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Travel Guide: Copenhagen

September 4, 2018

Recapping my time spent in Copenhagen, the cosmopolitan capital of Denmark.

Toward the end of my recent trip to Sweden and Denmark, we spent a few days in Denmark’s capital – Copenhagen – exploring the rich culinary scene and metropolitan atmosphere. On the first day, we walked nearly five miles to get a better feel for the city.

As a culinary powerhouse, Copenhagen claims no less than 15 Michelin starred restaurants, including Naervaer, at which we dined one night. Most restaurants are plating pure, organic produce from their own greenhouses, garden or farms. Many urban dwellers have a plot of land in four city gardens in which they have a summer dwelling to relax and grow vegetables and flowers.

Studio Brunstrum-Chicago-Interior Design-copenhagen-travel-guide

Copenhagen also has a wonderful café society scene – great for people watching – whether it is summer or winter. Fun fact – most cafés and restaurants offer cozy blankets to curl up in if needed.

Studio Brunstrum-Chicago-Interior Design-copenhagen-travel-guide

The city is very cosmopolitan. The Danes are environmentally friendly, physically active and respect family and traditions. Most people ride their bikes to work and the morning rush of cyclists looks more like a runway show on wheels. Women rock their dresses and heels and their hair has that natural, undone look. They even have necklaces that serve as inflatable bike helmets (called Hövding), so they don’t need to worry about messing up their hair!

Both men and women are effortlessly stylish and hip – think Paris and Milan – yet with a more simplistic and understated beauty. These same tenets apply to Danish street wear labels, lighting, ceramics, glassware and of course, furnishings.

Copenhagen is one of the globe’s greenest and most sustainable cities and tops the world’s list of most livable. It is very accessible and easy to navigate and the architectural mix is both fabulously modern and culturally rich. Eclectic at its best!

Where to Stay:

  • The Phoenix Hotel – a block from Kongens Nytrov Square and in the heart of the shopping and design district.

Where to Eat:

  • Geist – The Lemon in Lemon in Lemon Cocktail was our starter while we sat at the bar and watched the chef and sous chefs throughout the night. A grilled avocado with green almonds for an appetizer was followed by halibut and green peas with cotton candy – yes, cotton candy! – for dessert made for a memorable evening.
  • Restaurant Schonnemann – A 2-star Michelin restaurant. I highly recommend the smorrebrod, an open-faced sandwich.
  • Naervaer Vinbar og Restaurant – An intimate, attentive and personal restaurant that seats 10 in a u-shape with the kitchen centered in the middle. We received a personal note along with the menu for the night from Chef Yves Le Lay at our seat.
  • Café Europa 1989 – Incredible pastries for breakfast. We sat outside on the corner of Amagertorv square for excellent people watching.
Studio Brunstrum-Chicago-Interior Design-copenhagen-travel-guide

What to Do:

  • Take a boat tour of the canals. It’s the best way to get the lay of the land and see the many beautiful vantage points the city has to offer.
  • Walk and shop along Stroget, the longest pedestrian street in Europe.
  • Wander through the Christianshaven neighborhood and climb the famous spiral staircase outside the Church of Our Savior.
  • Go for drinks and dancing in Nyhaven, the bustling harbor area.
  • Check out the world class shopping options – we stopped at Georg Jensen, Erik Jorgenson, Paustein, Gubi, Stilleben and Illums Bolighus before flying home.
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