Copenhagen: a City Guide
Copenhagen is without a doubt one of my favourite European cities. Oliver and I paid a flying visit to the Danish capital over one weekend last summer (the weather was perfect in June); it was my second time visiting, and his first, and we both loved our time in the city. If you’re a fan of architecture and design, good food, and exploring a city on bike or foot, read on for my recommendations…
You’ve all heard of Noma, supposedly the ‘Best Restaurant in the World’. Well, if you can’t get a table there (or don’t wish to spend a small fortune ), head to 108 the Corner, brought you by the same great minds behind Noma.
You’ll find delicious small plates on the breakfast menu at the coffee bar, all made using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Our breakfast consisted of poached rhubarb, fresh sourdough with whipped butter, boiled egg with rye bread, sausages, and fresh asparagus (which had just come into season, and tasted superb). If you want excellent Danish food without the frills and for a reasonable price, do not miss this spot. If you wanted to book in dinner as well, 108 also has a more formal restaurant under the same roof.
Perfect for: breakfast, lunch
A café as famous for its Instagrammable Scandi-cool interiors as it is for its food. Here you’ll find a pared-back menu featuring breakfast classics: avocado on toast, granola, boiled egg with rye bread…simple but delicious food served in a minimalist environment.
Perfect for: breakfast and brunch
Step into Vækst, and you’ll no doubt be blown away by the interiors: this light-filled space feels industrial but homely, and is filled with plants, hanging lights and an incredible greenhouse-like construction. The food here only seems to echo this: expect plate after plate of delicious and seasonal cuisine.
Perfect for: dinner
The pace at this coffee shop in Norrebro has been buzzing since its opening last year. Having had a very successful reception, Andersen and Maillard now churn out specialty coffee and homemade pastries from their in-house roastery and patisserie to hungry customers every day. Whilst they offer a simple breakfast and lunch menu (granola, toasted sandwiches), you really want to get here early for one of their homemade croissants, or even better, their chocolate kouign-amann: a flaky, crusty swirl of goodness.
Perfect for: coffee and pastries
A simple and rustic cafe in the heart of Copenhagen’s inner city, this is a great spot to stop off after cycling around town (I highly recommend renting a bike as a way to explore!). Here you can sample Danish smørrebrød (open sandwiches) for a reasonable price, and in a cosy environment.
Perfect for: a light lunch
We stayed in this Airbnb whilst in Copenhagen (see below), which is perfect for couples, was in a great location, and had tasteful Scandi interiors. I highly recommend it, but can’t give that much advice on where else to stay; however, having seen photos (and heard lots of good things) about Nobis Hotel and Hotel SP34, I’d happily book myself into either of these hotels on my next visit.
One of my favourite spots in the city, located right in the heart of Copenhagen. This tower is a classic example of minimal Scandi architecture, and you’ll get fantastic views once you get to the top.
One of the most architecturally fascinating places that I have ever visited. Although a bit further off the grid, Grundtvigs Kirke is a must-vist: from the outside, the church seems to stick out from its surrounding scenery like a ugly, sore thumb; but step inside and allow yourself to be awed by its expressionist architecture. Unlike any other traditional European church I’ve visited, Grundtvigs is stunningly minimal, and on a sunny day, the light floods into the space beautifully.
A canal tour:
Both times that I was in Copenhagen, one of my favourite things to do was take a boat tour of the canals. You’ll inevitably end up strolling along Nyhavn (the city’s famous colourful harbourside), where you’ll be able to book a reasonably-priced spot on a tour. On the tour you’ll get to explore a fair amount of the city by boat, and pass by architectural highlights such as the Royal Danish Playhouse and the Royal Palace.
More: The Botanical Gardens (a peaceful and beautiful garden located in the centre of Copenhagen - the greenhouse is beautiful for photos), Tivoli Gardens if you wish to indulge in some rollercoaster fun, HAY House (for beautiful Scandi homewares and design pieces), and Church of Our Saviour (the church tower has a spiral staircase winding around the outside, which you can climb for incredible views…just don’t go if you’re scared of heights!)