36 Hours in Copenhagen – The New York Times


10) 11 a.m. COFFEE STOPS

Atmosphere is paramount in a country so adept at making things cozy that the Danish term — hygge — became a worldwide trend. Down a half-flight of stairs on Boldhusgade, CUB Coffee Bar nails the concept, with fur pelts draped on chairs, an adorable bear-cub logo and aromatic roasts from Copenhagen Coffee Lab. Order a croissant and a frothy cappuccino to savor in one of the homey nooks lit by candles and classic Poul Henningsen pendants. For a different brand of hygge, visit the fashionable Café Atelier September, which serves light-roast coffee from Sweden’s Koppi roastery and the city’s most photographed avocado toast.

11) 1 p.m. PALATIAL ART

A 17th-century Baroque brick palace on tourist-thronged Nyhavn doesn’t look like a venue for daring contemporary art, but the exhibition space located inside, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, is just that. The elegant palace hosts ambitious temporary exhibits, such as a recent Ai Weiwei installation that barricaded the palace windows with thousands of refugees’ life vests salvaged from the Greek island of Lesbos. After touring the galleries (admission, 75 kroner), visit the excellent bookshop and cross the brick-and-ivy courtyard to peek inside the museum’s buzzy year-old cafe, Apollo Bar.

12) 3 p.m. ON THE WATER

There’s no better place to laze away an afternoon than La Banchina, a waterside cafe where you can sip sparkling rosé on a wooden pier with views across the harbor. This endearingly ramshackle refuge — the name means “the pier” in Italian — is on the northern island of Refshaleoen, a long bike (or quick ferry) ride from the center in a former industrial area now colonized by fine-dining establishments and moored houseboats. The all-day cafe offers coffee, baked goods, Nordic-Mediterranean meals, natural Italian wines, a superb “organic spritz” made with biodynamic Italian vermouth, and — if things weren’t blissful enough — a private wood-fired sauna.


There’s a theatrical ambience at the Hotel Sanders, a boutique property opened last November by an acclaimed Danish ballet dancer. Expect elegant interiors, from the 52 rooms to the velvet-draped cocktail bar and rooftop conservatory, all located steps from the Royal Danish Theater. (Tordenskjoldsgade 15; 45-4640-0040; hotelsanders.com; from 2,340 kroner.)

A perennial favorite of design-conscious travelers, Hotel SP34 offers 118 rooms ranging from snug singles to spacious suites in a central Latin Quarter location. There’s also a private movie theater, rooftop terrace, complimentary wine during a daily Wine Hour, and three dining locations, including a greenhouse-themed Nordic bistro. (Sankt Peders Straede 34; 45-3313-3000; brochner-hotels.com/hotel-sp34; from about 1,600 kroner.)