Istedgade is one of the main thoroughfares in what was once Copenhagen’s red light district. It is in the Vetserbro section of town, west of Copenhagen Central Station. It runs for about a kilometer from a group of tenement blocks to a concentration of cheap hotels near Istedgade. In Copenhagen, this formerly run-down area is gradually becoming the place to go.
There are still just a few porn shops here, and drugs are still sold, but kiosks that cater to the legitimate tourist trade have been moving in. The street has also become more attractive to students and the arts crowd. There are some excellent ethnic restaurants, as well as trendy stores and upscale cafes. Though the street still attracts an unsavory element, there is also a strong police presence, so it is quite safe. Every year on Liberation Day (May 5) a banner with the slogan “Istedgade overgiver sig aldrig!” (Istedgade will never surrender) is raised in commemoration of resistance to Nazi occupation.
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