Famed for its influential design scene and Michelin-starred restaurants, the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, has become an increasingly attractive destination for design and gastronomy-minded cognoscenti eager to experience Denmark’s creativity. Of late, a new wave of artistic talent has emerged in Copenhagen, inciting a renaissance in the realms of gastronomy, art, and architecture. Here, a guide to exploring all that is celebrated in the City of Spires.
Stay: Check in at the new Nobis Hotel, sandwiched between Copenhagen’s centre and the city’s gentrified Vesterbro district. Here you will be amid many historic sites, including the magical Tivoli Gardens (the world’s second oldest amusement park, enchanting young and old since 1843). Originally home to the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, Nobis Hotel exemplifies Danish classicism touched by modernism, and takes design cues from Le Corbusier’s Sainte Marie de La Tourette monastery, an amazing French Brutalist structure from the late 1950s.
Those looking for old-fashioned charm may wish to book a single coupé room or spacious apartment at Copenhagen’s latest boutique hotel opening, Hotel Sanders, suitably located between Amalienborg Palace and Kunsthal Charlottenborg. A cultural haunt of the 1970s, the hotel transports guests back to a bygone era of glamour, merging Parisian sophistication and Danish functionality with colonial touches throughout. Hotel Sanders’ excellence lies in its attention to detail, as staff (who don bespoke service wear designed by chic uniform line Older Paris) are eager to please the most discerning of guests, offering exclusive outings like backstage tours at the Royal Danish Ballet.
Eat: Noma’s new outpost is set to open in May 2018—until then visitors will have to look elsewhere to experience fine cuisine. Fortunately, the city is teeming with innovative chefs. Sample Denmark’s infamous smørrebrød, or open-faced sandwiches, at Aamanns 1921. Housed in an old book printer’s building and founded by renowned chef Adam Aamann, the restaurant is the very epitome of New Nordic cuisine. Confident yet unexpected flavour pairings are to be anticipated here, such as cabbage leaves coupled with lamb and seaweed, as Aamanns 1921 elevates traditional cuisine into a culinary league of its own.
Confident yet unexpected flavour pairings are to be anticipated here, such as cabbage leaves coupled with lamb and seaweed.
Venture to Copenhagen’s Northern Harbour to uncover sleek design and spectacular ocean views at Restaurant Silo, housed in the Silo on the 17th floor, a recently converted steel tower housing some of Copenhagen’s most exclusive apartments. The menu changes seasonally, focusing largely on local ingredients. Starters include salted scallops tossed with kohlrabi in a citrus vinaigrette, while a Danish Jersey ox fillet cooked in a sherry sauce, with marrow and lingonberries shines as a main. Each table comes complete with a pair of binoculars, so visitors can marvel at their surroundings while feasting and sipping on the latest cocktail concoctions.
For a Michelin-approved dinner, head to 108. The restaurant draws influences from the local surroundings and uses fermented berries, flowers, and mushrooms picked by the team throughout the year to conceive its diverse menu. Expect plates like butternut squash marinated in fresh almond oil and flavoursome desserts like wild black currant sorbet made with hazelnut milk. Meanwhile, the cutlery has been exclusively designed for 108 by Copenhagen-based brand Table Noir in collaboration with the restaurant’s chefs—impressively, Designmuseum Danmark has now chosen to exhibit the collection of utensils in its permanent exhibition, Danish Design Now.
Shop: For elegant souvenirs browse Stilleben. The store’s ethos centres on curating items from around the world, and they offer a selection of Japanese and Danish ceramics, Californian hand-woven textiles, furniture items, jewellery, and art, all carefully handpicked by the store’s founders Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft.
Danish couturiers do not disappoint. Ganni is the city’s cool go-to boutique. Founded in 2000 by art connoisseur and gallery owner Ditte Reffstrup, the brand’s objective is to craft new pieces that fall outside of archetypal Scandinavian fashion norms. The result is a playful expression, one that is deeply rooted in Denmark’s minimalist approaches without being afraid to step outside of expected boundaries.
With a flat landscape and a small scale, it is possible to see a lot of Copenhagen in one day.
Visit: With a flat landscape and a small scale, it is possible to see a lot of Copenhagen in one day, and the best way to do so is by bike. Essential sights on the itinerary should include the Royal Danish Opera House, inaugurated in 2005 and conceived by architect Henning Larsen. Soak up the waterfront at the Royal Library, also known as the “Black Diamond,” a startling piece of architecture in a setting that’s particularly beautiful in the summer.
Designmuseum Danmark offers a glimpse into Copenhagen’s creative past and Japan’s intriguing impact on Danish design, while Paustian is also worth a stop for design lovers who are looking to grow their own interior design collection at home. This pioneering design house opened back in 1964 and has ever since provided design devotees with a curated selection of global goods by creatives hailing from Copenhagen to Tel Aviv.
Escape the city altogether by taking a day trip north to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on the shore of the Øresund Sound. Initially intended to house modern Danish art, Denmark’s most-visited museum has now become home to some of the world’s most renowned pieces of art, all while being surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.
Alternatively, experience a touch of Nordic noir by escaping the country altogether. Hop on a short 20-minute train ride to Sweden’s up-and-coming design hub Malmö, where the scenic journey, which takes passengers across the Øresund Bridge, makes the trip itself worthwhile. Besides connecting the two countries, the location also served as the setting for Swedish/Danish TV crime drama The Bridge, allowing globetrotters to immerse themselves into two worlds at once.
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