging to Vesterbro and the other to Frederiksberg, Værnedamsvej is not only a street split between two neighborhoods – it’s also a street split between two municipalities with the residents on one side of the street paying less taxes than the ones living on the other side of the street.
Taxes and technicalities aside, the charming street has the ability to bring people together whether it’s for a glass of wine, shopping or good food. It’s the kind of street you could pass through in less than five minutes but why on earth would you?!
A celebration of the good life
Today, Værnedamsvej is chic, urban and local – it’s posh yet down to earth, but it wasn’t always so. Truth is that until 1733, Værnedamsvej was not a street worth mentioning. Literally, because it didn’t even have a name! But along came Werner Dam, a beer tapper who opened a beer garden in this little nameless street connecting Gammel Kongevej and Vesterbrogade. Werner Dam managed to turn the beer garden into a quite popular hangout, and eventually the street was named after Werner Dam, who brought happiness as well as beer to the area.
Wine, dine and shop on Værnedamsvej
Looking for coffee, wine, flowers, interior design, clothes, cosmetics, cheese, jewelry or great food? You’re in luck! It’s all within minutes.
For years Falernum has been among the most popular wine bars in Copenhagen – and nothing seems to change that.
Granola is pure nostalgia and perhaps just as popular as Falernum, especially when coffee is served in the backyard.
Vintage, Danish design classics and fun gadgets – you’ll find it all at the lovely boutique Dora.
Le Trois Cochons is not a restaurant with a French take on Danish bacon as the name might suggest. It’s much more than that…
From infamous to world famous: Welcome to the ‘it street’ of Copenhagen
When you take a look at this picturesque street today, it’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago, Jægersborggade was a dodgy hub for drug dealers and other suspicious types roaming the streets. Then something happened. When former Noma alum Christian Puglisi opened the restaurant Relæ in 2010, a restaurant that later on received a Michelin star, a bunch of baristas, artists, designers and other entrepreneurs tagged along. Though Puglisi’s Relæ and his popular bistro Manfreds closed in 2020, Jægersborggade is blooming! Today the Nørrebro street accommodates more than 40 independent boutiqes, wineries, eateries, chocolatiers and much more so take a stroll and treat yourself to some local goodies.
Few years ago, Lonely Planet wrote: “Denmark’s capital of cool is unstoppable” as Copenhagen was ranked number 1 among the best cities for travelers in 2019. Later on The Guardian mentioned Jægersborggade in an article listing 10 cool shopping districts around the world. The once haunted street is now among the ‘it streets’ of Europe. Possibly because the cobbled street has managed to retain its local feel welcoming each and everyone.
10 places to visit in Jægersborggade
Coffee Collective – the place to go if you want your caffeine fix to be fair trade.
Interested in plants and interior design? Swing by Plant København in number 27 and see how three young women combine plants and design.
Go for a wine tasting at Terroiristen. And while you’re there, try the tiramisu.
Up for home made vegan ice cream? Check out BANANA in number 27.
Looking for a gift? Visit ceramic designer Inge Vincent in her workshop.
GRØD means porridge but it is way better than it sounds. Try it out!
Buy your next knit sweater from Craft Sisters and support women around the world.
Get your organic greens, kefir and kombucha at Camilla Plums blandede landhandel.
Check out the handmade jewelry by local designers at Ladyfingers.
Among the many galleries visit Galleri Udtryk, if you’re looking to get your hands on some super cool linoleum prints.
Where is Jægersborggade?
Jægersborggade is located in Nørrebro, right across from one of the main entrances to Assistens Cemetery on Jagtvej. At the other end, the street borders Stefansgade and Nørrebroparken. Nearest metro stations are Nørrebro Runddel and Nuuks Plads. Go straight to Google Maps here!
The Lakes in Copenhagen connects the four neighborhoods Vesterbro, Frederiksberg, Nørrebro and Østerbro with Central Copenhagen. While it looks like there are five lakes, there are in fact only three; Sortedams Lake, Peblinge Lake and Sankt Jørgen Lake. The walking distance around The Lakes is only 6 km, which just shows how easy it is to go from one end of the city to the other.
The Lakes are a perfect recreational spot offering some of the best views of the city as well as they make up for a very popular meeting point among the locals.
A sunny day by The Lakes in Copenhagen
When the sun comes out you will see how the city is brought to life, especially at the area around Dronning Louise’s Bridge. You will see people strolling around while sipping on a cold beverage or a hot cup of coffee. Benches will be packed, children will be be feeding the ducks and runners will be zigzagging their way through the crowds.
During summer you can rent rowing boats or pedal boats at Søernes Bådudlejning (Copenhagen Lakes Boat Rentals), situated by Dronning Louise’s Bridge.
Dronning Louise’s Bridge
At The Lakes you will find the very popular Dronning Louise’s Bro (Queen Louise’s Bridge) which connects the city centre with Nørrebro. With more than 40.000 cyclists crossing the bridge every day, this is not only a bridge but also the busiest bicycle street in the world. However, it is not just a path for bikes or a bridge connecting two neighborhoods. It is also an important landmark and one of the most popular places to hang out in Nørrebro.
On sunny days the bridge will be packed with locals hanging out on benches, railings and sidewalks, talking, listening to music and enjoying the weather.
The popular Droning Louises Bridge in Nørrebro. Photo: Martin Heiberg
During summer people will hangout at Dronning louises bridge. Photo by Maria Sattrup
5 places to get your coffee
Go to Kaffesalonen by Dronning Louise’s Bridge and enjoy a snack and a drink right on the lake.
Looking for croissants to go with your coffee? Take a break at Den Franske Café at Sortedams Dossering 101.
Coming from Vesterbro? Grab a cup to go at Pauseriet before starting your walk.
For something stronger, stop by Søernes Ølbar and have a cold beer.
Or enter the cocktail cave at Bar Next Door by Dronning Louise’s Bridge.
Where are The Lakes Copenhagen
There are many streets leading to the Lakes in Copenhagen, Gl. Kongevej, Åboulevard, Nørrebrogade, Østerbrogade just to mention a few. Go straight to the map here!
Have you ever considered going on a city break with the purpose of seeing absolutely none of the sights? The slow travel philosophy may not as such be compatible with a city break, for while the standard Copenhagen getaway attempts to squeeze in as many sights and experiences as possible, slow travel is all about ditching the bucket list and blending in. It’s about sensing and connecting with the local environment rather than crossing things off the list. The true slow travelers may not even take a photo to post on Instagram and they probably won’t go see The Little Mermaid either. But they will make friends with the local barista, smell the grass and go see a local band playing.
The art of slow traveling in Copenhagen: Search for the sun
Copenhagen offers plenty of sights. No doubt! The standard itinerary will take you by The Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Castle, Marble Church, Christiansborg, Christianshavn, maybe even Christiania and on a guided boat tour through the canals. If well arranged, you can do it all in a single day…
… or you can do it differently and consider local life to be the main attraction. When searching for the Danes, you should first of all check your weather app and hope for some sun and a clear blue sky as most Danes crave sunrays after a long, dark winter. You’ll find them soaking up the sun by The Lakes, in Frederiksberg Gardens, Ørstedsparken, Assistens Cemetery, Reffen and anywhere by the water – and on a hot day you will probably find them splashing around in the water.
It may seem strange but rather than going to the beach, many Copenhageners prefer going to the harbor. Several areas along the water such as Islands Brygge, Sluseholmen and Nordhavn offer public harbor pools with lifeguards on duty, however you will quickly notice people swimming anywhere, but be aware that you may be fined if you swim outside the marked areas.
12 ideas for your slow travel in Copenhagen
Bring a bathing suit and a towel and head to La Banchina in Refshaleøen. Stay there for the afternoon, soak up the sun, swim and enjoy a glass of Aperol Spritz while the sun is setting.
Go hiking! Escape the urban areas for a day and hike Amarminoen from central Amager to Dragør.
On a sunny day, go to the beach. Amager Beach is close to the city, yet completely different.
Visit a cemetery. Sounds weird? Maybe so, but the Danes hang out there all the time. Try Assistens Cemetery, Bispebjerg Cemetery or Vestre Cemetery.
Go on a picnic in Kongens Have, Nørrebroparken, Botanical Garden, Fælledparken or any other park depending on your mood.
Hike CopenHill on Margretheholm between Amager and Refshaleøen. Get sweaty and enjoy the view from the top.
Rent a boat and experience the city at your own pace.
Even better – rent a kayak and paddle around the canals and enjoy a meal and a drink at Kayak Bar when you’re done.
Visit the last fishing village, Fiskerhavnen, in Sydhavnen and be inspired by the ‘slow living’ lifestyle.
Explore the brown bars – the bodegas – in Vesterbro, Nørrebro or Amager and have a talk with Copenhageners of all kinds over a cheap beer.
Go shopping in your local neighborhood: Istedgade in Vesterbro, Jægersborggade in Nørrebro or Gammel Kongevej in Frederiksberg.
Spoil your taste buds and spend your savings at Alchemist. A true journey for all senses.
The homestay philosophy
It’s pretty obvious. If you want to blend in, stay with the locals – or at least live like the locals. In Copenhagen you will find that most Airbnbs are real homes rented out by real people. This means that you get to experience everything from amazing Danish design to tiny bathrooms. And who knows, you may even sense the concept of ‘hygge’, though this is first and foremost a state of mind rather than a setting.
Renting an Airbnb in Copenhagen allows you to get out of Central Copenhagen and out into neighborhoods such as Vesterbro, Nørrebro, Amager, Frederiksberg and Østerbro, which is crucial if you want to experience Copenhagen from an authentic perspective. The fridge may be half full, the apartment is probably packed with family photos and personal items and you may even be asked to water the plants… in a weird way this could become a lasting memory.
Slow travel – literally!
Slow travel is a state of mind, a way of experiencing a destination and about slowing down, and the most important tool for the slow traveler in Copenhagen could very well be a bike. But make no mistake, biking around Copenhagen can be as stressful as it’s authentic, however it’s not to be missed. The bike will get you places you wouldn’t have gone otherwise and it will give you a chance to stop and smell the flowers, the kebab… or the weed in case you’re close to Christiania.
Do’s and don’ts when riding a bike in Copenhagen
Arm up when stopping.
Don’t ever stop in the middle of the road or on a bike path without signaling. It is guaranteed to piss off the Danes.
Right arm to the right when turning right.
Left turns don’t exist at a traffic light. You need to cross two streets to turn left.
Go with the flow. Slow bikers are annoying, fast ones are dangerous. Try to fit in.
Wear a helmet – even if the Danes don’t wear one.
Slow travel your way through Copenhagen
Slow travel can be whatever you want it to be. In the end it’s up to you to decide what calms you, what enlightens you and what makes you want to share a piece of yourself. However, we suggest you take your time and stay in Copenhagen at least 4 days, though most people would stress that 2 days should be enough. Stay local and rent an apartment on Airbnb or try couchsurfing. Get yourself a bike, which allows you to experience everything in between point A and point B. Taste the city: Street food, beer, gastronomy and even salt water. And not least – take it easy, chill at a café for hours and lie down in a park and watch the dogs running around. Enjoy!
Enghave Plads in Vesterbro is the name of a metro station connecting Vesterbro with other parts of the city but there’s much more to the name than that – it is also a recreational space for locals in Vesterbro. With the establishment of the new metro line (M3) in 2019, the urban space has undergone a major transformation – from dark, dense and dodgy to light and open with plenty of hangouts and recreational areas.
10 years ago the locals came here to drink beer in the shade of an old tree. Today the locals come here to drink wine on a sunny day and they don’t feel the need to hide it.
Shopping, skating, sipping and sunbathing
As much as Enghave Plads functions as a meeting point and a hub for transportation, it is also a popular hangout. Enghave Plads is surrounded by cafés, bars, restaurants and quirky little stores selling everything from vintage, home décor and fashion to wine and bicycles. You can easily spend a few hours in the area, not to mention a few bucks.
While many things have changed around Enghave Plads the past decade, some things remain the same. Though the facilities are not amazing and the ramp isn’t huge, the area has always attracted skaters, primarily young kids practicing their skills.
Not least, there’s also room for the lazy ones. Opposite of Enghave Plads you find Enghave Park, which has recently undergone a major transformation as well. A place to relax, have a picnic or even play ball if there are not too many people around. For now the park seems a bit bare with only few trees and bushes, but eventually the trees will rise and the bushes will bloom.
How to get to Enghave Plads
The easy way to get here is to take the M3 line. If you’re coming from Central Copenhagen, pass by Central Station, walk all the way up Istedgade and you’ll hit the square after about 1,3 km. From Sydhavnen simply follow Enghavevej and you’ll find the square on your right hand side. Coming from Frederiksberg, follow Enghavevej and the square is on your left hand side.