Start your visit to Copenhagen at the edgy Vesterbro, which is home to the magical 19th-century amusement park Tivoli and the former meatpacking district Kødbyen (pictured above) that’s now a day-into-night enclave of restaurants and bars. visitcopenhagen.com.
Copenhagen is a front-runner in Scandinavian design, and Stilleben, run by Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts graduates Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft, is a must for Danish decor. stilleben.dk.
If you can’t score a seat for Danish chef René Redzepi’s Noma 2.0, which opened in February 2018, Noma’s new sister restaurant, Barr, is a great alternative. Northern European beer-belt traditions inspire dishes such as frikadeller (meatballs) and bone marrow-cooked waffles with crème fraîche and caviar. Four-courses, about $95. restaurantbarr.com.
While the New Nordic movement epitomized by Redzepi might represent Danish cuisine’s pinnacle, the humble open-faced sandwich smørrebrød (“butter and bread”) is the country’s archetypal national dish. For an elevated take featuring house-made toppings such as fried pickled herring or beef tartare with pickled beets, visit smørrebrød champion Adam Aamann’s new restaurant, Aamanns1921. Smørrebrød start at about $17. aamanns.dk.
In November, 2017, hospitality mogul and former ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin opened the 54-room Danish-colonial-cum-modern Hotel Sanders in a 19th-century property among the city’s central art galleries and palaces. Its ground-floor art deco—inspired bar Tata (named for the curtain at nearby Royal Danish Theatre) is a popular after-show hangout for performers. Rates start at $338. hotelsanders.com.
Photos from top: Brightly colored houses line Nyhavn Quay in Copenhagen, Denmark. | Paul Brown / Alamy Stock Photo; Kødbyen, the popular Meatpacking district in the Vesterbro area, has a lively restaurant and bar scene. | Miguel Angel Morales / Alamy Stock Photo