Carlsberg Byen

Carlsberg Byen: The best up-and-coming cultural district in Copenhagen

By Laura Hall

Photo: Andreas Raun/Carlsberg Byen

This historic part of the Danish capital is swapping beer kegs for culture binges - and has become one of the most exciting districts in the city

Contemporary culture is finding a home in Carlsberg City, Copenhagen’s newest central district, built around the old Carlsberg site. New buildings are springing up around the historic brewing area, which centres on the iconic Elephant Tower, a famous structure supported by four granite elephants that marks the entrance to the old brewery, founded in 1883.


With bars, cafes and restaurants opening up, it’s still easy to find a drink in the modern version of Carlsberg Byen, but that’s where the similarities end. Today, instead of shire horses pulling carts filled with beer kegs, you’re more likely to find hipster weekenders on an art, spa and culture break in the city.

Related: 6 of the hippest bakeries in Copenhagen

The area is steps from Vesterbro and the city centre and easily accessed from everywhere else, thanks to its new S-train station.

Here are just a few of the area’s hot spots to check out.


Von Bartha

An extraordinary gallery in an extraordinary space, Von Bartha landed in the city in December 2021, and is housed in the protected Carlsberg Lighthouse. A compact 75sqm gallery space opens to an outdoor courtyard to exhibit sculptures. Exhibitions curated by Mamie Beth Cary showcase new and established artists working in a range of media.

Until March 11, it is showing the lively mixed media work of Claudia Wieser, in a new art show inspired by a visit to a 17th century Spanish manor house.

Bonus tip: a few steps from Von Bartha you can find the wonderful and colourful Henrik Vibskov Archive Boutique, which opened in February 2022.


Hotel Otillia

This award-winning boutique hotel in the heart of the Carlsberg area has great gold discs on the exterior and a calming modernist interior, complete with a stylish bar. Come for drinks and bag the iconic sheepskin chair next to the fire, or stay for a weekend of art, food and culture.


Aire Ancient Baths

Right underneath Hotel Otillia, this candle-lit spa in a building dating back to 1881 offers relaxation and pampering par excellence. The vibe is in line with ancient Roman baths, even if the building isn’t quite that old, and treatments on offer include a Himalayan Salt Experience, Holistic Ritual and a variety of massages. And, because you’re in the Carlsberg district, you can also combine beer tastings with their thermal baths.


Gasoline Grill, Surt and KŌNĀ

Gasoline Grill’s award-winning burgers can be found in the district at their diner-style restaurant in Carlsberg Byen’s main square. We recommend the fries, especially with chilli mayo; just for locals, their pack of burgers, fries and Tuborg are a known party starter.

If you’re looking for something more upmarket, Surt, a pizzeria with a focus on sourdough and locally sourced products, and KŌNĀ, a Japanese eatery by former noma chef, Philipp Inreiter, are also nearby and new to the area, and should certainly fit the bill.



Cisterne isn't technically in the Carlsberg City area, but it's so good and so close we just couldn't leave it out of this list. This phenomenal underground art gallery offers experiences like you’ve never seen, with custom-made exhibitions to suit the space, a former water reservoir under the Søndermarken public park. Enter via a glass pyramid, walk down the dark concrete steps and discover another world.

For Spring 2022, the space promises a dreamlike scene with mirrors and labyrinthine walkways, courtesy of Chiharu Shiota.


Visit Carlsberg

Naturally, a visit to this area calls for a Carlsberg. Later in 2022, the area’s showpiece museum, Visit Carlsberg, will reopen as a visitor centre for beer and history enthusiasts. Currently closed for modernisation and renovation, it is due to relaunch with inspiring and innovative exhibitions and, we assume, plenty of options if you get thirsty.

For now, there are plenty of bars to choose from in the local area - Carl’s Øl og Spisehus is one of the best.