The Copenhagen Guide
While the city of Copenhagen has a population of under one million, it feels like a much larger town: This is, after all, the hometown of a new culinary tradition, a significant slice of iconic, modern design and architecture, and a bustling fashion scene. It all takes place in a landscape that dates back centuries, and is still marked by the spires of Christiansborg and Rosenborg castles, the technicolored Nyhavn waterfront from the 17th-century, endless green spaces, the Tivoli Gardens, and, of course, Freetown Christiana, which was settled by hippie squatters in 1971 and has since remained its own little, kind of lawless town, where vendors openly sell hash on Pusher Street.
In the culinary tradition, not only is René Redzepi re-opening the next iteration of Noma in 2018, but he has a restaurant called Barr, which occupies Noma’s old waterfront warehouse. Most importantly, though, boundary pushing restaurants and cafés from Noma alums have proliferated across the city. As for design, all of the historic furniture makers (Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Hans Wegner) are still offered in pristine antique shops in the streets near the design museum, and there is ample opportunity to see some incredible architecture, particularly if you venture outside the center of the city. Finn Juhl house and the Louisiana Museum are as staggering outside as the contents within. Like with other Scandinavian cities, biking is ideal, though the Danes cycle (year-round) with a certain ferocity and intensity that makes venturing into the bike lines ill-advised unless you know where you’re going and what you’re doing.
Another NuéKrystalgade 3, Indre By | +45.331.233.02
Nue's original shop is in Frederiksberg, but we prefer their second location, Another Nué, which is closer to the center of the city and has a larger selection. The edit is a mix of Danish brands and international names, with everything from 3.1 Phillip Lim and Acne to Lovechild and Skall Studio (which makes the prettiest pajamas, among other items).
Ceraminker Inge VincentsJægersborggade 27, Nørrebro | + 45.407.017.50
What makes Inge's pieces special is the paper-thin porcelain she uses, which gives each cup, vase, or bowl a delicate, translucent aesthetic, particularly in the light. She only works in white, which is all the better to let her unique shapes come through. She's usually working in her studio, so take advantage of the opportunity to chat with her about her work when you stop in.
GanniStore Regnegade 12, Indre By | +45.333.244.57
Ganni's reach is pretty far beyond Copenhagen at this point, but there's nothing quite like visiting the designer's storefront in their hometown. Run by husband-and-wife pair Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, the brand still has a family company feel, with Ditte handling the creative side and Nicolaj running the business. They're great in every category, but we love them best for flirty, easy dresses and the coolest winter-ready boots, which, incidentally, look pretty great together.
Hay HouseØstergade 61, Indre By | +45.428.208.20
Head to this airy design store, which occupies an amazing two-story space connected by an iron spiral staircase, for affordable takes on the furniture design you've been ogling in the big-ticket showrooms. Even if you're not planning to bring home a couch, they have plenty of carry-on-friendly home accessories, like vases, books, and kitchen wares.
Henrik VibskovKrystalgade 6, Indre By | +45.331.461.00
In addition to fashion design, Henrik Vibskov does installation artwork and performs music, which helps explain his avant-garde approach to fashion–he's known for bright colors, bulky and unexpected shapes, and unusual, mismatched textures. Vibskov is one of relatively few Scandinavian designers that shows in Paris, and is famous for the theatrical perspective he brings to each show and his bright, outlandish aesthetic, which is in some ways antithetical to the minimalism of many of his Copenhagen peers. His shop is actually multi-label, so in addition to his own pieces, you can sift through Missoni scarves, unicorn-fringed Angel Chen sweaters, and Michiko Koshino rain jackets.
Holly GolightlyGammel Mønt 2, Indre By | +45.331.419.15
Owner Barbara Maj Husted Werner has assembled a tightly edited assortment that mixes emerging talent with more established designers like Alaïa, Marni, and Rick Owens. It's worth pointing out that there are two locations: The Gammel Mønt location focuses on clothes, while around the corner at Store Regnegade is a smart edit of accessories.
Illums Bolighus10 Amagertorv, Indre By | +45.331.419.41
Another incredible furniture and design emporium in a city celebrated for its aesthetic, Illums Bolighus stocks everything you could possibly need to create a modern Scandinavian-style home. Furniture, bed linens, lamps, window treatments, bathrobes—visiting this emporium is like walking through an edit of the best home collections from Denmark's design heavyweights. Literally impossible to leave empty-handed.
Line & JoGothersgade 31, Gothersgade | +45.351.414.99
Line & Jo makes the most elegant, dainty pieces of jewelry, with intricate metalwork that's not quite like anything else. Despite the modern aesthetic, everything there is crafted by hand from artisan goldsmiths, so it's also built to last.
Lot#29Gothersgade 2, Gothersgade | +45.331.414.29
Designed to feel like you've stumbled upon a treasure trove of not-so-basic fashion, Lot#29 stocks everything from that Rachel Comey sweater that's sold out everywhere, to the Carthusia perfume you thought you could only get in Italy.
Mads NørgaardAmagertorv 13-15, Indre By | +45.331.224.28
Mads Nørgaard is the third generation of Nørgaards to work in the fashion business; in fact, his grandfather's shop was located at the same storefront his store is in now. It's great for not-quite-basic pieces, like soft striped turtleneck tees, graphic sweaters, and straightforward suede pumps. Don't leave without taking a spin through the kids section.
Mini PopGothersgade 58, Gothersgade | +45.617.724.69
Well-made, stylish children's clothing for little one's from newborns up to six years old, Mini Pop stocks the best of Scandinavian designers like Mini Rodini, Sebra, and Mar Mar Copenhagen alongside international lines like New York's Ouef. You'll also find nostalgic toys and accessories like knitted bunnies and wooden train sets.
Normann CopenhagenØsterbrogade 70, Osterbro | +45.352.705.40
Housed in an old movie theater, Normann is somewhat of a pilgrimage for design lovers. Founded by Jan Andersen and Poul Madse back in 1999, it's probably best known for the Norm 69 lamp, a stunning geometric, white plastic lantern that's been copied almost everywhere. Today, they make a full range of design pieces from sofas and chairs to carpets and bookcases, all in their signature sleek, mid-century-inspired style. Even if you're not furniture shopping, it's worth stopping in to see their incredible staging, which usually includes dramatic, colorful installations.
Norse Store WomenPilestræde 39 St., Indre By | +45.339.126.26
Norse Store first gained a following as a multi-brand store in downtown Copenhagen, so its own-brand men's clothing, which launched in 2009, was an immediate success. Unsurprisingly, their new women's shop (just around the corner from their original store right in the center of the city), was a long time coming—and so worth the wait. For starters, there's the elegant, modern interior that juxtaposes plush carpets against raw wood shelving. The buy of women's clothes is a delicately curated mix of high-concept minimalist fashion like APC rain jackets and knit Missoni pants, accessibly priced classics from brands like Adidas and Hestra, and their own sea-inspired line, which has perfect Breton-striped shirts and classic sweaters built for surviving a Scandinavian winter. There's also a great selection of books, bags, and other high-design gift items.
Project 4Larsbjørsstræde 19. st.tv., Indre By | +45.819.250.80
The first thing that draws you in to Project 4 is the relatively packed interior, which stands in stark (and refreshing) contrast to the rest of the city's minimalist showrooms. The racks here are filled with a very cool edit of both Danish clothing and pieces from international brands, with a healthy selection of sweaters, bags, and shoes. They're always sourcing new and hard-to-find items, so we never leave without learning about a new brand or designer to keep track of.
StillebenNiels Hemmingsensg. 3, Indre By | +45.339.111.31
Upon meeting at Art College in Denmark, designers Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft bonded over their shared love of ceramics, glass, and craftsmanship. The duo named their joint venture Stilleben, after the German art genre that describes the depiction of inanimate objects. The space itself is made up of pastel-hued walls and minimalist shelving—the perfect backdrop to display Reckweg and Nordentoft's hand-selected treasures—everything from Japanese tea pots to Danish textiles. The shelves are also stocked with their own branded prints, ceramics, and tableware.
Stine GoyaGothersgade 58, Gothersgade | +45.321.710.00
Copenhagen style can veer a bit austere, but model-turned-designer Stine Goya sought to change that with the launch of her namesake label. A graduate of London's Central St. Martins, Goya infuses her trademark feminine details onto everything from flowy silk dresses to sparkly boots and outerwear. The store's interiors are worth a visit alone (think: a primarily blush palette accented with brass, marble, and plush velvet details).
StormStore Regnegade 1, Indre By | +45.339.300.14
Rasmus Storm has been an influential force in the Scandinavian street style scene for decades, and his storefront in Copenhagen remains a necessary stop for culturephiles. He stocks a selection of everyday staples like cool sneakers, sweatshirts, beanies, and graphic tees, but there are also tons of cool books and lots of interesting jewelry. It's a great place to pick up gifts to take back home.
The ApartmentOvergaden neden Vandet 33, Christianshavn | +45.316.204.02
Tina Seifenfaden Busck had a decade in Sotheby's under her belt when the apartment below her home, in an 18th-century residential building in Christianshavn, came up for sale. The space hadn't been touched in over forty years, so Busck restored the three-room Georgian apartment completely, right down to the oak floors dating from the 1780's. The space is a home once again, but this time, a Danish design-piece filled, completely shoppable one. The set-ups change regularly, thanks to Busck's frequent sourcing trips for Swedish, French, and Italian pieces from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Wood WoodGrønnegade 1, Indre By | +45.353.562.64
This streetwear concept shop (which has locations in Berlin and Copenhagen) has a warm, clean aesthetic and stocks graphic sweatshirts and tees, plus installations displaying every cool-kid shoe imaginable. Be sure to check out whatever collaboration they currently have going on–they do a few a year, with past partners including Adidas, Barbour, Nike, Champion, and more.