In the eastern part of Denmark, dubbed the happiest country in the entire world, is its stylish capital city, Copenhagen. Known for great design, an incredible biking culture, and for forever leaving an impression on the international food scene, it’s a Scandinavian city that shouldn’t be missed. Here are five things that you absolutely must have on your itinerary when visiting.
1. Explore Torvehallerne.
Torvehallerne is an incredible food market housing everything from fresh veggies to gourmet foods to street-style tacos. You’ll find an incredible selection of the freshest, in-season eats out there, all located right in the center of the city. Highlights include The Coffee Collective, an absolute must for any coffee fanatic as well as Hija de Sanchez, a taco stand owned by former Noma pastry chef, Rosio Sanchez.
The market makes for a fantastic, easy lunch spot, and it’s perfect if you’re traveling with a group of picky eaters. There is truly something for everyone to love.
2. Get on the water.
Copenhagen is located on the water, and is home to a plethora of beautiful canals. The best way to explore these waters is, of course, by boat. Nyhavn is one of the most famous waterfront areas in the entire city, and while visiting this area you can easily hop on a boat for a tour of the canals.
Though it will cost you a bit more, you can also rent a GoBoat, a solar powered boat that will allow you and your party to travel the area on your own. You don’t need to have a boating license to operate one of these boats, and best of all, you can bring a picnic along with you to have lunch right on the water.
3. Climb the Rundetaarn.
Rundetaarn (also known as the Round Tower) was originally built in the 1600’s as an astronomical observatory, and remains an icon of the city. Today, it’s Europe’s oldest functioning astronomy towers. Some of the best views of the city can be seen from the top, and the climb up is luckily a relatively easy one. Though the interior is relatively simple, it’s best known for its sloping equestrian staircase, which was built so astronomers could easily cart their equipment to the top.
Tip: During summertime the observatory area at the very top is open for visitors.
4. Explore the New Nordic cuisine.
Danish cusine forever changed the food world in the early 2000’s with the opening of Noma, a four-time winner of the “Best Restaurant in the World” title. This style of cooking, New Nordic, has since transformed the city of Copenhagen into a food mecca. At its core, New Nordic involves cooking with seasonal ingredients, and preparing these ingredients in new, innovative ways while still honoring the traditions, landscape, and history of the region. While Noma is at the center of it all, there are several other fantastic, more affordable options to dine at as well. Restaurant Bror, Relæ, and Radio are all incredible picks that will leave you with an unforgettable New Nordic experience.
5. Experience the ample art and design.
Copenhagen is a dream for design and art lovers. Great aesthetics are everywhere you look in the city, but it’s especially true when it comes to the city’s galleries and museums. The National Gallery of Denmark, the largest museum in Denmark, has one of the most varied collections in the world featuring both emerging and well-established artists. Galleri Christoffer Egelund is yet another good pick, featuring both Scandinavian and international contemporary artists. Kunsthal Charlottenborg is a solid pick that’s beautiful inside and out, and hosts events and performances in addition to housing art.