While Scandinavia’s been an enticing region to explore for a while now, Copenhagen has only recently started making headlines. Named as Lonely Planet’s must-see European city for 2019, Denmark’s trendy capital is a real mix of old and new, with its iconic spires sitting alongside cutting-edge urban architecture. It’s also become something of a culinary mecca, from Michelin-star fine dining to organic cafes. Here’s how to make the most of this innovative, compact and cycle-friendly city.
Unmissable experiences for a long weekend
Copenhagen offers up plenty to see, from the colourful 17th century townhouses lining Nyhavn — the city’s upbeat waterfront district — to the enchanting renaissance Rosenborg Castle that’s home to the nation’s crown jewels.
Those looking for Scandi interior inspiration will be in heaven at Danish design shops like Normann Copenhagen and GUBI, while shopaholics will find plenty to purchase in Strøget, Europe’s longest pedestrianized shopping street. If you’re visiting in the summer, the nostalgic antique amusement arcade in Tivoli Park is well-worth a peek. And then there’s Copenhagen’s famous spires — mainstays on the city’s skyline.
How to experience the city’s famous spires
Copenhagen’s towers climb well beyond its colourful rooftops, earning it the nickname, “The City of Spires”. Perhaps the most famous one belongs to the Church of Our Saviour in Christianshavn. Completed in 1752 and distinctive for its snaking, corkscrew design, you can climb the 400 steps to the top for magnificent panoramic views. The spires aren’t just on churches, either. You’ll also spot ornate points soaring up from the City Hall, as well as the 106m tower — the highest spire in Copenhagen — atop Christiansborg Palace.
Where to eat and drink
Copenhagen’s food scene has really taken off in recent years, with world-renowned chefs flocking to the city to open up new establishments. While top-end eateries like award-winning Noma offer seasonal fine dining, there’s no shortage of more affordable options, especially in the central Vesterbro district. You’ll also find bars and cafes with understatedly cool décor in Christianshavn, whereas beer drinkers will be in their element at the micro breweries and pubs scattered around Nørrebro.
Where to stay
Just like its shopping and dining offerings, Copenhagen’s hotels are just as stylish — and there’s something to suit all budgets. A stay in the charming three-star B&B Copenhagen Star places you right in the heart of the bustling Vesterbro neighbourhood and less than ten minutes’ walk from beautiful Tivoli Park.
Alternatively, the family-run Absalon Hotel offers elegantly luxurious interiors and unrivalled convenience thanks to its position near Copenhagen Central Station.