Whether it’s because I’ve read ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ or simply can’t stop swooning over Munthe, Samsoe & Samsoe clothes and Becksondergaard scarves, I am seriously crushing on all things Danish. High on my places to visit wish-list is capital city Copenhagen and here are 12 reasons why…
1) Instagramable Pretty Coloured Houses – I love nothing more than taking a stroll along a waterfront and Copenhagen’s harbour in the centre at Nyhavn is all the more appealing thanks to the colourful houses standing by the canal. I’d definitely love to do some picture snapping there!
2) Stunning Modern Architecture – The Royal Library or enigmatically named “The Black Diamond” for its outside cover of black marble and glass, designed by Danish architects Schmidt, Hammer and Lassen and located on the waterfront would be high on my list of must visit places. Stunning. Another ‘must visit’ example of incredible architecture I’d also like to visit is The Royal Danish Opera House, which looks amazing.
3) Incredible Fashion Credentials & Shopping Potential – Danish fashion is SERIOUSLY hot right now and whether you’re looking for high-street bargains or high-end pieces, a good place to start would be Strøget. One of Europe’s longest pedestrianised streets, Strøget is described as Copenhagen’s aorta and is crammed with a wealth of shopping options. Advice from a Copenhagen based friend of mine however is to make sure you venture off the main street to get to the nicer independent boutique shops on the side streets: Kronprinsensgade, Pilestræde, Grønnegade, Studiestræde, Kompagnistræde and Læderstræde. My favourite local London boutique Feather & Stitch has introduced me to lots of amazing Danish fashion brands and if I were to be strolling around Copenhagen I would definitely be paying a visit to By Malene Birger’s flagship store; browsing pretty patterned tops and floaty skirts at Custommade; going dress shopping at Ganni; and treating myself to a pair of oh-so-cool slouchy trouser from Cecilie Copenhagen.
4) Delicious Cakes & Confectionary – perhaps a little known fact is that the Danish LOVE their cakes and sweet treats. The oldest and arguably the best confectionary in Denmark, Conditori La Glace was founded in the middle of old Copenhagen in October 1870 and is renowned for serving up the most amazing cakes, biscuits and other assorted sweet things. Their most well known cake is the Sportskage – crushed nougat in whipped cream with a macaroon bottom, decorated with caramelised chop pastry. Sounds incredible!
5) Amazing Interiors & Design Finds – having moved on from my French shabby chic phase I’m now in love with all things Scandinavian and I’d be making a beeline for Illums Bolighus – a flagship store for Danish and international design – and stocking up on as many home accessories as I could cram into my suitcase! Ferm Living candleholders, Arne Clausen bowls, and how about this amazing Adnet Mirror in leather and glass, just gorgeous. Lots of modern and mid-century furniture and homewares to feast your eyes on.
6) The Best Bubble Tea Outside of Taiwan – I’ve been told that The Mad Hatter Bubble Tea Emporium at Skt. Hans Torv in Copenhagen is a MUST go to place for authentic Taiwanese bubble tea. The reviews are great and the flavours sound delicious. Located in an area that’s popular amongst locals, it was the first Bubble Tea cafe to open in Copenhagen so I’d definitely pop in and see what this place is all about, it looks fab.
7) The Acne Archive Outlet Store – yes, located on Elmegade, a nice street with small boutiques and cafes that runs next to the bubble tea cafe mentioned above is the Acne Archive Outlet store. Well, while you’re in the general area, it’d be rude not to have a browse of this Swedish fashion house’s past collections and outlet prices!
8) Magnificent Collections of Modern Art & Sculpture – just North of Copenhagen, a half-an-hour or so train ride away from the city centre, sits the frankly stunning Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It boasts a collection of more than 3,500 works and a panoramic view of Sweden across the Sound from where it sits on the water. There’s also a beautiful sculptural park to get lost in and it looks like the most magnificent place to wander, breathe and take it all in surrounded by nature and incredible design. There’s also a schedule of evening events and on selected Fridays, the ‘Friday Lounge’ hosts new musicians, DJs and singers against the panoramic backdrop.
9) Explore the Canals on a Boat Tour – a very good way of seeing Copenhagen, especially in good weather, apparently and the top tip I’ve been given is to take the Netto boats rather than the Copenhagen canal boat tour because it’s cheaper but you get the same trip. There’s a 60 minute harbour and canal tour and you pass through a number of the city’s main sights from the picturesque Nyhavn to Holmen, which was the naval base of Copenhagen for more than 300 years, and through to The Little Mermaid statue and Christianshavn Canal. A lovely way to see the city.
10) Sample a Taste of NOMA at 108 – Copenhagen’s multi award winning NOMA restaurant no longer exists but sister restaurant 108 is definitely on my list of places to eat out and is thankfully a little more accessible that its infamous sibling. The food sounds adventurous but at the same time straight-forward and the restaurant itself looks simply but beautifully designed, I can’t wait to pay a visit.
11) Cocktails at Ruby – one of those ‘hidden behind an unmarked door’ places, Ruby prides itself on being both no easily accessible and serving the best cocktails. Located in an old townhouse from 1740 in the oldest part of town, on Nygbrogade 10, it has become an institution in the Danish cocktail industry.
12) Step into an Alternative Way of Living – somewhere I’d be fascinated to visit is Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen, which is a green and car-free neighbourhood known for its autonomous inhabitants’ different way of life. It was established in 1971 by a group of hippies who occupied some abandoned military barracks on the site and developed their own set of society rules, completely independent of the Danish government. Today, it is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, cheap and organic eateries and nature. You can’t buy a house in Cristiania, you have to apply for it, and if successful it is given to you. It’s open to the public and there are even guided tours run by the locals, but you’re advised not to take photographs or videos (mainly due to the hash dealing that goes on openly!).