May 26, 2022

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Masters of home interior

Copenhagen travel guide for the design conscious

6 min read


I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Copenhagen now (you can see my previous Copenhagen travel guide from 2016 here). Aside from perhaps London and Paris, I think it’s one of my favourite cities in the world. I’ve been for design fairs, press events, architectural tours, tourist trips, and most recently at the beginning of April, to see a dear friend who has moved out there. I love the familiarity the city now has for me – that I can meander through the centre of town without really having to check a map.

Copenhagen travel guide

It’s always exciting to discover new places (so much has opened since I last visited before the pandemic), but it’s also nice to return to much-loved haunts and settle into life in the city as if you’re a local.

Copenhagen has such a charm, especially in the sunshine. Perhaps it’s the calm, relaxed vibe you can’t help but soak in, as the effortlessly stylish locals casually cycle past with seemingly not a care in the world. Perhaps it’s the old worn beauty of the soft, pastel- and ochre- shaded buildings that you walk past. Or maybe it’s the cosy cafes and bars that tempt you in with their hyggeligt candlelight.

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Of course, Copenhagen has a lot to offer to the design conscious – from contemporary art galleries and design museums aplenty, to furniture showrooms and concept stores. My Copenhagen travel guide has a natural design focus and takes in some of the lesser known hidden gems off the tourist trail. There’s so many places I could include in this guide but I’ve tried to keep it to my genuine faves and the places I go back to time and time again.

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I’ve divided my Copenhagen travel guide into Places to eat and drink, Places to shop, Things to see and Where to stay. Here are my favourite addresses:

PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK
Cafes
Atelier September – 
Gothersgade 30 – One of the most stylish cafes in the city; make sure to try their famous ‘avokadomad’ (avocado toast). They also have an exhibition space at the back where they have pop-ups and design objects on display
Studio X KitchenDronningens Tværgade 52 – Next door to the Studio X store is this cool, contemporary cafe. Go for the seasonal breakfast and yummy cakes, stay for the relaxed atmosphere and designer furniture
CUB Coffee barBoldhusgade 6 – Step down into this cosy, basement coffee bar for seriously good coffee
Coffee Collectivethree locations across the city – A micro roastery with two coffee shops and a coffee school, cooperating with farmers to improve their living conditions
SonnyRådhusstræde 5 – The place to get your caffeine fix in the centre of town. The owners learnt their trade in Paris at Coutume so expect style and substance (a strong cup of coffee)
April CoffeeRyesgade 86A – I didn’t get a chance to visit this one, but it’s always nice to have something to come back for. April is a coffee roastery and store that prides itself on seasonality and sustainability
Apotek 57Fredericiagade 57 – A laid-back cafe in Frama’s studio store, serving homemade bites and pastries that smelt seriously divine
Hart BageriGalionsvej 41 and Gl. Kongevej 109 – Serious Danish pastries from Richard Hart, a former baker at Noma
Lille Petra – Kronprinsessegade 4 – The courtyard cafe of Danish design brand &tradition; go for the traditional Danish breakfasts
Lille BakeryRefshalevej 213A – Located in the old industrial area of Refshaleøen, this bakery is worth the trip out of the centre of town for its sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls
Torvehallerne – Frederiksborggade 21 – A popular food market near Nørreport Station with over 80 shops and eateries

Apollo Bar Copenhagen - the best restaurants in Copenhagen

Restaurants/wine bars
Nærvær – Strandgade 87 E – Designed by Norm Architects, this minimalist space is perfect for sundowners overlooking the water
Ved Stranden 10 – Ved Stranden 10 – A cosy wine bar with a shop and three ‘living rooms’, with a special focus on natural wines from small producers
Apollo Bar –
Nyhavn 2 Opposite one of Copenhagen’s most iconic sites – the colourful buildings of Nyhavn – is this relaxed restaurant and bar. It’s great for brunch, and perfect for lunch and a glass of wine in the courtyard when the sun comes out
Ancestrale Oehlenschlægersgade 12 – A cosy, intimate restaurant in Vesterbro with a simple menu of small plates. Try the tasting menu, it won’t disappoint 
Delphine
– Vesterbrogade 40 – A bright, airy restaurant with a cool vibe, serving Greek and Italian inspired food on Instagrammable splattered plates. Don’t miss the photo booth!
Gro Spiseri – Æbeløgade 4 – An intimate dining experience in the unique setting of a greenhouse that sits on the rooftop of an urban farm called ØsterGRO. Like a lot of places, book in advance
Bottega Barlie – Fredericiagade 78 – A casual local eatery offering a variety of dishes from around the world, from paella to tacos
VækstSankt Peders Stræde 34 – A lush, botanical space with a greenhouse that takes centre stage, serving contemporary Nordic cuisine with a focus on vegetables as well as meat

Frama studio store, Copenhagen - design guide CopenhagenFerm Living store, Copenhagen Studio X store - design stores in Copenhagen - Copenhagen travel guideFrama studio store, Copenhagen - design guide Copenhagen

PLACES TO SHOP
Stilleben
– Frederiksborggade 22 – An independent boutique selling beautiful ceramics and colourful prints
HAY House
– Østergade 61 – A must visit if you’re even remotely passionate about design, this two-storey design store will cater to all your Scandi design dreams
FRAMA
– Fredericiagade 57 – Perhaps a little more off the beaten track than something like HAY, but for me, another must visit. A beautifully considered studio store housed in the former home of St. Pauls Pharmacy (see my post from 2016 when I first visited here)
Studio X
– Dronningens Tværgade 50 – A shop and design studio with a wonderfully curated selection of contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories. The shop also includes a space dedicated to Finnish brand Marimekko
Illums Bolighus
– Amagertorv 10 – A department store with the very best of Danish design
GANNI postmodern
– Overgaden Oven Vandet 40 – An archive shop for one of Denmark’s most loved fashion brands, with past seasons clothes at up to 70% off
ferm LIVING boutique – Kuglegårdsvej 1-5 – Step into the world of ferm LIVING, where you’ll find the latest furniture and accessories for this popular Danish brand

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THINGS TO SEE
Rundetaarn
– Købmagergade 52A – Climb the picturesque, gently winding ramp of this astronomical observatory to get a beautiful view over Copenhagen
Botanical Gardens – 
Gothersgade 128 – A green oasis in the heart of the city centre, with a huge garden and 27 glasshouses to explore
Glyptotek – Dantes Plads 7 – An art museum that centres around a verdant sub-tropical winter garden
Thorvaldsens Museum – Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads 2 – the first museum to ever open in Denmark, the grand spaces are a lesson in the bold use of colour 
Designmuseum Danmark
– Bredgade 68 – (temporarily closed until June) A museum dedicated to Danish as well as international design and crafts
Ordrupgaard Museum and Finn Juhl’s house
– Vilvordevej 110 –Located on the outskirts of the city in the quiet residential area of Charlottenlund, this museum dedicated to French impressionist art and Danish art was extended by Zaha Hadid in 2005. In the grounds you’ll find the home of Danish architect Finn Juhl
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art – Gl Strandvej 13 – I think this has to be one of my favourite art museums in the world. Located on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk, this humble, mid-century building has a calm, intimate feel that brings people for the architecture as much as the art

Travel: A stay at SP34 design hotel in CopenhagenThe Audo hotel in Copenhagen by Menu and Norm Architects - design hotel Copenhagen - Danish design - minimalist designRadisson Blu Royal Hotel by Arne Jacobsen, formerly the SAS hotel - design hotel Copenhagen

WHERE TO STAY
The Audo
– Århusgade 130 – Menu and Norm Architects collaborated together to create this design-led hybrid hotel, with 10 pared-back, minimalist rooms and a beautifully curated furniture showroom and cafe (see more here)
Hotel SP34
– Sankt Peders Stræde 34 – A design conscious hotel from the Brøchner Hotel; the complimentary wine hour every day is a big plus (read my review here)
Hotel Danmark
– Vester Voldgade 89 – An 89-bedroom hotel also from the Brøchner Hotel group, with a stylish urban look right in the centre of town (read my review here)
Sanders Hotel
Tordenskjoldsgade 15 – An intimate boutique hotel with a chic Parisian flair. Even if you’re not staying, book a space on the rooftop for a drink
Nobis Hotel
– Niels Brocks Gade 1 – A luxury boutique hotel in a stately former music academy; think tall ceilings, designer furniture and a cool, industrial vibe
Radisson Collection Royal Hotel
– Hammerichsgade 1 – Perhaps Copenhagen’s most famous hotel, designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen for the airline SAS in the 1960s. The rooms have been given a contemporary refresh, but the soul of his design still remains, including one room – Room 606 – that’s been left just as it was in his day

I hope my Copenhagen travel guide may be useful if you’re planning a trip yourself – do let me know if you use it and enjoy any of these wonderful places and unique finds.  

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