What used to be a gritty and seedy area in Vesterbro is today one of the district’s attractive showpieces and a popular hang-out place for the locals. Halmtorvet (“Hay Market”) is a public square located beside the Copenhagen Central Station and a walk away from Istedgade, another popular meeting point in the area. It was originally built right in the present-day location of the City Hall Square and was for a long time the place a meat market and where numerous bales of hay and straw used for the cattle and horse stables around the city were traded.
The haymarket was closed during the early 20th century and the area quickly fell into degradation – it remained busy but has acquired a certain ill repute. Fortunately it was rehabilitated from the 1990s to early 2000 and with the re-zoning and architectural make-over Halmtorvet began to attract better crowds. The first thing visitors will notice at Halmtorvet is the bright, lively and easy going atmosphere of the square.
Cafes, bistros and restaurants line both sides of Halmtorvet and in the center is a fountain and an open square where people would hang around. A notable attraction in the area is Oksnehallen which is a venue used for cultural exhibitions all year round. There is also Husets Theatre which is a small theater with mostly Danish shows. Halmtorvet is also one of the concert venues during the “Copenhagen Jazzfestival.” And from April to October, there is a big outdoor flea market that opens during the weekend.