The capital city of Denmark, Copenhagen, is still alive today with its 6,000-year history with its historical traces in the city. In the city, which has the longest shopping street in Europe, designer hotels, “hip” restaurants, clubs, shops and boutiques that open one after another offer examples of the Scandinavian lifestyle.
First impressions you get in Copenhagen can be misleading. Focus on the straightforward city center where nothing is hidden: it is clean, wealthy and understatedly elegant, just like the city’s many lucky residents. As you stretch out into the countryside, you will discover a younger and more exciting city where the once shabby environment is going through an impressive rebirth.
With art, design and architecture advancing rapidly while preserving the best of the past, the middle of Copenhagen (Indre By ‘in Danish) is like a triumphal song dedicated to Scandinavian taste. Wander the medieval bypasses around Strøget, the most important shopping street. It will be very easy to imagine Hans Christian Andersen walking beside you, lost in dreams of little match girls and mermaids on your trip. But after a short walk, you’ll find the surprisingly innovative addition to the Royal Library by the sea. Take an espresso break before leaving the city center and visiting the neighborhoods that don’t look perfect. Nørrebro in the northwest is a mixed neighborhood that prides itself on a tradition of political radicalism: a mosaic of crumbling but gentle streets, ethnic food shops, and secondhand boutiques. The center of this place is the neighborhood that develops around Sankt Hans Torv and is famous for its cafes. Among the places worth seeing in Copenhagen are the exciting Vesterbro and Tivoli Gardens located west of Central Station. According to local legends, there used to be more butchers and prostitutes per square kilometer than anywhere else in Europe. Either way, it is still known as a meat market, but more and more designers and creative people are settling here and leaving their mark.
Butchers’ quarter is now home to the city’s best bars and clubs. Here, too, you can see the true city spirit you will find on any of the lively streets of the city center.
Turn your route to the end of Strøget for the longest pedestrianized shopping street in Europe. Here are three exclusive shops bearing Queen Margarethe’s certificate of guarantee: Royal Copenhagen (Amagertorv 6), where you can watch how famous porcelain is painted, designer shop Illums Bolighus (Amagertorv 10) and jeweler Georg Jensen (Amagertorv 4). When you finish your tour here, go to Royal Cafe on the corner. It is worth going even just for its decoration; crystal chandeliers, imitations of old masters and a single Arne Jacobsen chair. Also excellent is the coffee, the famous ‘smushie’, a type of sushi, and the traditional smørrebrod (open sandwich).
Tivoli Gardens with fun activities, coin-operated game machines and pantomime scene. This place has a sympathy reminiscent of Güliver’s land of dwarves; However, the most recent addition here is the legendary venue of Copenhagen’s opening. Tivoli’s famous white pavilion, now known as Nimb, is a facility consisting of a first-class hotel, luxury restaurants and organic appetizer shop Løgismose. Don’t leave this place without tasting the classic Danish hot dog and a glass of chocolate milk.
Copenhagen is a city defined by water (meaning ‘port of merchants’ in the old Danish language). Take a boat ride in the harbor and catch a different perspective. Among the things you will see are the Opera House with its high roof supported by columns, the iconic Little Mermaid and pastel colored houses on the edge of the Nyhavn canal. For an interesting experience, head to Tage Andersen, the only one of its kind in the heart of the city. A quarter of the building is a flower shop and the rest is an art installation. Like his famous novelist namesake, Andersen has created a world of fairytales that are completely abstracted from real life: floral arrangements, artwork, and beautiful vocal birds living in cages along the shop and rooftop terrace, competing with sculptures for themselves.
Copenhagen’s once completely dirty harbor has been so cleaned that it is swimming in it. Next to Langebro, the main bridge leading to the Islands Brygge area, is the Havneadı complex consisting of five pools, wooden sunbathing platforms, lifeguard tower and plunge platform. The crowds that fill this place during the summer months enjoy swimming in the open air.
After completing all the sights in the city center, turn towards Nørrebro. Classic Danish design items are often quite expensive; however, this extraordinary neighborhood has no competitors in terms of second-hand and collector shops; Be sure to wander around Ravnsborggade and Blågårdsgade.
When you take a break from hunting for cheap items, try the cute Props Coffee Shop, which has an unusual rule. According to this rule; If you polish any accessory or equipment of the bar, you can take it away as a result of your negotiation with the management.
It is on the fate of all Danish designers to be overshadowed by the big names of the 20th century. But Designer Zoo in Vesterbro reveals how young talents developed the traditions of Finn Juhl, Poul Henningsen and Arne Jacobsen and how they rebelled. This is both the workshop and exhibition hall of an eight-person community that designs furniture, jewelery, glass and knitted goods. You can buy innovative and original pieces at very affordable prices here.
After dark, you can venture out into Vesterbro’s slaughterhouse area: the city’s most energetic nightlife is in warehouses here. In the wonderful bar Jolene, you have the chance to listen to remixes that even the singing artists do not know they exist. When you make friends with regulars at the bar, you may find yourself at a private party at one of the nearby industrial facilities.
Vesterbro’s trade union hall from the 1950s is now home to a complex of bars and dance halls, the Vega, which, despite all its popularity, has kept its borders. Important names perform live in the club rooms, but the real excitement is in the ldeal Bar, the extension of the club facing the street. www.vega.dk
WHERE TO STAY?
Hotel Skt Petri
Situated in an old shopping center, Skt Petri is located at a very central point in the city, just near Strøget, where shopping takes the pulse. The rooms of the hotel decorated in a modern style create a warm ambiance with wooden floor coverings. The air-conditioned rooms make the hotel a suitable option for the summer months.
SAS Radisson Royal Hotel
Design enthusiasts deserve this architectural marvel by Arne Jacobsen. Keep room 606 for a true retro experience. Because this room preserves the same as Jacobsen decorated in the 1960s. In the lobby, the stylish “Egg” seats, which he specially designed, remain true to the designer’s style.
Copenhagen Plaza Hotel
The Plaza hotel continues to make a premium from its connections with the Royal family, with its decoration featuring wooden wall panels and fluffy pillows. The hotel was built in 1913 by King VIII. It was built by Frederik. You can go to the Library Bar, which has a stylish ambiance with leather bound books and oil paintings, and smoke cigars accompanied by brandy. (Bernstorffsgade 4).
All rooms are different from each other in this place, which is defined as a “project” rather than a hotel. Each room was handed over to a young designer to be decorated. The results vary from magnificent to “no more” arrangements, from huge to tiny. The lobby hosts DJs on weekends.
The lobby, dominated by ruby red, gives the impression of standing alone the red paint industry in Denmark, and sets the atmosphere of the hotel’s minimal-style rooms. It is worth mentioning that the hotel has its own Absolut Icebar for cocktail lovers. There is a wine tasting machine in the lounge.
Danhostel Copenhagen City
Such a stylish and simple hostel can only be designed by the Danes. Of course, it compensates for the shortcomings of the space with an IKEA line rather than Arne Jacobsen with its perfect location. Its café can take the shoes of many stylish hotel lounges.
WHERE TO EAT?
Kong Hans Kaelder
The award for “the calmest cuisine in the world” should be added to all the awards that Chef Thomas Rode Andersen has collected. The kitchen team, acting like ballet, is positioned so that the guests are in sight of the restaurant, located in a domed cellar, the restaurant is eerily expensive; however, dishes such as fried rye snapper will pay off for the price you pay.
Experimental alchemy and traditional cooking are successfully combined here. Fur covers, Unplastered brick walls, harbor side location and a kitchen recommended by the city’s best chefs. For a delightful experience, reserve the 12-person Noma Nassaaq and let yourself go on a four-hour adventure where you will taste the most delicious examples of Northern cuisine.
Fox Kitchen & Bar
Claiming to serve only healthy, nutritious meals and decorated with neon lights, this stone-clad venue has a delicious sushi menu. Instead of wine pairings, the menus are served with special cocktails that accompany them. Standing out in an old butcher’s shop with original black-and-white floor tiles, this sophisticated bistro offers delicious French-style food at affordable prices. Halibut cooked in mussel broth or braised lamb in red wine should definitely be tried.
Smørrebrød, a Danish specialty, will appear in every corner of Copenhagen. The best known of these are herring or frikadelle (meatballs). The cute pub located by the sea in Christianshavn is an ideal place to try this specialty and relax.
The Danes are not in the habit of consuming street food other than these “hot dog” style hot dogs with ketchup and mustard. Polser is the real name of these sandwiches; but his slang name can roughly translate as “old bald man in a sleeping bag”.
BARS AND CAFES
This is an ideal place to spend your time for cocktails. Located in the center of the city, just north of Christiansborg Palace, the bar looks like an apartment from the outside.
Once a slaughterhouse, this place is nowadays the cradle of extraordinary design. It is a nightclub that serves a hip audience with a café and restaurant during the day and live music, DJ sets or artist performances in the evenings.
Located in the city center on a cobblestone street, Dalle Valle is full after dark. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows, combined with the interior luminous chandeliers and velvet curtains, display industrial style elegance. DJ performances take place until 03:00 on weekends.