5 things about my trip to… Copenhagen

My interest to explore Copenhagen stemmed from the immaculate design culture that i had heard of . In the quest to explore the origin of hygge life we left for about week’s adventure to Copenhagen.

  1. Culture: Copenhagen has been on my list of places to visit for long. I finally booked my trip in September. Visually, what jumps out to me is the perfect urban planning that the city displays. For context, the city displays Five Finger Plan, which focuses balancing both metropolitan train lines and the green spaces in between. Historically, the city has been destroyed multiple times by fire and I believe that led to the city reevaluating city design . Today, the city embodies the ethos of making it a green city. As transportation is one of the major pollutants in any busy city Copenhagen has truly adopted cycles as an alternative to the cars. So much so that the term “Copenhagenize” was termed which means to adding bicycle infrastructure to a city. Bikes, Public transport and pedestrian friendly the city offers convenience to anyone visiting to ensure you can easily move to any parts of the city. I was excited to see how the city has utilized design to bring together diverse communities as well. I got a chance to visit Superkilen in Nørrebro district, which exemplifies how Bjarke Ingles Group utilized elements from culture of residents that occupy the area to make this more “like home”. For example this park has a traditional moroccan fountain, armenin picnic tables & litter bins from England.
Fun Fact: The Danish Royal Family holds the title of the oldest monarchy. If Queen Elizabeth visits she will need to bow down to the Queen and King of Denmark.

2. Food & Drink: During my visit, the surprising find for me has been the refined food scene here. Unlike other cities, i did not go here with a focus on devouring food all day but I was pleasantly surprised by the offerings. It could be the influence of René Redzepi’s Noma, which is seen as one of the best restaurants in the world potentially attracting a lot of culinary talent here. Although, i could not get reservation at Noma these are some restaurants that left me wanting more:

  • Meyers Brageri: This small bakery is great for morning coffee. The Hej Snegl is a must have.
  • Sonny: For a sit-in daytime meal this is a good spot make sure to get the house juice.
  • Atelier September: A casual daytime spot by Frederik Bille Brahem (a name you should know) with beautiful designed studio in the same space. Go for the food stay for the design.
  • Apollo Bar: Another spot by Frederik Bille Brahem. Here i had my first meal of CPH and it was the best one ever. Tucked in touristy Nyhavn location and a pleasant surprise.
  • Hija De Sanchez: A small-bite Mexican spot by ex-Noma chef Rosia Sanchez which good for day time snacks.
  • Aamann’s Deli : When in CPH, you have to try smorrebrod. I tried this at a couple of spots but Aamann’s quality is unparalleled.
  • Sea by Kiin Kiin: Kiin Kiin is one of the few Thai Michein star restaurant. It is difficult to get a spot there so highly recommend Sea by Kiin Kiin for dinner.
  • AMASS: This fancy restaurant by ex sous chef of NOMA Matthew Orlando is based on theme of upcycling food product from their own garden. All dishes are inventive and the space is stylishly curated.
  • Olufs : This ice cream spot serves italian ice cream sticks.The ice creams are beautiful and fresh.

Similarly for drinks some spots to check out are:

  • Mikellar Bar: This is a beautiful beer hall with wide range of beers.
  • Brus Brewery: Another brewery with a beautiful spot and cute culdesac to check out.
  • Nebbiolo: This is a perfect late night wine bar where there is no menu and you order based on sommelier recommendation. A good relaxed spot.

3. Fashion & Art: When i travel, I love to check out local stores that depicts the local style. For sartorial trends street style was definitely trending in the city. Most of the stores I went to showcased unisex easy to wear style. Some stores that were interesting to check out are:

  • Wood Wood : This is a CPH based sub-cultural lifestyle brand with eclectic street style collection.
  • Soulland : This brand by Award-winning designer Silas Adler curates line of innovative menswear.

You cannot leave Copenhagen without checking out the best in class design stores. Some to check out are:

  • Hay Store : This is a contemporary furniture store for modern living. You can get small danish style pieces here.
  • ILLUM :This is the Bloomingdale’s of CPH. I love the home section which leads to a beautiful rooftop.
  • Frama Studio : This is a one of a kind design store with minimal pieces, which can be brought home.

4. Must see: As mentioned, Copenhagen is a beautiful city. To understand its past and present i would recommend to check out these spots, which span all over the city and gives you a good idea on what Copenhagen is all about.

Nyhavn: Street with beautiful colorful building. Great for an evening stroll.

Garden Royal: Close to Aamann’s great to catch a break here and check the rose garden.

Supekilen: For all the reasons listed above highly recommend to check this out. Although a bit away from city center.

Freetown Christiania: This is a free commune which operates as a local body without any governance from local government. It is an interesting oasis in the middle of the city , which is worth checking out.

Nyboder houses: Built in 1757, these houses have lasted several city fires and provides a little flavor of the past.

Church of Savior: This church gives a great aerial view of the city. Worth climbing up the 700 stairs to check out the cityscapes.

Design Museum of Denmark: This museum provides Danish sensbility and evolution from everywhere across fashion, architecture, furniture.

5. Tips & Tricks: These are some quick tips that I wanted to leave you with while planning your trip

  • Rooftop at Illum: While shopping at Illum its worth going to the rooftop and grab an Aperol Spritz in the coffee shop there.
  • Christiania Bikes: These are roomy typical CPH bikes which make commute with backpack easier. Try to rent this to see the city.
  • Monday off : I wish i knew this before going but a lot of good spots ( eateries etc) are closed on Monday/Tuesday so plan accordingly.
  • Late night grub: Grab dinner at a reasonable hour ( by 8 PM) as late night dining spots are difficult to find.
  • Make reservations : The restaurants we checked out we made a reservation in advance so make sure to do that so you do not have to struggle.
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