Coming from Copenhagen, it can’t come as a surprise that this city holds a special place in my heart. I love Copenhagen and all its facets, and especially on a warm and sunny day, I can’t think of a better place to be. During winter, it’s another story…
Copenhagen is a beautiful city with an interesting mix of detailed historic buildings and modern architecture, plenty of water and lots to offer its visitors. Stroll around the city or do as the Copenhageners and experience the capital by bike, grab a meal or two at one of the excellent restaurants or relax and enjoy and practice Danish “hygge”. I sincerely hope you will love Copenhagen just half as much as I do!
The area of Copenhagen that attracts most people is the city centre. And with good reason, because some of the biggest attractions in Denmark are located hereabouts – Amalienborg, Christiania and Nyhavn are some of them, but there are so many other places worth mentioning too. Read this Copenhagen city guide, and I’ll let you know what you should see and do, where you should eat and drink and where you should shop in Copenhagen’s city centre.
Experience Copenhagen from the water side
Copenhagen is full of waterways, and there are plenty of opportunities to see the city’s beauty from the water. Go on a traditional canal tour with Canal Tours Copenhagen, rent your own little boat where you can either be the captain yourself with GoBoat or have someone to sail you around with Hey Captain or take the water bus and commute to different areas of the city.
Walk around the city centre
Copenhagen is known for its mix of historic architecture and modern design, and the best way to explore it is on foot. The city centre is quite small, and you can easily walk between the different spots. Places you shouldn’t miss include Amalienborg Palace, the Latin Quarter, King’s Garden, Nyhavn and the Round Tower.
Denmark has the oldest monarchy in the world, and most Danes are proud of the Danish royal family. Our ruling queen, Queen Margrethe, and the crown prince family reside on Amalienborg Palace, and you are allowed to enter the palace square and get quite close to the beautiful buildings.
At the palace square, you find the royal guards that protect the royal family. Every day at 12 pm, you can experience the changing of the guards, as they march from their barracks at Rosenborg Castle to Amalienborg Palace, making it the best time of the day to visit.
Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, København K (www)
I can highly recommend spending some time at the Botanical Garden and with its many greenhouses, the garden can be visited all year round. At the Botanical Garden, you find thousands of interesting plants that are spread out on a 10-hectare large area. When visiting, you shouldn’t miss the noticeable Palm House that was built in 1826 and is my favourite area of the garden. The Palm House entrance fee is 60 DKK.
Gothersgade 128, København K (www)
One of Copenhagen’s most interesting places is Christiania. Christiania is a free town where around 1000 people live and around 500.000 come to visit each year. The main street is the controversial Pusher Street where hash and pot are sometimes traded illegally. Christiania is so much more than Pusher Street though. And my favourite things to do at Christiania include walking around in the beautiful area and look at all the self-made houses that the villagers have built and going to a Sunday concert during summer.
Prinsessegade, København K
From one of Copenhagen’s biggest tourist attractions to another. Nyhavn is popular and especially on a sunny afternoon and evening, people go to the little street by the canal known for its coloured houses. Nyhavn is one of the most photographed spots in Copenhagen, and the best time to take photos of the coloured houses are around sunset.
There are plenty of restaurants and bars located on the little street, making Nyhavn a vibrant place. However, the prices are typically very high and reflect the street’s popularity, and it’s recommended to eat and drink somewhere else.
Nyhavn, København K
Gasoline Grill is located at a petrol station and doesn’t look like much from the outside. I admit that I had walked by many times and never entered the burger joint before Bloomberg published an article in early 2017 about the best burger places worldwide where Gasoline Grill was named one of them. Since then, it has become a popular burger spot and with good reason, because the burgers are amazing. Gasoline Grill can now be found several places in Copenhagen, but the one on Landegreven is the original one.
Landegreven 10, København K (www)
One of my favourite restaurants in the city is Höst. They serve a variety of delicious dishes based on the New Nordic concept where focus is on local ingredients and greens. However, you shouldn’t come for the food alone. Höst has won several design awards for its interior design and is among others awarded the most beautiful restaurant by Travel + Leisure.
Nørre Farigmagsgade 41, København K (www)
If you’re into seafood, you should eat at Musling. It’s a bistro that serves organic fish and seafood dishes and drinks and wine of high quality. You’re not supposed to make a reservation at Musling, instead, you should just drop in and get a table. And you really should because the chefs know exactly how to cook fish and seafood, and all dishes are very tasteful and nicely arranged.
Linnésgade 14, København K (www)
There are lots of successful restaurants in Copenhagen, and some of them have a tendency to open up new restaurants based on the same concepts as the main restaurant. One of these is No. 2 that is little sister to the Michelin restaurant AOC. No. 2 is beautifully located on Christianshavn overlooking the canals and provide the perfect setting for a luxury gourmet dinner where the focus is on the best from the Nordics.
Nicolai Eigtvedsgade 32, København K (www)
Pluto is a New York City inspired restaurant with a cool and dark interior design and great food served family style. The menu is divided into snacks, charcuterie and smaller and bigger dishes all made for sharing. Despite delicious food, Pluto also has a great drinks menu with interesting cocktails and tasteful wines. Don’t forget to see the funny decorated toilets when visiting Pluto.
Borgergade 16, København K (www)
The Union Kitchen
One of the best places to get a coffee and a solid breakfast in the city is at The Union Kitchen. They serve great coffee and delicious breakfast and lunch dishes that you can enjoy in the nicely decorated café/restaurant. The Union Kitchen also has a dinner menu with dishes perfect for sharing.
Store Strandstræde 21, København K (www)
Väkst is another great restaurant influenced by the New Nordic concept. The same owners have Höst and Väkst, and the two restaurants have many things in common. However, where Höst has Scandinavian ingredients as its focus, Väkst concentrates on creating dishes where greens and herbs are central. The dishes are served in a beautifully decorated greenhouse-inspired room with plants all over.
Sankt Peders Stræde 34, København K (www)
Eat & drink
Barr is a restaurant and bar located in the rooms where the world famous restaurant Noma used to be. Barr’s owners have kept the raw interior design and decoration, making it a great-looking spot to enjoy dinner and a drink. The restaurant area is informal and serves food inspired by Northern European cuisine while the bar area focuses mainly on beer.
Strandgade 93, København K (www)
Eat & drink
Lots of Copenhageners know Mother that is located in the Meatpacking District and is particularly known for their pizzas. However, not that many know about Mother Wine that’s a combined wine bar and wine shop, and Mother’s little sister.
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 pm, Mother Wine opens up for their Aperitivo alla Milanese that is an Italian concept where people gather after work, have all sorts of small snacks and enjoy a glass of wine or two. Mother Wine has taken this concept to the next level, and it’s definitely worth trying.
Gammel Mønt 33, København K (www)
Torvehallerne is a food market with more than 60 stands varying from restaurants, cafés, bars, delis and other shops. You can get pretty much everything eatable and drinkable here and since its opening in 2011, the food market has only increased its popularity.
Frederiksborggade 21, København K (www)
One of the best places to get a proper cocktail in Copenhagen is at Fugu. In fact, the bar was named the best cocktail bar in Copenhagen in 2016, and with good reason because their cocktails are exquisite. Fugu’s cocktail menu is influenced by the seasons, and all cocktails are made to perfection with fresh ingredients and homemade infusions, syrups and foam. Cheers!
Gammel Strand 42, København K (www)
The Bird and the Churchkey
If you love gin just half as much as I do, you should go The bird and the Churckey that is probably the best gin bar in the city. They have a large variety of different gin and tonics and other nice gin cocktails that are worth trying. If you’re not that much into gin, the bar also has many beers, ciders and sodas on the menu.
Gammel Strand 44, København K (www)
Most of you are probably familiar with COS, the Swedish brand that is part of the H&M empire. COS creates clothes inspired by art and design that are made of great quality fabrics. The styles are mostly classic with a modern twist that can last for many seasons, and they both have men’s and women’s styles. COS has several stores in Copenhagen, with the one on Østergade (Strøget) being their Danish flagship store.
Østergade 33-35, København K (www)
One of my favourite Danish brands is Ganni. The Copenhagen-based brand makes both classic everyday styles and trendy clothes perfect for a night out, and what all styles have in common is the effortless Scandinavian feel. Ganni started as a small family-owned company and has since then grown to become one of Denmarks most successful fashion brands with several stores in Denmark and worldwide.
Store Regnegade 12, København K (www)
HAY is by far the coolest interior and design store in Copenhagen. The Danish brand creates fancy Scandinavian furniture and all kinds of interior accessories and stationery, and their flagship store is definitely worth a visit. During the last few years, HAY has become an international interior darling, and stores keep popping up all around the world from several places in Europe to far away countries such as Australia, China and the US.
Østergade 61, 2, København K (www)
Another Nué is a luxury clothing store that sells handpicked styles from some of the best Danish, Scandinavian and international brands. The people behind Another Nué are always in search of the next big hits, and you can make sure to find the latest trends in the beautifully decorated store. If you find yourself in Frederiksberg, you should visit the flagship store Nué.
Krystalgade 3, København K (www)
From one luxury store to another. Storm sells clothes from high-end brands with cool, quirky and sporty vibes. I must be honest, the clothing doesn’t really suit my style, instead, I’m much more into their accessories that vary from fragrant perfumes from Byredo and Diptyque and classic sunglasses from Céline and Moscot to statement jewellery from Maria Black and Helena Rohner and books and magazines etc.
Store Regnegade 1, København K (www)
& Other Stories
Just like COS, & Other Stories is part of the H&M empire, but where COS centralises around classic and art and design inspired styles, & Other Stories is more playful and feminine with clothing inspired by Paris, Los Angeles and Stockholm. Despite beautiful clothes, & Other Stories also sells high-quality accessories and beauty.
Amagertorv 29, København K (www)
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