Where to travel for design inspiration? Copenhagen
When thinking of Copenhagen you may think Scandinavian design and it's correct and there's so much more design to that thought.
If you're like me, who's more on the traditional and transitional interior design style, thinking to use Scandinavian design may be pushing it. That's what I thought and after my trip to Copenhagen I learned that there's so much more to that and I was happy to find a warm Scandinavian design throughout the city.
Do yourself a favor and start by going to the Designmuseum Danmark to get an incredible visual/design stimulation by looking at furniture design through the centuries and the largest chair collection in the world that I've ever seen. You always see chairs in your daily life but after going to this museum your attention to chairs will be much more focused and oriented. Simple things that open your curiosity. Walk through the different exhibitions and the gardens in the back, really a must do while in Copenhagen.
The most famous picture representation of Copenhagen is located in the Nyhavn harbor, like it's done in the Danish Girl movie. This was my favorite spot of the city, even though it's a tourist spot it didn't feel that much touristy, small shops located along the harbor, with restaurants and cafes. Time seems to stay still here, not much has changed from the old pictures of this traditional part of town. All around this area there's so much to see, including very unique antique stores with lots of naval gadgets. Walking or biking on the streets you'll get to see the best of town. If you plan to spend some nights try to book a hotel near the area. Unfortunately we booked a hotel closer to the Tivoli Park which was in a more darker neighborhood but still walking distance to Nyhavn. I won't disclose the name as we didn't love the hotel.
Walk around the area and make your way to the Amalienborg Palace and Square. The story says that when the old royal palace burned down the royals decided to take over the noble homes around the palace, meaning that they kicked out these nobles from their luxurious homes and the crown moved into them. I find that a very interesting and funny story. We were so lucky to witness the change of the Royal Guard on the square, not sure how often that happens in the day but it's worth being there for it, very solemn and very aristocratic.
From Amalienborg Palace you can continue walking North on the shore and eventually you'll make it to see Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid sitting on a rock in the harbor water. Not too far from shore. This sculpture has been vandalized, painted, decapitated and more over time. It's a small statue and a long walk, so just keep that in mind if you really want to see it. I thought it was cool to see it, take a picture and then go for a beer. There are many old military buildings that date back to the 1600's and now house galleries, restaurants, design schools and lofts so this area has been modernized but still keeping the historic buildings.
Of course that you have to check out restaurants in Copenhagen, it's one of the foodiest cities in the world and still hosting the best restaurant in the world, Noma. We tried to make a reservation for Noma two months in advance but I think you need to do this at least a year in advance but we weren't disappointed as we were told of many other great Scandinavian restaurants in the city with the same cuisine style and prices lower than Noma. You should check out Host (my favorite one), The Union Kitchen, Pate Pate, Cafe Victors and Geist. And I'm sure that if you ask at your hotel they will have many other names. Really a lot of options for great Scandinavian food.
The funnest thing we did there was Go Boat, where you can rent your own electric boat and go through the cities canals and harbors, seeing the city from the water at your own pace and deciding where you want to drop anchor and enjoy the view. We brought food and wine with us so the ride was perfect, I even got the chance to jump in the water to cool down. You'll definitely get to see a lot of the city from here.
Of course there were many interior design stores, furniture, accessories and so many ideas to bring back to design homes. Just get lost in the streets and you'll find many of these, not at cheap prices but you'll see the quality and craftsmanship that Danish take so much pride on by producing some of the best pieces of furniture here. Inspiration for sure.