I haven’t ever met anyone, ever, who didn’t fall in love with Copenhagen when visiting. It is the perfect winter weekend escape, with snow-covered parks and cosy cafes, and plenty of beautiful 17th century architecture. On this second visit to Denmark’s capital city I was able to bypass the major tourist sights in favour of the quieter more local treasures.
Hotel D’Angleterre – This grand dame hotel is palatial and grand in style, but the service is warm and inviting. We stayed in an indulgent suite which had the most comfortable bed and gorgeous views over the colourful Nyhavn port. Don’t leave without trying the wonderful Michelin starred restaurant, Marchal.
Nobis Hotel – The Nobis Hotel in Copenhagen excels at design in every way. Even before entering our room for the weekend, I was stunned by the chic minimalist entrance and stylish common areas. The hotel, which opened in September 2017, is housed in the iconic 1903 building which was once home to the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music. It was the first concrete building in Denmark, and there are still original features, like the sleek concrete check-in desk, to be admired inside.
Relæ – Perhaps my favourite restaurant in Copenhagen, Relae is a feast for all the senses. The eatery is found in the hipster area of Jægersborggade in Nørrebro and is the first certified organic Michelin starred restaurant in the world. I loved the simply-designed dining room and the delicious five-course menu which featured dishes such as ‘Carrots & lemon thyme’ and ‘Yoghurt & citrus’.
Mother – This pizza institution has now opened a branch in London too, but the Copenhagen original is definitely worth a visit. Located in the Meatpacking district, the no frills dining room is always full of hipsters feasting on classic Italian pizzas and vibrant salads.
Höst – There is a lovely atmosphere in Höst, an eatery decorated with whimsical plants and twinkling lights. Choose from a 3 or 5 course set menu, both of which showcase the best Danish produce and typical Nordic cuisine.
Bæst – An organic, Italian-inspired restaurant in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen. The restaurant has its own adjoined bakery Mirabelle. Order the ‘nduja pizza!
Sanchez – Rosio Sanchez makes Mexican food that has made her world famous. Either opt for the taco street food stall, or dine at the expensive but delicious restaurant and enjoy her exemplary guacamole, refined tacos and leave space for the churros ice-cream sandwich.
Atelier September – This cult cafe is a must when visiting Copenhagen. Chef and creator Frederik Bille Brahe serves natural food & artisan coffee, and the avocado on toast for breakfast is legendary. The clean white interiors are very Instagram friendly, and the seats beneath the arched window are particularly desirable.
Coffee Collective – This chic Scandinavian coffee brand is one of the best caffeine stops in town. There are several branches, each with a bright and functional cafe space for enjoying your drink and working or reading. The Coffee Collective was founded by four friends who work tirelessly to source and roast the best coffee beans, as well as trying to improve the conditions for coffee farmers. The lightly roasted coffee is very carefully poured and tastes delicious.
Rundetaarn – The Round Tower in Copenhagen was built from 1637-42 by King Christian IV and was the first part of the Trinity Complex, which included an astronomical observatory and a university library. It costs just a few krona to enter and the circular walk is really wonderful.
Magstræde – This historic street is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Copenhagen. Wander down and join the queue of tourists taking photos.
Botanical Gardens – A unique and reflective garden in the centre of the city. This magical place is perfect for an afternoon stroll and is home to Denmark’s largest scientific collection of plants. I loved the huge greenhouses with spiral staircases and unruly tropical plants.
Amalienborg – This regal and grand area of town is where the Royal family of Denmark live. It is great fun to see the main square and watch the changing of the guard. The Amalienborg Museum presents the private interiors of the most recent kings and queens and an exhibit on today’s monarchy with its many traditions.
Nyhavn – Nyhavn is the 17th-century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured bars, cafes and restaurants.
The Hirschsprung Collection – This charming museum houses a large collection of 19th and 20th century Danish art. The museum is built around the personal art collection of Heinrich Hirschsprung, a tobacco manufacturer and patron of the arts who founded his art collection in 1865. We particularly liked the paintings by Vilhelm Hammershøi that depict wondrous empty rooms.
Glyptotek – The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a magical art museum in the centre of Copenhagen. The collection is built around the personal collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries. It has a particularly impressive selection of Greek and Roman sculptures.
Tortus – This beautiful ceramics shop makes truly unique objects that would complement any home. With the studio upstairs and the showroom on the ground floor, it is a small but special operation.
Playtype – Playtype is a tiny boutique that is home to more than a hundred typefaces and nearly 500 different font weights. Pick up a poster or a trendy mug with your letter on it.
Stilleben – Stilleben was opened in 2002 by Danish designers Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Nordentoft. The duo have created a hip and attractive shop which champions handmade ceramics, textures and accessories from Danish and international designers.
HAY – This Danish design institution has spread all over the world thanks to the attractive aesthetics. I could have spent a fortune on the stationery and homeware here.
Jewellery by Malene Glintborg – A lovely little jewellery shop in the heart of Vesterbro district of Copenhagen. Her angular designs are playful and very wearable. Perfect for picking up a pretty gift.
Frama – A beautiful design store housed in an old Apotek from the late 1800s. Wander round the historic building and admire the aethetically pleasing furniture and perfume collection.
More information about things to do and see in Copenhagen here.
Updated in March 2019.