Copenhagen is one of the top design destinations in the world. Not only do they lead in architecture, interiors, and industrial design, but also in fashion, food, and sustainability. Cycling is a way of life here and it's evident that community and culture are a priority. Consistently ranked as a foodie destination, Copenhagen is home to 15 Michelin-starred restaurants and the top rated restaurant in the world, Noma. The world’s oldest monarchy also resides in Copenhagen and the royal family is extremely popular. Being that they are a small country, the royals are seen as the moral protectors and representatives of their nation and way of life. Danish people are consistently ranked as the happiest people in the world and I think that's all we need to know to fall in love with Copenhagen and their way of life.
* This is an interactive Google map. Click each icon A-J for location title. Click the icon in the top left corner for full list of stops. Follow the blue walking path for the most interesting route. *If you're having trouble viewing this map click here.
A. Kobenhaven Cycklebørs
Address: Gothersgade 157, 1123 København, Denmark
Hours: (M-F) 8:30AM-5:30PM (S) 10Am-1:30PM (Su) Closed
Start your day by renting the best mode of transportation in Copenhagen, a bike! The streets here are extremely bike friendly and you'll fit right in with the locals! We've got a lot of ground to cover so grab your bike and let's go!
Address: Jægersborggade 50 2200 Copenhagen N.
Hours: (M-F) 7:30AM–9:00PM (S-Su) 10AM-9PM.
First Stop, breakfast at Grød! Literally translating to porridge, Grød is exactly that! Not your average quaker oats, Grød serves up the creamiest and most delicious bowls topped with fresh fruit, nuts and in some cases caramel! The food in Copenhagen is extremely expensive but breakfast at Grød is reasonable and extremely filling...I could hardly finish. The menu changes weekly to bring the most organic and seasonal products to the table. The interiors here are natural yet modern featuring live edge tables, a painted brick wall and modern lighting.
Address: Heimdalsgade, 2200 København, Denmark
Hop on that bike and pedal up to Superkilen, the wildest park you'll ever visit. An urban improvement plan was the catalyst for this project and the design of it was a collaboration between Superflex and Bjarke Ingels. Objects from over 50 countries were used in the design of the park illustrating the ethnic diversity of the local population. Swings from Iraq, benches from Brazil, and a fountain from Morocco are all part of the mix! You'll notice three main areas make up the park; a brightly coloured red/orange/pink square, a black and white market area characterized by pattern and a green park with rolling hills and places to picnic. The park is a piece of art and I hope more cities will be inspired to create public spaces worth talking about!
D. Design Museum Denmark
Address: Bredgade 68 / 1260 København K
Hours: (M) Closed, (Tu-Su) 11AM–5PM, Except (W)11AM-9PM
Housed in one of Copenhagen's finest rococo buildings is the Danish Design Museum. The goal of the museum is to inspire people active in the industry to disseminate a concept of quality within design. This concept stems from the Danish style highlighting functionality and simplicity in design. From the mid-20th century, the Danes have been a force in the design world and you will see iconic Danish furniture from the likes of Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner showcased in the museum. Design lovers will appreciate seeing the permanent collection of iconic furniture presented in chronological order and temporary exhibits that focus on the history of design in a certain niche. Exit through the giftshop and you will find a wonderful selection of design books and objets d'art. The cafe is worth checking out for it's beautiful artwork and a beautiful series of globe pendants that hang from the ceiling.
Address: Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K
After you've been inspired at the Design Museum, bike to the winter home of the Danish Royal family, Amalienborg. We're not going to tour the four identical rococo palaces but we will admire the square and perhaps if you're lucky you'll witness the changing of the guard. The guards march from Rosenborg Castle and execute the changing of the guard in front of Amalienborg at noon. Post replacement is also conducted every two hours. The grand equestrian statue in the centre of the square is Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V. If you have a few more days in Copenhagen you can come back to tour the palaces.
F. Nyhaven Port
Address: Nyhavn 1-71 1051 København K
Continue on your bike tour to Nyhaven Port, the most iconic port in the city. Colourful townhouses and spectacular wooden ships line the harbour of this historical site. Once a busy commercial port packed with sailors, it is now a hub of beautiful restaurants and cafes. Hans Christian Anderson, the famous Danish writer lived in 3 of the different townhomes in the port, where he wrote many of his famous fairy tales like the Princess and the Pea. The sublime character and charm of this port are hard to leave but we've got plenty of ground to cover so hop on your trusty steed and continue to Atelier September.
G. Atelier September
Address: Gothersgade 30, 1123 København K.
Hours: (M-F) 7:30AM-4PM (S)9AM-4PM (Su)10AM-4PM
Let's stop for coffee at an enchanting cafe, Atelier September. Once an antique shop, the cafe is housed in an old yellow building characterized by its gorgeous arched windows. Inside you will find a rustic interior with an air of elegance and a stunning glass paneled ceiling. The chairs are mismatched and the style is effortless. Try to grab a spot at the best spot in the house; along the window. There you can watch Danish life pass you by and savour the delicious coffee they have made for you.
H. Rue Verte
Adrdess: Rue Verte Ny Østergade 11 Copenhagen
Hours: (M-Th) 10AM-6PM (F) 10AM-7PM (S) 10AM-5PM (Su) Closed
A short distance down the street you will find the high end home boutique, Rue Verte. The store has a masculine-luxe vibe and a unique collection of items that could be the focal point of any interior. Inside the store is popular juice bar Jo & the Juice with a hip lounge featuring wing-backed chairs and a cozy fireplace. The store is set up in vignettes mirroring a private home and gives you a glimpse into a posh Danish lifestyle.
I. Hay House
Address: 2. - 3., Østergade 61, 1100 København K, Denmark
Hours: (M-F) 10AM-6PM (S) 10AM-5PM (Su) Closed
The Hay flagship store in the heart of Copenhagen will make any design lover giddy. The store itself holds a coveted location with its grand windows looking over the busy Strøget pedestrian shopping street. A grand staircase is focal to the architecture of the space and the furniture vignettes have you feeling like you are visiting the apartment of a wealthy but unpretentious trendsetter. Hay sets out to produce quality furniture at affordable prices so that everyone may enjoy excellent design. Keeping with Danish design tradition, Hay highlights the simplicity and quality of good design with many of their pieces becoming instant classics. Thankfully most of their furniture and accessories are available worldwide so there's no need to start arranging a shipping container while there even though you may be tempted.
J. Illums Bolighus
Address: Amagertorv 10, 1160 København, Denmark
Hours: (M-F)10AM-7PM (S)10AM-6PM (Su)11AM-6PM
Illums Bolighus has been providing the best in Scandinavian design for the past 85 years. Always on the cutting edge they were the first to debut a retail concept where textiles, accessories, and furniture all interacted as art. This department store has it all from furniture and wall treatments, to lighting, fabrics, accessories and cool gift ideas from names like Vitra, Le Klint, Moooi and Gubi as well as classic pieces by the likes of Eames and Arne Jacobsen. The business concept here is to create an attractive and inspirational shopping environment that is always at the cutting edge of both fashion and societal mores.
* This is an interactive Google map. Click each icon A-G for location title. Click the icon in the top left corner for full list of stops. Follow the blue walking path for the most interesting route. *If you're having trouble viewing this map click here.
Address: Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 København K
Hours: (M-Th) 10AM-7PM, (F) 10AM-8PM, (S) 10AM-6PM, (Su) 11AM-5PM
Stop for lunch at Torvehallern, an upscale covered market composed of 60 different stands selling everything from fresh fish to gourmet chocolate. Two modernist buildings stand as a simple backdrop to the vibrant colours of the food displayed in the neatly presented stands. Be sure to try the beautiful and traditional open faced sandwiches at Hallernes Smørrebrød, a fresh juice at Unplugged Juice, and a cinnamon bun from Cafe Rosa! A lot can be learned from the culture of a place from it's markets. This bustling market will give you a glimpse as to why Copenhagen is now one of the gourmet food capitals of the world.
Images sourced from visitcopenhagen.com
Address: Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København
Hours: (Su-Th) 11AM-11PM (F-S) 11AM-12AM
I had the utter misfortune (apparently) of visiting Copenhagen when Tivoli was closed for the winter. A well loved place by locals and tourists alike, Tivoli is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. I thought it was worth a mention for those that are visiting in the Summer as it looks to be a pretty magical place. Beautiful gardens, a Moorish palace, and a Japanese tower are just some of the features that make it an interesting stop. Hop on some of the famous vintage rides, like a roller-coaster from 1914 (Not sure if this is scary or cool). There is something for everyone here and I look forward to experiencing it on my next trip!
Address: Istedgade 80 1650 København V
Hours: (M-F) 11AM-6PM (S) 11AM-4PM Closed Sunday
Dansk is a minimalists paradise with every object a piece of art in it's own right. The store is bright and airy and the colour palette neutral. If you're looking for a unique piece with a Danish aesthetic you will love this store. Some of my favourite pieces were the Circular Mirror from Omelette-ED and the house designed Dansk Dining Table.
D. Designer Zoo
Address: Vesterbrogade 137 - 1620 KBH. V
Hours: (M-Th) 10AM-5:30PM (F) 10AM-7PM (S) 10AM-3PM
The last stop on the home boutique tour is Designer Zoo. The store is an active workshop with seven resident designers working in house to create a mix of things like ceramics, knitwear, glass and lighting. Other crafts found here are jewlery and furniture with the owner himself selling his popular bean tables, available in different colours and leg lengths. The shop itself is a vibrant and dynamic place, reflecting the creativity and vitality of modern Danish design.
Address: Vesterbrogade 81, 1620 København V
I had to add a quick stop at this candy store because it's the best one I've ever been to. Unlike everything else in Copenhagen it was reasonably priced! They had so many types of candy I had never tried before and a huge selection of everything from licorice to gummies. Swing by if you get the chance and stock up for your travels! I couldn't find the hours listed anywhere but I remember it being open quite late.
Address: Vesterbrogade 62, 1620 København
Hours: Open daily from 5:30PM-12AM
We are heading to Madklubben Vesterbro for dinner, one of the most popular restaurants in Copenhagen. They've created a winning concept that's trendy, affordable, straightforward and unpretentious. It's evident here that they appreciate quality and focus on both the products they serve and the experience of dining with them. It's a large space with various options from private booths to an open bar and lounge. The design is industrial with sheepskins lining the chairs at the bar and pops of orange throughout. The exterior of the restaurant is particularly interesting with large square windows capturing stylish vignettes inside. Their menu changes with the seasons but it globally inspired so you're sure to find something you'll like.
G. Mikeller Bar
Address: Viktoriagade 8 B-C, 1655 København
Hours: (Su-W) 1AM-1PM (Th-F) 2PM-2AM (S) 12PM-2AM
Cap your Copenhagen night off with a beer tasting at Mikeller Bar. Not long ago, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, was a math and physics teacher that started experimenting with hops, malt and yeast in his home kitchen. Today he is internationally acclaimed as one of the most innovative and cutting edge brewers in the world. He even makes the house beer for Noma, the top restaurant in the world. Here are some of his goals for beer that I find interesting: 1) Brew beer that challenges the concept of good beer and move people. We do this by using the best ingredients and work with the most talented and creative minds around the world. 2) Make quality beers a serious alternative to wine and champagne when having gourmet food.
The bar itself is lively and packed to the brim with beer lovers! It's downstairs in a cellar so the vibe is cozy and the design is classic Scandinavian with some pretty great lighting. There are 20 beers on tap to try with over half of them being Mikeller and the rest great selections from around the world. Be sure to try tasters of a few of the options available for the best experience!
Splurge: Nimb Hotel (hotel.nimb.dk)
I sincerely hope you enjoyed a designer day in Copenhagen!