Copenhagen is the epitome of Scandi cool. Modernist lamps light New Nordic tables, bridges buzz with cycling commuters, and eye-candy locals dive into pristine waterways.
In little over a decade, Copenhagen has gone from dining dowager to culinary powerhouse. The Danish capital claims no less than 15 Michelin-starred restaurants, more than any other Scandinavian capital. In recent years, sous chefs from numerous high-profile kitchens have spread their own wings, opening a string of thrilling new eateries where culinary prowess comes with a more approachable price tag. Across the city, a wave of eateries are plating pure, organic produce from their own greenhouses, gardens, and farms. Among them is the reincarnation of New Nordic maverick Noma. Come curious, come hungry.
Only here does the morning rush of cyclists look more like a runway show on wheels. Forget Milan; when it comes to style, it’s hard to beat Copenhagen’s denizens. Few people have such a knack for effortless cool, driven by a reverence for simplicity, detail, and understated beauty. These tenets drive everything from Copenhagen’s painfully hip streetwear labels, its world-famous furniture, and lighting, to its grassroots ceramics and glassware. Together they have created a city of endless visual pleasure; a place where even the most mundane activities are laced with a sense of quiet wonder and delight.
When cities seek enlightenment, they commonly look to Copenhagen. The hometown of architect Jan Gehl – one of the world’s leading authorities on sustainable urban planning – the Danish capital regularly tops world liveability lists. After all, this is one of the globe’s greenest, cleanest, most sustainable urban centers, a place where cycling is serious transport, where buses and the metro run frequently and around the clock, and where the harbor is squeaky clean enough for a bracing dip. Leaving the sprawl to cities like Melbourne and LA, Copenhagen wisely keeps things compact and accessible, making it a super-easy place to explore.
From Viking treasures in a former prince’s palace to iconic Danish chairs in a one-time baroque hospital, Copenhagen’s cultural offerings are rich and eclectic. Snoop around royal palaces crammed with blue-blood jewels and art, muse on the world’s largest collection of Danish Golden Age paintings, or get up close and personal with the finest booty of ancient Egyptian sculpture in northern Europe. And did we mention Scandinavia’s largest collection of Islamic art, tucked away in a collector’s neoclassical mansion? The weather may be a little unpredictable, but with so many indoor marvels, who’s complaining?