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Travel guide: Copenhagen cool
There are many things the Danish are known for – impeccably beautiful women, stunning, dashingly tall men, sweet pastries, city streets steeped in culture, and modern, minimal design. If you have the chance to scope out Copenhagen for a weekend (lucky you!), here’s how to get the most of it.
Sure you can hop on any flight directly to Copenhagen, but what we recommend is something we think you’ll love even more. Book your flight on Iceland Air (icelandair.ca), do a mini stopover on the island and check out the famous Blue Lagoon, before jetting on to Denmark. It’s a great way to break up your trip and ease jetlag — and who doesn’t want a trip to the Blue Lagoon?
This hotel gets its name from the street that it’s on – Løngangstræde 27– and draws in a hip, young crowd. It’s also home to many Copenhagen fashion week goers, from media to models, to visitors, so the feeling in the hotel is of hustle and bustle, and definitely arty. It also has an amazing wine bar and cocktail lounge, and is just minutes away from shopping, restaurants and bars.
Hotel Skt. Petri
In the heart of downtown and the Latin Quarter you’ll find this super chic and stylish hotel. The cocktail lounge in the hotel is one of the city’s most exclusive and the minimally designed rooms have furnished Hotel Skt. Petri with a reputation as the leading design hotel in Copenhagen. Top-notch service, exclusivity and fashionable rooms … what could be better? hotelsktpetri.com
Whoever said beauty sleep is the key to looking beautiful clearly hasn’t met the Danish. Not only are they stunning and youthful looking, but they get the party started late (usually after 1 or 2 a.m.) and go into the wee hours of the morning. Here are the best places to eat and then drink a famous Copenhagen cocktail.
Kødbyens Fiskebar is located in the heart of the Meatpacking District, Vesterbro – literally. It’s housed in one of the old meat packing facilities and the interior still has the metal piping and a sterile meat packing feel to it that adds to the cool factor. It’s where the in-crowd comes to dine on fresh scallops and just-shucked oysters and nibble on petite fish chunks and truffle sprinkle chips. If you feel like getting close to what you are eating, ask to be seated around the jellyfish aquarium, or dine al fresco on long summer evenings.
More places to eat and drink on the next page …
If there’s one thing the Danish pride themselves on (besides impeccably fresh seafood and cocktails), it’s eating organically. At Bio Mio (in trendy Vesterbro), you’ll get your menu as soon as you walk in, place your order with the chef, and watch him prepare it for you using fresh, local ingredients before sitting down at one of the ecologically certified woodwork tables.
Situated in Copenhagen’s treasured Tivoli park, NIMB went under a transformation in 2008, adding a brasserie and Michelin-starred, gourmet restaurant (Restaurant Herman) to the boutique hotel. The NIMB restaurant is slightly more informal (perfect for lunch or a late afternoon meal) and the kitchen itself is the actual restaurant. Yes, you sit next to the chef while he prepares your meal, so you know exactly what went into what you will eat. Plus you can ask a few friendly foodie questions.
In the bustle of Vesterbro you’ll find a jammed café named Granola. It’s the perfect spot to sip on a freshly brewed cup of coffee and nibble on something sweet in between store hopping. Be sure to sample the creamy ice cream the café is known for.
There’s a multitude of places you can go for cocktails in Copenhagen. The city is known for perfecting the classic drink and bringing back its grandeur and sophistication. Going for cocktails is an event, and if you only have a short time to visit, you’ll need to do a bit of bar hopping to get all the best drinks in town. Here are the hot spots:
You might walk past this bar without even knowing it since it is situated in an old apartment with a very discrete door. Sit in the super comfy lounges and well-worn leather chairs while you sip on expertly concocted bevies.
This hip hotel has more to offer than chic rooms – the bar mixes up drinks in the Honey Ryder Cocktail Lounge. And if you’re a bit more adventurous, check out the neighbouring Absolut Icebar (but dress warmly!).
In the five-star Sankt Petri hotel you’ll find Bar Rouge, the perfect place for a freshly shaken cocktail and a chance to listen to the live DJ in the lounge.
This is a must-do. It’s the home of the newly minted Copenhagen Cocktail (bartender Gromit won a competition for the city-named drink). It’s also where the fashion and socialite crowds sip after-dinner drinks.
As soon as you land in Copenhagen, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll be envious of just about everything you see the locals wearing. Always chic, never over-styled and effortlessly cool, Copenhageners have style with ease. And to look so covetous, they need to shop. Here are the best shopping areas in the city.
Strøget is the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe, filled with a lovely mix of designer shops and bargain finds. You will find big box stores like H&M, Topshop and Zara, and Scandinavian stores tucked in between. You’ll also find luxe labels like Prada, MaxMara, Mulberry and Louis Vuitton near the Kongens Nytorv end of the street, and it’s also where you’ll be able to department store hunt at Magasin du Nord (think the Danish version of Holt Renfrew). Take a cue from the locals on the street – they love to mix high and low and this street is the perfect place to do that. And, of course, along the street you’ll find tiny side streets to duck into and grab a latte and a pastry in between credit card swipes.
Kronprinsensgade (a.k.a. Copenhagen’s Catwalk) is the place to be if you want to get ahead of the trend game and be fashion forward. It is home to many up-and-coming Scandinavian designers and it’s where you will find those one-of-a-kind pieces that you will treasure long after your trip.
Vesterbro is the new hot spot in Copenhagen. It’s like NYC’s Meatpacking district with a European twist. It used be known as the red light district in Copenhagen, and the gritty streets still have a certain rough feel, but the shops, cafes and restos dotted along the street, and a young, hipster crowd make Vesterbro the new place to see and be seen. You’ll find small designer storefronts and some vintage/secondhand stores as well. Stick to the Elmegade area for shopping, bars and cafes all in one spot.
Danish designers to look for on the next page …
Some designer names that are more than worth checking out:
Day Birger et Mikkelsen is the flagship store for this line that is in over 100 stores worldwide. Located at the corner of Pilestræde and Antonigade, all facets of the brand’s collection can be found here (women’s, men’s, lingerie, jewellery and even home décor). Malene Birger’s own collection, BY MALENE BIRGER, opened in 2003 and her boutique is located in the centre of the city.
Former model Stine Goya is making fashion waves, not only in Copenhagen, but also around the world. She’s a regular darling at Copenhagen Fashion Week, and if you’re in town during that time, the shows are open to the public. Her printed patterns wow the crowds each time.
Henrik Vibskov is another emerging Danish designer that is causing a buzz around the city and throughout Europe. His avant-garde style may not suit everyone’s day-to-day taste, but an appreciation of his work will surly be noted once you get a glimpse of it.
For more information on shopping, eating and where to stay in Copenhagen vistit visitcopenhagen.com.