The land that invented hygge—that zeitgeist word that means all things cute and cozy—is hotter than ever these days, with new design-centric hotels, concept stores and restaurants that serve more than pickled herring or high-brow Michelin-starred cuisine (though there’s a lot of that, too). Here’s why we believe visits to Copenhagen will be as popular as cashmere socks and sheepskin blankets this winter.
1. The restaurants
Copenhagen’s food scene entered a new stratosphere when Noma opened in 2003 and received worldwide attention. The fame inspired a host of New Nordic–style restaurants that focused on dining as an opportunity to push the envelope. Many of these restaurants continue to do well (there are currently 16 Michelin-starred restaurants sprinkled throughout the city) but more readily accessible dining options have also opened and serve myriad international cuisines. Visitors should absolutely book at least one meal at renowned institutions like 108 or Radio, but those who prefer more casual affairs will be delighted with tacos at Hija de Sanchez, cavatelli at Italo Disco and sandwiches from Tivoli Food Hall.
Related: Copenhagen Dining
2. The drinks
Copenhagen might be the historic home of Carlsburg, a mainstay of beer halls and bars across the globe, but the city is also seeing a wave of modern-day beers and biodynamic wine having their moments. Favorite brew pubs include BRUS and Warpigs (Flaesketorvet 25) and wine bars like Den Vandrette, Ved Stranden 10 and the bar attached to 108 that serve not only interesting varietals but also tasty snacks that make great appetizers or even a full meal.
3. The hotels
For a long time, Copenhagen was a design city lacking a fabulous, design-focused hotel. All that changed this year, however, when Hotel Sanders opened in the city center (and down the street from grand dame Hotel D’Angleterre). The property, owned by Royal Danish Ballet dancer, filmmaker and designer, Alexander Kolpin, is a study in Danish design of the past and present—and a supremely comfortable hotel. Not to be outdone, Copenhagen’s original boutique hotel, the Nimb, opened 20 new suites featuring hardwood floors, outsized bathrooms with luxe amenities and a refreshed style.
Related: Springtime in Copenhagen
4. The shopping
A city known for its style, Copenhagen has a shopping scene worth traveling for, and the stores continue to thrive, driven by the high-design focus of Copenhageners. Whether your tastes lean towards the traditional or forward thinking, there are stores—many located within walking distance of one another—displaying wares ranging from Royal Copenhagen china and handmade chocolates to buttery-soft leather handbags and darling children’s fashion.
Related: Top Shopping Copenhagen
5. The cool, bespoke experiences
Indagare can arrange special excursions for members in Copenhagen based on specific interests and preferences. A culinary tour led by a chef could include time in some of the city’s coolest kitchens, a visit to food halls and markets or chef’s table tastings at the hottest restaurants. A design-focused experience, meanwhile, might involve visits to artist studios, ateliers and a mid-century furniture warehouse. Even overnights can be made extra special for those who stay at one of the funky Vipp hotels, which each have only one room—one in a loft and another (opening in early 2018) in a former water pumping station (vipp.com).
6. The convenience
It’s easier than ever to get to Copenhagen and other Scandinavian cities with daily flights on Norwegian Air, where booking a premium economy ticket will run you around the same price as a coach seat on any other airline. Once there, the city center is about 15 minutes by car from the airport. More people ride bikes than drive in Copenhagen, so you’ll be hard-pressed to see much traffic during your stay. Visitors, too, are encouraged to cycle and most hotels offer complimentary bikes to guests; Indagare can also arrange electric bike rentals that come with a built-in GPS.
7. The scene
As the city further develops, more money is pumped into culture, and there are at least a handful of happenings going on at any one moment. Popular highlights include jazz festivals, under-bridge concerts, new food hall openings and even a former electricity plant that is being turned into a ski jump. Plus, certain neighborhoods like Vesterbrø, a European West Village, only continue to get cuter and cooler by the day.