If you’ve ever been there yourself, it should be no surprise that I love Copenhagen. It is an easy flight northeast from Luxembourg, to a virtual visual junkie’s paradise. Instead of trying to list every last thing I so admire about this city, I thought it might be best to simplify it and give you 10 reasons why Copenhagen has become my Scandinavian darling.
In no particular order:
- LIDKOEB. Everything about this place makes me happy. Beautifully designed and decorated in modern Scandi-cool that lacks nothing in the way of warmth, with great music, a tempting selection of cocktails, beer and wine and an outdoor patio. All this tucked away down a little alley in the Vesterbro neighborhood not far from the charming hotel (with an excellent breakfast spread) I stayed in on my first visit to Denmark.
2. EASY RIDERS. Not the motorcycle-mama kind, but the good ‘ole fashioned city biking kind. Rent or borrow from most hotels small or large, it is the best way to see the city. Bike lanes are like mini-highways, orderly and safe, despite the number of fellow riders.
3. ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS. From the simplicity of the gorgeous historic buildings to the sleek, cutting- edge new projects and developments, Danish design prevails. Ride through Christianhavn to Orestad to get a taste of old meets new. We stopped to eat in Christianhavn at 108, a beautifully designed restaurant right down to their bluest of blue, MK Ceramics.
4. LOUISIANA MUSEUM OF MODERN ART. Last I was there, William Kentridge’s exhibit graced their space. You will never regret spending a day at the Louisiana. Here art, architecture and nature envelope you and your senses. Don’t miss the gift shop either, an extensive and exceptional selection for all.
5. THE DESIGN MUSEUM. The chair room here is reason enough to put this top of your list. Design and craft’s biggest names are honored in addition to a fully annotated and illustrated database of all furniture made in Denmark from 1900 and beyond. Worth the follow up, for your own piece of the design action, visit Hay House in the heart of the city.
6. FREDERIKSBERG GARDENS + BOTANICAL GARDENS. The parks of European cities continue to impress me. They are vast, clean, well planned and well used — true escapes in the middle of city life. The Frederiksberg Garden allows for long walks along meandering trails and the Botanical Gardens magically sparkle or glow, day and night, flush with natural inspiration.
7. NORREBRO. A super cool, multi-cultural neighborhood with endless independent shops, brocantes and cafes. Seek and you shall find.
8. INK ON PAPER. While in Norrebro, don’t miss the gallery/print shop CMYKkld. They print and sell graphic works of mostly Danish illustrators and artists. They describe it as “a sort of micro-mass production,” putting art in the hands of, or at least within the reach of, all people. Sounds good to me.
9. PAPER ISLAND. Not long for this world, so go when you can. Located in the beautiful harbor, Papirøen (Paper Island) is a creative commune of Danish delights in the form of showrooms, art and food all at hand in a city island warehouse, formerly used for paper storage. Redevelopment is scheduled for later this year so go peruse the talent of Henrik Vibskov, grab a dish from one of the many international food stalls or just sit dockside to enjoy the vibe.
10. GOOD FOOD+GOOD JOE. The food revolution has definitely been kind to the Danes and Paper Island isn’t the only place to discover it. Choices abound and creativity is not forgotten. You can get it all, delicious bakeries no exception. (Meyers Bageri is a personal weakness, I even carried three loaves of bread home in my suitcase after my last visit and stuck them in my freezer to assure nothing went to waste.) Some tried and approved restaurants include, Geist, Pluto, Baest, Falernum, GRØD for porridge and if you like BBQ, WarPigs in the Meatpacking District is casual and affordable.
Coffee is ever important, especially when you travel and Copenhagen does not disappoint in this arena either. There is a good cup to find almost anywhere you turn, the Coffee Collective is a deliciously sure thing and there are lots of indie cafes too. And they’ve got the hygge thing down!