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The Best Parts of Copenhagen

ABCopenhagen, Denmark

On a recent trip to Copenhagen, wanting to find out what makes this beautiful city tick, we detected several overarching patterns and came up with (almost) an entire alphabet. Below, an appreciation of the city’s quirks.

A is for…


Even the airport is striking, a perfect introduction to a city where modern, clean design prevails.

B is for…


Black leather motorcycles and even curtains… There’s something about this Viking culture – they just know how to pull it off, wearing it head-to-toe and even painting their houses black. Black is beautiful.

C is for…


Clever design abounds: from the doormats that indicate exactly where your foot should go, to the train seats with adjustable headrests, to the street lamps suspended on a network of electric cables, thus eliminating the need for lamp posts.

D is for…


Did you know Walt Disney visited Tivoli Gardens? He must have been inspired by his trip, from the weeping willows in the parks (you can see them in his movies’ landscapes) to all the royal iconography.

F is for…


There are flowers, bows and ribbons on doors, windows, gates everywhere.

H is for…


The heart is an icon you see on coins, in the royal palaces and around the city.

I is for…

Indoor Plants

The Danish spend so much time indoors that they know how to spruce things up with cacti, succulents and more.

K is for…


There are gorgeous ceramics stores all over the city. The stand out is Inge Vincents’ studio/store full of impossibly delicate vases, cups and containers.

L is for…


Many legendary designers like Poul Henningsen and Arne Jacobsen lived in Denmark in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s no wonder they appreciate a good lamp.

M is for…


So many buildings in the city are painted in shades of this rich, deep yellow color.

N is for…

No Big Deal

Everywhere you turn, you see classic design pieces in use. The guards’ stools at Amalienborg – the royal palace – are Alvar Aalto, for example. Or, room 606 at the SAS Hotel (now a Radisson) is Arne Jacobsen’s total design.

O is for…


How the heck do you pronounce this letter of the Danish alphabet?

P is for…

Pretty Graffiti

Even their street graffiti is pretty.

R is for…


This part Canadian part Danish band is producing a Sade-like sound we love. And, we spotted the hottie in their music video at the market on Israels Plads.

S is for…


At first you freak when the shops are all closed by 2:30 pm on a Saturday (Lørdag), and then you settle right into the enforced relaxation. No shopping, working, doing, period.

T is for…

Tiny Furniture

Kitchen appliances are all about 1/2 to 3/4 the size of a regular US appliance.

U is for…


Do they know something we don’t? We spotted so many comfy-looking underwire-free bras.

V is for…


Vertical stripes everywhere: in neon shop signs, painted on the walls, in the architecture, etc.

W is for…


There’s a real appreciation for white and its many shades and tones here.

X, Y and Z

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