Copenhagen is a quiet city. It doesn’t have the same restless bustle of London or Paris, nor the rabid political or financial propulsion of Geneva or Brussels. And that’s just how the Danes like it.
They have a word: “hygge.” It doesn’t have a direct English translation, but the closest we come to defining it is “the art of living cozily.” To wit, the city is a master class in enjoying the finer, more comfortable things in life: good food, good design, and those precious, quiet moments spent unhurriedly enjoying the two together.
This 17-room hotel is located just inside the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s famed urban playground (and the oldest amusement park in Europe). Do not be put off by this idiosyncratic touch, or the fact that from the outside it looks like a lit-up model of the Taj Mahal. Nimb might just be the nicest hotel in a city built on good design and luxury — a paean to Old World comfort and minimalist Danish opulence, complete with wood-burning fireplaces in almost every room and a calming, fiercely attentive staff, not to mention one of the best hotel breakfasts (yogurt, cheeses, cured meats, fresh juices, so much more) anywhere in the world. nimb.dk
Forget Noma. René Redzepi’s restaurant, which stole the title of World’s Best from El Bulli in 2010, closed at the end of last year — but you weren’t going to get a table there anyway. Instead, sample Noma’s legacy in the form of pizza. Christian Puglisi worked under Redzepi for years before opening his wood-fired pizza and salumi joint in hip Nørrebro in 2014. The place is now one of the best — and, coincidentally, most affordable — meals in town. As a bonus, it comes with Michelin Star pedigree. baest.dk
This sprawling restaurant, practically overflowing with Danish wing chairs and sumptuous leather banquettes, is where Copenhagen’s cool kids go for a night out. The bistro menu is small and simple: if you’re looking for a good burger while you’re in town — and one should always be looking for a good burger in every town — this is the place. madklubben.dk
A trip to this market, just minutes from the Nørreport metro station, can take all afternoon. With more than 60 stalls selling everything from fish cakes to fresh vegetables to wine, it’s the perfect place to assemble a picnic — or just to gorge on Danish delicacies. If you run out of steam, head over to the Coffee Collective kiosk for a refreshing cup of some of Copenhagen’s best coffee. torvehallernekbh.dk
Ved Stranden 10
With just a few seats and almost no signage, this hybrid wine shop and wine bar is easy to miss. But don’t miss it. Their selection is curated from small, trendy vinyards, each bottle an exciting surprise, especially for North Americans. Best to aim to get there on a Monday, when you can have a staff meal prepared by a rotating cadre of in- the-know Copenhagen chefs. vedstranden10.dk
This three-level bar offers something for everyone: a sunny, laid-back cocktail lounge, a darker, more intimate bar on the floor above, and, on top, a cloistered whiskey lounge, complete with leather couches and lots of dark wood. lidkoeb.dk
Copenhagen’s best museum is actually in Humlebæk, a 40-minute train ride north of the city, on the windy shores of the Øresund Strait. The meandering campus of the Louisiana Museum is home to some of the country’s most important contemporary art, including works by Yayoi Kusama, Alexander Calder, and Alberto Giacometti. Go on a nice day, when you can walk the sculpture-lined gardens and stare out across the water at neighbouring Sweden. louisiana.dk
Danish Design Museum
Danish design gets a lot of press (see: the rest of this article), but what is it, really? At the Danish Design Museum, you can trace the history of the country’s obsession with design, following its evolution from Beaux Arts to Japanese influences to black-turtlenecked modernism. So many chairs, so little time. designmuseum.dk
The flagship location of this massive department store is on Strøget, the world’s longest pedestrian shopping street, which can make it especially overwhelming. Take your time. Inside you’ll find a menswear section stocked with Danish goods like Rains bags, a home décor section fronted by an outpost of the design chain Hay, and all manner of goods from the likes of Georg Jensen and Royal Copenhagen. illumsbolighus.com
This may be the only store in the world dedicated to fonts. You can buy posters emblazoned with Helvetica, or mugs with individual letters on the side, or whatever the designer-in-residence is reservedly excited about that day. It is, in short, the most quintessentially Danish souvenir store in all of Copenhagen. playtype.com