Originally a Viking fishing village in the late 10th century, the city of Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Copenhagen is a highly unique capital, there is a reason it consistently tops the charts of best cities in the world. Its rapid modern development and rich financial background make it one of the most prominent cities in Europe. The Nyhavn canal winds throughout the city, which consists of storybook neighborhoods and bikers smiling ear to ear. Copenhagen’s strong economic background is mostly due to the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, which has left a prosperous community. Its charming atmosphere, contemporary architecture, and plethora of human activity make for a must-visit place on anyone’s travel list. Copenhagen has a rich history, take a stop at the Christiansborg Palace and the Renaissance-era Rosenborg capital to indulge in some history where you are surrounded by luscious green gardens and jewels alike. This is Chic Icon’s guide to Copenhagen.
Winter in Copenhagen starts around October or November so pack accordingly! The streets and Christmas market at Tivoli are lit up throughout with stunning Christmas trees, lights, and festivities. Copenhagen in the winter is a wonderland but make sure to take a warm coat and clothes because it can get chilly. If you choose to go in the summer you will be met with pleasant weather and a lighthearted aura over the city. Bring walking shoes and some light clothing, but it can get cold at night. However, either time, a chic trendy outfit and sunglasses can never hurt.
Where to stay
When it comes to places to stay in Copenhagen it is hard to beat Villa Copenhagen. Located in the heart of Copenhagen, the Villa Copenhagen is a humble yet braggadocious hotel that ventures into the world of both Danish and European history. The rooms are inspired by the traditional architecture of the city in mind. Step inside the fairy tale of soft sheets, nostalgia, and sophistication. There are room choices for everyone but you can’t go wrong with their deluxe king room to truly embrace luxury. The deluxe has your private mini spa and makes for a nice home away from home to unwind after a fruitful day. No resident leaves parched, the Courtyard Bar is located under a big glass ceiling overlooking the courtyard. Designed by Shamballa Jewels, it touches on Nordic roots and global influences. In their brasserie, Kontrasta, you experience the unification of a quirkiness mixed with the luxury and exclusivity that characterizes the inner city of Copenhagen. What makes Villa Copenhagen special is its dynamic atmosphere which is in tune with its rich history. T37 is a wine and cocktail bar inside Villa Copenhagen that is a great place to socialize and enjoy a fruitful conversation.
Another option is The Hotel D’Angleterre, which encompasses top-tier luxury in the heart of Copenhagen. It is an elegant venue with an arrangement of rooms and suites. Oftentimes this hotel is booked for extravagant weddings and events. There is an indoor pool, a 5-star restaurant, and accommodations for every type of need. The best stop is the champagne bar or terrace where you can unwind and enjoy yourself with a refreshing glass of fine wine or champagne.
Where to Eat
There’s one thing you can always expect when visiting Copenhagen and that is you will dine in tastefulness and grandeur. Selma is the product of the duo between local brewery Mikkeler and Swedish Chef Magnus Peterson. They are open for lunch on a daily basis except for Tuesday and the recommendation is a 2-hour tasting to truly embrace everything Selma has to offer. You can come here for dinner from Thursday to Saturday. Selma recently was awarded a Michelin star in 2021 and there is a reason why. This contemporary Scandinavian restaurant is in a constant state of change with dynamic menus and true craftsmanship.
There is an emphasis on attention to detail and season-driven produce. Selma doesn’t just stop at food, they offer an assortment of Mikkeller, a world-renowned Copenhagen craft brewery, along with other beers. Their 12 taps come alongside a special wine list consisting of organic and natural wines. The menu is vast, unique, and frankly incredible. A must-have is the rosehip and horseradish herring paired with small fennel, raspberry, dill, and an optional side of Danish peas. Their selection is distinctive, with flavors ranging from traditional to international. Their cheeses are a standout, sometimes standing alongside plates such as the herbs salted salmon for Hiddenfjord and others on their lonesome such as the Danish artisan cheese option. Food transcends a plate when it is authentic and there is a feeling of purpose. At Selma, there is a constant feeling of just that as you go from drink to bite. This is a must-try by Chic Icon when visiting Copenhagen.
Then there is Noma, the Danish restaurant that was hand selected as the best in the world. This is not a first-time feat for Noma, the restaurant has bestowed this title several times in its years of business. Noma is the brainchild of René Redcepi and Claus Meyer, the founders who took to the kitchen with the goal of uniting local recipes and ingredients in a country that had not had a strong culinary history. This establishment works in a 3 menu year system centered around the 3 seasons: winter, summer, and autumn. These seasons are accompanied by seafood in the winter, vegetables in the summer, and game and forest products in autumn. This makes for a unique experience every time you visit, there is always a chance for a new journey. The creation of the “Noma Effect” came to fruition after Noma took the gastronomic market by storm. You don’t need to be a foodie, let alone need to visit Copenhagen, but anyone can love Noma. If you are blessed with the opportunity to sit down reading a menu with Noma at the top then you are one of the lucky ones.
Last but certainly not least, which is a must try, are the splendid bakeries and sweets that Copenhagen has to offer. Juno the bakery is a hip bakery in Copenhagen that is a staple in Østerbro. It’s a more Swedish vibe but has delicious puff pastries with pillowy soft cream. As well as Conditori La Glace is a historical cake shop and patisserie dating back to 1870 where you can scarf down some old-fashioned classic cake in a Parisienne way. This is a must in Copenhagen!
Things to do and see
Now it’s not a vacation without a little bit of shopping! Copenhagen is a shopping mecca for luxury from department stores to local handmade furniture, housewares, or toys. The best place to do this is on Strøget Street which is the main shopping street and the longest pedestrian street in the world. Walking this street from top to bottom is an absolute must when visiting Copenhagen and you may even run into the coveted street performances and skilled buskers that are around yearly.
If you’re a fan of Danish design then you must stop by Illums Bolighus, a one-stop shop for all things Danish design. Bathrooms, furniture, home accessories, and lighting this is a great stop to see the true art of Danish design. Now if you are with kids, Denmark is the home of Lego! There is an incredible Legoland and store to take your children to experience their wildest dreams!
There is a booming nightlife in Copenhagen stemming from a contagious culture of work hard – play hard attitude. Take a stop at Godt ØI which is a beer drinker heaven with 12 craft beers on tap. They don’t call it the best city for craft beer for nothing! If you want a different vibe then choose La Fontaine which is a brilliant venue to experience one of the meccas for Jazz musicians. A great story is Lady Gaga had actually stopped by here and gave a rendition of the amazing song “La Vie En Rose”. Now if cocktails are more your vibe then look no further than Gensyn which is the award-winning cocktail bar that radiates a homey vibe with billiards and a saloon ambiance.
Whether you are traveling with kids, alone, or with your partner, Copenhagen is a wonderland for all to enjoy. There are a plethora of activities stemming from chic to historical but all enjoyable nonetheless.
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