Copenhagen is quite simply one of the coolest cities in Europe to visit right now. Stunning Nordic design greets you everywhere, plus there’s a thriving and energetic art scene, with galleries galore, both mainstream and independent.
Whether you’re in a tourist hotspot or a fashionable hipster neighbourhood like Vesterbro or Nørrebro, the clean streets, cycling culture and chilled cafes all embody the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’), which is difficult to translate but revolves around ideas of laid-back cosiness and living the good life.
It’s a small and manageable capital, where you can see a lot of art, culture and entertainment just by walking. And best of all, there are plenty of cool, unusual and imaginative places to stay in this modern, inclusive and forward-looking city. Read on to discover our prize picks.
1. CPH Living
Founded as a Viking fishing village in the 10th century, Copenhagen is a city with deep links to its seafaring past. And so what better way to enjoy your visit than waking each morning to the sound of seagulls, passing ships and gently lapping waves?
CHP Living is a boutique, floating hotel based in Christianshavn, an area made up of several artificial islands that are separated from the rest of the city centre by the inner harbour. Don’t worry, though, you’re still within walking distance of everything Copenhagen has to offer.
Its 12 panoramic rooms offers stunning views of the harbour and city skyline through a wall made entirely of windows. There’s also a rooftop terrace, and the rooms have all been constructed in the Scandinavian tradition, with minimalist use of wood and glass to create a beautifully clean and simple look.
Combining a peaceful location with easy access to the big attractions, this stylish houseboat is a great way to make your visit an extra-special experience.
If you’re looking to surround yourself with beautiful things, then you need to head to Hotel Alexandra, which is essentially a tribute to the best of Danish design.
The Hotel Alexandra’s Finn Juhl and Verner Panton suites offer huge spaces based on the styles of these world-renowned furniture designers. Elsewhere, the Danish Design Rooms offer individually styled rooms based on the elegant styles of the 1950s and 60s (but with all modern conveniences, including free WiFi).
Containing beautiful chairs, tables and beds based on the styles of Danish furniture designers such as Finn Juhl, Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Børge Mogensen, the experience is, as they say, “Like staying with a Danish design-loving friend in Copenhagen”.
A true bohemian hideaway, 66 Guldsmeden (formerly Carlton) is a pioneer of the ‘new Vesterbro’, an area once known for its red light district and now emerging as a hipster hotspot. Just 10 minutes from the central train station and Tivoli Gardens, the theme of this eco hotel is green and sustainable.
All 74 boutique rooms are sumtptuously styled, in a combination of vintage kitsch and contemporary design. There’s also art by local artists to enjoy, a bar, an organic cafe for breakfast and light meals, and balconies on two sides with comfortable lounge chairs.
4. Ibsens Hotel
This retro modern boutique hotel in the charming Nansensgade area of Copenhagen’s centre is a real hotspot for creatives. Not only is it decorated with beautiful pieces from local and global artists, they even offer struggling artists a big discount on room prices in exchange for their artworks.
A five-minute walk from the food market Torvehallerne and Nørreport metro station, Ibsens is known for its cosy laid back atmosphere, use of local organic produce, art laden boutique rooms and ‘cosy hour’ from 5-6pm, when guests are encouraged to mingle while enjoying seasonal nibbles.
The Danhostel Copenhagen City is one of Europe’s largest hostels, with 16 floors and 1,020 beds but don’t let you put that off. Attracting both backpackers and family groups, the vibe is relaxed and friendly, and it’s super-stylish too, with interior furniture designed by arty Danish company Gubi.
Located in an old trade union headquarters next to Langebro Bridge in central Copenhagen, the hostel offers impressive views and is only a short walk from the main railway station and the town hall square. It’s also close to the harbour bath at Islands Brygge, where you can enjoy open air swimming in summer.
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Author: Tom May
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