Come here on a summer morning, when the sun is gathering strength and Vesterbro slowly starts to open its eyes after the night’s excesses. That’s when Sønder Boulevard stretches out its green arms and is gradually taken over by locals with their coffee, beer, food and prams. The atmosphere is both high octane and laid back.
Newcomers arrive throughout the day, and in the evening the smell of barbecues and takeaway food from the many local eateries floats along the one-and-a-half kilometre boulevard. The area in front of the local convenience store, Kihosk – a mix of grocer’s, coffee shop, newsagent, bookshop and beer specialist – is particularly popular.
If the story of the Ugly Duckling had been about a road, it would have been about Sønder Boulevard. Until a few years ago, it was neglected, polluted and rough at the edges. Today it is a long, much-loved park occupying the central reservation that runs from Halmtorvet to Enghave Station, a transformation inspired by the wishes of local people.
Trees, bushes, grass and flowers have been planted, and the park offers table tennis and has cages for basketball and other ball games. There’s a popular playground for toddlers, shaped like a rough sea, complete with sinking ship.
Electric sockets are available in two locations to power music or a coffee machine, for those holding an event on the Boulevard (you need authorisation in advance for this). During the Distortion festival, Sønder Boulevard is packed to the gunnels and reverberates with the party atmosphere.
Currently, part of the area is enclosed behind green fences, due to construction work that will connect Vesterbro to the Metro system. The fences are regularly embellished by graffiti artists and are well worth a look.
Photo: Scanpix/Christian Als
DATA & LINKSSønder Boulevard
1720 Copenhagen V
- Ball games
- Urban life
- In the 19th century, the beach came all the way up to where Sønder Boulevard is today. But as Copenhagen ran out of space, the beaches were filled in and the city spread.
- Vesterbro was – and still is – one of Denmark’s most densely populated areas. Sønder Boulevard dates back to the early 20th century, but 100 years later little remained of the original plans for a grand, noble street.
- A new plan was drawn up thanks to the hard work of the local council, residents and the City of Copenhagen, and the new Sønder Boulevard has become one of the city’s most popular local green spaces.
- The spot where the sinking ship ‘Trinidad’ is now situated was actually the beach in the 19th century.
- Sønder Boulevard has gone green, with lawns, herbaceous borders and hundreds of trees.
- The birdlife primarily consists of gulls, crows, pigeons and small birds. In summer, the shrill cries of swifts echo through the streets as they chase insects high in the air.
- Early in the morning, you may encounter a fox searching for food left by the previous night’s revellers.
- The area is suitable for wheelchair users.
- Plenty of places along Sønder Boulevard and throughout the area.