illustration by julia rothman
today’s city guide is taking us all the way across the pond to copenhagen, denmark! our guide for today is allan from bungalow5 and allan is taking us through the city to check out the best shops, restaurants, sites, hotels, fashion, and must-see spots for your next visit to copenhagen. i don’t think i needed another reason to want to go to copenhagen, but now i have an entire guide full of them. thanks so much to allan for sharing this guide with us- i hope you’ll enjoy it as much as i did.
CLICK HERE for the full guide after the jump!
Open sandwiches in hidden lunch restaurants. Deluxe hotdogs and ice cream from paradise. A newsstand and pizza houses. Library bar and metrosexual hangouts. Peculiar shops and top designs. Fashion. Beer and cocktails. Secret clubs and Murky brown bars. Tivoli. Café Latte and royal tea. City bikes or walking.
Copenhagen has it all. Find your inner glow. Ignore your age and others. Explore the city! It is never too late to fall in love, nor in Copenhagen. We fell in love years ago. Visit the city, you know you want to. It is right here – the best city in the world.
Copenhagen is truly a beautiful city. For visitors it can seem a bit small and especially very expensive, but for the inhabitants it´s like a dream that you can go on your bike from one end of the city to the other in about 30 min. And you will see us riding a bike all the time. Everyone living in Copenhagen has a bike, and we use it – also when it rains and snows! Again Copenhagen can seem quite expensive for tourists – just remember that we rarely tip, only when dining and only if you get an excellent service.
Before you visit Copenhagen and the many parts of the city, remember to download Audiowalks for you Ipod.
We have divided Copenhagen into 6 parts; Copenhagen K, Nörrebro, Vesterbro, Österbro, Christianshavn, and not to forget the small city in the city, Frederiksberg.
Is what we call downtown Copenhagen! This is where you’ll find the longest pedestrian street of the world “Stroeget” with a lot of small shops, big department stores and a lot of tourists. However, you should definitely explore the parallel streets where you’ll find the real Copenhagen.
Illums Bolighus – An interior Mecca – one big department store where you’ll find everything you need for a designer home. Here you can explore everything from Georg Jensen to Arne Jacobsen, in other words, all the jewels of Scandinavian design. All of it are new originals, so do remember the big wallet, nothing comes cheap here.
Hay House – has only existed for a few years, but is already selling its furniture in 20 different countries. In the shop you can find a lot of furniture in unconventional shapes, but there is also something for you if you are looking for small, special things for your home – from designer pillows and towels to wall clocks and vases.
Stilleben – A small shop which has specialized in ceramics, glassware and décor from both Danish and foreign artists. Another great example why you should not only stay on the main shopping street, Stroeget, but walk in the small parallel streets.
Casa Shop – One of the major – and most expensive – furniture and homewear stores in the city, packed full of modern, international (well, mostly Italian) brands beloved of the childless and well-heeled.
Rue Verte – Has developed a unique cozy lifestyle Mecca with two clothing sections and an interior section called Rue Verte Plus. You can also enjoy a freshly pressed juice in the juice bar, Joe & the Juice in the middle of the shop.
Illum – Apartment store with a lot of fashion brands, but on the 3 floor you can find a lot of Danish interior, don’t miss it if you walk down Stroeget.
Tivoli – One big and very historic amusement park. Fantastic adventures for all ages. Enjoy the sight of the many flowers, try the many rides and enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the park’s restaurants.
Danish Design Center – Is located in the heart of Copenhagen in a five storage building, designed specifically for the Danish Design Centre by architect Henning Larsen. In addition to the Gallery, “Ovenlyssalen” and knowledge centre, the building also houses exhibitions; a café, of course with great designer furniture and a shop where the main concept is “Travel Light” where the products are characterized by being light and compact and often have more than one function.In the centre you will find both Danish and international design. There are often 3-4 exhibitions at one time with as different themes as environment, children, young designers, commercial and industrial design.
Ny Carlsberg Glypotek – French and Danish art and sculptures in amazing surroundings. Look at the amazing ceilings and eat your lunch and nice cakes in the café in the big winter garden.
Kongens Have and Botanisk Have – Take a break from all the shopping and other tourist, if the weather is good, then take a break with many of the Copenhageners that often meets in The King’s Garden. After the break, you should find your way to the Botanic Garden, take a stroll between all the amazing flowers from all over the world and smell the exotic flowers in the giant greenhouse.
Nyhavn – One of the most visited place in Copenhagen. The canal was dug by hand in the 1870’s and is definitely a place you should spend an afternoon in the sun with all the other tourists and natives. Enjoy a beer at one of the many sidewalk restaurants looking at the more than 300 year old buildings, in some of which the famous writer H.C. Andersen lived for more than 20 years. Nyhavn is also the place where you find the canal boats that take you around Copenhagen. If you have nice weather you should really spend an hour on the water, but take the one called Netto-bådene as these are a lot cheaper but just as good as “DFDS canal tours”.
Amalienborg – The palace and property of the royal Danish family, counting 4 mansions. One has recently been renovated for the Crown Princeand Princess, Frederik & Mary. Visit to see the amazing view with the cupola church at one site and the new Opera at the other, and remember to take a picture with the royal guard patrolling here.
The little mermaid – As you may know, the little mermaid of Denmark is lend out for the big EXPO in Shanghai, so if you are here this summer, you cannot see her. But to be honest, there is not much to see, if you really want to see her, you can see her body double in Tivoli. Normally you can also see the little mermaid from the canal tours, see “Nyhavn”.
La Glace – If you are in Copenhagen to lose weight, stay away from La Glace. They make and serve the best and biggest layered cakes. Step back in time in the oldest confectioner’s shop of Denmark.
Café Viktor – Have at least one lunch at Café Viktor, where you can sit outside and spot the Danish celebrities that often visit this historic café, order my favorite fried beef tartar (Pariserböf) with garniture.
Riccos Kaffebar (Studiestraede) – If you want to sip coffee with the locals, visit this downtown coffee bar with the best simple buns with cheese. Very simple down to earth, and the waiters only speak English!
Madklubben – Get yourself a very delicious dinner for a very fair price. It is just good, straightforward and unpretentious food.
Damindra – Japanese lunch and dinner, the very best sushi outside Japan. It is just to die for. Amazing service from the owner, Damindra. Make sure to try the homemade ginger & lime juice and the sizzling sashimi with sweet shrimp, you just do not want to eat and drink anything else for the rest of your life.
Ruby’s – End your day with the best cocktails in town. If you do not find what you like on the menu, just talk to very talented bartenders who will come up with a special drink with ingredients you like, try for example one with redcurrants.
Summerbird – This is heaven of chocolate! Just entering the shop makes your mouth watering. Make sure to try the mini cream puffs with white chocolate and in the summer one of their ice creams covered with chocolate.
Perchs – Enjoy a cup of tea in the historic surroundings, where you can select tea from around the world and buy some to take home in small containers in their famous green color. Perchs have for many generations delivered tea for the royal Danish family.
Nimb – Here you find not only one of Copenhagen’s best restaurants and hotels but also the greatest hotdog in town. It is big and gourmet, with the best ingredients. Not to miss. Get one before visiting Tivoli.
Nörrebro is the most multifarious part of town; here you will find everything from the ethnic kitchens. Get falafel with homemade pita pockets for less than 20 DKK. Walk around Elmegade and Ravnsborggade to find vintage clothing stores and secondhand design shops. Sit in the sun at Skt. Hans Torv and make sure to taste a special brewed beer from Nörrebros bryghus.
Ravnsborggade – Visit this street and the side streets for interesting shops with retro furniture, antiques, secondhand Danish design, French long tables and candlesticks.
Bungalow – In the middle of Ravnsborggade you’ll find Bungalow, the shop that is famous for their amazing printed textiles.
Is the place for everyone; the young and trendy, prostitutes and addicts. Vesterbro is “delicate trash”. At Vesterbro you will find the meatpacking district of Copenhagen, which within the last few years has been renovated into a very trendy place to be seen at night, with some of the best clubs and fish restaurants. Take a walk down Istedgade and end your day at Halmtorvet with a café latte.
Designer Zoo – If you want something unique you should visit Designer Zoo. This is a shop and workspace for different designers, who produce furniture, glassware, ceramics, etc.
Raun – Raun is known for their couches. However, you can find a lot of really nice small decor accessories in the shop too.
BoConcept – Is another big shop where you can find furniture, but you can always find some very nice accessories to brighten up your living room.
Österbro is the place where you dress a bit casual nice and eat a nice dinner. This is where you find the grown-up families just before they move to Frederiksberg. Österbro is the resident for a lot of embassies, incl. the American. Grap a takeaway coffee and start you day with a walk around the city lakes or in the big town park “Faelledparken”.
Nordre Frihavnsgade – On this street you will find a variety of shops with everything from floral china to old advertising signs and furniture designed by top designers of the 50s as Eames and Arne Jacobsen. Try “Props Gallery” No. 90 with a poster gallery in the back or “Oldies” in No 73, who specializes in retro radios.
Restaurant Noma – Since 2003 they have offered the guests a very modern and lavish Nordic cuisine. This is simply a must on your trip to Copenhagen. But it’s really experience – and will cost you the same as a week’s holiday in New York!
Are you planning to visit Noma for an evening , you must book in advance, as there is at least 3 months waiting list for a table.
This part of town is not actually a part of Copenhagen, but is surrounded by it – a small city in the city. This is where you find the elder generation, the rich and politicians. You will not find that many new cafés and design shops, but more the very historic pubs and special shops, living because of their good names. It is definitely a part of the city that many forgets, but you should spend a day here, just walking and looking at all the great historic townhouses, and maybe even the Zoo by the park Frederiksberg Have.
Aniel – A small shop with the cutest baby and children’s clothing, wooden toys and interior accessories in organic or natural materials.
Designdelicatessen – This is the place for all the new funny things from around the world. Visit this small shop for a fun item.
Anna Olivia – Get ceramics from this upcoming artist. She sells ceramics from her fantastic little shop, where all her products have been made with a narrative or informative element. They tell a story that will definitely lead to conversation when used on the dinner table.
Frederiksberg Loppetorv – If you are into flea markets and visiting a Saturday during the summer, then do not miss this free flea market with a lot of locals selling out.
Copenhagen, a fashion capital
You cannot visit Copenhagen without visiting some of the Danish fashion brands. There are so many, so I will just name a few: Inwear , Matinique , Bruuns Bazaar , By Malene Birger , DAY Birger et Mikkelsen , Designers Remix Collection and Mads Nörgaard Copenhagen
And finally where to stay:
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel – This 5-star hotel were entirely designed by the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen everything from the facade and all the way to the chairs “Swan” and “Egg” in the lobby. This resulted in one of the world’s first designer hotels. The building which was completed in 1960, “Landmark of the Jet Age” was Copenhagen’s first skyscraper and a breakthrough in design of buildings. Indeed a very nice hotel and a great location with an amazing view of Tivoli on one side.
71 Nyhavn Hotel – Very charming 4 star hotel with a first class location at the end of Nyhavn. The hotel is originally one of the harbors storehouses. Do not expect big rooms, as this is not the case, however you will stay in a little bit of history.
First Hotel Skt. Petri – If you want to stay like a celebrity this is the hotel to choose, many of them often stay here, like Paris Hilton and Justin Timberlake. You do not find a hotel that has better interior and the best personal service. In the lobby you also find one of Copenhagen’s many cocktail bars, which is frequently used for events for the trendy Copenhageners.
Fox Hotel – You do not find a more arty hotel anywhere in the world. 21 international artists in graphic design and urban art have turned the hotel into one of the world’s most exciting and creative lifestyle hotel. All rooms are different and represent small universe in itself. I have stay in the room #506 very Octoberfest.
StayCopenhagen – Don’t want to stay at hotel? Well then you should try having your very own apartment in the city. This is a new top designed apartment hotel. You get all the facilities the Copenhageners get on top of that the best view over Copenhagen. I have not had the pleasure of STAY yet as a hotel, however before it was renovated; it was one of the best places to be seen at night time for clubbing.