How to spend a weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark’s dynamic design city

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design city Copenhagen

Introduction:
Unraveling the beauty of Copenhagen doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of art and design. As UNESCO’s World Architecture Capital and renowned for its innovative approach to design, Copenhagen offers a welcoming atmosphere that celebrates its architectural heritage and embraces the joy found in the little things. From charming cobbled streets to vibrant buildings, museums filled with light, and inviting bakeries, this Danish city has something for everyone seeking a weekend escape.

Day 1: Embracing Copenhagen’s Timeless Charms

Morning:
Embark on a captivating harbor tour to immerse yourself in Copenhagen’s rich waterfront history. The Stromma Boat tour guides you through the colorful Nyhavn, past the modern opera house, historic naval quarters, and the iconic Little Mermaid statue. If you’re up for a unique experience, consider renting a solar-powered self-guided boat, like Go Boat, and navigate the waterways at your own pace. Conclude the morning with a delightful lunch at Restaurant Barr, a waterfront eatery offering a variety of traditional open-faced sandwiches known as smørrebrød.

Afternoon:
Discover the enchantment of Tivoli Gardens, a historic theme park that dates back to 1843 and is said to have inspired Disneyland. Brace yourself for thrilling rides, indulge in cotton candy from the vibrant stalls, and try your luck at carnival sideshow games. Don’t forget to explore the lush gardens, which provide a tranquil oasis within the park.

Evening:
Embark on a culinary adventure and savor Copenhagen’s latest food trend: ‘the new Asian Wave.’ This movement brings together Korean, Chinese, and Japanese influences, resulting in a fusion of flavors. Experience the diverse tastes at ISSEI, an Asian-Peruvian fusion restaurant nestled within the design-focused Radisson Collection Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. This luxurious hotel not only offers exceptional dining but also serves as an ideal base for exploring the city due to its central location and exquisite rooms.

Day 2: Immerse Yourself in Design

Morning:
Begin your day at the Danish Architecture Center, where the exhibition “So Danish!” sheds light on the significance of design and architecture in Copenhagen. Afterward, hop on a bicycle and follow the city’s bike paths to reach Designmuseum Danmark. During your visit, take a break at Format, the museum’s cafe, to enjoy a revitalizing mid-morning coffee.

Afternoon:
Continue your biking adventure to Nyhavn and catch the yellow city ferry to Refshaleøen, a former industrial site that has transformed into one of Copenhagen’s trendiest areas. Explore Reffen, a street food market boasting delectable culinary offerings, visit the Copenhagen Contemporary art gallery, and don’t miss the renowned Lille Bakery. Nearby, marvel at Bjarke Ingels Group’s Copenhill, an innovative ski slope and hiking trail atop a local waste-to-energy plant.

Evening:
While securing a reservation at Copenhagen’s famed Michelin-starred restaurants like Noma, Alchemist, or Alouette may require careful planning, you can still indulge in culinary excellence at Mirabelle Spiseria, one of the city’s newest hotspots located in the hip area of Nørrebro. After dinner, embark on a natural wine bar tour, making stops at Pompette and Terroiristen to savor their exquisite selections.

Day 3: A Journey through Artistic Marvels

Morning:
Take a leisurely stroll through Copenhagen’s streets, immersing yourself in the city’s unique ambiance and paying attention to every captivating detail. Pause at a cozy bakery to relish a morning coffee and treat yourself to a delectable pastry. Recommended bakeries include Andersen, Hart Bageri, Bageriet Benji, and Rondo. Afterwards, board a train to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a sensational gallery showcasing captivating works of art. Marvel at the impressive creations of American figurative painter Dana Schultz and immerse yourself in a soulful light installation by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Afternoon:
Indulge in a full Danish lunch at the museum’s café while enjoying open-faced sandwiches and gazing at Alexander Calder’s sculptures. Continue exploring the museum’s collections and wander through the sculpture garden. Make sure to allocate time to peruse the beautifully curated design and lifestyle shop within the gallery.

Evening:
As your last night in the city approaches, elevate your dining experience by reserving a table at Meyers i Tårnet, a classic Danish restaurant nestled within Christiansborg Palace’s tower. Revel in the ambiance of dining in a castle while savoring exceptional cuisine.

Practical Information:
Direct flights to Copenhagen are available from various cities in the UK, including Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, and London. Copenhagen is highly walkable and offers a reliable public transport network, as well as an abundance of bike paths for exploration.

During your stay, consider the Radisson Collection Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. Designed by acclaimed Danish architect Arne Jacobsen in the 1960s, it is often regarded as the world’s first design hotel. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a glimpse of room 606, which has been meticulously preserved exactly as Jacobsen intended, down to the door handles.

For more information, please visit radissonhotels.com/collection. To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine, click here (available in select countries only).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about design city Copenhagen

What makes Copenhagen a design city?

Copenhagen is renowned for its innovative approach to design, with a rich architectural heritage and a focus on contemporary and sustainable design practices. The city has been named UNESCO World Architecture Capital, showcasing its commitment to design excellence.

What are some must-visit attractions in Copenhagen?

Some must-visit attractions in Copenhagen include Tivoli Gardens, a historic theme park that inspired Disneyland, and the Danish Architecture Center, which offers insights into the importance of design and architecture in the city. Additionally, exploring the vibrant Nyhavn waterfront area and visiting the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art are highly recommended.

Can you recommend any popular restaurants in Copenhagen?

Certainly! Copenhagen offers a diverse culinary scene. For a unique dining experience, consider making reservations at renowned Michelin-starred restaurants like Noma, Alchemist, or Alouette. Alternatively, you can explore the emerging trend of Asian-inspired cuisine by visiting restaurants such as ISSEI or trying hotspots like Mirabelle Spiseria in Nørrebro.

Is Copenhagen a walkable city?

Yes, Copenhagen is highly walkable, making it easy for visitors to explore the city on foot. Many of the major attractions, such as Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn, are within walking distance of each other. The city also has an efficient public transport network and plenty of bike paths for those who prefer cycling.

How can I travel to Copenhagen?

Copenhagen is well-connected by direct flights from various cities in the UK, including Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, and London. You can choose a suitable flight option to reach the city conveniently.

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