Sunday Funday: A Perfect Day in Copenhagen

Three locals on how to make the most of 24 hours in this cosmopolitan Scandinavian capital city.

Sunday Funday: A Perfect Day in Copenhagen

A perfect day in Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Hart Bakery for its popular morning bun with butter and cheese—or really anything from its pastry case.

Photos by Ditte Isager

We asked three cool Copenhageners who work in restaurants, food, and design–three industries essential to Copenhagen culture–for their perfect Sunday itinerary. From local markets, natural wine and fish stores, the best hotel rooms to book, and secret swimming spots–all the insider tips are here.

Museum-hopping, dinner at a new restaurant, and a penthouse suite

For Kornbek-Engell Hansen, design and brand director of Menu and the Audo, a perfect day includes museum-hopping, dinner at a new restaurant, and a penthouse suite.

  • Start in: Inner City
  • End in: Nordhavn

Copenhagen is still a relatively small city compared to other capitals, so it’s very easy and quick to get around on your bike or by metro. With a hectic work and family life, getting around fast is really important to me.

If I took an entire day out to explore the city, I would start my day at Apotek 57 with coffee, a freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and one of their amazing sourdough buns with butter and cheese. Then, I’d check out the Studio X store and continue onto the Design Museum Denmark. If it’s spring or summer, I’d rent a GoBoat and bring along some work friends and make sure to dock by Hart Bakery for lunch, where they recently opened a new department store in a historical building at Holmen.

Afterwards, I would check out the exhibition at Copenhagen Contemporary and then head for dinner at restaurant Alouette. The restaurant scene in Copenhagen is ever evolving, and I’m trying my best to keep up with all of the new beautiful and tasteful places as this is also a great opportunity for me to be inspired for either new designs or new ways of doing hospitality. Finally, I’d go for a glass of wine at the Audo in Nordhavn where I’d also spend the night—preferably in room 3, the penthouse.

The next morning, I would go for a swim in the harbor before heading to work.

Remember to rent a bike if the weather allows for biking around the entire day. Otherwise use the metro or grab a Viggo—electric taxi rides.

Food, food, and more food

For Cindie Christiansen, founder and director of Zero Foodprint Nordic, a perfect day includes food, food, and more food.

Grønt Marked is one of Copenhagen’s many farmers’ markets.

Grønt Marked is one of Copenhagen’s many farmers’ markets.

Courtesy of Grønt Marked

  • Start in: Østerbro
  • End in: Torvehallerne

My day would begin in Østerbro, with a visit to the organic bakery and shop Hahnemanns Køkken. The croissants are flaky and delicious and made from 100 percent organic Danish flour and butter—and the coffee is nice. Everything at this place is carefully selected from local farmers, so as a guest you can trust that you’re supporting the right people.

From Østerbro, it’s a nice bike ride out to Refshaleøen, crossing many of the beautiful bike bridges we have in Copenhagen, where I find Grønt Marked on selected Sundays. This is a food paradise for me. Here, small organic and regenerative farmers gather to sell fresh and responsible produce. I love to talk to the farmers and learn how they grow it. As a consumer, it’s a perfect place to ask questions and learn about food and seasonality, as you’ll only find seasonal produce here.

After a lot of food shopping (I of course take my electric cargo bike for that purpose), I would need something to drink (food shopping is tough!) and luckily La Banchina is just around the corner. This is the cutest little 16-seat vegetarian and seafood restaurant and café (during the day) located at the harbor. If it is a cold day I would also go for a swim (Copenhagen harbor is clean!) and have a short break in La Banchina’s sauna.

I’d then bike to Torvehallerne to buy fish at Fiskerikajen, a company dedicated to sustainable and gentle coastal fishing practices. It is a beautiful bike ride where you pass Noma and its amazing burger place Popl on Christianshavn. The vegetarian version with quinoa tempeh from Noma’s fermentation lab is WOW!

Back at Torvehallerne I would also make a quick stop at the urban farm shop and eatery Omegn & Venner to buy milk and yogurt from Søtoftes Gårdmejeri—it is from grass-fed happy cows.

For lunch, I’d pick up Modern Danish smørrebrød at Selma. It is such a cute place on the other side of Torvehallerne, with amazing service and lots of deliciousness and responsible produce. On my way home, I’d pick up some natural wine from Rosforth & Rosforth.

Funky craft stores, a cemetery walk, and a swim

For Ebbe Korsgaard, director of Beyond Coffee, a perfect day includes funky craft stores, a cemetery walk, and a dunk in the harbor.

BaneGaarden is home to a farm shop, event spaces, and Woody’s Cafe & Bar.

BaneGaarden is home to a farm shop, event spaces, and Woody’s Cafe & Bar.

Photo by Julia Sellman

  • Start in: Nørrebro
  • End in: Anywhere near the water

First and foremost: You have to experience the part of Copenhagen which is called Nørrebro, as it’s a really cool area–it’s vibrant, young, and multicultural. Especially along Jægersborggade, a cute little street with a lot of small shops, ranging from small craft stores to great restaurants. Den Cirkulære (which translates to “the Circular”) is a co-op shop, where all the co-owners produce products using re- or up-cycled materials (we are part of it). Then, take a walk through Assistens Kirkegårde, a cemetery in inner Nørrebro. It’s unlike what you would think of a cemetery to be, as it is more used like a park—which can be a cultural surprise to many!

Another hidden gem in the city is called BaneGaarden, an oasis where you completely forget that you are in the middle of Copenhagen. You can come during the day just to chill out and enjoy the ambience, or you can come dine there at night. I personally recommend the restaurant Lade 609. BaneGaarden also hosts a lot of events, so check out their website beforehand to see what is going on when you are in town.

If you’re in town during the summer, I’d suggest you go for a swim in the harbor. Yes, you can do that! The water is so clean that it’s suitable for swimming. For safety reasons, only some designated areas can be used, so check out regulations before diving in. The areas where swimming is allowed are usually really popular and have great atmospheres for chilling out and enjoying life.”

>>Next: The Best New Things to Do in Copenhagen Right Now

Mary Holland is South African writer based in New York. She has written for WSJ Magazine, the Financial Times, HTSI, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, and W Magazine. She is the New York correspondent for Monocle Magazine.
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