Microguides

How to spend a day in Carlsberg City District, the industrial-chic area of Copenhagen with a brewing past

A converted brewery is at the heart of this rapidly evolving district filled with inspired places to shop, stay, eat and drink, says Lauren Jade Hill

Friday 05 May 2023 14:35 BST
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<p>The Brewer’s Square, Carlsberg City</p>

The Brewer’s Square, Carlsberg City

Cavernous redbrick storehouses and the green copper roof of Elephant Tower are among the heritage landmarks of Carlsberg’s original brewery, which now forms the foundation for what’s become one of Copenhagen’s most exciting neighbourhoods. New architectural development has risen around the converted brewery buildings on the edge of Vesterbro.

Cobbled streets once navigated by horse-drawn carts laden with barrels are now replaced with cyclists and pedestrians meandering between the district’s growing collection of trendy cafes, restaurants, bars and boutiques.

For visitors to the emerging neighbourhood, insight into Carlsberg’s brewing history and exploration of the architecturally rich area – brought into focus in 2023 as Copenhagen becomes Unesco World Capital of Architecture – is paired with discovery of the district’s creative spaces and the exciting food and drink scene.

Do

Discover the brewery’s past

The Carlsberg brewery visitor centre is set to enter a new era in summer 2023 as it reopens following a complete reimagination. In the meantime, you can explore heritage sites, such as the Elephant Tower and lighthouse, using the on-site maps.

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The AIRE spa describes itself as ‘a place where time no longer exists’

Beer-infused spa therapies

Taking over a section of the brewery’s storehouse, Aire Ancient Baths now provides a subterranean sanctuary home to spa facilities inspired by ancient bathhouses. Drawing on its location, the spa has a signature beer experience with beer tasting.

Urban squares and gardens

A number of squares and gardens are scattered throughout Carlsberg City District. Among them is the tree-filled oasis, JC Jacobsen Garden, once the private garden of Carlsberg’s founder, which has now been revived by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Heritage meets contemporary art

Late 2021 saw the district’s landmark Carlsberg Lighthouse, a distinct part of the original brewery, open to the public as the Copenhagen offshoot of Swiss art gallery Von Bartha made its debut. Contemporary exhibitions now occupy the intriguing space.

A new purpose for Carlsberg Lighthouse: it’s now an art gallery

Eat

Kōnā

Philipp Inreiter, the chef behind Copenhagen’s celebrated ramen shop, Slurp, opened this Japanese izakaya in the Carlsberg City District at the end of 2020. You’ll find a Slurp Ramen Residency at the U-shaped counter downstairs.

Aamanns Genbo

The Michelin-rated restaurant known for its reinvention of the traditional smørrebrød open sandwich, Aamann’s, recently made its Carlsberg City District debut on Kildepladsen. A set menu is served in the evening and the drinks list features Aamann’s own IPA and schnapps.

A mallard and beetroot dish from Studio

Studio

Relocated in 2022 from its previous harbourside location, this restaurant comes from the recipient of the 2021 Michelin Young Chef Award, Christoffer Sørensen. Sustainably sourced ingredients are used in tasting menus representing his interpretation of modern Nordic gastronomy.

Drink

Kaffekilden

One of three coffee bars from the local Kaffekilden brand (translating to ‘the coffee source’), this cosy art-filled cafe serves top-quality coffee made from a blend of Ethiopian, Guatemalan and Brazilian beans, along with cakes they’re equally as acclaimed for.

Carls Øl- og Spisehus

Carlsberg’s own Nordic brasserie and beer bar offers around 100 different beers, including the speciality brews of other brands like Jacobsen and Tuborg, from a 70-metre-long bar in the brewery’s former malt silo.

Liquo

The man behind the neighbourhood’s popular pizza place Surt, Giuseppe Oliva, has now opened this brand-new natural wine bar – launched at the end of January 2023 – right by the JC Jacobsen Garden. The wine list focuses on Italy’s 20 regions.

Shop

Fashion and design

Among several shops catering to design afficionados across the district are the concept stores of Danish homeware brands, Stillark, Encoded and Carl Hansen & Søn. For Danish fashion, check out the boutiques of Henrik Vibskov and Haastrup.

Music and art

Browse everything music-based at the flagship store of Borg Sound and window-shop the pianos on display at the Copenhagen home of Pianoteket. Art supplies are sold at the district’s outlet of 150-year-old Copenhagen art specialist, Stelling.

Fresh produce and flowers

Call into the Tapperitorvet square store of family-run florist Gamst Blomster, which has been going since 1903, for fresh flowers and pick up produce that’s been sourced from local farms at Økoskabet (translating to the eco-cabinet).

Stay

Hotel Ottilia

Named after Ottilia Marie Jacobsen, the wife of brewer Carl Jacobsen (Carlsberg founder JC Jacobsen’s son), this unique hotel has transformed a section of the old brewery. The interiors pair original architecture with modern Scandi style, and highlights include a panoramic rooftop restaurant and bar.

CityHub Copenhagen

This affordable urban hotel is just a 15-minute walk from the Carlsberg City District in Vesterbro. Capsule-style accommodation is offered in a trendy, tech-filled space encompassing shared facilities such as a sauna, cosy hangout area and self-service bar.

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