Over the last decade I have fallen more and more deeply in love with Scandinavian design. It seems to have developed to the point that pretty much anything I come across that I adore seems to be from a scandinavian designer or company. So firmly added to my bucket list was a trip to the capital of the country that is often voted the best place in the world to live, Denmark. I packed my bag, organised to meet the amazing french blogger ‘Naturellement Lyla’ there and booked a flight to Copenhagen to take in the wonders of the unassumingly beautiful city.
As I stepped off the plane I realised I had made a rudimentary error. I am so cold blooded that I could literally spend my life lying in the sun with the lizards to get enough heat to combat even a normal day and here I was stepping out into an area of the world where people could probably do without freezers in their homes during the winter months! Cold is a massive understatement. If I had thought longer about it then I definitely would have booked to go during summer but now I was here I was determined not to let that hamper my experience. We started our 4 day visit by just wandering around the city hoping to stumble across interesting little areas and see what we found. My first impression was of how much cute interior design there was everywhere, I felt like every room I walked into was exactly how I want my house to look and feel. That was the inside but outside of all these lovely interiors were exteriors surrounded, covered and draped in plants. This original flora gave such a brilliant unique charm to the city and made it unlike anywhere else I have ever been. The defining feature of both these aesthetics was simplicity but I guess that’s exactly what you envisage when you think of scandinavian design; simplistic, efficient and beautiful. The cities locals are renowned for their love of riding bikes, a huge staple of Copenhagen life, but our hands were already far too cold to attempt that so we opted to walk. We were ridiculously well wrapped up of course and came across so many beautiful little places that I wanted to document some of them in case anyone else decides to visit the city. So here are some of the amazing places I found while I was there:
We chose to book a flat through Airbnb. Since testing the company out on my visit to LA, and loving the feeling of being in an actual home which just adds a little more realism to the trip, we decided to do this again in Copenhagen. You kind of feel like you live in the city even if it’s just for the few days you are there. I sometimes think that being in a hotel can feel soulless unless you have a lot of money to spend. Of course the downside is that you have to cook and clean (and can’t just order room service) but more often than not, when I am on a short trip, I hardly spend any time in the hotel anyway as I want to see as much as possible in the short amount of time I have. We rented a cute apartment in the area of Nørrebro which was situated near transport, restaurants and bikes rental so it was perfect for what we needed. It was nice and clean and felt totally safe so if you don’t have time to go searching and want somewhere nice then just follow this link: Airbnb
As is my habit now, before heading anywhere new, I make sure to write a list of all the places I want to go to eat. This time however the list of restaurants that I compiled was verging on the ridiculous and to be honest there was no way we could have even covered a quarter of the places I had written down. Eating is one of my great pleasures in life though so it’s no surprise that I got carried away hahahaha. We were really happily surprised by the quality of all the food we came across, everything was so tasty! If you don’t have time to prepare a list I would actually just recommend that you download the Foursquare App. I find it to be such a handy tool wherever I go as it helps you find nearby restaurants wherever you are. It handily allows you to check which restaurants are rated the most highly by aggregating peoples reviews. Also I found another app really useful CityMaps2GO as you can download the entire map of the city and still use it even without Wifi!
Mirabelle for lunch – In the afternoon of the first day we ate at this lovely restaurant in the Norrebo area not far from our Airbnb, we were just looking for something quick before starting our visit of the city properly so we had some delicious sandwiches.
Moller Kaffe & Kokken for Brunch – This is a beautiful restaurant with a stunning scandinavian interior decoration. All I could think was how much I wanted the same furniture, cutlery and plates in my flat! I took so many sneaky photos as inspiration of what I want my flat to look like. I am getting sidetracked again from the more important point that the food here was really good. One issue I had to get used to throughout the trip was not to be fooled by the simplicity of the plates as even though they looked quite understated they were absolutely delicious. The best way I could describe them is like tapas, you order a lot of small plates and share a lot, but the food itself is completely different.
Atelier September for Lunch/Brunch – This busy little place was so cute! There was hardly any seating, to the point where we almost gave up on queuing, but we were so happy that we stayed strong and held on as the food was so worth it! Everything we ate was astoundingly good, particularly the Shakshuka. I also would highly recommend the Lacinato kale with avocado and harissa, it really is a must try!
Radio for dinner – The food here was superb and quite experimental, which was a lovely experience. All the plates were beautifully presented and looked as good as they tasted. Even though this is a bonus for the diners, that fact that their menu changes all the time means it’s impossible for me to recommend anything, so all I will say is go here and choose anything and if you are feeling particularly flush then try everything!
The Coffee collective – When our feet couldn’t take anymore walking we had a little break at this coffee shop which was decorated in a lovely minimalist style. I would recommend visiting the one situated at Godthåbsvej because its spacious and less crowded.
Meyers Bageri – This little bakery in the area of Jægersborggade was the perfect place to try some of the country’s famously delicious Danish pastries! We got a great selection and absolutely loved all of them! I think that my favourites were the cinnamon snails though but be warned, don’t get there late as they sell out quickly.
Papiroen Street Food – This was my favorite place of all to eat but not necessarily for the food, it was the location! It’s a big street food area which I can only describe as being in a kind of shipping container by the canal. There is a huge selection of different types of food and it had a really nice atmosphere. We decided that rather than staying inside in the warm we would take our food outside and enjoy the view at the picnic tables which overlook the boats. You can imagine how good this view must be as it even took priority over the freezing cold conditions!
I had loads other places on my list but we didn’t have time to go to any of them but I thought I would still share some of them with you as they are supposed to be great food. Ipsen & Co for breakfast, Mother for pizza, Mad og Kaffe for brunch and Host for dinner!
We didn’t do much shopping but we stopped at every interior decoration shop we came across while wandering around. Copenhagen really is design heaven, there is an interior shop on every corner. We stopped at a lot of them, so many in fact that I can barely remember most of their names.
Illums Bolighus a shopping center full of famous names in interior design. The best description would be that they had managed to unite every piece of scandinavian design in one shop! We just wandered around salivating continually but then didn’t buy anything because of the rather huge price tags!
Bast is a really cute little shop where you can find a lot of decoration gems. It has an excellent range of different home decor and plants and even better there were loads of affordable items!
If you are an Acne fan then don’t miss Acne Archive. This is their outlet store where you can find the past seasons collection. I was quite surprised with the selection as there was a lot of great jeans, coats, jumpers… I couldn’t resist buying one of their cosy jumpers which I absolutely love. This place is definitely worth checking out when in Copenhagen for some good deals.
Pure Shop stocks natural beauty products (which obviously is perfect for me). Most of the brands are available in the UK but it’s great to be able to actually get to test and try the products in an actual shop. If you want to go here then it’s situated in the charming street Grønnegade.
Usually when you visit a city you have a huge plan of the places and areas you want to go but as you start to walk then that nearly always goes out the window as you see little nooks and crannies that you want to explore and then get completely sidetracked. On this trip I didn’t have a huge amount of time to prepare that many areas (I think I had spent too much time on the restaurants) so we just decided to walk and see what we found. However this wasn’t a great strategy for me remembering where we ended up…….but suffices to say everything was adorable.
Jægersborggade is a cosy, beautiful little street where you can find a lot of independent shops like Sneaker and Coffee (this is actually where I bought my nude New Balance trainers that you might have seen on my Instagram). As a nice unique note you can get a coffee while checking out the range of trainers! If you follow me on Snapchat you might have seen the spectacular cactus shop which was packed full of amazing cacti! I wish I could have flown them all back with me in my suitcase as I wanted every single one. This street is full of restaurants and coffee shops where you can have a break, sit back and relax.
Unfortunately Tivoli Gardens was closed when we were there and was set to reopen on the 19/11 for the Christmas season. Such a shame we missed it but I have heard great things about it so if you go then tell me all about it in the comments section.
Possibly the most famous area of Copenhagen, where you see all the pics of the beautiful colourful houses by the canals, is Nyhavn and is totally worth a wander. We actually decided to book a Boat Trip to see all the main monuments which was stunning and, yes you guessed it, absolutely freezing hahahahaha.
Christianshavn is next to the city centre Nyhavn. It’s a very strange and original place with a slightly intimidating atmosphere. There is a very beautiful side but then there is the other side which I really didn’t feel hugely comfortable in. The area is known as a sort of hippie commune (I even think I am right in saying that it has slightly different laws to the rest of Denmark) and has great street art and a very distinct smell……if you know what I mean!
We were planning to go and visit the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on the last day of our visit before heading to the airport but unfortunately we didn’t realise that it takes 1 hour to get there and it doesn’t open until 11am! So sadly we had to save this treat for next time but if you have time then don’t miss it, it’s supposed to be an amazing special place!!