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Great architecture, good shops, a lively cultural scene: BARRY BILLY BEGG loves the Danish capital


he wonder of wonderful Copenhagen is totally tangible. From the innumerable towers and steeples that crowd the skyline to its cutting edge design culture, from the gothic charm of the old Latin Quarter to the striking multi-coloured buildings lining the harbour at Nyhavn, Copenhagen fires the imagination and captures your heart. It’s one city you simply can’t help but love. Remember this is the place that has given the world a plethora of irresistible things, from Bodum’s sleek, functional kitchenware to the striking jewellery of Georg Jensen. Copenhagen has good reason to consider itself the design capital of the world. Clean, modern, and eco-friendly, the city is served by a splendid unmanned electric metro system. Even so, obsessed (it seems) by fresh air and exercise, locals seem to favour cycles; the streets are crowded with them. There’s no shortage of things to see and do. Every visitor must, of course, seek out the Little Mermaid statue, set on a granite boulder at Langeline Pier in the harbour. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic fairy tale, she is a Danish national icon – and synonymous with the capital. The Copenhagen Opera House is just one of the city’s architectural wonders. Designed by architect Henning Larsen (not to be confused with the Celtic player of similar name), it has walls and balconies faced in rich maple wood, while the ceiling of 24-carat gold leaf – several hundred square

meters of it – it is simply spectacular. Characterised by a very different style, the ominous, imposing Black Diamond extension to the Royal Library is another must-see. For a relaxing stroll, the Tivoli Gardens is unquestionably the place to go. Packed with 900 trees and thousands of flowers, it’s popular with locals and visitors alike. Here, you’ll also find a concert hall, two theatres, three openair stages . . . and forty restaurants. Just the place to enjoy a delicious midday Smorrebrod open sandwich! The city’s cultural wealth is matched by exceptional shopping. Lined with familiar names as well as all those cool Danish brands, Stroget is the longest pedestrian street in the world. It’s home to Illum, the city’s foremost department store. But between stocking up on contemporary fashions at Day Birger et Mikkelsen, debating the ethical incorrectness of the opulent furs at Birger Christiansen, and marvelling at the iconic blue and white porcelain at the Royal Copenhagen flagship store, head to Café Victor at the Radhuspladen end of the throughfare. This is the perfect spot for coffee and marvellous pastries (something else the Danes have given the world) while wondering whether your hand baggage allowance will stretch to include that Bang & Olufsen sound system, a stack of Arne Jacobsen chairs, and one of Paul Herrinsen’s fabulous artichoke lamps. BMI operate flights to Copenhagen from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.


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WHERE TO STAY UNHINdeRed LUXURy HOTEL D’ANGLETERRE Situated in the heart of the city, overlooking the Kongens nytorv, and close to the royal Theatre, this is one of the world’s oldest hotels. rooms are wonderfully elegant, and the service is exemplary Kongens Nytorv 34 (3312 0095)



FReNCH FLAVOUR CAFÉ VICTOR The outdoor tables are crammed with Copenhagen’s beautiful people. Inside, the style is traditional french bistro in fare as well as décor -–think brass fixtures and walls of mirrors, plus works by leading modern danish artists

Østergade 61 (3311 7791)

HOT LUNCHSPOT CAFÉ HOVEDTELEGRAFEN Situated in the Post & Tele Museum (house of Communications), this café boasts striking views over downtown Copenhagen and a menu of simple but delicious fish and shellfish specialities. during summer, tables are moved out on to the terrace, making this an even more compelling spot for brunch or lunch. Købmagergade 37 (3341 0986)

Hammerichsgade1 (3815 6500)

UNIQUe eXPeRIeNCe HOTEL FOX Is it a magical fairytale or an art installation? A bit of both, actually. with atmospheric rooms individually created by graphic designers, illustrators and graffiti artists, this is probably the most unique hotel experience you’ll ever have Jarmers Plads 3 (3313 3000)

GReAT VALUe HOTEL KONG ARTHUR Stylish, modern accommodation, friendly staff and a relaxing spa give this

Ny Østergade 8 (3313 3613)

GRANd SCALe CAFÉ NORDEN Situated between the two main pedestrian streets in the centre of Copenhagen, this is biggest (and some would argue the best) of the city’s cafes. Seated upstairs, downstairs – or, weather-permitting, outside on the street, Café norden is the ideal place to try a traditional danish smorrebrod sandwich with a glass of wine or beer

ICONIC deSIGN RADISSON SAS ROYAL HOTEL Created by a Titan of 20th century architecture, Arne Jacobson, this modernist masterpiece was the world’s first designer hotel.



beST COCKTAILS KARRIERE BAR The brainchild of artist Jeppe hein and his sister Laerke, this exclusive yet informal venue brings contemporary art to a social environment. expert bartenders will mix your favourite cocktail Flaesketorvet 57-67 (3321 5509)

beST FOR GLAMOUR RUBY A bar that feels like a magnificent private residence, ruby (located just off the Gammel Strand) attracts Copenhagen’s coolest crowd. dress to impress


Nybrogade 10 (3393 1203)

beST AFTeR MIdNIGHT RUST Situated in the norrebro neighbourhood, close to the city centre, this is the trendy option not only for drinks but also dancing late into the night Guldbergsgade 8 (3524 5200)


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reasonably-priced hotel (located opposite the Sortedams So lakes) a special edge.



Nørre Søgade 11 (3311 1212)

STyLe STATeMeNT FIRST HOTEL SKT. PETRI Located in the Latin Quarter, this stylish luxury hotel is conveniently located for the city’s exclusive boutiques. KRYSTALGADE 22 (3345 9100)



STyLe SOLUTION MUNTHE PLUS SIMONSEN This is the place for haute-boho and edgy street-style looks at decidedly down-toearth prices. You can also order online – these people ship worldwide

Vesterbrogade 3,Tivoli (3375 0775)

UNbeATAbLe VIeWS ALBERTO K Situated on the 20th floor of the world’s first design hotel, not only are you treated to the delightful juxtaposition of danish and Italian ingredients, you have a panoramic view over the wonderful city of Copenhagen.

Grennegade 10 (3332 0312)

FASHION FIX DAY BIRGER ET MIKKELSEN one of the great international success stories of recent years, stylish men and women covet this 100% danish brand’s signature soft layers and distinctive fabrics.


beST FOR TAbLeWARe ROYAL COPENHAGEN That delicate tracery of blue flowers of white porcelain isn’t a cliché – it’s a exquisitely formed design classic every bit as iconic in its uniquely danish way as any Jacobsen chair or the humble jam and fruit-filled pastry

Langelinie Pavillonen, Langelinie (3312 1214)

Amagertorv 6 (3313 7181)

CHARM FACTOR EDITH & ELLA A former glove shop, complete with mosaic flooring and a quaint spiral staircase, provides the perfect setting for designer Line Markvarsden’s modern take on the feminine glamour of the twenties, thirties and forties Kobmagergade 7 (3321 4223)

white) fuses elements of British, french and danish cuisine to spectacular effect

FASHIONISTA’S FAVOURITe LANGELINIE PAVILLIONEN one of the most elegant restaurants in the city, with Arne Jacobson ‘Ant’ chairs and panoramic views of the harbour. hot with the in-crowd.

MICHeLIN-STAR dINING KONG HANS Serious food in the splendid of the oldest building in Copenhagen. The menu is based on the classic traditions of french gastronomy.

HeRITAGe & ATMOSPHeRe CAFÉ A PORTA Its history dates back to 1788 (hans Christian Anderson lived on the third floor of the building during the 1860s), this ravishing brasserie has recently been restored to reflect how it must have looked during the late 19th century’s belle epoch. Unmissable Kongens Nytorv 17 (3311 0500) KONG HANS

Vingaardsstraede 6 (3311 6868)

CULINARy FIReWORKS THE PAUL Set within the magnificent glass-domed theatre in the Tivoli gardens . . . The chef (a Brit who trained with Marco Pierre


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Copenhagen Travel  

Copenhagen travel feature by Barry Bill Begg