When the days get long, Copenhagen’s cobblestone streets blossom with bicycles, café tables, and jazz bands. Check out the lively music scene during the annual Copenhagen Jazz Festival. In between gigs, explore this compact capital on foot or bike, taking in the local shops and cultivating a decidedly Danish good time.
Experience a hyggelig (prounounced: hew-guh-li) party
Often translated as “cozy,”, hyggelig means much more to Danes. The word signifies the height of social interaction and quality of life. At a hyggelig gathering, everybody enjoys the party, the conversation flows seamlessly, and the food and drinks are simple but sublime. For a hyggelig afternoon, throw a backyard barbecue with friends, sausages, and lots of cold beer.
Stay at the Hotel Fox
The Hotel Fox commissioned 21 international artists and graphic designers to create its wildly different rooms. The illustrator Chisato Shinya took inspiration from the Japanese countryside for Room 312 (pictured); Swiss artist Benjamin Güdel’s Room 409 features floor-to-ceiling murals informed by the children’s book Heidi; and UK designers Nicola Carter and Luise Vormittag based their irreverent rooms on a deck of playing cards.
Visit Stilleben Shop
Browse contemporary and classic Danish design at Stilleben Shop in central Copenhagen. Objects include the Angel—a sculptural stool by architect Gry Holmskov (pictured)—and the reissued wooden birds originally made by the late industrial designer Kristian Vedel in 1959.
Explore the Neighborhood of Christiania
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the Danish Supreme Court ruled this year that the state owns the land, the area’s nearly 1,000 residents have yet to be evicted. Today, visitors can bike along tree-lined paths and check out the handmade structures before they disappear.
>> Next: AFAR’s Ultimate Guide to Copenhagen