Where to Shop for Danish Design in Copenhagen
Denmark is famous for its design, and shopping in Copenhagen is the best way to explore the cool, clean aesthetic that informs everything from chairs and lamps to jewelry and cutlery. Check out fashion houses as well as traditional Danish interior design stores, and make sure to visit a mixture of larger shops, shopping malls, and tiny boutiques to get a real feel for the best design in Copenhagen.
This is my favorite design shop in Copenhagen. Dedicated to contemporary Danish design, Hay occupies a historic building overlooking the car-free Strøget district. You’ll find furniture and accessories inspired by midcentury design and pieces by designers including Leif Joergensen and Jakob Wagner. This appeared in the August/September 2013 issue. Image courtesy of Hay
Kompagnistræde 8, 1208 København, Denmark
Designers Malene Helbak and Mette Scherning sell the cutest, daintiest Danish ceramics and jewelry at their combined store and studio Helbak/Scherning. Not really a shop for dudes. Or bulls.
Jægersborggade 27, 2200 København, Denmark
It’s easy to spend half a day exploring Copenhagen‘s street Jægersborggade. The block is lined with some of the city’s best shops and restaurants including Coffee Collective, Manfreds, Meyer’s Bakery, and my favorite ceramics studio, Keramiker. Ceramicist Inge Vincents can often be seen through the window carefully shaping her delicate white vases, cups, and bowls. Her pieces are so paper-thin that they take on an ethereal, translucent quality. While Inge’s pieces may look fragile, they are definitely still functional. In fact, chef Christian Puglisi uses her pieces at his famous restaurant Relae, located just up the street. I didn’t dare take a cup home in my suitcase, but lucky for me Inge ships to the United States.
This signature bakery showcases a mixture of Mette Blomsterberg’s delicious baked goods and her collection of carefully selected plates and kitchen utensils. Mette made a name for herself as the head pastry chef at Sølyst, and more recently she ran a cafe and pastry shop in Copenhagen‘s historic Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.
Vester Voldgade 92, 1552 København, Denmark
Danish tobacco dominates the pipe tobacco scene and can be found in shops all over the world. As part of this tradition, Denmark also has a number of extremely skilled pipe artisans who craft handmade Danish pipes. The Danish Pipe Shop is staffed by incredibly friendly folks and has a team of knowledgeable staff eager to discuss the craft of pipe smoking, how pipes differ, and which tobacco they recommend. Prices range from cheap budget pipes (less than US$40) to high-end pipes costing hundreds of dollars. Even if you’re not a smoker, with its walls lined with widely varied pipes it is a great place to pop into for a look around.
This Nordic chain and local favorite specializes in items for the home. It places a heavy focus on design and functionality. Many products are changed out weekly, while other staples are more static. Inventory draws from exclusive content created for/by Søstrene Grene, while others are pulled from leading designers.
This is one of the best places to see Danish design featured all in one place. From the bathroom, to furniture, home accessories, kitchenware and lighting you can find many of the leading names in Danish design represented here.
The rainy or cold weather can make walking down the famous Strøget in Copenhagen, Denmark in the off-season a little tiring. There’s a little bit of magic just off the main walking street in the form of the Royal Cafe. The high pink walls and large windows let in a lot of light, which reflects off the artfully placed mirrors and display glasses. Rest on funky-patterned seats at small or large community tables and order a coffee or a custom smørrebrød known as a “Smushie” to warm up.
Illum is one of two major Danish department store chains. The store is famous for its excellent selection and taste and features fashion, interior and design options as well as a large beauty section. It even features a delightful bakery with excellent breads and sweets. A shopping trip to Copenhagen isn’t complete without a visit to Illum.
Østergade 18, 1100 København, Denmark
Founded in 1925, Bang & Olufsen is a Danish company famous for its incredible audio quality and sleek visual style. Not limited to audio devices, it is well worth a visit to the B&O store to see the products they’re currently marketing to the Danish public.
Niels Hemmingsens Gade 3, 1153 København, Denmark
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. This appeared in the July/August 2011 issue.
Vimmelskaftet 37, 1161 København, Denmark
Denmark is the home of Lego and if you’re traveling with kids in Copenhagen, it shouldn’t be missed. It’s located along the Stroget – the pedestrian shopping district in the city center of Copenhagen. You can either split up with one adult takes the kids to Lego and the other can browse the other interesting shops or you can do it all together (we held the Lego store out as a carrot to keep the kids engaged and in check). Flagship Lego stores have exclusive Lego sets that you can’t find elsewhere. There are also building stations and a fascinating video monitor that will bring a set to 3-D life if you hold the box in front of the camera. They also have a huge pick-a-brick wall where you can pick up missing pieces or just get creative.