Our Travel Guide to a Weekend in Copenhagen

Scandinavia’s greenest city is a culinary and design destination.


Garden Party

Feeling fresh? The decor at Väkst will get you in the mood for straight-from-the-outdoors offerings with its two-story greenhouse installation and shelves of potted plants. It even has a rope swing. Located in the trendy Hotel SP34, Väkst always offers a vegetarian menu, as well as delights for omnivores of all stripes.

Väkst, Sankt Peders Stræde 34, Copenhagen, hostvakst.dk.


No doubt you’ve heard of Noma, the two-Michelin-starred Danish restaurant that put Nordic cuisine on the culinary map when it opened in 2003. Well, good luck getting a table at what’s been designated the “world’s best restaurant” several times over. Instead, try 108, Noma’s casual (and less expensive) little sister. This year-old hot spot—choreographed by Noma alumnus Kristian Baumann—features all the foraged, fermented, and smoked goodness of its more-famous sibling.

Strandgade 108, Copenhagen, 108.dk.


Photograph courtesy of Arp-Hansen Hotel Group

Riverside Retreat

The Danes are nothing if not practical, and their reuse of this 1805 warehouse on Nyhavn is a terrific example: After serving as a wharf storage building for nearly two centuries on the fading Copenhagen waterfront, the structure was converted into a hotel in 1971. Since then, Nyhavn has become an epicenter of tourism—surrounded by cultural buildings, fine restaurants, and vibrant nightlife—positioning the recently renovated 71 Nyhavn Hotel as the perfect headquarters for exploring the city. In addition to its convenient location, the hotel boasts an invitingly rustic timber-frame construction, an impressive collection of COBRA-era avant-garde artwork, and unparalleled Nyhavn and river views.

71 Nyhavn Hotel, Nyhavn 71, Copenhagen, 71nyhavnhotel.com.

Hotel Alexandra

Every room in this establishment features unique midcentury pieces, painstakingly collected by the hotel’s interior designers to re-create the look of a Danish modern home circa 1960. True aficionados should book one of the hotel’s Classic Danish Design rooms, outfitted as tributes to such famous furniture designers as Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner.

H. C. Andersens Blvd. 8, Copenhagen, hotelalexandra.dk.

Hotel Phoenix

Live like royalty—actual royalty—at a hotel that once booked spillover from Amalienborg, the Danish palace around the corner. Be sure to request one of the centrally located hotel’s 48 newly renovated rooms, and enjoy a short walk to the Royal Danish Theatre, the Royal Danish Playhouse, Nyhavn, and the magnificent gardens of yet another palace, Rosenborg.

Bredgade 37, Copenhagen, phoenixcopenhagen.com.


Image via Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (The Bend, by Tal R, 2016, pigment and rabbit glue on canvas, Donation: The New Carlsberg Foundation)

Artful Telling

On view at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the paintings of Israeli-born Danish artist Tal R appear wholly unpracticed, even crude. But look closely: The work’s simplicity belies the artist’s scholarship in both art history and humanity. His portraits, often of women, layer contemporary attitudes onto a Fauvist-like aesthetic.

“Academy of Tal R,” 5/20–9/10, GL Strandvej 13, Humlebæk, en.louisiana.dk.

“Blind Spots”

In this exhibition, the Danes confront their colonial past. Drawing on artifacts and photographs taken during the 250-plus-year period that Denmark owned three islands in the West Indies—St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John—this National Museum of Photography show explores the long-term effects of slavery and environmental exploitation under Danish rule.

5/19–1/27/18, Søren Kierkegaards Plads 1, kb.dk.