A weekend in wonderful Copenhagen

The ultimate weekend in Copenhagen starts here: discover the latest openings across the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture, stay in a hotel afloat, start your day with brilliant baked goods and ski down a power-station piste

Copenhagen Christianshavns Kanal
(Image credit: Courtesy Visit Copenhagen)

In partnership with VisitCopenhagen 

Your perfect weekend in Copenhagen starts here, with a hygge hideaway, a brilliant bakery, memorable dining spots and pursuits both adventurous and leisurely.

Plan your weekend in Copenhagen

Stay at Kaj Hotel

Copenhagen Kaj hotel

(Image credit: Santiago de la Vega)

Floating but firmly moored, both houseboat and hotel, haven and hideaway, Kaj sits at the Holmen harbour’s waterside, its weathered, reclaimed wood-clad exterior offering a warm welcome. Kaj Hotel’s cosy and compact 16 sq m accommodation comprises a wooden cabin house resting on two pontoons; Norwegian architect Karl Meye (together with owners Barbara von Haffner and Toke Larsen) cleverly repurposed original windows from the former Danish naval command building and scrap iron taken from a disused railway, adding a staircase and a balcony made from old ship parts. The microtel and hygge retreat – located close to Bjarke Ingels’ own houseboat, which is moored near the Danish Design School –  has uninterrupted views of the historic custom house (Toldboden) and is a few minutes' walk from Copenhagen’s Opera House, the nearest stop for the regular Harbour Bus ferry service that crosses the water. Kaj, by the way, is a Danish boy’s name. It also means ‘quay’ or ‘wharf’. 


Breakfast at Hart Bageri 

Baked goods at Hart Bageri, Copenhagen

(Image credit: Mellanie Gandø)

In a city that has an aromatic, artisanal bageri on every corner – the smell of freshly baked bread and sweet pastry spilling out onto streets from Christianshavn to Vesterbro – Københavners are spoiled for sourdough and sausage rolls. Among the very yummiest and most innovative offerings are those of Hart Bageri in the Frederiksberg neighbourhood, run by Richard Hart, formerly of Tartine in San Francisco, and his business partner René Redzepi of Noma fame. The bakery features bespoke design elements by Copenhagen-based architecture studio Spacon & X, with solid oak furniture and fittings handcrafted by the local Nørrebros Snedkerservice workshop, and is instantly recognisable thanks to its Zoidberg-esque, neon hand-face logo. Expect long queues for baked goods that are indulgent, delicious, sugar-dusted and otherworldly – make sure your breakfast includes the custard-filled Spandauer, the ambrosial cardamom croissant, or the black sesame cookie. 


Explore Copenhill 

climbing wall at Copenhill, Copenhagen

(Image credit: Daniel Rasmussen)

Built by Copenhagen poster boy Bjarke Ingels, the ‘hedonistic sustainability’-style Amager Bakke – aka ‘Copenhill’, a heat and power waste-to-energy plant and recreational facility – is a Copenhagen curiosity, industrial and interactive and a bonafide landmark achievement. Hiking to Cophenhill’s summit via its open-air stairways and paths is a good way to burn off the carbs and take in views of the city. Skiing back down on the curving, artificial 400m piste clinging to the building’s cheese wedge exterior is an eccentric thrill, while a ride back up in the glass-sided elevator provides incredible views of the mammoth power station facility inside. Lauded as the ‘cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world’ the industrial waterfront colossus incinerates 440,000 tonnes of waste to make clean electricity and heating for 150,000 homes annually. If you dare, book in for an attempt at Amager Bakke’s 85m-high climbing wall – the highest (and scariest) in the world.  (multi-pitch certification required).


Wander Opera Park (opening September 2023)

Copenhagen Opera Park rendering

(Image credit: Rendering courtesy Cobe)

Admire the modernist, limestone and marble pagoda-like structure of Henning Larsen’s spectacular Copenhagen Opera House as you take a zig-zagging 2km stroll from CopenHill. Enter the lush green, urban ‘lung’ of the Opera Park gardens (set to be inaugurated in September 2023), a new recreation and contemplation space designed by Dan Stubbergaard’s Cobe studio. With a glass pavilion at its centre, the contemporary-meets-classical romantic garden is all winding paths and defined views arranged as natural scenography. A mixture of local and exotic species makes reference to the harbour area’s history as a hub for international trade. 

Lunch at Øens Have

Woman gardening at Øens Have urban farm, Copenhagen

(Image credit: Lukas Bukoven)

The largest urban farm in Scandinavia is located in Copenghagen’s Refshaleøen neighbourhood, serving up fresh produce either foraged from nature, harvested from its own gardens, or supplied by local organic farmers and low-impact fishermen. Dine outside amongst flourishing crops of vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, surrounded by bees, chickens and wild birds. Or escape to one of the farm’s yurt tents. Øens Have (meaning ‘Island Garden’) maintains a menu that is seasonal, pescatarian and designed for sharing; wines are natural and sourced from small-scale European vineyards only. House beers are made by the Kølster Malt og Øl organic and biodynamic brewery in Humlebæk. 


Discover Carlsberg City District

Carlsberg City District in Copenhagen

(Image credit: Andreas Raun/Carlsberg Byen)

Copenhagen’s newest city development is also one of its oldest: inhabited since the bronze age, home to rune stones and reciters of Eldritch Times, this industrial backwater between Frederiksberg, Valby and Vesterbro was once home to Denmark’s most famous brewery. With Carlsberg’s HQ now relocated to Jutland, the area – all warehouses, cobbled streets and quirky 19th-century detail – has benefited from a radical transformation: it’s home to groovy independent shops,  green spaces, cycle paths, family accommodation, repurposed industrial architecture, boutique hostelries, playgrounds, makers, designers and independent art galleries. Carlsberg City District highlights include Hotel Ottilia, AIRE Ancient Baths Copenhagen, Gasoline Grill, the Henrik Vibskov Boutique, and the super-cute Von Bartha gallery in the brewery’s old lighthouse building. You’ll enjoy an afternoon visit to Carlsberg City District. You’ll also want to move in. 


Dinner at Studio

Copenhagen Studio restaurant

(Image credit: Courtesy Visit Copenhagen)

Christoffer Sørensen's interpretation of modern Nordic gastronomy is deeply rooted in Denmark’s indigenous tastes and the best seasonal ingredients season. The Michelin Guide's best young chef in the Nordics 2021 runs a kitchen that combines the local and the gathered, the fermented and the wild, with a French foundation and a Japanese inspiration to make the extraordinary. The result is deep, clean and exotic flavours from dishes that thrill and surprise: wolfish caught with anchor sein, leeks and goosefoot; and walnut, spruce and caviar from Gastrounika. The house water is pretty good too – Studio being located at the original source of the Carlsberg brewery’s spring water.


Drinks at Lĭquo 

Lĭquo bar interior, Copenhagen

(Image credit: Courtesy Lĭquo)

Lĭquo is on a mission to celebrate the richness and diversity Italian wines, which flow freely at its terrazzo-topped tables.  The Carlsbergbyen bar is situated in a sweet spot between the green JC Jacobsen’s Garden, Fadet Street and the 120m-high Pasteur’s Tower. Designed by local architectural practice Briq, the small but high-ceilinged space is awash with vibrant and tactile surfaces. Order the carne salata with asparagus, pine and cured egg yolk, washed down with a chilled glass of Fangareggi Vigna Rosa 2021.