When a friend asked me a few weeks ago to share some tips for a weekend in Copenhagen, I thought: I should write down my dozen or so favourites for the blog (and future reference). A dozen quickly turned into around 50.
This city makes it easy to keep finding places to love and share. So, here they are – my evergreens and some great new (summer) hits.
INDRE BY & ØSTERBRO
Do it like a local and rent a bike. Most good hotels will have a rental service. We were really happy with the service at and location of Kgs. Have Cykler (Sølvgade 26) during our last visit, where we rented a Christianiacykle for a day. If you’re staying longer, it’s worth buying a Rejsekort for bus/train/metro. Saves money!
Kgs. Have Cykler is, as the name suggests, right by Kongens Have park. Stop at Orangeriet (Kronprinsessegade 13) for an upgraded version of the classic Smørrebrød or grab a coffee and sandwich from Kafferiet (Kronprinsessegade 1) for a picnic.
It’s also worth stopping for lunch at the &tradition Courtyard Café (Kronprinsessegade 4), which is on the groundfloor of the brand’s showroom and furnished with their own designs. I could’ve spent a couple more hours hanging out by the window in that magically fluffy Little Petra chair.
Heading north, you can’t miss Holly Golightly (Borgergade 17B) – less a store than the boudoir of that mildy eccentric and very wealthy friend of yours. The fashion is luxury, but you don’t need to shop to feel enriched by the atmosphere of the place. Although it would be hard not to spend a little on the exquisite skincare products from l’Officine Universelle Buly à Paris, which are sold here exclusively in Denmark.
From there, it’s only a short ride to Frama (Fredericiagade 57) to drink in some interior inspiration. If you’re actually thirsty, stop at Bottega Barlie (Fredericiagade 78) for a beverage. Also just nearby and a lovely place to visit: the Danish Design Museum (Bredgade 68).
Back towards the city – and Another Nué (Krystalgade 3), one of two Nués, which means that there’s double the chance that you’ll be spending money. The selection of fashion, accessories, shoes and jewelry (and some beauty products) has a Scandi slant with lots of goods from Lovechild, ATP Atelier, Maria Black, Sophie Bille Brahe or the beautiful own brand Nué Notes. If anyone can convince me to wear colour, it’s Stine Goya. Her feminine, pastel-coloured and charmingly printed collections are available in her two stand-alone stores on Gothersgade 58 and Østerbrogade 46.
The avocado on rye bread at Atelier September (Gothersgade 30) might be the most instagrammed food in the city for a few reasons. 1. It‘s really good. 2. The café provides a lovely backdrop for the bread. 3. The café is run by Frederik Bille Brahe, brother of jewelry designer Sophie Bille Brahe and husband to supermodel Caroline Brasch Nielsen. The Bille Brahes are something of a style seismograph for the city – whatever they create causes tremors of excitement. And rightly so. Bille Brahe is also behind the vegetarian and very affordable Apollo Bar & Kantine (Nyhavn 2), as well as the Kafeteria at SMK, the Danish National Galery (Sølvgade 48-50). If you’re still around the city center in the evening, try Cantina for dinner, a super relaxed, childfriendly and stylish Italian (Borgergade 2). If you’re looking for a satisfying takeaway: Gasoline Grill has the best – the BEST – burgers (Landgreven 10).
The Lourdes of interior stores: Illums Bolighus (Amagertorv 10) is four floors of the best Scandinavian design and I will always find a trinket to take home with me – a cup from Designletters, a vase from Lyngby, a lamp from 101 Copenhagen, a pillow from Aiayu, a candle holder from Ferm Living…
As you’re already in the neighborhood, you might also want to check out Hay House (Østergade 61), Warm Nordic c/o Paustian (Niels Hemmingsens Gade 24) or Gubi (Møntergade 19). There’s a little bit of a way to the ceramics studio of Arhoj (Kigkurren 8M), but that’ll give you a chance to pause at the preposterously beautiful design store The Apartment (Overgaden neden Vandet 33). Creator Tina Seidenfaden Busck has recently also introduced Stay at The Apartment, an intimate hotel experience. Visit the website for more info and details.
You can easily reach Refshaløen, the old industrial quarter by the harbor, by bus, but taking the bike will take you past the opera and a glorious view of Amalieborg, the royal family’s residence. The view is also what makes La Banchina (Refshalevej 141) so special: a restaurant with only 16 seats, although you really want to be outside on one of the jettys, dangling your feet over the water or even jumpging in, especially after the sauna. The food is farm to table and sea to table, so there are lots of greens and some fish, accompanied by natural wines. And: that view! Three more reasons to cycle to Refshaløen: 1. the sourdough bread and breakfast (the brioche with mascarpone and mirabelle marmalade is glorious) at Lille Bakery (Refshalevej 213A). 2. A cold brew at Broaden & Build (Refshalevej 175A), which you can follow with a menu at Noma-grade restaurant Amass (Refshalevej 153). 3. The modern art installations at Copenhagen Contemporary (Refshalevej 173A).
What makes a street instantly likeable to me is if you can stop every 20 meters for something to eat. On Værnedamsvej you could start with the Eggs Benedict (or the scrambled eggs or the pancakes) at Granola (Værnedamsvej 5; I don’t know why but I esepcially enjoy people watching at Granola. If you watch long enough, you might spot super influencer Pernille Teisbæk, who lives nearby). Or for a French bistro meal at Les Trois Cochons (Værnedamsvej 10)? A tebirkes from Lagkagehuset (Værnedamsvej 1) is also always a good idea.
Incedentally, Copenhagen has about as many bakeries as bikes and even chains like Lagkagehuset, Emmerys or Meyer’s Bageri offer incredible quality. Although my friend Sidsel recently informed me that THE place is Det Rene Brød. Sidsel, as you have to know, lived in Melbourne for a number of years and frequently considered just traveling home for the bread and baked goods from Det Rene Brød.
Sometimes my love for Instagram is rekindled. For instance when a reader notices that I’m in Copenhagen and sends me her bakery hitlist, which I’m now sharing here. A million thanks, Amelie! Juno for the legendary kardamommesnurrer (Århusgade 48); Andersen & Maillard for coffee and cakes (Nørrebrogade 62 and Göteborg Plads 19); Hart Bagerei für quality from the former head baker at Tartine in San Francisco (Gl. Kongevej 109); Mirabelle for the croissants (Guldbergsgade 29).
We did a home exchange for the first time for our latest visit this April, using Behomm, and I find it the best way of traveling with kids and getting to know a city (although it has to be said that the family who wanted to exchange with us lived in a house straight out of the pages of Danish Elle Decoration It helped. A lot). My absolute favourite hotel for a few nights without kids is Central Hotel & Café (Tullinsgade 1) – probaly the only hotel in the world with just one room. I felt like I was in the cabin on an old luxury cruise ship – it was wonderful.
If you’re staying in the city a bit longer, I’d recommend a house swap or Airbnb, but I’m also susceptible to the comforts of hotels such as SP34, Hotel St. Petri or Manon Les Suites Guldsmeden. We spent one night at the Steelhouse during our last visit, a new hostel that’s super central and very un-hostelly.
By the way, we’re still in Frederiksberg and are going to take a tour up Gammel Kongevej to Frederiksbergs Have, grabbing a fresh superfood salad from Wedo (Gl. Kongevej 176 is one a few locations) and then chilling on the hill in front of Frederiksberg Slot. FYI: There’s a spot in the middle of the park where you can get close to and watch the elephants in the zoo. Although this might lead to the kids demanding actually going inside the zoo, ahem.
Another street you could spend a days eating your way up and down is Jægersborggade in Nørrebro: a bag of handmade caramel bonbons from Karamelleriet (number 36), a coffee from Coffee Collective (number 57), a bowl of granola from Grød (number 50), an excellent dinner at Relæ (number 41) or an organic nitrogen ice cream from Istid (Nummer 13). Nitrogen ice cream? Sounds weird, tastes brillant and the kids love watching how it’s made. There’s a huge playground waiting for them at the end of the street – while you might want to take a break looking at the ceramics from Inge Vincents (number 43). Still hungry? Go for a sensational pizza at Bæst (Guldbergsgade 29).
If you have the time, take a day trip to Louisiana museum: for the view over Nivå sound, the art, the gardens, the room with the solemn Giacometti and – of course – the food at the cafeteria.
More tips? Check out these from Cecilie Thorsmark, an old friend and now the CEO of Copenhagen Fashion Week.