Strøget is a carfree zone in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...
. This popular tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....
in the centre of town is the longest pedestrian shopping area in Europe.
The street is bound on the west by The City Hall Square , the central town square by Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen City Hall
Copenhagen City Hall is the headquarters of the Municipal Council as well as the Lord mayor of the City of Copenhagen, Denmark. The building is situated on The City Hall Square in central Copenhagen....
, and on the east by Kongens Nytorv
Kongens Nytorv is a public square in Copenhagen, Denmark, centrally located at the end of the pedestrian street Strøget. The finest and largest square of the city, it was laid out by Christian V in 1670 in connection with a major extension of the fortified city, and has an equestrian statue of...
("The King's New Square"), another large square at the other end. But the Strøget area is actually a collection of streets that spread out from this central thoroughfare. These streets, in order from Rådshuspladsen to Kongens Nytorv, are as follows:
- Gammel Torv / NytorvNytorvNytorv is a public square in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. Together with the adjoining Gammeltorv it forms a common space, today part of the Strøget pedestrian zone...
- AmagertorvAmagertorvAmagertorv , today part of the Strøget pedestrian zone, is often described as the most central square in central Copenhagen, Denmark...
Many of the city's most famous and expensive stores, such as Illums Bolighus, Magasin du Nord, the Royal Copenhagen
Royal Copenhagen, officially the Royal Porcelain Factory is a manufacturer of porcelain products and was founded in Copenhagen 1 May 1775 under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie...
Porcelain Factory, and chain stores, are located along the strip. There are also a multitude of souvenir shops
A souvenir , memento, keepsake or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. The term souvenir brings to mind the mass-produced kitsch that is the main commodity of souvenir and gift shops in many tourist traps around the world...
and fast food outlets.
Strøget was created in November 1962 when cars were beginning to dominate Copenhagen's old central streets. During the 1950s the street had closed to traffic for a couple of days at Christmas. In 1962 the closure was "half disguised" as an extended holiday closure, but the road has remained closed since. The idea was controversial, some people believing that the Danes did not have the mentality for "public life" envisioned by such a street, and many local merchants believed the move would scare away business. However it proved a success, and the area soon boasted more shoppers, cafes, and a renewed street life. Building on Strøget’s success, the network expanded piecemeal – another street and a few more squares were emptied of cars in 1968, and further closures took place in 1973, 1980, and 1992. From the initial 15,800 square metres of the Strøget, Copenhagen’s pedestrian network has expanded to about 100,000 square metres.
The idea has become a model often emulated elsewhere. Danish architect and urban planner Jan Gehl
Jan Gehl is a Danish architect and urban design consultant based in Copenhagen and whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist.-Biography:...
has been instrumental in the creation of this pedestrian zone.
About 250,000 people use Strøget every day at the height of tourist season in summer, and about 120,000 do so on a winter's day.
For many years in the late 20th century, tourists on Strøget enjoyed the spectacle of a large man in full Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...
costume, directing them to one of the sweater markets. Today, there is a variety of street entertainment.
The west end of Strøget at The City Hall Square is a short walking distance from Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen's Central Train Station. At the east end of Strøget at Kongens Nytorv are the Royal Danish Theatre
Royal Danish Theatre
The Royal Danish Theatre is both the national Danish performing arts institution and a name used to refer to its old purpose-built venue from 1874 located on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen. The theatre was founded in 1748, first serving as the theatre of the king, and then as the theatre of the...
and the exclusive Hotel d'Angleterre. Kongens Nytorv is close to the popular Nyhavn
Nyhavn is a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants...
Langelinie is a pier, promenade and park in central Copenhagen, Denmark, and home of the statue of The Little Mermaid. The area has for centuries been a popular destination for excursions and strolls in Copenhagen...
and Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...
, the royal residence.