Travel from Arne Jacobsen's SAS Royal Hotel, one of the first masterpieces of postwar Danish design, past the city's environmentally-conscious modern architecture to its Art Nouveau city hall. Visit some of the best local shops for world-famous Danish design. Pass by the famous old townhouses at Nyhavn - a scene you may recognize from postcards of Copenhagen - and the auction houses where great vintage Danish design is for sale. End at the Danish Design Museum.
Kay Xander Mellish is the author of "How to Live in Denmark" and the voice behind the "How to Live in Denmark" podcast. She has a degree in Art and Architectural History from New York University. Her favorite Danish design style is the rosewood "Palisander" tables and chairs popular in the 1950s.
Copenhagen City Hall
Directions to Starting Point
Take the train to Copenhagen's central station, København H. Exit towards Bernstorffsgade, then walk 5 minutes north towards the SAS Royal Hotel, a green box-like skyscraper. Start the tour under the canopy with the crowns on it.
For the shopper: Illums Bolighus for a wide range of Danish design products; Royal Copenhagen porcelain and dishware; Georg Jensen silver; HAY modern home design; Magasin department store for Danish fashion brands; Bredgade for vintage pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. For the museum goer: Glyptoteket for classical sculpture and French impressionist art, the Danish National Museum for Viking artifacts, the Danish Design Museum for modern Danish design.
Best time of day
Many of the interest points are outdoors, but interior locations like City Hall (9am-4pm) and design shops (10am-6pm) have limited hours and may not be open on Sunday.
Keep an eye on your belongings; Copenhagen is popular with pickpockets. If you're a budget traveler, keep in mind that sitting down at a cafe will cost you a minimum of US$10 for a drink, or US$30 for a drink and a sandwich. Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world.