You might only think of snow or meat balls when I mention Scandinavia, but trust me, Norse countries are the dark horses of cool. With chocolate box cities, vibrant café culture and Utopian infrastructures, what’s not to love? Copenhagen is a pioneer of sustainable, cosmopolitan living and with its stress-free environment is fast becoming the ultimate mini break location among 20-somethings.
For style, chill, cinnamon pastries and a minimally boho feel, take a look at the Blush guide to Denmark’s remarkable capital.
Where to stay:
Copenhagen is a fairy tale city and with lakes, canal ways and waterside walks abound, it feels a lot like a Viking version of Venice. Look out for Airbnbs in the Norrebro area or check out Hotel Alexandra on Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard to put yourself in the heart of the atmosphere.
C. Andersens Blvd. 8, 1553 København V, Denmark hotelalexandra.dk/
Where to visit:
Tivoli is a must. The carnival style theme park houses adrenalin junkie thrill rides among flower gardens, fun fair booths and a generally romantic old-world feel. Visit on Saturdays for a chance to see the evening firework display.
Vesterbrogade 3, 00 45 3315 1001; tivoli.dk
Check out the Botanical Gardens for a touch of Scandi daytime cool. Located in the centre of the city and totally free, wander through Victorian palm houses with magnificent views. Make your way to the terrace café where refreshments are served from a charming 70s Citroen van.
Entrance via Øster Farimagsgade 2 B, 1353 Copenhagen K or Gothersgade 130, 1353 Copenhagen K. botanik.snm.ku.dk
Where to stroll:
Take the 1km long walk down Strøget (a collective name for five pedestrianised streets running through Copenhagen’s centre) past beautiful squares, canal side restaurants and shopping streets bursting with independent boutiques.
Christiania has made quite a name for itself over the past few years. To the Danes it’s an anarchic ‘free-state’. To us, it’s a calm island district covered in graffiti, heath food cafes and hippy décor. Think (kind of) legal marijuana, concert venues and beautiful open green spaces.
Where to Eat:
Höst is a stylish restaurant with white walls, rustic décor and contemporary Nordic cuisine. You’ll sit on lambskin chairs and wood benches and be served smoked fish, braised meat with berries and fresh woodland mushrooms with Danish cheeses. A must visit.
Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 København K, Denmark hostvakst.dk/
The Coffee Collective in Norrebro is perfect for traditional coffees and Danish pastries in an indie, wood furnished setting. Hit up Mormors café for Scandi-vintage and smoothies, and get there before noon for your chance to see the royal guard marching to the palace.
Jægersborggade 10, 2200 København, Denmark coffeecollective.dk/
Bredgade 45, 1260 København, Denmark mormors.dk/
Let your hair down:
Check out Strøm for seasonal fruit cocktails, then cross the road to The Jane for dancing and drinks with Mad Men-style nooks, fireplaces, secret passages and overall sophisticated swagger.
Strøm, Niels Hemmingsens Gade 32, 1153 København, Denmark +45 29 31 76 04
The Jane, Gråbrødretorv 8, 1154 København
Head up to Vesterbro and the Meatpacking District and laugh your way through its sleazily hipster red light district. Wander up Istedgade until you hit the cluster of chic wine bars, elegant boutiques and restaurants.
Pop in to BonBons on your way home for a final sugar rush. Offering a wide range of sweets, this fun little corner shop is open until 2am on weekends.
Vesterbrogade 81 1620 Copenhagen, Denmark
Where to Shop:
No trip to Scandinavia would be complete without a shopping spree in Acne. With three locations in the city, pop in for Danish moodiness rendered in jeans, tees and those ankle boots.
Elmegade 21 2200 København N +45 3314 0028
Check out the Visit Carlsberg brewery for samples, the world’s largest bottled beer collection and a stellar gift shop. Look out for the original Little Mermaid statue in the brewery gardens.
Gamle Carlsberg Vej 11, Copenhagen 1799 , Denmark (Outer Vesterbro) (+45) 3327 1282
Ro Chokolade is an adorably minimalist chocolate shop that doesn’t hold back on its ingredients. Packing elderflower, honey, nuts and champagne into handmade chocolates, this place is a must for last minute gift shopping.
Jægersborggade 25, 2200 København N, Denmark +45 36 96 65 19
What to pack:
Go sporty chic with culottes, a backpack and the bright white trainers you’ll see everyone wearing. Toned down colours, a lightweight trench and tortoiseshell sunnies will have you looking like a local in no time.
Check out Scandinavisk’s candles to help get you in the mood as you book and plan your Danish adventure.