The center for Scandinavian design and architecture, and the birthplace of new Nordic cuisine, Copenhagen is on everyone’s radar, and for good reason. This beautiful city crisscrossed by waterways and populated by smartly dressed Danes riding bicycles (they wouldn’t be caught dead riding in spandex) is every bit the picture perfect image of a cosmopolitan European capitol. Whether you go for the food, art, or design, be prepared to fall in love with the Danish lifestyle and the vitality of this incredible city.
Hotel SP34: Located in the center of the city, SP34 is perfectly situated for exploring Copenhagen. This mid-sized boutique hotel brims with character and comfort, from the beautiful breakfast room with plants cascading from the ceilings and walls, to the complementary wine hour every evening at 5 pm. The sparsely furnished rooms are full of natural light and feature comfortable beds with white down duvets. The views from the rooms either look out over the street below or face the lovely interior courtyard, which are recommended, as the street can be noisy at times. If walking through the city doesn’t qualify as sufficient exercise, the hotel has a small gym equipped with weights and cardio machines. Reception is incorporated into the bar area, which is always busy and staffed with friendly and knowledgeable hosts that can help with restaurant reservations, taxis, and any other wish you may have. Come for a couple of nights like we did, or stay awhile, SP34 is perfect for both business and leisure travel. $$$ City Centre
Café Atelier September: This lovely little café perched on the eastern edge of the city centre is best known for its Avocado Toast. If they happen to be out of avocados, don’t worry, the entire menu is worth sampling. Think yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts, radishes with butter and salt, or a perfectly coddled egg with fresh pressed juice. Although breakfast at SP34 is pretty great, Atelier September is where you’ll find me. $ City Centre
Coffee Collective: Copenhagen has a great reputation for coffee, and Coffee Collective is known for roasting and brewing the best beans in town. Note: Coffee Collective offers an international monthly subscription at a great price! $ Three Locations
Copenhagen Street Food: Across the new bridge that connects Nyhavn with Christianshavn, is Papiroen, where a large warehouse contains all of Copenhagen’s amazing food trucks. Open all year round, Copenhagen Street Food is a wonderful place to explore, enjoy a meal, or sip on an inventive cocktail. Copenhagen Street Food is best enjoyed when the sun is out, as the picnic tables along the water have wonderful city views. But the warehouse is also a good place to hunker down on a dark Nordic day. $ Papiroen
Manfred’s: Nothing is better than an al fresco chef’s lunch at Manfred’s. This kitchen showcases fresh, organic Nordic fare, and produces some of the best vegetable dishes around. From pickled mussels with turnips and seaweed, to a salad of shaved fermented mushrooms and potatoes, everything at Manfred’s is delicious. The surprising feature of the menu is the house special beef tartare, which is a standout and should not be missed. The wine list features an interesting selection of organic and unfiltered wines, most of which can be experienced by the glass. Meals are served family style, so be prepared to share. Don’t be surprised if lunch at Manfred’s ends up taking up most of the afternoon, as there is no better way to spend it than enjoying a fantastic meal in the sunshine on a quaint street in Copenhagen. $$$ Norrebro
108: Brainchild of NOMA alum Kristian Baumann (and his business partner, NOMA founder Renee Redzepi), this beautiful new restaurant on the banks of the Christianshavns Canal has already earned its first Michelin star. Like NOMA, the food at 108 focuses on found and foraged ingredients cooked in traditional Nordic methods, such as pickling and fermenting. While vegetables definitely shine at 108, slow braised meat and fresh seafood also play a prominent role in the menu. Where tables at NOMA were next to impossible to reserve and the food was seriously refined, a meal at 108 feels accessible, inviting, and more palatable to a greater audience. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that 108 is second best to NOMA; 108 stands in a category all its own. Adjacent to 108, the restaurant’s coffee shop sells fresh brewed coffee and pastries baked in house. $$$ Christianshavn
Baest: At 7 pm. on a Saturday night, Baest is bustling! The second restaurant of Italian chef Christian Puglisi, Baest not only serves delicious organic wood fired pizzas and meat, but specializes in house made charcuterie and mozzarella. Food is served family style, and a private room upstairs is available for large parties. $$$ Norrebro
Lidkoeb: Tucked in an alley off a main street, Lidkoeb is a cozy cocktail bar occupying three floors of an old apothecary building. If the weather is nice, enjoy a cocktail in the cozy courtyard. Tip: Lidkoeb takes reservations. Vesterbro
Ved Straden 10: Casual, yet elegant wine bar serving vintages from small, cult producers. The excellent, simple menu is served everyday except Monday, when the one-pot staff meal is available to everyone. City Centre
Oak Room: Cocktail bar drawing the late night crowd and serving inventive craft cocktails. City Centre
The Barking Dog: Neighborhood pub with a large selection of tequila and mezcal. City Centre
Kind of Blue: Cozy, candlelit, neighborhood bar known for its live music. Norrebr
Acne Archive: Nothing is better than shopping this powerhouse Scandinavian label’s archive shop where single pieces from past collections are dramatically discounted. Lots of leather, denim, and special pieces that are no longer available. Norrebro
Mr. Larkin: Small boutique carrying a selection of international and Danish designers along with it’s epinonemous line of thoughtfully cut pieces made from wonderful fabrics. Norrebro
Stilleben: Lovely interiors store selling unique ceramic pieces in a rainbow of colors. Stilleben also sells a small collection of jewelry, handbags, and other gifts by leading Danish and international designers. City Centre
Karamelleriet: You can’t leave Copenhagen without a stash of licorice-flavored treats. It’s impossible to pass the eye-catching window at Karamelleriet without ducking in. Sample incredible caramels and candies, and leave with a bag full of treats. Norrebro
Storm: Clothing and design store showcasing high-end international labels such as Celine, Haider Ackerman, and Alexander Wang. Excellent collection of literature focused on Scandinavian style and design. City Centre.
Hay House: Beautiful variety of Danish modern design displayed over two floors in two locations. Shop here for tabletop pieces, furniture, textiles, and interesting papers and writing utensils. City Centre.
Norse Projects: Women’s clothing boutique selling an expertly curated collection of high-end international and Danish fashion. Norse Projects also sells a great variety of cutting edge sneakers. City Centre
Torvehallerne: Copenhagen’s indoor food hall is the home to independent shops selling everything from ready-to-eat food and home goods, to flowers and produce. This is the perfect place to purchase something special and locally made to bring home from Copenhagen (or perhaps just lunch for the plane). City Centre.
Mads Norgaard: Shop here for great t-shirts in solids and stripes. One size fits most. City Centre.
Project 4: Lovely sub-terrainean shop selling interior objects-de-art, books on Danish design, and an awesome line of locally made raincoats. City Centre
ON THE SIDE
Grundtvigs Kirke: A trip to this beautiful church on the outskirts of the city is a must. Go early in the morning when there is no one there, and walk down the aisles admiring the simple sandstone bricks that make up this incredible structure. Designed in 1921 by Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint and finished by his son Kaare Klint in 1940, Grundtvigs Church is an exceptional and rare example of expressionist church architecture. Bispebjerg
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Denmark’s most visited museum is home to a large permanent collection of contemporary and modern art, including works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Picasso, and Hockney. The museum also contains an expansive sculpture garden with ancient specimen trees and views of the sea. Humlebaek (30 minutes from City Centre)
Gallery Poulsen: One of Copenhagen’s top contemporary art galleries featuring mostly American artists working in the media of drawing, painting, and printing. Vesterbro
Royal Danish Theatre: Small and intimate, the Royal Danish Theatre is a beautiful venue for seeing an artistic performance. Tickets to a performance of the Royal Danish Ballet are highly recommended. City Centre
GoBoat: Rent a solar powered boat and go on a self-guided tour of Copenhagen’s canals. Islands Brygge
Cirkelbroen: A walk through the canals of Christianshavn is a great way to take in Copenhagen’s blend of contemporary and traditional Danish architecture. While there are many bridges that traverse Copenhagen’s waterways, be sure to stroll across Cirkelbroen, the pedestrian “Circle Bridge” that connects Christianshavn with central Copenhagen. Christianshavn
Rundetaarn: The 17th century “Round Tower,” originally built as an astrological observatory, affords substantial views over central Copenhagen and is an excellent example of 17th century Danish architecture. City Centre
Sankt Hans Tov: This public square in the heart of the Norrebro District is a great spot to relax and take a break.
Street Markets: The weekends in Copenhagen bring markets selling vintage and newtems to the street. Since most retail shops are closed on Sunday, street markets are a good way to get your weekend retail fix.
Jewish Northern Cemetery: On a nice day, this beautiful cemetery is a wonderful place to stroll, picnic, or laze in the sun. Norrebro
Transportation: Most major airlines fly into Copenhagen. Icelandair currently has great fares connecting through Reykjavik. If you are inclined to do a stopover in Iceland be sure to check out my previous post on Iceland. In Copenhagen there is no need to rent a car. While Uber is no longer allowed to operate in Copenhagen, taxis are plentiful. The best way to navigate the city is by bike or on foot. Bike rental shops populate the city. The hotel will happily set one up for you.
Money: The currency in Copenhagen is the Danish Kroner – not the Euro. The Kroner is currently trading at 6.1 to the dollar. In restaurants, service is generally included and employees are paid well, but feel free to add a little extra if the service was exceptional.
Language: The spoken language in Copenhagen is Danish, but virtually everyone speaks English fluently making communication very easy.
(This article was previously published by Fathom)
Whats to Come:
Todos Santos ★ 07.17
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