Want to make the most of your weekend in Copenhagen? With stylish hotels, cosy cafés, hot restaurants and cool retail aplenty, it certainly isn’t easy to narrow down the list of must-visits. Explore our curated 48 hour city guide for where to stay, eat, shop and play in Copenhagen.
You have arrived. To make the most out of your stay, the proven expression ‘location, location, location’ rings true when selecting a Copenhagen hotel – your base for the upcoming days. Centrally located, intimate and exquisitely designed Hotel Sanders ticks all the boxes. Located a stone’s throw from the main square Kongens Nytorv and the Royal Theatre, the spot offers easy access to all of the city’s neighbourhoods and has tons of restaurants, bars, shops and other attractions in the vicinity. Hotel Sanders was founded in 2017 by celebrated Danish former ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin.
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Photography courtesy of Hotel Sanders
Located behind an anonymous townhouse façade alongside one of the city’s canals is Ruby, one of Copenhagen’s very first cocktail-centred establishments. Founded in 2007 by Adeline and Rasmus Shepherd-Lomborg, Ruby has seen its dedicated following grow by word of mouth and remains a must-visit for avid cocktail drinkers. With a menu that changes every season, you can rely on Ruby’s talented bartenders to help you find a cocktail that tickles your fancy.
Other Copenhagen cocktail bars to try are Lidkoeb, Brønnum, 1105, Curfew and Duck and Cover.
Photography courtesy of Ruby
Chef Nicolai Nørregaard has taken a small piece of Bornholm, the Danish island in the Baltic sea where he founded Kadeau in 2010, to the city by introducing a sister restaurant in the Christianshavn neighbourhood. Inspired by the natural, primaeval nature found on the island, Nørregaard serves up a multi-course Nordic tasting menu that is sure to make your taste buds sing. Kadeau’s elegant and warm interior was designed by local design practice OEO Studio.
For other like-minded Nordic dining experiences, try Noma (duh), Geranium, Høst, Uformel and Amass.
Photography courtesy of Kadeau
The award for Copenhagen’s most Instagrammed breakfast goes to Atelier September. But the all-day eatery and café’s qualities go much deeper than its perfectly shingled avocado on whole-grain toast and other handsome dishes – chef and owner Frederik Bille Brahe has created a buzzing space that feels homey and cool at the same time. We highly recommend the yoghurt topped with granola, zucchini jam, matcha and basil.
Bille Brahe also runs sister spots Apollo Bar & Kantine at Charlottenborg Palace and Kafeteria SMK in the National Gallery of Denmark.
Photography courtesy of Atelier September
A 1936 printing house in the heart of town is the new home to Normann Copenhagen, the Danish furniture and design brand founded by Jan Andersen and Poul Madsen in 1999. While preserving the building’s unique features such as the exposed reinforced concrete beams, The Normann Galleries’ three floors feature a striking colour palette that changes character while moving up – from greys and minty greens to sunny yellows and poppy and ruby reds – and feature some of the brand’s well-known designs alongside newer pieces.
For other quintessential Danish retail experiences, head to experimental florist Tableau, women’s fashion brand Malene Birger, design brand Frama, interior design store Studio Oliver Gustav and fashion accessories brand Yvonne Koné.
Photography courtesy of Normann Copenhagen
If you haven’t been able to secure a table at Noma, named “The World’s Best Restaurant” a handful of times, you’re not alone. There is an easier way to get yourself a taste of Noma and it is spelt Popl. Opened in 2020 by chef René Redzepi, the restaurant is known for approaching burgers with the same innovative techniques employed at Noma. The secret? The beef patty, sourced from some of Denmark’s best cattle farms, is cooked in butter and glazed with beef garum from Noma’s fermentation department. The space was designed by local firm Spacon & X.
Copenhagen is a burger-obsessed city. For other outstanding burgers, try Gasoline Grill, Fatty’s, Dandelion Burger and Mast Burger.
Photography courtesy of Popl
Swimming in the heart of Copenhagen is a popular summer pastime and there are several harbour baths and beaches that make it easy to take a dip whenever you feel like it. None of them looks better than Kastrup Søbad, a cool circular sea bath designed by White Arkitekter. Facilities include changing rooms with showers and lockers. For those interested in taking the plunge, there are three as well as five-metre diving boards on the platform.
Other spots to try outdoor swimming in Copenhagen are Islands Brygge harbour bath, Sluseholmen harbour bath and Fisketorvet harbour bath.
Photography courtesy of Visit Denmark
Low-key chic Juno the Bakery, designed by the folks at design brand Frama, is a must-visit for its superb pastries and sourdough loaves. Founded by former Noma pastry chef Emil Glaser, this Østerbro artisan bakeshop has patrons come from near and far to try its signature pastry, the cardamom bun. It is fluffy, oozing with cardamom and sugar and – best of all – fresh from the oven. Enjoy it with a cup of black coffee from cult Swedish roaster Koppi.
A bakery boom has seen the Danish capital overflow with artisanal bakeries. Among our favourites are Tír Bakery, Hart Bageri, Alice, Lille Bakery and Andersen & Maillard.
Photography courtesy of Frama
Photography courtesy of Visit Denmark
Natural wines have played an important role in the New Nordic culinary movement since its birth, and Copenhagen’s natural wine scene is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most dynamic. The OG of natural wine bars is Ved Stranden 10, a bright space with cosy, living-room-style seating areas and tables outside on the cobbled banks of the canal.
There are plenty of other great natural wines bars in town – try Pompette, Ancestrale and Den Vandrette.
Photography courtesy of Ved Stranden 10
At Alouette, husband and wife team Nick Curtin and Camilla Hansen have set out to create an intimate dining experience unlike any other in the city. Working closely with the talented carpenters of Københavns Møbelsnedkeri, whose workshop is located on the ground floor of the former pencil factory, the pair has certainly achieved just that – Alouette is a place that feels informal yet sophisticated, classic yet rock and roll. Firmly rooted in French techniques, and with live fire cooking at the heart of the culinary approach, the restaurant’s innovative set menu manages to both surprise and delight.
Other hip eateries around Copenhagen are Bæst, Bistro Boheme, Barr, Hija de Sanchez Cantina and La Banchina.
Photography courtesy of Alouette
Up-and-coming Carlsberg Byen, the neighbourhood where Danish industrialist and philanthropist founded the Carlsberg brewery in 1847, is attracting a hip urban crowd. At Cadence, one of the district’s newest eateries, brunch is healthy, vegan-friendly and plentiful. Their signature, the sweet potato pancakes, come with seasonal toppings such as apple compote and crème fraîche or hazelnut crumble and warm miso butterscotch.
The people behind Cadence also run The Sixteen Twelve, a coffee shop and eatery in the Nørrebro neighbourhood.
Photography courtesy of Daniel Rasmussen
Despite its many museum options, Copenhagen has long been missing a venue to explore international contemporary art. In 2016, the highly anticipated art centre Copenhagen Contemporary – CC – moved into the magnificent former B&W welding hall in the cultural district Refshaleøen, offering a total of 7,000 square metres of beautiful industrial halls with plenty of space to show the technical and large formats in which many contemporary artists work.
We also love exploring Statens Museum for Kunst for Danish and European art, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek for antiquities and sculptural art, Arken for modern art and Designmuseum Danmark for Danish design.
Photography courtesy of Copenhagen Contemporary
Inspired by La Belle Epoque, a French era characterised by optimism, prosperity and cultural innovation, chef Andreas Bagh’s casual brasserie Esmée is French at heart but with a distinct Northern twist. Designed by Space Copenhagen, the elegant space feels as airy, bright and lush as a spring day somewhere in the south of France. Esmée is the kind of place where you’ll find the champagne corks being popped all day long and is the place to see and be seen in the city.
Other popular lunch spots in Copenhagen are Admiralgade 26, Bistro Lupa, and Aamanns 1921.
Photography courtesy of Esmée
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