Copenhagen is set to be one of the hottest European city destinations this year, so cosy up in the Danish Capital this winter with our city guide.
Found just steps away from the Royal Danish Theatre, this period style hotel, with warm interiors inspired by the golden age of travel, is the capital’s latest boutique hotel. It has been conceived and realised thanks to the artistic and creative vision of Alexander Kølpin, former principal dancer for the Royal Danish Ballet.
Don’t expect a typical, contemporary Danish design vibe – there’s no minimalism here. Instead find the welcoming warmth of plush mid-century style sofas and chairs, heavy oak doors, wooden floors, and plenty of cosy details throughout the public spaces and welcoming guest rooms.
The hotel’s ground floor has retained three distinct areas for guests and non-residents to enjoy; marking when this was originally three 19th century townhouses.
There’s the Sanders Kitchen, an intimate restaurant and breakfast room; the Living Room with adjacent heated courtyard patio; and the stylish TATA Cocktail Bar.
Hotel bicycles are available for guests to explore the city. The iconic and historic Nyhavn port, lined with colourful, historic gabled houses, is just minutes away, as is Kongens Nytorv; the King’s Square.
For something quite extraordinary and unique, spend the night in a one-room ultra-luxury hotel. This former coal crane, in the historical industrial harbour of Copenhagen, now has a sexy architect- designed interior (appropriately in matt black), offering a unique, high-end accommodation experience.
Feel like a warming soup…and sauna for lunch? Then this is the place! This small, quirky eatery feels off the beaten trail, yet it is actually in central Copenhagen. The modest building was once a waiting room for ferry passengers but is now an all-day café bar. In the evenings, it’s a restaurant serving a fixed, seasonal menu. Created by Christer Bredgaard, the place even has its own sauna where you can warm-up the Danish way – and then take a refreshing plunge in the sea, from the restaurant’s private swimming piers.
Ruby Cocktail Bar
Consistently one of the best cocktail bars in the world, this stylish city watering hole can be tricky to find. A few candle-lit lanterns on the steps of an 18-century town house on Nybrogade light the way to some of the best alcoholic concoctions in Scandinavia. Try one of the seasonal cocktails like the fruity and fresh ‘Tutti Frutti’ with Remy Martin Cognac, Cointreau Noir, and cloudy apple juice. Or maybe a Ruby classic, like the Champagne cocktail ‘Spice and Everything Nice’; with Dubonnet spiced up with homemade cinnamon syrup and topped up with bubbles. The bar is divided into different spaces, from the stylish street-facing cocktail bar; a cosy lounge; banquette seating at the back; and a basement vault bar.
The Union Kitchen
City centre, vintage style café bistro that is worth going to for more than coffee. In the evening there are sharing plates, cocktails and beers – or for Sunday arrive early for the generous Brunch – it’s where urban cool meets cosy Copenhagen.
At lunch time there’s a selection of classic Danish smørrebrød open sandwiches; whilst for dinner sophisticated dishes using favourite Danish ingredients include a creamy fish soup with mussels and garlic croutons; or Pork with apple, pickled and fried cabbages.
Bojesen Tower restaurant
Seasonal Danish flavours from acclaimed Danish chef Rasmus Bo Bojesen.
National winter jazz festival, that offers a full February programme in Copenhagen venues.
Design Museum Denmark
One could fill a guide just with the museums, galleries and exhibition spaces of Copenhagen. Search online for more details to plan a cultural city break. The Design Museum Denmark is the place for lovers of Danish contemporary creativity.
Yes, even in winter the Danes love their bicycles. Many hotels and guesthouses include use of a bike; alternatively rent one for a day or two. Bikes tours are also a good way to get to experience the city like a local. Be aware that there are relatively few taxis in Copenhagen, (and no Uber or equivalent) so walking or biking really is one of the easiest ways to get around.
Go to Sweden for lunch!
It’s very easy to go to Malmö for lunch. Just take the train from Copenhagen’s city centre station, direct to Malmö in around 30 mins. Malmo has the tallest building in Scandinavia, the ‘Turning Torso’ designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Although there is no viewing deck, the adjacent park offers splendid views of the Øresund Bridge which links Denmark & Sweden. Remember to take your passport!
The 19th century amusement park remains an icon of Copenhagen. It’s a private park, with tickets from about 80 DKK. During the firstname.lastname@example.org winter even if you don’t want to enjoy the amusements, the ambiance is charming in the evenings with the illuminated rides. From February 2, Gemyse café restaurant is open, promising a warming open fire, and the best hot chocolate in town.
The sculpture, inspired by Danish story-teller Hans Christian Andersen and gifted to the city by famous brewer Carlsberg is, dare I say it, underwhelming.
The Copenhagen Opera House
Talking of corporate gifts to the city, Mærsk gifted Copenhagen the stunning new ‘Operaen’, found on the island of Holmen. It is directly opposite Amalienborg, offering wonderful views of the classical palaces and the dome of Frederik’s Church.
Hop on a Water Bus
Take the 991/992 ferries that zig zag across the harbour canal or the 993 that shuttles between Nyhavn and the Opera House – these distinctive yellow and blue boats are an inexpensive way to reach the new opera house and discover more of Copenhagen. There is an integrated travel and visitor card – worth considering if you plan to use the public metro, bus and ferry network and visit attractions.
It’s a real pleasure to simply window shop in the many design stores and homeware boutiques. Danish design is understandably world famous; and visitors will find a wealth of inspiration for lighting, furniture and homewares.
Royal Copenhagen’s flagship porcelain store on the charming Amagertorv square is an absolute pleasure to browse. Upstairs are some beautiful rooms staged with tables set with different ranges.
It’s easy to get from the airport terminal directly to the city centre; simply take the M2 Metro line, which takes about 20 minutes and costs around 36 Danish Krona.