The compactly gorgeous Danish capital is one of the most doable mini-breaks and liveable cities in the world. It’s a bike-friendly foodie haven-cum-art metropolis of pretty vistas and even prettier people. A must-see on any European trail.
Where to Stay:
Scandinavian chic has never been so desirable. The drama of this new-is hotel, opened 2020, with opulent stone and marble interiors as well as a rooftop pool, is softened with plush neutral furnishings and abundant space across rooms and suites.
A former ballerina turned design aficionado went ham in a resplendent Copenhagen townhouse; the resulting effect is a sumptuous mosh-mash of a well-traveled artistic spirit’s dreamscape. Rattan and dark woods, hard floors, towering palms and books aplomb. Check out the rooftop bar and restaurant for martini and oysters.
Where to Eat:
Family run Mecca of northern Thai gastronomic heights. Set in hip and buzzy central Norrebro, the tasting menu here will never fail to amaze: soft shell crab, duck pad Thai and homemade mango desserts alongside Georgian nature wines from Rosforth & Rosforth complete the occasion.
This self-described óculinary mosaic of Mediterranean, Persian and Austrian influences’ is a total breath of fresh air in a city running amok with New Nordic vibes. Their oyster mushroom shawarma with miso glaze is to die for, paired with the hummus plate with pickles and Israeli crudo with raw fish and labneh. Oh and – their sesame pudding is a must.
Where to Drink:
The old Noma restaurant space (same owner) is the definitive spot for a resplendent Danish lunch of open-faced sandwiches and local beer; or candlelit dinner of irresistible schnitzel with caper butter and Danish potatoes. The restaurant is practically docked on the water of Copenhagen’s stunning, fairylit canal, where you can eye up old wooden schooners alongside impressive superyachts – and all the swimmers.
Where to Visit:
On a summer’s day, there’s nothing better than just walking the city’s older parts and newer developments alike. Part of the Carlsberg Byen’s remodel and reawakening includes this stunning underground ancient baths. Luxuriate in candlelit waters, sauna and steam, and take a stroll round pretty Banegaarden street food market on an old railway track and blackberry gardens.
Sometimes overshone by hipster-run Norrebro, Vesterbro is a great base as it’s on multiple metro stops and has the central train station coming to and from the likes of Stockholm and Hamburg. Vesterbo is a colorful melting pot of restaurants, clubs, parks, shops and markets – Banegaarden being one, on the old train tracks. Grab a bottle of wine from the cute grocery/bodega/everything shop Kiosk and sit on the grass at picturesque Sonder Boulevard with paper cups in the sun. Indre By (Inner City) is just next to V, with Studio X a gem of a studio/boutique you can’t miss. Gather a few choice Scandinavian design items for your suitcase. If the edgy cutlery doesn’t bite, you may be tempted to ship home a masterfully crafted table or lamp. Enjoy coffee and a cheese bun after your peruse. Holly Golightly is an excellent go-to for vintage shopping. Vaernedamsvej is the definitive place to people watch over a bite or drinks: Vesterbro’s very own mini Paris.There’s also a cheese and wine shop, a French school and weekend markets.
A coastal train ride 30 min north of the city will take you to one of Europe’s first contemporary art spots, complete with a sculpture garden (Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, and more) and a Yayoi Kusuma lightroom to rival LA’s Broad. Also a lovely lunch and the opportunity to take a dip if it’s warm, right in the ocean looking out to Sweden.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whenever the season: hire a bike and take a towel. The city is so joyfully accessible (and flat) on two wheels, plus there are many swim spots around the city: at Islands Brygge, Helgoland, Svanemollen, Refshaleoen and more.