Planning a trip to Copenhagen? There is always a reason to travel to Copenhagen and here are a few more. While much of the city is more or less the same as it has been for hundreds of years, it’s never really the same. Let’s have a look at 21 things you should experience when traveling to Copenhagen in the wake of COVID-19.

World Pride 2021

As if the usual Copenhagen Pride, which takes place every year in August, wasn’t reason enough to visit Copenhagen! From August 13 to 21 the city will be buzzing with people of all genders, beliefs and colors, and we can expect parties, talks and events in all neighborhoods throughout the week of World Pride 2021. While the opening ceremony will take place in Malmö in Sweden, the closing parade on August 21 is taking place in the streets of Copenhagen. More than 60.000 people are expected to join the parade, so why not join in on the fun and travel to Copenhagen in August?

Travel to Copenhagen Pride 2021
Experience Copenhagen dressed in rainbows in 2021. Photo: Ty Strange

Euro 2021 

Football enthusiasts will be happy to know, that Copenhagen will be hosting four games in the European Championships in 2021. The championships were supposed to take place in 2020 but due to the Covid-19 crisis the games have been postponed for June 2021.

Indulge in street food

10 years ago street food in Denmark could be narrowed down to the traditional Danish hotdogs. While you can still grab a hotdog on most corners around the city, the Copenhagen street food scene is booming with food markets and exotic dishes all over town. Try out Broens Gadekøkken in Christianshavn or Torvehallerne at Nørreport Station in Indre by if you want a roof over your head. Go to Reffen in Refshaleøen if you’re looking for the big street food adventure.

Broens street food
Broens Gadekøkken. Photo: iamcopenhagen.com

Stay local when you travel to Copenhagen

If you want to have a taste of the real Copenhagen, stay in one of the city’s super cool neighborhoods and feel the happiness and good vibes. Check in to Nørrebro or Vesterbro if you want the busy neighborhood feel with great bars, coffee and restaurants. Go to Østerbro for a more quiet and family oriented neighborhood or Amager if you want to be near the beach and Refshaleøen.

To experience the best of local life in Copenhagen, we suggest you stay in an Airbnb. Check out our Airbnb guide and learn more about what you can expect when staying local in Copenhagen.

Beach vibes in the city

Should you travel to Copenhagen for a beach vacay? We think you should… In Copenhagen you don’t need to worry about sand when going for a dip. We do have great beaches at Amager Beach and Svanemøllen Beach. However, many locals prefer to stay in the city and cool off with a dip in one of the city’s harbor basins. The most popular chill out zones by the water are Islands Brygge, Fisketorvet, Christianshavn and Nordhavn but there are more. You will find plenty of great places along the water in Refshaleøen, Sluseholmen and Kalvebod Brygge – and not least the charming little bay at La Banchina. Looking for a real beach club? Check out Halvandet beach bar in Refshaleøen.

Copenhagen travel: Swimming in the canals
Beachy vibes in the middle of the city. Photo: iamcopenhagen.com

Travel around Copenhagen on a bike

There are more bridges for bikes than for cars, and the bike lanes are wider than the actual street in some places. Copenhagen may very well be the most bike friendly city in the world – and it should be experienced on a bike. As long as you follow the simple bike etiquette and don’t piss off the Danes on the lanes you’ll be fine.

The celebration of food…

If you happen to be in Copenhagen in the last days of August you’re in luck. Especially if you’re the hungry type. Copenhagen Cooking is your chance to have a bite of culinary Copenhagen when well known as well as upcoming chefs prepare dishes of pure Nordic magic. Copenhagen Cooking is scheduled for August 20-29.

… and the celebration of beer

Carlsberg – probably the best beer in the world… or maybe you prefer a more edgy lager or a pint of something dark? Figure it out and find your favorite at the 2021 MBCC, Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen, which is scheduled for April 30– May 1.

Travel to Mikkeller Beer Festival
Explore the wonders of the Danish microbreweries. Photo: Camilla Stephan.

Travel to Copenhagen in the search for HYGGE

Whether rain or shine – hygge is all around! If you haven’t experienced it yet, it’s about time! The concept of ‘hygge’ is as Danish as it can be and 2021 is the year to re-experience the cozy concept. Hygge is happiness and homeliness – candles, charm and coziness. Experience hygge on a cold day with a hot cup of something or play dice at a brown bar. Hang out by the water on a hot summer day or stroll through Tivoli Gardens’ winter wonderland. Hygge can’t be seen or bought. Hygge is a feeling that can only be explored in the right atmosphere and with the right mindset.

Check in to the Villa

Though it’s actually not a villa as much as it’s a beautiful old building with a successful facelift, we recommend you check into Villa new time you travel to Copenhagen! Villa Copenhagen is a luxury hotel but it’s first and foremost a social scene offering a rooftop bar and pool. If you can’t afford to stay at Villa, maybe you can afford a drink or two – or maybe even a bite to eat.

Stay at Villa on a trip to Copenhagen
The good life at Villa Copenhagen. Photo: Stine Christensen.

40 years of carnival – a time travel to Copenhagen

It may not be Rio but Copenhagen Carnival is actually pretty fun when COVID-19 restrictions allow and 2021 may just be a little extra spicy as the carnival celebrates its 40 years anniversary. Unless a pandemic once again gets in the way, the carnival will take place on May 22-23 2021 in Fælledparken and the streets of Copenhagen.

Sail the canals in a hot tub

Wellness will never be the same after you’ve sailed the waters of Copenhagen in a hot tub. At CopenHot in Refshaleøen you can enjoy a canal cruise with four friends and a captain while soaking in 40℃/104℉ hot clean salt water. Possibly the most relaxing way to experience Copenhagen.

Experience Copenhagen on the water with Copenhot
Copenhot has cracked the code to unite wellness and sightseeing. Photo: Copenhot

Have a drink and ride the Copenhagen metro

Copenhagen may not have the same artistic metro system as Stockholm or the history of London or Paris but the Danes sure know how to make the most of a metro ride. Since the M3 line, which connects Indre By with Østerbro, Nørrebro, Frederiksberg and Vesterbro opened in 2019, locals have been riding the metro, making a stop at each station. For one simple reason: to go to the nearest bar for a drink or two. It’s easy, it’s fun and it involves absolutely no driving under the influence of alcohol.

Sustainable eating

Whether you are looking for vegan options, to minimize food waste or you want your food to be home grown and organic, Copenhagen has something for you. Head to Vesterbro and get takeout from Minimer, a café focusing on minimizing food waste. Or enjoy a night out at ØsterGRO – a shared dining experience based on urban farming on a green rooftop in Østerbro. The list of sustainable options is endless. Go nuts!

Eat at ØsterGro, Copenhagen
ØsterGRO – a rooftop garden and a unique dining experience.

Join the locals at Absalon on your solo trip to Copenhagen

The Vesterbro locals, solo travelers and basically everyone else who enjoy meeting new people will fall in love with Absalon located on Sønder Boulevard in Vesterbro. What was once a church is now a community house and hangout offering everything from dance and yoga to bingo and dining. Just looking for a spot to work for an afternoon? Absalon will welcome you with a cup of coffee and a couch! Book your food coupon in advance and show up for the dinner party at 6 pm.

Pimp your Copenhagen trip and treat yourself

After a day of walking or getting a sore butt on the bicycle, you might want to spoil yourself with a massage or a few hours of pure wellness. In the city center you will find several day spas. Check out Amazing Space located in the basement of Hotel D’Angleterre, Arndal Spa in Store Kongensgade and Ni’mat at Hotel Kong Arthur by The Lakes. Newest member of the wellness club is AIRE Ancient Baths in Carlsberg Byen, where you can expect true pampering in historical surroundings.

Pimp your trip to Copenhagen with AIRE Ancient Baths
Escape the city for a few hours and soak up in pure roman-greek luxury at AIRE Ancient Baths in Carlsberg Byen.

Island hopping

We are not talking island hopping in the traditional sense. The islands of Copenhagen are connected by bridges or even built together and you may not even notice crossing from one island to the next. Nevertheless there is always a reason to rent a boat. Explore the canals, dock in Christianshavn, jump in the water by Christiania or check out the new artificial islands south of Fisketorvet.

The treasure island of Copenhagen

Island hopping is great but this island deserves a bit more than just the regular pit stop. Refshaleøen may just be the coolest place in the city and is a must see if you travel to Copenhagen. 20 years ago this island was basically a leftover from an industrial era but today Refshaleøen is blooming. While the main attraction, the Copenhagen street food paradise Reffen, attracts a bunch of hungry locals as well as visitors, the island has much more to offer. This is where you can enjoy the food adventure of a lifetime at Alchemist. You can go climbing at Blocs & Walls or join the beach party at Halvandet. Explore the Danish furniture designs at B&W Market, hang out at La Banchina and even run into the occasional pop up party. Seriously just go!

La Banchina, Refshaleøen
The good life awaits in Refshaleøen.

Explore motherhood at Louisiana

When you go to Copenhagen, don’t forget to get out of Copenhagen. Just for a day. In fact, do yourself a favor and go to Louisiana in Humlebæk. The S-train and a quick walk will get you there. Louisiana is a must visit for contemporary art lovers and 2021 is no exception. Actually, we can’t wait to check out the Mother! exhibition, which you can enjoy from January to May.

Go picnic

COVID-19 has taught us to keep our distance and with that in mind we suggest you grab a lunch to go and head to the parks when you travel to Copenhagen. Copenhagen may be known for castles, mermaids and other fairytalelike features but in between you’ll find a number of gorgeous parks. In fact, you will even find parks with castles! Check out the beautiful Ørstedsparken and Botanical Gardens and be enchanted by the natural beauty in the middle of the city. Head to the more hidden Østre Anlæg for a more local park experience or go to Frederiksberg Gardens and enjoy a bite and a sip in front of the majestic Frederiksberg Castle.

Tour de architecture

Copenhagen is not all towers and spiers. Modern and innovative architecture is popping up around the suburbs creating new landmarks that will be known for more than their great looks. Go skiing at CopenHill – a waste management center, which is also a ski slope and a hiking area. Enjoy the beach from the beautiful platform at Kastrup Sea Bath or check out the luxurious student housing at the container city on the water in Refshaleøen.

Kastrup Sea Bath
Enjoy a day at the beach, surrounded by cool architecture. Photo: Thomas Høyrup Christensen.

Østerbro: Cool calmness

Where to stay in Copenhagen if you like classic architecture and green parks as well as an urban, yet quiet and family oriented atmosphere? Head to Østerbro – one of the most prominent residential areas in Copenhagen.

Østerbro combines the finer things in life with a local attitude. Home to a bunch of Copenhagen’s classic luxury flats and town houses, great restaurants, cool cafés and fashion boutiques this is the place to stay if you want to experience the convenient elegance of Copenhagen. You will find Michelin starred restaurants like Geranium as well as the unique rooftop farm restaurant, Gro Spiseri. An overpriced cup of coffee is always just around the corner but so is a lush green oasis.

Østerbro is for you if…

  • you want to mingle with the locals
  • enjoy an urban atmosphere without too much noise
  • you appreciate green parks and recreational areas
  • you are travelling with kids
Dag H – a classic Østerbro Café by The Lakes. Photo: Robin Skjoldborg.

Where is Østerbro

Østerbro is located at the northern end of the city starting at Østerport Station. The area borders Nørrebro to the west, Hellerup to the north and Øresund to the east where Nordhavn forms the modern, maritime part of Østerbro. Parts of the city such as Langelinie, home of The Little Mermaid, and the old town houses in Kartoffelrækkerne (Potato Rows) may have the postal code of Østerbro but most people consider these areas to be Central Copenhagen.

Map of Østerbro.

Streets and areas to explore in Østerbro

If you’re on the lookout for parties and young crowds dancing in the streets Østerbro might seem a bit dull. But there’s actually quite a lot going on in this part of the city. Let’s start in the central part of the neighborhood and work our way through Østerbro in the direction of Hellerup. 

Søerne – The Lakes

The Lakes, stretching from Vesterbro via Nørrebro to Østerbro, form the dividing line between Central Copenhagen and the ‘bros’. At the Østerbro end of The Lakes you will find Sortedams Lake. Take a stroll around the lake – or several lakes – enjoy a cup of coffee or have lunch by the water.

A moment of peace by The Lakes. Photo: Maria Sattrup.


Trianglen is a central hub in Østerbro that connects Østerbrogade with Nordre Frihavnsgade and Blegdamsvej. From here you can catch the M3 that will take you to Nørrebro, Vesterbro and Central Copenhagen. 

Nordre Frihavnsgade

This street is the epitome of Østerbro. A shopping street that offers everything from fashion to wine, cheese and other delicacies. Take a stroll and enjoy the atmosphere.

Fælledparken and Parken

Fælledparken is the biggest park area in Copenhagen with plenty of space to enjoy a social distancing picnic or go for a run. Also home to Parken Stadium, home of FC Copenhagen as well as the Danish national football team.


10 years ago the Nordhavn area consisted of old warehouses, silos and other industrial leftovers. Today Nordhavn has been converted into a residential area where modern architecture and old, restored silos form a posh, high-end district that connects maritime atmosphere with everyday life. Although the area is brand new it does not lack personality. In Nordhavn you will find plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars – and in the summer time you can experience a lively, happy atmosphere when the Copenhageners gather along the water.

Enjoy the laidback lifestyle by the water in Nordhavn. Photo: Büro Jantzen.

Østerbro with kids

This might be the perfect neighborhood for families travelling to Copenhagen with kids. Østerbro is a nice, quiet neighborhood where you don’t have to worry about parties or noise – and also it’s a neighborhood characterized by large apartments and plenty of space. In Østerbro you are always close to a park: Fælledparken, Østre Anlæg, Kildevældsparken, Kastellet and many others – the obvious neighborhood if you want to relax in green surroundings after a long day of sightseeing.

Playgrounds in Østerbro

  • Looking to get wet? Visit the Water Playground in Fælledparken where the kids can enjoy the paddling pool, play in the water maze and cool off under a rain cloud. The Water Playground is open from June to August.
  • In Fælledparken you will also find the more traditional playground with swings, sand pits and much more at the Tower Playground located right next to the Skate Park.
  • Fælledparken is definitely the place to go with kids. Also if you want to teach them a traffic lesson. The Traffic Playground is a little town with streets, traffic lights, a gas station and much more where kids can borrow bicycles and practice the rules before entering the streets of Copenhagen.
  • At Silkeborg Plads you will find one of Østerbro’s most popular playgrounds, primarily for smaller children. The playground is gated and there are park benches and green areas for adults who want to relax while the kids are playing.
  • For the kids that like to climb, jump on the trampoline, play ball and stay active go to the northern end of Fælledparken (by Serridslevvej) where you will find a combined workout and play area.
  • If you’re staying in Nordhavn bring the kids to Konditaget Lüders – a recreational rooftop park made for cross fit, ball play and fun activities for kids.
  • Østerbro also offers an indoor playground. Blegdamsremisen is an activity space for children age 0-12 with little workshops, LEGO, slides and much more.
Tower Playground in Fælledparken.

Accommodation – where to stay in Østerbro

Østerbro is first and foremost a residential area. However you will find some hotels in the original part of Østerbro as well as in Nordhavn.

If you want to experience the local atmosphere in Østerbro you should consider renting an airbnb. Unlike Nørrebro and Vesterbro the apartments in Østerbro are often relatively big with enough space for the whole family. The architecture is mainly from late 1800’s, which explains why only few older buildings are equipped with an elevator.

Looking for convenience such as large terraces and big bathrooms? Consider Nordhavn with it’s new buildings and comfortable apartments. Prefer the classic style? Check out apartments between Østerbro Station and Strandboulevarden/Jagtvej.

Enjoy the local atmosphere in Østerbro. Photo: Maria Sattrup.

Wine and dine in Østerbro

The Copenhagen dining scene is constantly changing – also in Østerbro. With that said, this neighborhood never disappoints. Østerbro is a haven for health fanatics as well as wine connoisseurs. Let’s have a look at some of the highlights.

Veggie Wonderland

Vegans, vegetarians and climate conscious souls won’t have a hard time finding a place to eat in Østerbro. Check out Baryl in Århusgade or Souls in Melchiors Plads if you’re looking for casual dining – or VeVe if you’re looking for a vegetarian gourmet experience in a charming old warehouse around Langelinje.

Nordhavn for food lovers

Restaurant Silo in Nordhavn is not only a great place to eat. It also offers the best view over the harbor, Østerbro and the rest of Copenhagen from 17thfloor. Casual gourmet served in a cool, elegant setting. Another great Nordhavn option is The Audo in Århusgade where design, architecture and food creates the perfect atmosphere.

Wine galore

There’s really no need to leave Østerbro if you’re looking for a great wine experience. Check out the Italian Beviamo in Nordre Frihavnsgade or the organic wine bar Pasteur at Trianglen.

Back to nature

Imagine having your dinner in a 600m2 urban rooftop garden. Gro Spiseri is indeed something else! In a traditional greenhouse the restaurant serves a seasonal, organic five-course menu based on local produce. With only 24 seatings and one table you get the chance to enjoy your dinner with the other guests – a truly unique food experience that will take you one step closer to nature.

ØsterGRO – a rooftop garden and a unique dining experience. Photo: Martin Heiberg.


Nørrebro: The melting pot

Nørrebro is the most lively and diverse neighborhood in Copenhagen. A true melting pot! This old working class area may have a turbulent history but today it’s first and foremost a fun, trendy and vibrant neighborhood that attracts a young, cool and creative audience.

Nørrebro is shawarma, independent shops, bicycles galore, hipsters, street art and Danes soaking up the sun around Dronning Louise’s Bro. It’s the kind of place from where you can experience the essence of Copenhagen 24-7 from a bench on Nørrebrogade. A local – sometimes loud – side of Copenhagen.

You will love Nørrebro if…

  • you are travelling on a budget
  • a young and multicultural atmosphere
  • you want to blend with the locals and join the bicycle culture
  • eating, drinking and partying is on your agenda
Summer nights in Nørrebrogade

Where is Nørrebro

Nørrebro is tucked in between Frederiksberg and Østerbro and stretching from Central Copenhagen by Dronning Louise’s Bro by The Lakes to Nørrebro Station. In the middle of this otherwise densely packed neighborhood you find the Assistens Cemetary, which functions as a park as well as a cemetary – a lush oasis offering a quick green escape from the crowds.

Nørrebro map
Map of Nørrebro: Squeezed in between Frederiksberg, Østerbro, Central Copenhagen and Nordvest.

Streets and areas to explore in Nørrebro

Nørrebro is super cool. It’s the place to hang out, to eat, drink and go shopping. Especially if you’re looking for unique, independent restaurants, bars and boutiques. Best of all: the neighborhood has something for all budgets. Here are some of the streets and places you might want to have a look at – let’s start from the central entrance at Dronning Louise’s Bro.

Dronning Louises Bro

More than 40.000 cyclists cross Dronning Louises Bro (Queen Louise’s Bridge) every day, which makes it the world’s busiest bicycle street, but the bridge is much more than a link between Central Copenhagen and Nørrebro. It’s a hang out spot where locals soak up the sun, listen to music, drink beer and basically enjoy life. In summertime it’s like a concrete park – the ideal place to experience the cute concept of Danes enjoying the sun after a long, dark winter.

Dronning Louises Bro
Day or night – Dronning Louises Bro is the place to hang out. Photo: Mikkel Heriba.


Nørrebrogade is the main street that runs from Dronning Louises Bro to Nørrebro Station on the border to Nordvest. Here you’ll find grocery stores, fashion shops, jewelers, shawarma bars and much more. It’s busy, it’s packed with cyclists and it’s a quite fine reflection of the lovely chaos that this area is.


Eat, drink, experience, stay! From cool bars and great restaurants to a theatre and budget accommodation: Ravnsborggade has it all. Located close to the City center and the Lakes as well as Sankt Hans Torv this street is the ideal combo of local life and Central Copenhagen.

Assistens Cemetery

Do you wanna hang out at the graveyard? A question that may sound bizarre if you’re not a Dane… Fact is that many locals in Nørrebro enjoy going for a walk with the dog or even a picnic at the charming Assistens Cemetery in the middle of Nørrebro. As much as it’s a place for the dead to go to rest – it’s a place to be alive!

Entrance to Assistens Cemetery from Jagtvej

Sankt Hans Torv

Sankt Hans Torv (Saint Hans Square) is the core of inner Nørrebro. The square itself is a great hang out spot with several cafés and coffee bars but it’s also the knot that ties popular streets like Elmegade, Guldbergsgade, Sankt Hans Gade and Fælledvej. In other words: Sankt Hans Torv is a stepping stone to interesting restaurants, bars and independent boutiques aplenty.


On the opposite side of Nørrebrogade you’ll find Blågårdsgade leading up to Blågårds Plads. A multicultural pedestrian street packed with creative restaurants and bars. The perfect symbol of the diversity that characterizes the neighborhood.

Blågårdsgade, inner Nørrebro
Taste the whole world in Blågårdsgade.


Looking for art, yummy organic desserts or interior design? Head straight to Jægersborggade! This street is without a doubt one of the most hip and vibrant streets in Copenhagen and home to about 40 small galleries. Here you’ll find a caramel shop, a chocolate shop, an ice cream shop, jewelers, a ceramic workshop, a Michelin starred restaurant and much more. Nothing is too simple or too fancy – anything goes in Jægersborggade as long as it’s good.


Wanna play ball? Hang out with the local dogs? Or basically just have a picnic? Go to Nørrebroparken (Nørrebro Park), which is a long, slim stretch between Jagtvej and Hillerødgade. From here you have easy access to the cafés, pizzerias and bars around Stefansgade and Jægersborggade. Picnic made easy!

Superkilen: The Red Square, The Black Market and The Green Park

On Nørrebrogade, approximately between Nørrebro Runddel and Nørrebro Station, you will spot a red square. The square that goes by the name The Red Square (Den Røde Plads) is a part of Superkilen. A recreational area, that consists of the The Red Square, The Black Market (Den Sorte Plads) and The Green Park (Den Grønne Park). Here you will find cafés, park areas, playgrounds, sport activities and from time to time a flee market or a concert. The area was built in 2009-2010 in order to create an urban space that unites the more than 50 different nationalities living in this part of town and if you look closely, you can spot park benches, lights and sewer covers from all parts of the world that function as part of the architecture.

Den Røde Plads
Den Røde Plads – The Red Square, part of Superkilen in Nørrebro.

Nørrebro nightlife – where to go out

No need to go to bed early if you’re staying in or around Nørrebro. Here’s plenty to do from dusk to dawn no matter what budget you’re travelling on.

Nørrebro is home to a bunch of brown, smoky bars where you can throw dice or simply just get hammered on a budget. Or you could do a ‘tour de wine bar’ and finish with a creative cocktail – or even better: mix it all up!

The Ravnsborggade area is a great choice if you want all options in one place. Here you’ll find the classic wine bar, traditional cafés, brown bodegas, the classic brewery Nørrebro Bryghus, the aquavit bar Rastløs or cool bars like Kind of Blue or The Barking Dog for cocktail lovers. Continue to Sankt Hans Torv and from there to Guldbergsgade and have a cocktail at Mudhoney or visit one of Copenhagen’s most iconic clubs and venues, Rust.

In the other end you will find a great variety of bars around Stefansgade and Jægersborggade. Mikkeler & Friends and Terroiristen, just to mention a few.

Ravnsborggade in Nørrebro
Ravnsborggade – the perfect place for a night out. Photos: Robin Skjoldborg & Mikkel Heriba.

Accomodation – where to stay in Nørrebro

Nørrebro is primarily a residential area and with only a few hotels and hostels, it is the ideal neighborhood if you want to stay in an Airbnb and explore the daily routines of the Danes.

If your main priority is to explore the city and all the sights of Copenhagen you should probably aim to stay somewhere close to The Lakes, maybe around Ravnsborggade or Sankt Hans Torv but if you want to go local you can choose to stay on the outer Nørrebro.

If you want to stay at an Airbnb in this part of town you should know that the apartments are generally quite small – and usually without elevators. With that said you get to stay in Nørrebro and that pretty much makes up for the lack of convenience.

Bicycles in Nørrebrogade
Get a bike and join the locals.

Where to go shopping?

You won’t find any big malls or many chain stores around here. Well, unless you go to Nørrebro Centret, which is a small arcade mall that is technically located in Nordvest. What you will find in Nørrebro, on the other hand, is a number of vintage stores and small, independent boutiques.

Elmegade and the area around Sankt Hans Torv is a great choice for fashion and vintage. Looking for art and interior design? Go to Jægersborggade where you will find a bunch of galleries.

Nørrebro with kids

Nørrebro is a busy neighborhood that mainly attracts young people. With that said, it is also a great neighborhood if you’re bringing the kids. You’ll find playgrounds here and there, not least by Nørrebroparken and Superkilen: An area that consists of The Red Square, The Black Square and The Green Park, which is a recreational area in outer Nørrebro.

If you’re staying in this part of Copenhagen you’ll find that it’s really easy to get around. Jump on M3 – the metro city ring – and you can arrive in Vesterbro, Østerbro or Indre By in no time. Or join the Danish bicycle community if you’re travelling with older kids. Nørrebro has some of the widest bicycle lanes in the city… however Nørrebro is also the area with most cyclists so watch out.

Den Sorte Plads, Superkilen
Bring your skateboard and drop by Den Sorte Plads, The Black Market.

Vesterbro: Wine, dine and hang out

Where to stay in Copenhagen if you’re looking for a place to stay that’s central, local and cool? Vesterbro Copenhagen is a happening, trendy neighborhood close to the city center. Once a low-income neighborhood and a hub for prostitution, strip clubs and drugs – now primarily home to students, young couples and families as well as a bunch of coffee shops, restaurants and bars.

The somewhat rough past does however still live on around Istedgade towards Central Station. But nothing like it used to be – and no need to worry! It may be ‘lively’ at times but it’s not dangerous.

You will love Vesterbro if…

  • food, wine and cocktails are a top priority
  • you want the neighborhood feel close to the city
  • you are looking for budget accommodation
  • shared dining or picnics sound like fun
Sønder Boulevard
Sønder Boulevard – the chill out zone of Vesterbro.

Where is Vesterbro?

Technically Vesterbro is located between Indre By by City Hall (Rådhuspladsen), Sydhavnen and Carlsberg Byen and stretches to Fisketorvet and Havneholmen by the water and all the way to The Lakes and Gl. Kongevej in Frederiksberg in the opposite direction.

However, most Copenhageners consider the area from Central Station towards Enghave Plads and Carlsberg to be the ”real” Vesterbro. Tivoli and City Hall are from a natives point of view considered Central Copenhagen even though their postal code belongs to Vesterbro.

Map of Vesterbro
Map of Vesterbro: Bordering Central Copenhagen, Valby, Frederiksberg, Sydhavn and the water.

Streets and areas to explore

Vesterbro is in general a cool area if you just want to hang out, drink coffee, eat and drink. But naturally there are certain places you need to know about.

Enghave Plads and Enghave Park

If you need to jump on the metro, Enghave Plads is the place to go. Also a great option if you’re just looking for a bit of open air in the midst of otherwise narrow streets. Looking for a place for picnic? Go to Enghave Park – a little green oasis across from Enghave Plads.

Sønder Boulevard

If you’re looking to take a stroll, eat pizza on the grass or just hang out, go to Sønder Boulevard. In the summer you will find a lot of people gathering around Kihoskh from early till late – eating, drinking, smoking or simply just hanging out.


Istedgade is the spine of Vesterbro consisting of two parts divided by an invisible line called Gasværksvej. The strip from Central Station to Gasværksvej is where you’ll find a bunch of hotels, primarily budget hotels and this is also where you will find what’s left of the socalled red light district. The stretch from Gasvæksvej towards Enghave Plads is a bit quieter with a variety of restaurants, boutiques, bars and coffee shops.

Bang & Jensen
Bang & Jensen – one of Istedgade’s and Vesterbro’s iconic cafés.


Technically this street is only part Vesterbro. While even numbers belong to Vesterbro, uneven numbers belong to Frederiksberg. Technicalities aside this cute little street is worth a visit. In Værnedamsvej you’ll find good food, good wine, interior design, fashion, cheese and much more. It’s a very compact experience so you won’t have to look too hard.

Carlsberg Byen

Someone once suggested that Carlsberg was probably the best beer in the world. Well, guess what! This is where it used to be brewed. The remains of the old factory are still here surrounded by new apartment buildings, which make up the new residential area called Carlsberg Byen (Carlsberg Town).

Meatpacking District

A must see in Vesterbro. As the name suggests, Meatpacking District used to be the butchers’ paradise. Today it’s a little haven for people who enjoy good food, cocktails, nightlife and art. Here you’ll find a variety of restaurants – from chinese food and pizza to experimental gourmet and great cocktails. In the weekend Meatpacking District is a great place to enjoy a beer in the sun or to visit the bars, which are open until the early hours.

Meatpacking District Copenhagen
Hang out in Kødbyen – The Meatpacking District of Copenhagen. Or enjoy your coffee in a coffee shop in Istedgade. Photos: Kim Wyon & Mikkel Heriba.

Nightlife – where to go

In Vesterbro you will find nightlife for all budgets and personalities. Throughout history Vesterbro has been the place to go to get a drink – or many drinks in most cases. Back in the days when Vesterbro was a hub for cattle trade the farmers would celebrate a good deal by going to a bar and get wasted. Later on the hardworking working class men would spend half their salaries in a brown, dusty bar and throughout the 70’s people from near and far would pay the strip clubs a visit.

Though Vesterbro has become a hip and trendy area the brown, smoky bars are still very popular among all age and income groups and are to be found around basically every corner; McKluud, Riesen, Blomsten and Jernbanecaféen just to mention a few. For those who love beer but not the smoke, Vesterbro also offers high end microbreweries such as Mikkeller and Warpigs. Prefer the finer liquids? Start out at a wine bar like Malbeck or Vesterbro Vinstue and continue to some of Copenhagen’s coolest cocktail bars like Lidkøb, Duck & Cover and 1656. Looking for a party? Head to Meatpacking District and explore the funky bars all night.

Going out? How about a drink at Lidkoeb – a three story combined cocktailbar and whisky cave located in a back alley behind Vesterbrogade. Photo: Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner.

Vesterbro with kids

Vesterbro is a great option if you’re traveling with kids. You can easily catch the metro from Enghave Plads or the S-train from Copenhagen Central Station – or you can choose to walk around. Besides the giant “playground” Tivoli, Vesterbro is where you will find Skydebanehaven – directly translated: Shooting Range Garden. In late 19th century the park functioned as a shooting range for the wealthy Copenhageners but as the Vesterbro working class area grew and surrounded the park, the rich guys packed their guns and left the area. Today Skydebanehaven is a popular combined park and playground squeezed in between Vesterbrogade and Istedgade.

If you decide to stay in an Airbnb in Vesterbro beware that most buildings are dating back to the late 19th. century, which means there are usually no elevators and the bathrooms are usually relatively small with no bathtub. If facilities such as an elevator, a rooftop terrace or a giant bathroom is a priority, check out Carlsberg Byen.

Playground in Skydebanehaven
Skydebanehaven – once a shooting range, today Vesterbro’s biggest playground.

Hotels – where to stay in the area?

Vesterbro is a great place to stay if you want to be within walking distance to most things, yet also experience a more local atmosphere.

Vesterbro offers a lot of hotels for different budgets. Most of the hotels are centered around Central Station in Vesterbrogade and in Istedgade. Here you will also find several hostels offering private as well as shared rooms for budget travellers.

66 Guldsmeden Hotel
66 Guldsmeden – a laidback luxury boutiquehotel in Vesterbrogade.

Where to go shopping in Vesterbro

Though Central Copenhagen with the endless shopping street Strøget is not far away, there are plenty of reasons to spend your money in the boutiques in Vesterbro. Take a stroll down Istedgade, especially between Absalonsgade and Enghave Plads, and have a look inside the little independent stores that are booming with handpicked fashion and interior design.

Looking for a mall? Cross Dybbølsbro and head to Fisketorvet. The one and only mall located in the city.

Vintage boutiques? They’re here and there. You’ll find a few on Istedgade but you should also have a look around the smaller streets such as Haderslevgade, Tullinsgade and Ny Carlsbergvej, just to mention a few.

Sights nearby

In Vesterbro you have most of the city within walking distance and by bike you can be anywhere in no time. However, here are a few things you’ll find in Vesterbro.

Tivoli – rollercoasters and rock

Tivoli opened in 1943, which makes the amusement part the second oldest in the world (the oldest is Bakken, located north of Copenhagen). Fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen found inspiration in the exotic park, Walt Disney himself went to visit and since mid 1800’s it has brought joy to numerous Copenhageners and tourists. Today Tivoli offers rollercoasters and other amusements, great dining experiences, lush gardens, indoor and outdoor theatre experiences and open air concerts. A true oasis in the middle of the city, right next to Central Station.

Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens – Copenhagen’s amusement park since 1843. The place to go for rollercoaster rides, dining and a great night out. Photo: Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner.

Meatpacking District – a haven for foodies and art lovers

Meatpacking District located by Halmtorvet is primarily known as a place to eat, drink and party but it’s not all party and promiscuity. Visit some of the art galleries or take a walk around the streets behind the ‘White Meatpacking District’ and discover hidden treasures in an industrial setting.

Carlsberg Byen – from beer to neighborhood

Carlsberg Byen (Carlsberg Town) is located between Vesterbro, Frederiksberg and Valby. Until 2008 this was headquarter of Carlsberg Beer but today Carlsberg has transformed into a residential area where modern architecture is integrated in the historical environment. The iconic elephant gate as well as several old buildings and other remains are still to be found here among modern apartment buildings. Also it should be possible to enjoy a cold Carlsberg in one of the cafés in the area.

Tycho Brahe Planetarium – stars on the big screen

Since 1989 it’s been possible to explore outer space from a comfy chair in the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Vesterbro, located by St. Jørgens Lake. The Planetarium features a 1000 m2 giant dome shaped screen that will take you on a journey to a galaxy far, far away – or back in time to the era of the dinosaurs. The unique dome combined with 3D-glasses makes you feel like you’re part of the movie so prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey.

Cykelslangen – The Bicycle Snake

If you’re taking your bicycle from Vesterbro towards Islands Brygge you will have the chance to ride your bike over the Bicycle Snake – also known as Cykelslangen. Few years ago the cycle bridge was built to prevent pedestrians and bicyclists from bumping into each other but the bridge turned out to be much more than an element in the infrastructure. It became an icon of the Danish bicycling culture and a sculptural connection between two parts of the city. 

Join the bicycle culture – go for a ride on The Bike Snake, also known as Cykelslangen. Photo: Kim Wyon.

Copenhagen classics and cool newcomers

Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen may very well be connected but they are in fact three quite different neighborhoods. What they do have in common is that all three are artificial islands in extension of each other.

While the famous King Christian IV, who had been inspired by the canals of Amsterdam, built Christianshavn in 1617, Holmen was built in 1680’s for navy purposes while Refshaleøen was built for industry in 1868. Though the islands are now quite old, Holmen and Refshaleøen still make up some of the “new” neighborhoods in Copenhagen.

Broens Gadekøkken
Street food at Broens Gadekøkken at Inderhavnsbroen in Christianshavn, right across from Nyhavn.

Where is Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen?

The small archipelago is divided from the Indre By by the port of Copenhagen and borders Amager to the east. You can get from Nyhavn to Christianshavn by bike or walk along Inderhavnsbroen or via Knippelsbro if you’re driving, walking og cykling. You can reach Holmen and Refshaleøen taking the yellow harbor bus if you want to avoid the long bike ride.

Map of Christianshavn
Tucked in between Indre By and Amager, Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen are some of Copenhagen’s coolest hotspots.

Christianshavn – nostalgia and free spirits

With the gorgeous old buildings and enchanting life by the canals, Christianshavn will mesmerize you immediately. Christianshavn is one of the areas in Copenhagen where you will find some of the oldest buildings from the 17thand 18thcenturies, among others Vor Frelser Kirke – the church with the very noticeable 95 meter spiral spire.

Most famous – or infamous – is perhaps the freetown of Christiania, a former military base in Christianshavn, which was occupied by autonomous hippies in 1971. People settled in the old buildings, created their own unique neighborhood and built colorful houses along the water. Throughout time Christiania has been subject to much turmoil due to drug trade, which takes place in the infamous Pusher Street. While Pusher Street can seem a bit rough other parts of Christiania can be quite idyllic. Take a stroll through the village, eat vegan, try the local beer and check out the cool houses and the quirky architecture.

You should stay in Christianshavn if…

  • you want to eat breakfast or lunch by the water.
  • Christiania seems like a place you wouldn’t mind hanging out.
  • you want to stay central but with a bit of edge.
  • exploring Refshaleøen, Holmen and Amager is also on your agenda.
SUP in Christianshavn
Enjoy life by the canals of Christianshavn. Photo: Kim Wyon.

Holmen – opera and a rural feel

This little cluster of islands is a zen oasis between lively Christianshavn and the rough, upcoming cool spot, Refshaleøen. Though not much is happening here, you will find world famous gourmet restaurant, Noma and Also Holmen is home to The Royal Opera House, which is based on a little island of its own.

Today Holmen is primarily a residential area with new apartment buildings offering a laidback luxurious lifestyle by the water as well as it is a creative area with cool startups. Though you are technically part of Indre By you get the feeling of being in an almost rural setting, surrounded by water.

Holmen is the place to stay if…

  • you want to stay in an Airbnb – there are no hotels in Holmen.
  • you enjoy the quiet life close to the city.
  • kayaking or daily swims are on your agenda.
  • you want to explore Copenhagen off the beaten track.
Copenhagen Opera House
Copenhagen Opera in Holmen, Copenhagen

Refshaleøen – the Wild West of Copenhagen

20 years ago this concrete peninsula was basically just leftovers from an industry that collapsed in the 90’s. There’s definitely a bit of ‘Wild West’ going on though Refshaleøen is geographically located on an artificial island east of the city. Technicalities aside this little gem is a ‘must experience’ when you are travelling to Copenhagen. Perhaps the most hip and creative area you will experience even though it feels like it’s far from the city.

If climbing, skiing or bungy jumping is your thing, Refshaleøen is for you. If you love flee markets and contemporary art, Refshaleøen is for you. Do you just want to eat, drink and relax? Then Refshaleøen is also for you. Home to some of Denmark’s best restaurants such as Alchemist and Amass as well as Noma close by, this is the place to go if you want to go all in on the dining experiences. However, Refshaleøen may be even more famous for Reffen – a giant street food market offering tasty street food from all over the world in a heavenly, trendy-trashy atmosphere.

Urban Rigger
Urban Rigger – unique student housing in containers on the water. Photo: Daniel Rasmussen.

When walking – or cycling – around Refshaleøen you quickly sense that this place is a product of creative thinkers. There are no hotels and only few people living on the island (for now!) You will find luxurious student apartments in containers on the water, old warehouses that are turned into restaurants, offices or galleries, houseboats in all shapes and sizes and cute little bars by the water, such as La Banchina.

Visit Refshaleøen if…

  • you are in Copenhagen for more than 2 hours.
  • streetfood and cold cocktails in the summer sun is your idea of a good time.
  • adventure activities such as skiing, climbing, etc. is for you.
  • you want to experience the hippest and most dynamic part of Copenhagen.
Wine, dine and indulge! Reffen Street Food in Copenhagen offers a laid back atmosphere and great food.

8 must do things around Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen

Only a few years ago Christianshavn was a poor, working class area with a lot of turmoil around Christiania, while Holmen and Refshaleøen were somewhat abandoned. Today these areas may very well make up the most innovative area of Copenhagen – a place to dream, create and enjoy life. Let’s have a look at 10 things to see, do or taste around Christianshavn, Holmen and Refshaleøen.

CopenHill – go skiing! 

When great minds are allowed to think big, CopenHill happens! A waste management center, which also functions as an artificial ski slope and hiking area. Enjoy a day on snowboard, go climbing or get a workout while you enjoy the view.

Go sailing – rent a boat

Join a guided tour around the canals or rent your own boat and explore the waterways of Indre By, Christianshavn and Holmen. A great way to get a new perspective – and not least to see the beauty of Christianshavn from the water!

Rent a boat or join a canal tour and experience Christianshavn from the water. Photo: Martin Heiberg.

Reffen – eat, drink and enjoy the sun

Reffen is Copenhagen’s biggest street food market with more than 50 food stalls located in a sustainable colorful container village. Pasta, beer, tacos, smørrebrød, ice cream, burgers, you name it! It’s all right here and it’s absolutely delicious.

La Banchina – cold drinks, cold dips and life as it should be

A small restaurant located at a little harbor in Refshaleøen. La Banchina is the perfect mix of great, organic food, natural wines and a maritime atmosphere combined with the Danish concept of “hygge”. Enjoy summer days on the pier, jump in the water and heat up in the sauna.

La Banchina
A popular hangout: La Banchina in Refshaleøen. Photo: Kim Wyon

Alchemist – eat like you’ve never eaten before

This is not just any restaurant! It’s more than what is on your plate! At Alchemist you will experience holistic dining where science, technology, art, performance and gastronomy come together in a unique set up. A meal never to be forgotten.

Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) – living art

Need some inspiration? Look no further! At Copenhagen Contemporary, also known as CC, you will find art in all its forms spread over 7.000 m2 in the former B&W welding hall. With a mix of installations, performance, video, paintings and much more you can look forward to entering a room of art with no boundaries.

Halvandet – it’s like a beach!

The harbor club with the beachy vibes, Halvandet, was one of the first places to open on Refshaleøen. Here you can indulge in champagne, cocktails, great food and snacks while enjoying the sun and the view of Copenhagen. Play volleyball, go for a swim or how about a game of petanque? The choice is all yours!

Christiania – let yourself loose

Though the police come to visit from time to time you have absolutely nothing to worry about as long as you don’t take photos while walking through Pusher Street. This place may not stick to the rules at all times but don’t let that get in the way for you to experience a unique, free spirited village in Copenhagen.

Freetown Christiania in Christianshavn, Copenhagen. Photo: Kim Wyon.

The beachy side of Copenhagen

Amager – also known as ‘Shit Island’ – might not be so shitty after all. Since the expansion of a new artificial island in 2005, which makes up the primary part of the beach area, Amager Strandpark (Amager Beach) is now one of Copenhagen’s most popular recreational areas.

The neighborhood covers a gigantic area in Copenhagen, primarily made up of residential areas with several neighborhoods within the neighborhood. Islands Brygge, the Beach, Ørestad and Eberts Villaby and several others are all part of Amager. We will cover the most central parts in this guide.

Amager is for you if…

  • you want to stay close to the beach…
  • … or Christianshavn and Refshaleøen
  • you want to beat the crowds and hang out with the locals
  • a quick 10 minute metro ride to the airport sounds appealing
Amager is Copenhagen's recreational area.
Amager – Copenhagen’s recreational neighborhood.

Where is Amager?

Once your plane is on the ground you are in Amager. Stretching from the traditional Danish town of Dragør in the southern end of the island to Christianshavn, Holmen, Refshaleøen and Indre By in the north, this island is partly urban, partly suburban.

In this neighborhood guide we will cover the central parts of the island, which are what Copenhageners refer to, when talking about Amager.

Map of Amager
Amager is a large island east of mainland Copenhagen.

What to do in Amager?

Amager is first and foremost a residential area, and while this may not be the place you go to experience the primary sights of Copenhagen, you should definitely not miss out on this giant but somewhat overlooked gem. In the summertime Amager Strandpark attracts a bunch of tourists as well as locals looking to cool down on a hot summer day. But Amager is way more than that.

If you choose to stay on here you get the pleasure of experiencing the everyday life, while you’re only a short walk or bike ride from Christianshavn, Reffen and Indre By.

5 things to do in and around the island

  • Go to Reffen – Copenhagen’s biggest street food market in Refshaleøen – and have a taste of the whole world while enjoying the laidback, trashy-trendy lifestyle of this upcoming area.
  • Jump on the metro and visit The Blue Planet Aquarium in Kastrup just a few stops away. An underwater adventure!
  • Go to the beach. If the regular Amager Beach is too mainstream for you, check out Helgoland bathhouse where you are allowed to skip the bathing suit.
  • If you’re staying on Amager you will most likely cross Amagerbrogade. This main street of the neighborhood recently had a makeover and is now even more attractive with less cars and plenty of shops, restaurants and coffee bars.
  • Hang out by the water on Islands Brygge. A hip hotspot attracting the younger crowds in the summertime.
Islands Brygge on a sunny day.
Experience Copenhagen by the water at Islands Brygge. Photo: ASTRIDKBH

Why is it called Lorteøen or Shit Island

The name ‘Shit Island’ dates back to the 1800’s when the latrine buckets from all over Copenhagen were emptied at a cleaning station in Amager. Later the area was home to a junk yard and during the 1900’s a number of industrial factories were established, which obviously wasn’t something that attracted the upper class of Copenhagen. Throughout time, Amager has been a working class area and you can still to some extent feel the pride of the working class when walking the streets.

Amazing architecture

From ‘Shit Island’ to being the shit, Amager is really something when it comes to architectural wonders.

Tietgenkollegiet – dorm rooms reinvented

This award-winning masterpiece of a student residence is not just a circular beauty created by Lundgaard & Tranberg. The architecture allows everyone to connect by making common areas visible from across the courtyard as well as accessible for all residents. Everyone can see what’s going on – and everyone can join.

Tietgenkollegiet: An architectual dorm.
Tietgenkollegiet – an architectural alternative to the mainstream dorms. Photo: Nicolai Perjesi.

Gemini Residence – from soybeans to seaview

Two former seed silos today make up one of Copenhagen’s most iconic new residential buildings. After the soybean processing plant closed in the 90’s the area of Islands Brygge was redeveloped and the former soybean cake factory was turned into a residential piece of art, finished in 2005.

The Gemini Residence in Islands Brygge.
The Gemini Residence – one of Copenhagen’s most iconic residential buildings. Photo: Adrian Lazar.

The Kastrup Sea Baths – Copenhagen’s prettiest cabana

Situated just a few meters off the coast, Kastrup Sea Baths is the place to go if you want a day at the beach without all the hassle. The round structure protects sunbathers from the wind and the deep waters offer great swimming conditions. An extended jetty that’s also pleasing to the eye! 

Kastrup Sea Bath by Amager Beach.
Enjoy a day at the beach, surrounded by cool architecture. Photo: Thomas Høyrup Christensen.

CopenHill – go skiing on a power plant 

Among architect Bjarke Ingels’ many masterpieces! CopenHill on Margretheholm is not just any power producing waste management center. It’s also a recreational area allowing Copenhageners and tourists alike to enjoy the view of the otherwise flat landscape from the top of this artificial hill. A hill that’s also a ski slope. Anything is possible according to the architectural superstar.   

CopenHill: A recreational masterpiece on Margretheholm.
CopenHill: Bjarke Ingels combines fun and functionality! Photo: Astrid Maria Rasmussen.

DR Concert Hall – it’s what’s on the inside that counts

Located at the DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) this concert hall by French architect Jean Nouvel may not look like much from the outside. But once you get into the big hall, sit down and listen, you will find yourself in a room without left, right, front, back or right angles. A beautiful, warm room with magnificent acoustics that allow you to focus fully on the music.

Classical music in DR Concert Hall.
DR Concert Hall offers new perspectives on music and architecture. Photo: Bjarne Bergius Hermansen.

Neighborhoods in Amager

Amager is a lot of things. It’s trashy, it’s trendy, it’s new and it’s old. Let’s have a look at the difference between some of the neighborhoods within Amager.

Amager Beach – the Miami Beach of Copenhagen

On a good day you can almost fool yourself into thinking you’re hanging out on South Beach. Ok, not really but the beach vibes are strong and on sunny days the city feels far away. In the recent years Amager Beach has become a modern residential area facing the water. So if you like the beach, this might be the place for you!

East Amager

With Amagerbrogade as its spine running through the entire neighborhood, East Amager is also what most locals consider to be the traditional Amager. Here you will find popular streets with plenty of shops and restaurants like Amagerbrogade, Holmbladsgade and Amagerfælledvej as well as Amager Centret – a small, local mall. East Amager is bordering Christianshavn and you will be in the city center in no time by bike or metro.

Eberts Villaby – an oasis in Amager

This hidden gem is located between the busy streets of Amagerbrogade and Englandsvej. However, this area is not like the rest of Amager. Spread over just a few streets, you will find beautiful historic houses where no two are alike. A tiny, quiet neighborhood in the middle of Amager.

Islands Brygge – luxury and summer vibes

Islands Brygge is the most posh part of Amager and most people living in Islands Brygge do not consider Islands Brygge to be Amager. The area is made up of the old part with buildings dating back to around 1900 located towards Langebro – and the new part centered around Bryggebroen (Brygge Bridge). This is the place to stay if you prioritize modern Airbnbs with balconies and convenience as well as relaxing by the waterfront. Besides the popular harbor baths Islands Brygge is also home to a small, artificial beach, which is ideal for families with younger children.

Recreational lifestyle in Amager.
Amager – absolutely laid-back
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