How to Plan the Perfect Copenhagen Getaway

From the fantasy world of Tivoli Gardens to the seductive call of its gastronomic temples, Copenhagen wears its celebrated traits like a quiet badge of honor.

A general view of the 'New Haven' (Nyhavn) waterfront in Copenhagen Denmark
Copenhagen. Getty Images

In the heart of Northern Europe, Copenhagen thrives, a city spun from the threads of ancient legends as enduring as its time-worn cobblestones. Against its backdrop of centuries-old facades, bold and avant-garde designs emerge, suggesting a future only dreamt in the wildest of imaginations. The city’s quaint by-lanes whisper sagas of Viking valor, gently guiding the present-day voyager to horizons yet uncharted. The intricate waterways—Copenhagen’s very lifeblood—spin seafaring stories as riveting as their terrestrial counterparts. The quintessence of this aquatic charm manifests in Nyhavn harbor, a postcard-worthy frame of its 18th-century halcyon and majestic seafaring vessels. Though often captured through the lens of many a traveler, its real life enchantment is undeniable, making each step along its promenade a feast of old world heritage—a luxury in a city increasingly known for its refined palate.

From the fantasy world of Tivoli Gardens to the seductive call of its gastronomic temples, Copenhagen wears its celebrated traits like a quiet badge of honor. Yet, for the truly inquisitive, beyond its famed silhouettes lies a world brimming with secrets, with treasures hidden in plain sight, awaiting the discerning eye and adventurous spirit. Denmark’s capital offers not just sights and sounds, but an odyssey. Be it the mystical allure of sun-all-day midsummer or that famous “hygge” coziness under winter canopies, Copenhagen weaves an epic that belies its diminutive size. With our guide handy, uncover the many faces of a city that glistens differently depending on where you stand and gaze—and, above all, eat.

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Where to Stay

interior of beige living room
Villa Copenhagen.

Villa Copenhagen

Copenhagen Central Post Building, Tietgensgade 35-39, 1704 København, Denmark

Nestled discreetly a stone’s throw away from the famed Tivoli Gardens and the effervescent rail station, Villa Copenhagen unveils its splendor hidden behind a façade that speaks tales of a century past. Once the city’s postal headquarters, this regal sanctuary now offers 390 rooms, each a harmonious blend of age-old Nordic allure and modern elegance. As you venture deeper, the buzzy atrium bar invites you inside. Though, arguably, the crown of this experience is a dip in the hotel’s elusive rooftop pool—a rarity in this city. Mornings here are incomplete without indulging in the lavish breakfast spread, where Danish traditions like curried herring sit alongside housemade jams and fresh produce.

interior of spacious bedroom
Nobis Hotel. Kristine Boel

Nobis Hotel

Niels Brocks Gade 1, 1574 København, Denmark

Bearing the weight of Denmark’s illustrious design lineage, the Nobis Hotel Copenhagen, a member of Design Hotels, is an architectural marvel in its own right. Positioned a block away from the Tivoli Gardens, this hotel, once the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, sings a new tune under the meticulous craftsmanship of Swedish starchitect Gert Wingårdh. Every suite whispers tales of luxury, demanding to be experienced, along with the tantalizing plates from Restaurant NOI, helmed by chef Frederik Sandberg.

a clean olive-toned bedroom
Hotel Sanders.

Hotel Sanders

Tordenskjoldsgade 15, 1055 København, Denmark

In the design mecca of Copenhagen, where the soft hum of hygge illuminates every corner, Hotel Sanders stands out as a beacon of refined hospitality. Ballet legend Alexander Kølpin’s vision comes to life in this 54-room boutique gem, an embodiment of design harmony birthed by Lind + Almond. Stepping inside is like embarking on a journey through time, where contemporary chic meets old-world charm. 

Where to Eat

interior of wooden bar with people sitting
Restaurant Barr.

Restaurant Barr

Strandgade 93, 1401 København, Denmark

With its scenic quayside backdrop, the Barr is enveloped in rustic wooden coziness. Once the hallowed grounds of the legendary Noma, today it resonates with Mia Christiansen’s neo-Nordic culinary vision. Named after the Old Norse word for barley, Barr focuses on the North Sea’s traditional foods. Expect comfort dishes like meatballs with nutmeg, schnitzel and cod with smoked bacon. The interior is relaxed, featuring simple furniture, stone walls and a wooden ceiling. The bar, made of raw wood, showcases copper beer taps on its wall.

set dining table


Copenhagen Central Post Building, Tietgensgade 39, 1704 København, Denmark

Villa Copenhagen’s brasserie Kontrast serves a blend of southern European and North African dishes, combining flavors from both regions while adding a Nordic touch. Emphasis is placed on top-notch ingredients, which prove to be even more delicious as presented in the surrounding historic ambiance.

a checkered floor dining room with wall art


Palægade 8, 1261 København, Denmark

Meandering through the cobbled lanes, Palægade emerges like a vintage photograph. The dizzying array of smørrebrød—the iconic Danish toasties—unfurls in an avant-garde manner, seamlessly weaving the past into the present. While the ambiance is a nod to modern Scandinavian aesthetics, the dishes are a journey through Denmark’s rich culinary past. Whether it’s the lobster salad smørrebrød topped with a crispy panko egg or the herring platter, each bite is a chapter in a delectable story.

overhead of plates of food
Kødbyens Fiskebar.

Kødbyens Fiskebar

Flæsketorvet 100, 1711 København, Denmark

Kødbyens Fiskebar may very well be the culinary heartstopper of Copenhagen’s hip meatpacking district.  Once a butcher’s shop, it now champions the treasures of the sea. The menu showcases diverse offerings: from the smoked mussel with rye and pickled burnt onion of the Western Shores to the cucumber and mild horseradish-accented Hiramasa from Hanstholm. 

overhead of delicate dinner dish


Sturlasgade 14, 2300 København S, Denmark

Tucked away in the characterful Islands Brygge, Alouette shines bright with its one Michelin star. Under the guidance of chefs Nick Curtin and Andrew Valenzuela, the restaurant crafts dishes that are a blend of transatlantic flavors, paying homage to Copenhagen’s culinary giants like Noma. Every dish tells a story of the seasons, with ingredients chosen for their authenticity and quality. The space itself is a blend of history and modernity, echoing its past as a music studio while showcasing the finesse of Københavns Møbelsnedkeri’s design.

Where to Drink

two paper plane drinks


Nybrogade 10, 1203 København, Denmark

Housed in an 18th-century townhouse, this cocktail cathedral blends old-world allure with modern flair. Within its storied walls, where once ink flowed and spirits were distilled, mixologists now craft intoxicating elixirs. With a menu that evolves each season, you might find yourself sipping on a Gin ‘N’ Colada #2 or exploring the Nordic-inspired Rita & Ruby. Despite its global acclaim, Ruby maintains a humble demeanor, ensuring every drink and greeting is filled with warmth.


1151 k, Valkendorfsgade 11, 1151 København K, Denmark

More than just a bar, Balderdash is a storytelling experience. Situated in the city’s core, it offers drinks that blend seasonal ingredients with bold creativity. Whether it’s the intriguing Strawberry-Foie Gras Old Fashioned or their playful alcoholic ice creams, the place is a blend of innovation and comfort. A fusion of art, jazz, and mixology, Balderdash is both familiar and refreshingly unique.

picnic table with people sitting by the water
La Banchina.

La Banchina

Refshalevej 141, 1432 København, Denmark

Perched by the water, La Banchina once served as a ferry passenger’s waiting room. Today, with its limited seating, it offers a cozy dining experience, blending Nordic tastes with a touch of Italian. Guests often find themselves enjoying their meal outdoors, sipping natural wine and savoring dishes like the crispy-fried fish sandwich—a must-try if spotted on their handwritten menu.


Gl. Kongevej 102, 1850 Frederiksberg, Denmark

In Frederiksberg, Bird is where melodies meet mixology. As vinyl records set the mood, the bar serves up drinks that are both classic and inventive, whether it’s the bubbly Drenched Se7entifive or the heady (and cheekily labeled) Lo Balls. At Bird, the bond between music and drinks is deep, allowing guests to take home bottled tunes and memories.

Where to Shop

a multi-story curated mall


Østergade 52, 1100 København, Denmark

With roots tracing back to 1891, Illum isn’t just a department store, but a curated experience. It showcases luxury brands, from Celine to Marni, and its beauty section is a blend of global luxury and organic treasures. Beyond shopping, Illum Underground offers a culinary delight, while the Illum Rooftop provides sweeping views of the iconic Christiansborg Palace. For decor enthusiasts, Illums Bolighus is a treasure trove of Danish design, seamlessly blending tradition with modernity since 1925.

a store with shelves and wooden chest
Frama Studio Store.

Frama Studio Store

Fredericiagade 57, 1304 København, Denmark

Frama Studio Store is where 19th-century architecture meets modern Danish design. But there’s more—Apotek 57, a café within, serves as a gathering spot for design lovers and locals alike, offering seasonal treats and a sense of community. With a presence from Mexico City to New York, Frama’s essence is its balance of old and new.

a clean, minimal space with plant and shelves


Nybrogade 28, 1203 København K, Denmark

For those drawn to the art of pottery and wabi-sabi aesthetic, Yōnobi awaits. Named after the Japanese concept celebrating functional beauty, every ceramic piece here, handpicked by owner Nanna Egebjerg, tells a story. From glaze to form, each item narrates an artist’s journey, weaving together inspiration, technique and passion.

shelves of colorful pottery and candles


Skindergade 7, st, 1159 København, Denmark

Born in Tokyo and now thriving in Copenhagen, Arhoj is a fusion of Nordic simplicity and Japanese heritage. Led by Anders Arhoj, the studio is a conversation between two design cultures. While honoring traditional crafts like wheel throwing, Arhoj’s pieces are more than functional—they’re whimsical, adding a subtle touch of joy to everyday moments.

How to Plan the Perfect Copenhagen Getaway