Take a walk up and down the Old King’s Road – an enjoyable excursion whatever the weather
Even on a grey day, taking a walk up and down this more than 1,8 km long road, lined with shops and eateries is a delightful pastime.
A fitting name for a road that dates back to the 17th century, Gammel Kongevej, the Old King’s Road on Frederiksberg used to be for royals only, today it is considered to be the main road in the municipality of Frederiksberg.
Contrary to main roads in many other Danish cities, this one has not been transformed into a pedestrian road, although parking is limited to 30 minutes along it, and both the pedestrian and cycle paths are quite broad.
It extends from Nyropsgade next to Vesterport Station all the way to Frederiksberg Town Hall/Falkoner Allé.
However, the most interesting part full of quaint shops, cafes, take-ways, restaurants and other kinds of eateries really starts after the infamous high-rise building from 1961, Codan Hus, at the end of the lake Sankt Jørgens Sø.
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For some it is thankfully the only high-rise building established on this side of the lake, although the original plans had been for a whole quartier of them!
The 19th century style apartment buildings that line the street date from the the end of the 1880’s when the houses, which had originally been built in the 1840’s and 1850′ where torn down to make room for larger estates with stately apartments on the top floors and shops below.
Remember to look up, as some of the 19th century buildings have quite charming details to take in as well as the shops below.
There are still a range of the large and beautiful family houses left along some of the side streets to Gammel Kongevej. So as you stroll along do not forget to peep down them. This was then, and still is, a posh and expensive area to live in.
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Depending on your energy, start your leisurely tour by walking down one side of Gammel Kongevej from the crossing Gammel Kongevej/Schønbergs Alle, continuing all the way up to the Frederiksberg Town Hall on Falkoner Allé. Once here, turn around and walk back down the opposite side of Gammel Kongevej, ending your walk by taking a look down Værnedamsvej.
At this point you are back where you started more or less opposite Schønbergs Allé.
Depending on how many times you stopped to shop or snack, this leisurely stroll can easily take an hour or two or more! If you brought your bike, maybe leave it at the beginning of your walk and pick it up as you come to the end of it.
On Værnedamsvej lies the French Prince Henrik school with its mainly French speaking students and teachers. The school’s location here has greatly influenced the establishment of this street as the French quartier of Copenhagen.
If you did not stop to eat or have coffee on your way up and down Gammel Kongevej, you will find ample French inspired places to do so here as well.
Take note that the area is popular amongst the locals of Frederiksberg, so at lunchtime on a Saturday it will be quite crowded – be patient and relax and enjoy your day off.
Read also our Cycle Tour of Frederiksberg article – which includes both Gammel Kongevej but also other of the famous Frederiksberg streets and parks.
By Bente D. Knudsen