COPENHAGEN – CAPITAL OF COOL

Not so long ago, Copenhagen was hardly on the map as a culinary destination, but today, with 15 Michelin Star restaurants creating a buzz among locals and visitors alike, the city is justifiably regarded as a foodie paradise.

René Redzepi, Copenhagen’s maestro of cuisine, is one of those to credit for this gastronomic revolution. Together with another culinary visionary, Claus Meyer, in 2003 he started Noma – a world-class restaurant that reinterprets Nordic cuisine. An enormous success, Noma brings fresh farm produce to a high-end setting.

Today, there are hundreds of restaurants, bistros and cafés in the Nordic city and they keep pushing the boundaries. These eateries range from the Michelin-starred to the moderately priced; Asian to Italian, every type of food is available here.

A novel initiative called Meet The Danes sees locals opening their homes and dinner tables to visitors so that they can enjoy a personal and more authentic taste of Denmark. Enduring bonds are formed at these tables. The concept was conceived by Annette Wæber and her husband Thomas. Both love entertaining, so the concept came naturally to them.

Arken Museum of Modern Art, 20km south of Copenhagen in the suburban town of Ishøj, is one of Denmark’s treasures. Constructed by Danish architect Soren Robert, the museum resembles a stranded ship and features more than 400 works of art, including pieces from world-renowned talents such as British artist Damien Hirst and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Thirty-five kilometres north of Copenhagen is the impressive Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which encapsulates art, architecture and landscape in one beautiful space. The museum’s magnificent sculpture garden showcases a wonderful mix of natural beauty and man-made objects. The museum also has a concert hall and hosts its own book festival – the Louisiana Literature Festival.

8Tallet, also known as Big House, is built in the shape of a figure of eight. This mixed-use development is located in the newly developed district of Ørestad, between the city centre and the airport. Designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, it features 1 000m2 of various types of residential housing and 10 000m2 of retail and office space. 8Tallet has won numerous awards, including the Housing Building of the Year at the 2011 World Architecture Festival.

Tietgen Residence Hall, also in Ørestad, is a circular, seven-storey, 360-room student residence designed by famous Danish architects Lundgaard & Tranberg. Built in 2006 it won the prestigious RIBA European Award.

Amager Bakke/Copenhill is another architectural feat that has everyone talking. The development features an artificial ski slope and recreational hiking area built atop a new waste management centre.

Conceived by Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group, the new power station is set to burn 400 000 tons of waste annually, turning it into clean energy that will power 60 000 homes. Built to attract the public and ensure that Copenhagen is the first zero-carbon-emissions city in the world by 2025, this masterpiece is set to be yet another feather in the cap of Danish architecture.

WHERE TO STAY

Mid-range

Hotel Skt Annae is a cosy modern boutique hotel, situated in the vibrant heart of Copenhagen. Visit: hotelsktannae.dk

The ambiance and sense of tradition at Hotel Phoenix offers guests a unique Danish experience. Visit: phoenixcopenhagen.dk

Budget

Situated in the centre of the city, Wakeup Copenhagen is modern and miminalist –perfect for an affordable stay. Visit: wakeupcopenhagen.com

WHERE TO EAT

High-end

108 Restaurant is situated between the Christianshavns Canal and Inderhavnsbroen, the new harbour bridge. It uses fresh local produce and traditional preparation and cooking methods. Visit: 108.dk

Mid-range

SimpleRAW in Gråbrødretorv, a historical square in the heart of Copenhagen, is dedicated to serving meals, desserts and beverages produced exclusively from vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and leafy greens. Visit: simpleraw.dk

Budget

Copenhagen Street Food is  a waterside street food market offering delicious street cuisine from all corners of the world, including Italy, Korea, Mexico and France. Eat indoors or outside at the waterfront. Visit: copenhagenstreetfood.dk

WHAT TO DO

Go to the gardens: Tivoli Gardens is a pleasure and amusement park in the heart of the city. Its exotic architecture, historic buildings and lush gardens are fairytale-like. With some of the world’s oldest rollercoasters, numerous restaurants to choose from and great entertainment, Tivoli has something for young and old. From 110DKK and kids under seven enter free. Visit: tivoli.dk

Rent a bicycle: Baisikeli is a second-hand bike rental shop, the profits from which go to African countries. The organisation fixes and ships used bikes to Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Ghana, so that they can be used as “bicycle ambulances” to make health care accessibility in rural areas. 80DKK for 24hours. Visit: baisikeli.dk

Rent a boat: Become the captain of your own ship and sail through Copenhagen’s popular canals in your very own solar-powered GOboat. The GOboat can carry eight people so you are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and a few friends. From 399 DKK for two hours. Email: gavekort@goboat.dk

Go to a museum: Explore Danish history at the Museum of National History, inside the magnificent Frederiksborg Castle. The castle is filled with paintings, furniture and art that showcases Denmark’s history. Visit www.dnm.dk

For info on the city, visit: www.visitcopenhagen.com

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