Copenhagen regularly tops lists of the best cities to visit — and it’s easy to see why.
In summer, you can swim in the pristine canals or captain a solar-powered boat. In winter, snuggle up by a fire pit or jump into a floating hot tub.
It’s rarely cheap, but there are options for those of us without bottomless pockets.
Copenhagen regularly tops lists of the best cities to visit. In summer, you can swim in the pristine canals or captain a solar-powered boat. In winter, snuggle up by a fire pit or jump into a floating hot tub
Where to stay
This spotlessly clean, high-tech hotel has soundproofed rooms controlled by iPads (including setting the lights, temperature and television), blackout blinds and huge wall-to-wall beds. Go for the Kobenhavns Radhus rooms for great City Hall views. B&B doubles from £85 (citizenm.com).
In the country that gave us the concept of hygge (cosy), this hotel is all four-poster beds, snug blankets, Persian rugs, wooden floors and organic toiletries. Its cute cafe, where a hearty buffet breakfast is served, has a fireplace and lantern-lit balconies, too. Doubles from £83 (guldsmedenhotels.com).
This central hotel offers bright rooms with space-age frosted-glass bathrooms. You can also rent bikes for £14 per 24 hours. Breakfast is basic, so instead head to nearby Atelier September for sweet pastries, spicy avocado on rye and strong coffee. Doubles from £78 (wakeupcopenhagen.dk).
What to see and do
Captain a boat
Sail away: Head to Islands Brygge Harbour, where you can rent a solar-powered boat
Pick up sourdough buns, sweet Danish fontina cheese, smoked meats and sugar-coated pastries from Torvehallerne Market and head to Islands Brygge Harbour, where you can rent a solar-powered boat.
Drift past parliament buildings and terracotta-roofed homes with a glass of chilled Riesling, before mooring up for lunch.
The boats (above, from £60 an hour for eight people, en.goboat.dk) are easy to operate and the friendly staff provide maps with suggested stop-off points and itineraries.
Take a bracing dip
Jump into the squeaky-clean water off some of the city’s hundreds of pontoons, diving platforms and swimming pools. Islands Brygge Harbour has five pools and lots of decked sunbathing areas (admission is free).
In the mornings, locals come here for a dip before work. At night, the area buzzes with friends drinking wine around portable barbecues.
Vino in waterfront Nyhavn
‘Colourful Nyhavn harbour (above) may be packed with tourists taking photographs, but there is plenty of charm to be found nearby,’ writes Harriet
Colourful Nyhavn harbour may be packed with tourists taking photographs, but there is plenty of charm to be found nearby.
Den Vandrette serves excellent wine (from £7 a glass, denvandrette.dk) outside in the cobbled harbour, overlooking vintage yachts.
The informal but knowledgeable staff shimmy to soul music as they take orders and provide blankets and candles.
Explore on two wheels
The Danes are bike-mad: tiny toddlers are taken to nursery in cargo bikes, while elderly locals pedal slowly next to their dogs.
Copenhagen is as flat as a Danish pancake and has a comprehensive network of excellent bike paths. Pick up a snazzy, 100 per cent recycled bike from Thunderfist Cykler in the Norrebro district (£12 for 24 hours, thunderfist.dk).
Where to eat
Recently awarded a Bib Gourmand, the ‘good quality, good value’ stamp from Michelin, this chic restaurant, named after the head chef’s daughter, serves up the best smorrebrod (£12) in town. Don’t leave without trying the juicy salmon served with soft cheese, herb oil and radishes (selmacopenhagen.dk).
Bridge Street Kitchen
Bridge Street Kitchen, above, is a melting pot of street food and bustling bars
The Danish capital has 17 Michelin-starred restaurants. Most famous is Noma, which has a year-long waiting list and will set you back at least £270 pp, without drinks.
Instead, head to Bridge Street Kitchen, a melting pot of street food and bustling bars, all of which have been hand-picked by chefs at Noma.
Choose one of the shacks, which serve everything from savoury porridge (think chicken with peanuts and spring onion, £6) to pizzas (£7) and thick, squidgy noodles (£8), then plonk yourself on one of the deckchairs by the canal (thebridgestreetkitchen.com).
One of the best burger joints in the world, this perpetually crammed takeaway is housed in a working one-pump petrol station.
Order the juicy butterburger (a knob of butter is added to the freshly ground patty before serving, £9), with truffle fries (£2.40) and chilli mayo. Arrive early (it closes when they run out of burgers, usually 6pm) and expect to queue for 20 minutes. (gasolinegrill.com).
Ryanair has return flights from Stansted to Copenhagen from £73 (ryanair.com). Trains run from the airport to the central station every ten minutes and take around 15 minutes (£4.60).
The Copenhagen Card (£48 for 24 hours) includes unlimited travel on trains, buses and the metro and free admission to more than 87 attractions.