Copenhagen City Guide with Lisa Cole

Written by Lisa Cole Photography by Lisa Cole  Editing by Justin Donais

If you’re looking for a reason to visit Copenhagen, consider this: for the past few years in a row, the World Happiness Report has dubbed Copenhagen the happiest city in the world. Travelling to the Danish capital this past summer, it was easy to see why this is true. One of Europe’s oldest cities, this popular destination is incredibly clean and metropolitan, yet preserves stunning examples of its nearly one thousand year-old history. Amongst the majestic palaces and modern architecture, central Copenhagen boasts beautiful public bathing facilities and parks, cozy cafes, incomparable Scandinavian design and shopping, and innovative Nordic cuisine that draws visitors from all over the world. Sure, it can be chilly even in summer. But, don’t let a little inclement weather stop you from experiencing the most visited city in Scandinavia. As my Danish friends taught me, “there isn’t bad weather, there is only bad clothing.”

Höst Restaurant, Nørre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 København


“Located in the Nansensgade neighborhood of central Copenhagen, this critically acclaimed restaurant serves creative contemporary Nordic cuisine. The emphasis at Höst is refined rustic. The design incorporates raw materials like recycled wood, plastered brick walls, concrete and zinc. Paired with plaids, lambskins and candles, the effect is a very cozy atmosphere. One can imagine whiling away the long days of winter dining here. Innovative cooking and attention to detail are the reason this restaurant is consistently listed in the Top 10 Restaurants of Copenhagen.”

Nyhavn Harbor, Nyhavn 1-71, 1051 København K


“Once a bustling port with ships docking from around the world, the 17th century waterfront today is lined with colorful picturesque townhouses dating as far back as 350 years. The quay has been transformed into a pedestrian street with lively bars, cafes and restaurants overlooking the canal. Old wooden ships still moor here lending a distinct maritime vibe to the area. Many prominent artists and residents have called Nyhavn home, including author Hans Christian Andersen.”

Kronborg Castle, Kronborg 2C, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark


“The majestic 16th century castle is located in Helsingor, an easy train ride from Copenhagen. Built by King Frederick II in 1574-1585, this Renaissance castle is one of the most important in northern Europe and houses a well-preserved collection of Renaissance and Baroque interiors. The magnificent palace boasts multiple spires, sandstone walls and copper roofs. Kronborg towers above the very narrow sound between Denmark and Sweden. The castle is also the model for Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Every summer, visitors can experience Hamlet with open-air performances on a stage in the main courtyard.”

Lena Pedersen, Ahlefeldtsgade 22 kld, 1369 København


Lena Pedersen is a Danish designer who makes beautiful handmade porcelain & glass objects. Conceived and created in Lena’s shop & studio located in central Copenhagen, Lena is inspired by Nordic design traditions. Her work incorporates modern Scandinavia design, and a palette of soft pastel colors. Located a five minute walk from Nørreport Station (and next door to Höst Restaurant).”

Kastrup Søbad, Amager Strandvej 301, 2770 Kastrup, Denmark

“Located in Kastrup Stranpark, an easy Metro stop 15 minutes south of central Copenhagen, the striking wooden structure is both a public swimming facility and work of art. Once on the beach, the pier stretches from the strand 300 feet into the chilly Baltic Sea where it forms a conch-shaped sculpture that serves as swimming pool, sun deck and diving platform. Built in 2005 and designed by White Arkitekter to block the wind and shade swimmers from the sun, Kastrup Sea Bath is constructed with beautiful and durable Azobe wood. The bathing structure is free and open to the public throughout the year and Danes can always be found here no matter the weather or icy temperature of the sea.”


Lisa Cole is a freelance filmmaker based in Los Angeles, whose work includes social issue and biography documentaries, and a narrative feature film project in the works. When not writing or directing, she can usually be found traveling and dabbling in various design and renovation projects.

Comments (0)

  • Lora

    Just Love this pIece. You’ve Picked some real jems here in coPenhagen. Lovely photos.

  • Carper Dulmage

    Just lovely!

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