Europe

Visiting Denmark (+Copenhagen City Guide)

Denmark, along with Northern Europe, has become an increasingly popular destination for many already familiar with the continent (a record number of tourists this year). From architecture to design (hello Hygge), it’s a great time to visit this Scandinavian gem.

Denmark – Scandinavian country comprising the Jutland Peninsula and numerous islands, linked to nearby Sweden via the Öresund bridge. Copenhagen, its capital, is home to royal palaces, colorful Nyhavn harbor, plus the Tivoli amusement park and the iconic “Little Mermaid” statue, whereas Odense is writer Hans Christian Andersen’s hometown, with a medieval core of cobbled streets and half-timbered houses. It’s no wonder tourism is up year after year, which according to Wonderful Copenhagen, is due to its architecture, design, sustainability, diversity, and the city’s likeness to a “modern fairy tale” as the reasons for visitors to stay. Though its also been growing in status as a culinary destination, with Noma regarded as the best restaurant in the world for its revival of Nordic cuisine.

Copenhagen

Denmark’s capital isn’t an easy place to characterize, but Copenhagen has plenty to offer anyone who makes the trek – known for its excellent taste in everything from architecture, furniture design, décor, fashion, and food. In recent years Copenhagen has seen a surge in bars, restaurants, shops and fashion designers insisting on a less formal, lighthearted way of doing things. The city’s stunning architectural beauty is a key component, from the royal castles to the pretty canals and characteristic brick buildings, as well as its rich cultural heritage. The first thing you’ll notice are the prim houses lining tidy cobblestoned streets and canals, and the kitschy Tivoli Gardens that form the city’s centerpiece. But beyond these postcard-perfect moments, Copenhagen is an ambitious city with much to explore. First, there’s the design: sleek Scandinavian functionalism, and then there’s the food: some of Europe’s most creative chefs are turning Nordic cuisine on its head in surprisingly delicious ways. Finally, there are the neighborhoods. Central Copenhagen has plenty of charms (historic buildings and pedestrian shopping zones), and its peripheries, filled with style-conscious Danes and their local haunts, are also worth a detour.

Do: Copenhagen Boat Rent, Islands Brygge Harbour Bath, Christiania, Kastrup Søbad, Kødbyen Gallery District, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, The Circle Bridge, The tower of Christiansborg Palace

Stay: 71 Nyhavn Hotel, Andersen Hotel, CENTRAL HOTEL & CAFÉ, Helenekilde Badehotel, Hotel SP34, Nimb, STAY Copenhagen, Urban House

Eat: The dining scene has become so strong that the choices are abundant – check out the Travel + Leisure restaurant guide for the city. Or in your dreams, NOMA:

 

Hygge

While it’s become a popular design term, I have been told by many Danes that most people miss the point in the pursuit of making it trendy. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.

Author: Carrie Mitchell

Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)