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Forget Walt Disney World — one of the happiest places on Earth is Copenhagen, Denmark.
From its history, fashion and design industries to its chic locale and citywide Scandinavian functionalism, it’s no wonder why the Danish capital has become a haven for those seeking “hygge” — a term with no direct translation, but which roughly means a feeling of coziness, wellness and contentment.
Once a Viking fishing settlement, Copenhagen has evolved into the epitome of “Scandi Cool,” with exceptionally open-minded denizens whose environmental consciousness and preference for bicycles have made the city one of the globe's greenest and most sustainable urban centers.
Copenhagen is also a playful city that has witnessed a surge in restaurants, shops and galleries over the past few years. It’s set in a postcard-like environment rife with stunning palatial architecture, cobblestone streets and charming canals, and its numerous attractions, eateries and hidden local gems give clients plenty of reasons to keep exploring. Here, we’ve compiled some of the city’s newest offerings for clients who are dreaming about post-pandemic escapes.
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What to EatCopenhagen is a gourmand’s fantasy, even outside the prestigious walls of the internationally famous Noma (often touted as one of the best restaurants globally), which serves new Nordic cuisine. Clients should also taste the fare at Public (in the inner city), where authentic Italian cuisine transports guests to distant Tuscan villages.
And while Asian cuisine is prevalent throughout Scandinavia, the upscale Jah Izakaya & Sake Bar in the trendy Vesterbro neighborhood is different in that it evokes the ambiance of a traditional Japanese gastropub.
For clients opting for the hearty flavors associated with typical Danish food, there is no better atmosphere than Hyttefadet. Elegantly situated in Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s 17th-century waterfront (which appears like a gallery of quaint, brightly colored structures with famous wooden ships permanently docked in the harbor), Hyttefadet serves up stunning views and traditional Danish cuisine, including salmon, meatballs and a wide selection of smorrebrod (a Scandinavian-style open-face sandwich) with fillings that include herring. Suggest clients pair their food with a local Carlsberg brew, of course.
Where to StayOpened in the summer of 2020 and nestled in the city center, Villa Copenhagen is one of Denmark’s newest hotels and a place where modernity and tradition collide. Originally the Danish Post and Telegraph Office, this modish architectural marvel boasts 390 guestrooms and signature themed suites with sustainable Scandinavian design. Villa Copenhagen is also home to one of Denmark’s only rooftop swimming pools, which fits into the hotel’s sustainable mindset quite swimmingly, as it is heated from the excess heat from the buildings’ cooling system. Villa Copenhagen also sports a trendy patio restaurant, Kontrast, which serves an eclectic yet consciously sourced menu drawing inspiration from the Southern gastronomic world of Europe and North Africa.
What to DoAn unforgettable evening of delicious cuisine, superb entertainment and botanical beauty awaits clients at Tivoli Gardens. With a quirky, vintage theme park vibe — as well as a gorgeous array of flowers and vegetation — Tivoli Gardens is something out of a fairytale; in fact, it has been the inspiration for many of Walt Disney’s movies (and even California’s Disneyland), and the quintessential stop for amusement park-loving clients. Tivoli is often bustling with energy in the summer months, but if clients prefer to avoid hordes of crowds, suggest visiting on an overcast day, as the magic doesn’t disappear with clouds.
Getting Around Getting around is half the fun of this city, which bustles with cycling commuters. Although many have associated Copenhagen with the bicycle, there is a new way to access the offerings of this compact city: on an electric scooter.
If this is a client’s first time in Copenhagen, suggest purchasing a Copenhagen Card, which gives unlimited use of public transportation and free entrance to 72 museums and attractions for up to 48 hours.
As of press time, the Danish border closure that was introduced March 14, 2020, remains in place for travelers from the United States. Visit the State Department’s website for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.