How many times have you felt overwhelmed scoping through copious amounts of tourist information researching for an overseas holiday? Luckily, artists Mika and Kirsten Utzon Popov have curated a list of must visit restaurants, shopping hotspots and tips and tricks to get around the city on a rental bike. If you read below, their personal gift to you is making sure that you visit Petitgas, an iconic hat store. Although you must use the right terminology to get the attention of the very proud staff, it’s a wonderful experience in artistry. You’ll have a hard time fitting in all of these places into your trip, we can guarantee you.
What are the best restaurants in Copenhagen?
Strandgade 50, 1401 København, Denmark
A traditional Sailors Inn, Christianshavns Færgecafe in Christianshavn, which is opposite the Danish Architecture Centre. There’s old school veal schnitzel with traditional Danish beer in an authentic Copenhagen setting. This place cannot be beaten and it is just down the road from Edition Copenhagen and NOMA.
Brolæggerstræde 12, 1211 København, Denmark
This restaurant offers traditional Danish open sandwiches on rye bread with schnapps and beer. Everything from prawns, pork, pate, fish, meatballs, gherkin and dill. Take your time to enjoy the variety of options on the two foot long menu! Schnapps is a must.
Øster Farimagsgade 10, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
A world class destination and famous for its flavours.
Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
Perhaps less known than NOMA, but it is one of the most highly rated by the locals.
Kronprinsessegade 64, 1306 København K, Denmark
Another Michelin star restaurant worth a visit.
Refshalevej 153, 1432 København, Denmark
Great food in a great setting on the edge of Copenhagen in the old ship building sector. A prime position for looking back at the centre of town.
Amagertorv 1, 1160 København K, Denmark
This is not the top of culinary experiences, but it is a great local cornerstone in Copenhagen’s cultural and social life. A good place to have a coffee and watch the crowds in front of the great fountain on Amagertorv.
Halmtorvet 21, 1700 København V, Denmark
A simple and delightful salad bar where you walk in, point and then they mix. It’s at the entrance to Kødbyen.
Strandgade 93, 1401 København K, Denmark
And finally, you must try NOMA if you can get a reservation. This should be taken as a small and personal gift from us as Copenhagen is experiencing a golden period at the moment with its vast collective culinary knowledge being shared generously between chefs and clients.
What is your ultimate fashion/shopping destination in Copenhagen?
Kronprinsensgade is in the centre of town is a great place to start your fashion journey. Head east, then along Pilestræde and through to Silkegade and you will cover a great deal of cool shops and boutiques near all the major stores. There are plenty of cafés to choose from as well.
Nørrebrogade 45 B, 2200 København N, Denmark
Stine is one of the most creative and stylish fashion designers for women in Denmark. Her store is very understated with a cool ambience which is very Stine. It’s right in the centre and thus easy to visit.
By now doing quite well in Sydney as well, designer Tine Holt Møller is an old friend who, along with photographer Barbara Hvidt, have created a great new language for children’s clothing, collaborating with artists for their patterns and designs. They now also have some women creations available plus great bed linen. Their intimate woven designs are artworks in themselves.
Rentemestervej 67, 2400 København, Denmark
This store is worth a visit for the experience and overall styling of the space.
STRANDSTRÆDE 3, 1255 København, Denmark
Yvonne Kone’s leather handiwork has to be felt in the hand. Beautiful handmade leather bags, purses and pouches. There are a number of shops that stock her collection such as the Designshop.
Niels Hemmingsens Gade 3, 1153 København K, Denmark
Just off the main walking street, it’s an inspiring place.
Grønnegade 1, 1107 København, Denmark
It started with t‐shirts and soon became the go‐to brand in Denmark for the fashion set. Their design has elements of menswear too.
BAUM UND PFERDGARTEN
Silkegade 8 1113 København, Denmark
Danish darlings. Fantastic patterns with great texture and contrast.
Frederiksholms Kanal 4B København, Denmark
Great affordable, classic pieces to add to your essentials each season, with an added bonus of an on-trend shoe collection, and lace underwear.
Danish minimalist clothing with an edge.
A Danish jeweller living in Ibiza who makes beautiful organic, raw forms inspired by nature.
SOPHIE BILLE BRAHE
Nikolaj Plads 30 | 1067 Copenhagen K, Denmark
The hottest new jewellery designer, known for using pearls in her minimalist designs.
Has long been creating sculptural wonders in gold and precious stones in glass and porcelain. His works are truly unique and worth sourcing. Contact via email and make the time to see his work in person if you are in Copenhagen.
Elmegade 21, 2200 København N, Denmark
Worth a visit, especially as you can claim the 25% GST when you leave the EU.
MADS NOR GAARD
Amagertorv 15, 1160 København K, Denmark
Mads is an iconic designer in Denmark, a great supporter of the arts and a torchbearer for the integrity of both fashion and design. He walks a calming path of classic with a modern edge in his cut and design. His clothes have become iconic in the Danish art and fashion scene, which in Denmark are almost inseparable spaces. His store has men and women side by side, with children’s wear just opposite the Royal Copenhagen and George Jensen. Check out his trademark striped shirt and knitwear.
Pilestræde 41, 1112 København K, Denmark
A fabulous little store with some great menswear, particularly if you are into city winter gear. This shop has an off-beat and unique selection for you to see.
Købmagergade 5, 1150 København K, Denmark
This hat shop has a beautiful selection and variety of classic hats and caps. It is now somewhat of an old classic in the streetscape of Copenhagen. However, know your terminology before you ask, as he does not tolerate ignorance in his hat department. It’s a good experience, especially if you walk out with something special for yourself.
If you wants some seriously cool shoes, men or women, visit shops in Copenhagen who stock The Last Conspiracy. Great detailing and quality. Check them out on instagram first and you will not be sorry. A great Danish shoemaker.
PEDE & STOFFER
Klosterstræde 15, 1157 København K, Denmark
A great shop near the centre of the city, with menswear and womens in adjacent shops. Good variety of brands, winter or summer.
What are the best local cultural activities in Copenhagen?
Go swimming in the harbour pool at Islands Brygge. The water is clean and there are no sharks!
THE ROYAL BALLET
Kongens Nytorv 9, 1017 København, Denmark
It’s a wonderful theatre and a very strong dance company with a long legacy behind it. Dress up and enjoy the space and the light. It is especially emotive during the winter and Christmas season.
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København, Denmark
Copenhagen is particularly good in summer and the month before Christmas. The whole city is alive and flooded with impressions. An absolute must in either summer or Christmas is the Tivoli Gardens. One of the original and most wonderful (albeit now slightly modernised) amusement parks in the world, where many Danes developed a sense of magical adventure. It is a beautifully balanced park allowing fun rides, strolling and eating to happen in a beautiful and calm setting. An alternative to the Royal Theatre, Tivoli has its own concert hall with a great program of musical (contemporary and classical), theatre and ballet performances.
Enghavevej 40, 1674 København V, Denmark
Go and see a great concert at Vega, still the best music venue in Copenhagen. The harbour and canal tour boats are well worth doing as they give a good insight into the layout and history of central Copenhagen.
What are the best museums/art galleries in Copenhagen?
Høkerboderne 17, 1712 København, Denmark
Christian has one of the fastest growing reputations in Copenhagen; thriving during the economic crisis when many of the major galleries shut down. He presents an avant garde front for new art in Copenhagen, and in fact Europe.
Strandgade 66, 1401 KØBENHAVN K, Denmark
I did a series of prints with this passionate group of printers some years ago. Edition Copenhagen is one of the most respected lithographic printing houses in Europe. They work with over 1,500 artists from all over Europe. They are one of only a few printers who still have large scale printing limestones, which produce incredible texture and life in the prints. Their gallery section regularly shows works from their vast library of artists and may be purchased from them directly.
Flæsketorvet 69 – 71, 1711 København V, Denmark
Opened by Jesper Elg and Peter Funch, the gallery became one of the hotspots for events and gatherings with a very edgy selection of street art and contemporary happenings. A very cool gallery with an impressive representation of artists.
GALLERY BO BJERGGARD
Flæsketorvet 85, 1711 København, Denmark
This is one of the ‘heavies’ of the Copenhagen art scene and has a strong group of young and older artists. Per Kirkeby is one of Denmark’s strongest painters of the older generation and his latest shows have shown a remarkable lack of fear and progression. They also represent one of my personal favourite Danish younger artists, Tal R. has a wonderful mix of languages and materials that, in my view, transformed the Danish art scene when he first started showing. His latest pastel-like paintings of Copenhagen are a wonderful example of strong intellectual ideas combined with a free material hand.
Dantes Plads 7, 1556 København, Denmark
Discover the substantial sculpture collection and beautiful architecture of Copenhagen’s Glyptotek. It is next to the Tivoli and it houses a beautiful marble version of The Kiss by Rodin.
STATENS MUSEUM FOR KUNST
Sølvgade 48-50, 1307 København, Denmark
The State Museum of Art is beside the Botanical Gardens and Rosenborg Castle. You will find Copenhagen locals sun baking in the Kings Garden when the sun is shining.
DANISH DESIGN MUSEUM
Bredgade 68, 1260 København, Denmark
The Danish Design Museum contains everything worth knowing about Danish design, including an impressive chandelier by the nation’s favourite jeweller, Arje Greigst.
What is your favourite area of Copenhagen?
With its old buildings, canals and local life, it’s my favourite section of Copenhagen both visually and sentimentally. It has the old loading docks from the shipping times. It was also the base station of the socialist left in the 70’s and 80’s, which has had a significant impact on the Danish music and art scene. It is home to the Academy of Architecture, Theatre School, the Film School, The Danish Architecture Centre and finally the great old base station wall from Frederik the IV, which also encompasses the free town of Christiania. Vesterbro is my favourite area for its vibe and culture. Go to Kødbyen, the old meatpacking district, and you will find great restaurants, galleries, bars and shops.
Do you have any insider tips for Copenhagen that most people wouldn’t normally know about?
Refshalevej 151, 1432 København K, Denmark
Rent a bike and ride from Christianshavn out to this old ship building area. It is full of artist studios, restaurants and odd creations. And make sure you sample a Danish cinnamon snail or a spandauer with crème at one of the traditional bakeries, such as Lagekagehuset in Christianshavn. Their Danish pastries are unlike the anything we get in Sydney.
You can follow Mika on Instagram at @mikautzonpopov