Europe

Copenhagen city break for a calming holiday in a Hygge hotspot

For me, Copenhagen epitomises effortless Scandi chic, clean living and free-spirited thinking.

The last time I was on a Copenhagen city trip, I took a brisk dip in the open-air Islands Brygge Harbour Baths, wandered around the self-governed commune of Christiania and bobbed across the water in a floating hot tub.

It was easy to see why Denmark is regularly reported to have the world’s happiest residents. Its capital just has so much going for it: from its waste-management plant with hiking trails and a ski slope on its roof to the wide cycling lanes and pedestrianised streets.

Every time I visit there’s something new to discover, but for now here are my happy places in the hub of hygge.

What to see in Copenhagen

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From a self-governed commune to coral-shaped harbour baths, interesting days here are guaranteed.

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Where to stay in Copenhagen

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Copenhagen boasts an impressive number of hotel experiences – from a fairytale hotel inside an antique theme park to a contemporary classic.

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Moorish architecture in an antique theme park

Forget the Little Mermaid statue: this classic fairytale hotel is where the magic’s at on a Copenhagen city break. Outside, it’s all handsome Moorish arches and towers. Inside, the grand arched windows, cosy four-poster beds and crackling fireplaces instantly draw your eye.

But my favourite part? The rooftop pool (closely followed by the cake shop). Take time out at the retro Tivoli Gardens theme park, which now opens in winter. This hotel’s right inside!

Nimb Hotel

Top rated
Copenhagen
9.1 Excellent (341 reviews)

Contemporary design and Nordic decor

All glass and aluminium, the AC Hotel Bella Sky is quite the futuristic addition to the city’s landscape. Its twin towers are connected by a bridge suspended high up in the sky. Step inside to appreciate the Scandi interiors in light tones and streamlined shapes, from the spacious lobby to the Nordic restaurant. Details in rooms are as Danish as the design scheme – expect Arne Jacobsen lamps, Bang & Olufsen TVs and HAY sofas.

AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen

Copenhagen
8.3 Very good (18803 reviews)

A modern classic with a rooftop restaurant

Hotel Ottilia is an easy pick for Copenhagen city breaks in the new Carlsberg district of the city. It’s right inside the Danish beer brand’s old brewery with repurposed grain silos and malt chambers contrasting against a triple-storey X-ray light display.

Sip sundowners at the stylish rooftop restaurant and bar – it hosts a free wine hour every day! A fun fact to share with your travel partners as you sip: this is one of the first hotels in the world with self-cleaning rooms.

Ottilia

Copenhagen
8.6 Excellent (742 reviews)

Stay right in the city centre on your Copenhagen city trip

With its chic rooms livened up by exposed wood beams and twisting staircases, 71 Nyhavn exudes a sense of laidback luxury. Choose a space with harbour views to admire the water from your bed. Or linger in the lobby checking out the art: the hotel has an impressive collection of Cobra movement works.

The in-house SEA by Kiin Kiin restaurant – a spinoff of a Michelin-starred eatery – is a must-visit for innovative Asian food. I was blown away by the tender lobster topped with a frozen curl of red curry ice cream.

71 Nyhavn Hotel

Copenhagen
7.7 Good (4181 reviews)

Where to eat and drink in Copenhagen

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From a rooftop garden to a politically minded restaurant.

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Feature image courtesy of studiolaska / stock.adobe.com