A Local's Guide to Copenhagen
Arts & Culture
Over the past two decades, the Danish capital has transformed itself into Europe's capital of cool. There is something for everybody in Copenhagen: from hipster cafes to Michelin star restaurants; from modern avant-garde Nordic design to classical 18th century 'potato houses'. This guide presents a local's perspective on how to visit Copenhagen based on my experience of living here for the last five years. Walk like a Copenhagener, eat like one and get your 'hygge' on!
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Where to stay in Copenhagen, Denmark
Newest grande dame, next to Tivoli Gardens, with trailblazing eco credentials and a rare gem rooftop pool and bar.
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Central boutique set apart by its flawless design, top notch food and drink, and national treasure owner, ballet dancer Alexander Kolpin.
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25Hours Hotel Copenhagen Indre By
An eclectic, fun and art-obsessed urban escape housed in a former university building.
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Things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark
Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK): The national museum houses a wide-array of classical, pre and post modern art. Pro tip: stop by the cafe inside for the best pancakes in Copenhagen. https://www.smk.dk/en/
Design Museum: Denmark's finest design works, from innovative chairs to lightbulbs, on display for the world to see. Pro tip: the gift shop here is the place to buy your artsy friends souvenirs they will actually like. https://designmuseum.dk/en/
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: Just a short train ride north of Copenhagen lies Copenhagen's answer to the MOMA. Pro tip: go on a sunny day so you can enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden and have lunch overlooking the Swedish coast. https://louisiana.dk/en/
Nørrebro: Cross over the lakes and come into a neighborhood which TimeOut called 'The World's Coolest' in 2020. Stroll down Elmegade and Guldbergsgade where you will find iconic hipster fashion boutiques.
Kongens Have: Stroll like royalty through the 'King's Gardens' and come out on the other side to the upscale Østerbro filled with brunch hotspots and Faelledparken.
Kastellet: Walk around this elevated star-shaped fortress housing the Danish military baracks and overlooking the Øresund strait.
Dyrehaven: Just north of the city is this green oasis skirting the sea, filled with deer that will make your visit feel more like a royal weekend retreat than a city trip.
Another Nué: A woman's clothing store for the most stylish Nordic inspired design.
Norse Projects: Men's high-end modern clothing boutique. https://www.norseprojects.com/
Royal Copenhagen: Iconic, timeless and a must if you are in Copenhagen. Even if you do not buy anything, the store layout itself is sure to put a smile on your face.
Go to Sweden: Just a short train ride across the legendary Øresund bridge lies southern Sweden's capital, Malmö. Take your time to stroll the shopping streets of the center, parks and enjoy the local fika. Alternatively, continue a bit further north to the charming university town of Lund.
Helsingør: Visit Hamlet's castle from where you can also take a short ferry across to Helsingborg in Sweden.
Tisvilde: Experience the exclusive north coast of Sjaelland and stop for lunch at Tivilde Kro.
Places to eat & drink in Copenhagen, Denmark
Coffee & Brunch
Ø12: one of the more popular brunch places for Copenhageners. Pro tip: order the avocado smash with a poached egg, you won't be disappointed.
studio x kitchen: a new place for great vibes in the heart of the city and pretty good coffee too.
Democratic Coffee: for true coffee aficionados. Pro tip: get a cardamom croissant to go with your cortado.
CUB Coffee bar: take in the views of Denmark's government house, which you might recognize from the Netflix series Borgen.
OMAR: enjoy the fresh, ever-changing menu at this hip eatery in Nørrebro to the tune of hip-hop music and surrounded by The Wire memorabilia.
Geranium: frequently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world. Nothing more to add, just make sure you book well in advance.
Gro Spiseri: only the freshest fare at this rooftop vegetable garden turned restaurant in Østerbro.
Polly: Homey place in the heart of Frederiksberg with an extensive wine list, also good for lunch and brunch.
Il Grappolo Blu: genuine Italian dining in the Nordics. Kick back and relax as the staff (all from the island of Ischia) takes you on a journey through Southern Italy.
Outdoor Summer Vibes
La Banchina: enjoy a fresh mackerel before or after your swim.
Reffen: food trucks gone gourmet and one of the best summer sunsets in CPH.
Kayak Bar: music, water, kayaks, and drinks. Pro tip: order the moules frites for the full experience."
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Lissa Caltrider's guide, The Foodie's Guide to Copenhagen, Denmark.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Copenhagen.