When you think of fashionable cities, Paris, London, Milan and NYC instantly come to mind. But in its subtle, norm core way Copenhagen must to be added to this stylish city list. Walking around you’ll see young Scandinavian women with blue eyes and hay colored hair riding bikes with high heels, cross body Gucci bags, and oversized luxe knits. Or stylish grandmothers in tweed blazers, faded jeans, and updated metallic oxfords. Their sense of style is sophisticated but demure. Chic but casual. And with an emphasis on natural beauty sans makeup.
We spent less than 12 hours in Denmark’s capital last week, but it was enough to have me deeply enraptured with the Scandinavian fashion capital. People watching sent me lusting to be just as effortlessly chic and running into the nearest Danish boutiques to drop a few danish crowns on the season’s latest.
While I love the city’s fashion offerings, it’s their health consciousness that solidified its place as one of my favorites cities! The Guardian reported that Copenhagen “wears the crowns for being one of the world’s greenest, most livable, most cycle friendly and happiest city. It has further ambitions to become the first carbon natural capital by 2025, to be smoke-free in the same period, and to serve 90% organic food in all daycares, schools and shoes for older people.”
Organic healthy living and eating is a top priority for Danes as conveyed by their numerous organic, vegan and paleo restaurants. We even saw food carts on the street advertising themselves as offering organic fare!!
Umm… so when are we moving to Denmark?
Sigh. I’ll be back someday, but until then, if you visit this understated eco heaven, here are a few favorites from my time spent in Copenhagen that I highly recommend!
DAY Birger et Mikkelsen
Pop into the flagship store of one of Scandinavia’s most successful brands, DAY Birger et Mikkelsen. The line blends fine tailoring with a bohemian yet modern style. Everyday glamour is what you’ll find here. I fell in love with this sheer textured turtleneck, its extra long arms and billowy yet cinched waist, and snagged it for $140. Stop by for gorgeous basics turned up a notch. Kongens Nytorv 18, 1050 Copenhagen K, +45 33 45 88 00 – day.dk
This department store is the Neiman Marcus of Scandinavia. They offer 10% off to tourists storewide with proof of foreign passport. I ended up buying a gorgeous faux navy blue scarf from an Italian brand – Saldarini 1882. But once you’re done perusing the high-end fashion sections, head over to the beauty department where you’ll find one of the best in-store Kjaer Weis set ups, and green Danish skincare brand Karmameju. Then head downstairs to eat bites at the Italian grocery emporium Eataly and pick up fresh pastries from HOLM Bager; a Danish fave. illum.dk
*TIP: Scandinavia is a great place to buy luxury items! The prices on designer goods are less than in the states by $50-100 and are duty free.
This tiny eatery gets packed, but if you can snag one of the communal tables, EAT HERE! The vegan food is flavorful and cooked (unlike the name suggests). I was dying after a week on the cruise ship and in need of true healthy fare. My hubs picked this place out; the eternal healthy food resister and he loved it! I had the veggie burger which included a quinoa, mushroom and chickpea burger with spicy “mayo” aioli on the most delicious homemade sprouted grain bun. We also split the Thai Ginger Noodles dish made with spiralized zucchini and carrots and a powerful ginger zing. Pilestræde 32, 1112 København, +45 3212 3210 – www.42raw.com
Palaeo Primal Gastronomi
If meat is more your thing, there was a trendy paleo restaurant located next to 42 Raw that was bustling with people – always a good sign for a restaurant. We weren’t able to try it, but it would have been my next meal had we not have had to get back on the boat! www.palaeo.dk
Photographed & Written by Amy Chang