The next journey was to Sweden’s neighbours and long term rivals — Denmark. Stockholm is the larger city of the two, but Copenhagen still packed a punch!
Whilst the Danes are included under Scandinavia, it’s not their design that comes to mind. Most recently their claim to fame has been for the idea of ‘Hygge’, aka ‘that warm fuzzy feeling.’ I also remember my mum buying those blue tins with the biscuits in cupcake cases when I was a kid — they were the ‘posh’ biscuits that came out when we had guests over. Anyone remember those? No? Anyway, here’s some of what we saw, ate and drank in Copenhagen!
Tivoli Gardens — Never seen anything like this! The gardens house a massive vintage amusement park with rides, game booths, food stalls and restaurants. There’s a lot of different events from children’s dance performances to even Parkour! You could easily spend a few hours here just on the rides and games.
Copenhagen Contemporary — Museum of modern art that is monumental in size and overlooks the waterside. With that much space it was no surprise to see huge works by Anselm Kiefer. There were also a variety of installations by some well known names in the art world. It was just a really pleasant experience to be able to walk around in such a large, well-designed space.
Louisiana — This is probably most similar to Artipelag in Stockholm where it’s a contemporary art centre situated outside of the city. There is lots to see here and each room leads you on to the next, taking you around the entire building. We saw an extensive exhibition of work by south african artist, William Kentridge amongst others. Again we explored the outdoor area with lots of green and the water close by. A really nice place to take in some art, have some lunch and chill by the waterside.
Christiana — Also known as ‘Free town’, this part of the city sits almost on its own little island. We were in awe of this place because it operates as its own town, without any relation or interference from Danish government. The town is made up of a mix of homemade houses, workshops, organic eateries, and art galleries. Everyone just lives there free, no cars are allowed and you can walk around and end up in someones back yard, but they’re not bothered by it. Not only that, the smoking or selling of the green stuff is illegal in Denmark but completely legal in Christiania so you literally have a load of little stalls selling it in the centre! Christiania is somewhere you’ll never forget.
To Eat and Drink
DOP — Hipster hotdogs is the best I can describe these! It’s like a traditional burger van visually but really well designed and branded. Lots of options of sides and hotdog types to choose from, including a tofu hotdog or pickled veg with mash as a side. Great as a snack to refuel whilst window shopping!
Gorrilla — We booked for dinner and there’s lots I can say about this place. The restaurant is situated in what I can only describe is an old industrial area that’s got a mix of cool restaurants and cafés and Cash and Carrys. They’re all single glazed windows and doors, with neon signs, wood and plants everywhere. Wish I took more photos! The food here is all small plates that have a down to earth feel about them. Well put together, with a good wine list.
Mad & Kaffee (Food & Coffee) — It was recommended to us so we rocked up late morning in steady rain and it was bursting at the seams. Full inside and queues outside. Once we finally made it in, it was very cosy and of course the coffee was amazing. Brunch is served slightly differently — you tick the separate bits and pieces you’d like from breads and pastries to vegetables and cakes. Everything comes on a chopping board in various little bowls or just on the board, so you just go for it however you like! Great place but not so sure about the queues.
Prolog Coffee — We had a brief stop here for breakfast and loved the workshop vibe. Just real simple wooden interior, makeshift shelves and old school stools and tables. It’s quite small and is perfectly slotted in, sharing space with a company that makes some pretty cool terrariums. Great specialist artisan coffee with a simple pastry did the trick.
Coffee Collective — There were a couple of these in the city and went to the one in Godthåbsvej. This branch has a micro roastery taking up one side of the shop with the rest made into an open plan café with some nice brunch food. Great place to work from or catch up on emails from. There’s something homely about it that makes you just want to spend a few hours there.
Geist — Oh where do I start. This was a real treat for us and it didn’t disappoint! The atmosphere and decor was moody — black doorways, coves and stairs, with dark neutral walls and a touch of black marble. The light further added to the drama. A lit bit on the bougie side but what the hell. So the food, the food, the food. Literally art from the way it was served on the plate to how the ingredients were used to add shape and colour. Really simple dishes with only a few ingredients but damn they were good. Oh and the wine list is extensive so you have plenty to choose from.
Copenhagen Street Food — Just next door to the modern art museum is a massive Street food market housed inside with an extensive outdoor area. It was a sunny day and heaving with people but the vibe was good. Everyone was just out socialising and enjoying the food and drink. There’s literally every type of cuisine topped with a few bars across the market. We tried a little of a few types of food but my favourite has to be a place called Latienda, serving vegan latino food — plaintain chips with a choice of three burgers that were packed with flavour!
General tips and experiences
G0Boat — If you want to see the city by water, you have the option to rent a little solar powered motor boat to drive yourself around a route on the main canal. There’s a table in the centre so lots of groups were taking their own food and drinks on to have dinner and socialise. It works out to approximately £50 for an hour which is plenty of time to make it round.
Illhums Borghus — This is basically the Liberty of Copenhagen and feels quite traditional but contemporary at the same time. This is also where I found a HAY Design pop up to obsess over and lots of amazing design to be see.
People — We ended up being in Copenhagen on a Danish Bank Holiday (Can’t remember the exact name!) and we got to see the Danes in their true colours. They’re lively, like to have fun and a bit friendlier than the Swedes (Sorry Stockholm). Again we saw diversity with lots of different cultures living and working in the city.
Global events — Copenhagen is the host city for the Copenhagen Fashion Summit that addresses issues about Sustainability in the Fashion industry. It’s got bigger and bigger as interest grows.
Copenhagen has lots to offer and this is just a snippet of our time there!