Kodbyen, or ‘Meat City’ is the name given to the old meat packing district in Vesterbro, a tough yet lively quarter of Copenhagen that spreads southwest of the city from its Central Train Station. Reminiscent of similarly gentrified areas of East Berlin, this gritty, industrial landscape has inspired artists and other creative types to create a playground for the cultural underground.
Locals hanging out in Copenhagen's meatpacking district. — Photo courtesy of Lisa Picard
Characteristic of Kodbyen are its distinctive buildings, both the brick warehouses of ‘Den Brune Kodbyen’ that date from the late 1800s and which were used for holding and slaughtering cattle, and the white and blue buildings of 1930s' ‘Den Hvide Kodbyen’. This unique architecture has been retained by the area’s new occupants, who have utilized the vast halls, white-tiled walls and retro design to make the ultimate clubbing environment.
While fairly quiet in the daytime, after dusk (particularly on weekends) Kodbyen comes into its element. And in keeping with its young outlook, Kodbyen is constantly evolving as new places appear while others relocate.
Highlights include the creative Karriere Bar, a living art space serving both cocktails and meals, as well as vinyl enthusiasts' delight Slagteren & Laerlinge, a local bar popular with the area's butchers reopened by local DJs. Here, old school regulars still enjoy a drink with its younger clientele.
At Warehouse 9, an old cattle holding hall in Den Brune Kodbyen turned experimental performance art space, mostly gay events include cutting edge drag acts. Check out KB3, a vast club housed in what was once a meat locker with room for 800 dancing guests, a 40-foot long bar and a backyard that has hosted some of the summer’s hottest parties, or rock out at Sin City, where a former meat warehouse has been converted to a two level rock club and inhouse tattoo parlor, that gets hardcore ‘down under’.