Copenhagen – one of Europe’s oldest capitals with an exclusive royal touch, 15 Michelin stars and the title of the happiest city in the world. If that’s not enough reason for you to visit, maybe it will be one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets, over 400km of cycle paths or its diverse nightlife. And if even THAT isn’t enough – read on for our favourite places to eat, shop, sleep and drink in the style centre of Europe.
WHERE TO SHOP
Start your shopping trip at Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping streets and home to the most well-known designer brand like Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Alongside these you can browse some of the big local names, such as Sand Copenhagen, Mads Nørgaard and Acne Archive.
For sneaker fanatics there is a wealth of stores to choose from in Copenhagen. One of our personal favourites is Rezet, which is entirely dedicated to sneakers from major brands like Nike and Adidas, but also Danish favourites such as Soulland and Han Kjøbenhavn. They also do exclusive collaborations with streetwear brands and are swiftly becoming one of the most popular destinations for sneaker fanatics looking for real knowledge and customer service.
For the female sneaker freaks among us, Naked is where you need to be heading. Naked have two stores located in the city’s main shopping area, with sneakers filling up entire walls. They are known for their collaborations with some of the world’s largest sneaker brands, and for stocking some of the rarest models out there. Alongside the sneakers, be prepared for a carefully selected range of streetwear style clothing from Adidas Originals, Nike Sportswear, NikeLab, Reebok, Puma, Stussy and the Danish brand Wood Wood.
A shopping trip in Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Storm, one the most high-profile concept stores in Europe. The architect designed store is a hub of design talent, carrying exclusive lines from brands like Balmain, Peter Pilotto, Comme des Garçons, and Maison Kitsuné for both men and women, alongside a large selection of beauty products, music, magazines, and books.
Head down to the Norrebro neighbourhood for some of the best independent and lesser-known retail finds. An area renowned for its cozy coffee shops, second hand stores and flea markets, it’s worth spending an afternoon exploring the less crowded side of Copenhagen. Try Resecond for vintage designer pieces – a store which encourages swaps rather than buying straight from their racks. An iPhone app for international swapping is available too. Vanishing Point offers some amazing handmade art and craft pieces from both local and international artisans. For classic, chic Danish designs head to Tricotage is our favourite boutique stocking its own sustainable knitwear along with other Danish designers like Maska, Tweedmill and Baserange.
WHERE TO STAY
One of our favourite hotels is in the Vesterbro district. Offering stylish rooms, a spa, a residents lounge and a communal courtyard – Axel Guldsmeden is better know for its eco-friendly vibe. Its production of 100% renewable energy, sourcing solely local and organic food and its eco-friendly cleaning products, the hotel is the perfect green hotel for a stay in Europe’s Green Capital.
If you’re visiting Copenhagen for Europe’s oldest fairground then look no further than Nimb Hotel, which is located inside it. The hotel has been designed with typical Danish-style bedrooms featuring pinewood floors, open fireplaces and enormous freestanding bathtubs.
Manon les Suites offers great size apartment suites, but the communal areas are the main point of interest here. It’s huge sun-trap roof terrace built around a stunning tiled pool have proved to be a huge hit, with its design an eclectic mix. You can also enjoy the roof top sauna, steam room and bucket shower, or relax with a book on the four-poster day beds.
If it’s true Scandi-Cool you’re looking for, Hotel SP34 is the perfect place to enjoy spacious Nordic-inspired rooms, and the facilities may see you not wanting to step outside the hotel. With an in-house vintage cinema, three restaurants, a rooftop terrace and a gym – not to mention the hotels ‘wine hour’, where guests will enjoy a glass of wine on the house chosen by the wine committee every night between 5-6pm. Need we say more?
WHERE TO DRINK
Copenhagen is known for its diverse nightlife, from wine bars, to nightclubs, to cosy beer houses – you’ll find whatever night you’re looking for in the buzz of the city. Near to Strøget is Chateau Motel, Copenhagen’s only four-story club offering every kind of night experience you need. There’s a cocktail lounge, an old school bodega, an electronic main room and a karaoke room, showing the club’s entire ethos – they have something for everyone.
Alternatively, you can try Hive, with both Danish and international DJ’s spinning mainly electronic and hip hop music on their floors. Having won ‘Club of The Year’ last year their efforts have been realised and it’s one not to miss on your trip to Copenhagen.
For a more relaxed vibe, try some of the best cocktails in the city at Ruby Cocktail bar. Based in the oldest part of town, the building which started life as a townhouse has been used as everything from a book press to a private bank, and the cosy apartment-style interior makes this bar the perfect atmosphere to enjoy their world-class cocktails.
Another favourite cocktail haunt is Curfew, owned by Portuguese international bartender Humberto Marques. With vintage interiors, dimmed lights and scratchy jazz, blues and swing on the record player, the atmosphere of the bar is just as enjoyable as the award-winning cocktails.
To stick on the Jazz theme it would be rude not to mention Jazzhouse, one of the oldest Jazz venues in Copenhagen. You can often find live Jazz from musicians from around the world playing on one of their two floors, and you can enjoy wine, cocktails and a select food menu.
For wine, we recommend Terroiristen in Jægersborggade, an underground wine bar and shop, which focuses on authentic wine produced with organic or biodynamic grapes. Enjoy your wine at the bar, or just purchase a bottle and take it back to your hotel – but definitely go and take a look at what’s on offer there.
And last but by no means least, if it’s beer your after you’re in luck. Copenhagen offers plenty of opportunities to quench your thirst with microbrewery’s popping up all over the city. A personal favourite of ours is WarPigs, the brainchild of Danish brewery Mikkeller and American brewery 3 Floyds. Serving 22 taps and all freshly brewed at their in-house brewery, they often invite guest brewers to visit and create their own WarPigs brew.
WHERE TO EAT
For breakfast head to Wulff and Konstali and mix your own brunch. Just choose if you want 5 or 7 components, and then peruse the 22 different choices on their extensive breakfast menu. With everything from freshly baked bread and pastries, eggs, bacon, waffles, chia porridge, yoghurt and granola, avocado… You’ll be spoilt for choice.
For late lunch or early dinner, Mother’s terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy the last sunbeams of the day with a glass of wine and one of the best wood-fired Napoli style pizzas you can imagine. Set in the old meatpacking district of Copenhagen, they offer a range of drinks and traditional Italian dishes which are perfect for a relaxed meal.
If it’s casual dining you’re after then there can be no other recommendation than Hija De Sanchez. This taco stand was opened by former Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez, and it’s a complete contrast to the fine dining experience of Noma. Expect a wooden shack in the heart of a market with a handwritten blackboard menu – but the best and most authentic taco’s you have eaten outside of Mexico itself. If you’re out with friends for dinner then the sharing atmosphere inside Gorilla is the perfect choice. It’s a buzzy, canteen style setting with an industrial feel, offering something on the menu for everyone.
No food guide for Copenhagen would be complete without Noma – the most famous and acclaimed New Nordic restaurant in the world. Star chef René Redzepi and his team create some of the most innovative and mouthwatering dishes, and the front of house team is second to none.