It’s been a while since our trip to Scandinavia, but Audrey and I had the best time and I really wanted to share these photos and our recommendations for any of you looking to visit, for ultimate doses of hygge and cinnamon buns.
Part One: Copenhagen
Copenhagen is very small (everything is within walking distance from everything else other than the airport and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art) and we heard from a lot of people that 3 days would be more than enough to fully dissect it as a tourist. In retrospect, I think we could have spent indefinitely longer there, simply because we fell in love with the food, people, design and lifestyle. The Danish are very passionate about things we love, such as good furniture, beautiful ceramics, delicious coffee and amazing bread (amongst other, albeit less important things because as we all know, one must always prioritise ceramics and coffee).
Things to see and do:
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art: We spent the good part of a day here and we both thought it was one of the best parts of the whole trip. We saw exhibitions of Louise Bourgeois and Daniel Richter amongst others and for some reason I felt much more touched by the work than I usually do at museums- I think it was the way all the works were arranged according to the architecture and resulting ambience that made the pieces so effective and at times heart-wrenching. I love the Scandinavian approach to displaying artwork outside (it didn’t feel like the works were overwhelming the scenery or vice versa, they existed very harmoniously and cohesively like cohabiting species in an ecosystem) and we had a lot of fun walking in the outdoor areas and taking in the scenery before eating a delicious late lunch. I’ve been to many amazing museums but this one was safely my favourite experience thus far. Don’t miss the blackberry cake in the canteen.
Shopping: We loved WoodWood (and they have a surplus store called WoodWood Museum), Royal Copenhagen ceramics, Ganni, Norse Projects…the København K area has a ton of cool brands in general and most of the stores are near that area. Also, there are Acne Archive (surplus stores for Acne Studios) in both Copenhagen and Stockholm so don’t miss those. I wanted to go see the Tortus pottery boutique as well but we didn’t get to go, but if you like ceramics check it out.
One thing we sadly didn’t get to do was to go see the jazz club performances at The Standard, so if you’re a jazz fan definitely go check it out.
I’ll always remember this moment (above) when we walked into a room overlooking the sea with the diving board installation just in time for sunset. So content and serene, and it encapsulated how the entire trip felt for me.
Where to eat/ drink:
Atelier September: Our favourite meal of the trip was actually at Restaurant Havfruen (opened by the same people as AS) but it’s sadly closed for now. Atelier September is quite popular but nonetheless worth the visit for their cute breakfasts, but I’ve heard their lunch/dinner is good too. There are also a few cute boutiques on the same street.
108: We couldn’t get a reservation at Noma but happily settled for 108 (their affordable sister restaurant). Another one of the best meals of the trip by far and not crazily ‘fine dining’-esque (considering its related to Noma), from the best bread I’ve had in a while (which I still think about from time to time), super friendly staff and some mind-blowing monkfish.
Torvehallerne Market: We came back for Laura’s Bakery, which does these amazing cinnamon swirl things that are the sweetest and best way you could possibly start your day, along with a cup of filter coffee from the Coffee Collective. Also a good spot if you want to try some open-faced sandwiches and other things from the stalls. We heard good things about the Papiroen market as well but didn’t get a chance to try it (adding it to our list for when we inevitably return).
Bar: Vin Stranden 10 (pictured), a wine bar where everyone was a few times our age but both the wine and ambience were amazing. The wine wasn’t expensive for how good it was and we spent a while reading through their old issues of The New Yorker and labelling all the old people enjoying their wine and cheeses as ‘retirement goals’. Another cute bar is called Ruby, but I am personally much more of a wine person.
Where to stay:
I’d been saving up my Airbnb referral credits for ages and we managed to find this amazing place, which is everything you could ever want in an apartment and more. Our host Ulrik was lovely and accommodating (and bought us snacks and bread) and we loved staying here. I highly recommend Airbnb for Copenhagen as it isn’t too hard to find a cute place/room in a good location for a great price. If you’d like to try it out, get some money off your first booking by clicking here.
Part Two: Stockholm
Stockholm was colder and bigger than Copenhagen, and I kind of missed being able to find all our spots on foot. Nonetheless, there are more things to do and see here and we had such a great time.
Things to do:
Stockholm Public Library: A beautiful library and optimal hiding spot from the cold, no explanation needed.
Subway stations: You don’t need to go out of your way, but the underground stations in Stockholm were all full of art and lovely; each one was a little different and quirky.
Fotografiska: A photography museum by the water, a must go for the exhibitions and I’ve heard good things about the restaurant/bar for drinks. We loved the photos and spent a lot of time hogging the photo booth. There’s also a cute all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet restaurant right next to the museum called Herman’s which I enjoyed. We also heard good things about Moderna Museet, which I will definitely visit when I return to the city.
Shopping: Some of our favourite shops were Filipa K, Whyred, Rodebjer, Grandpa, Nitty Gritty (amazing curation though pricey) and Snickerbacken 7 (which is also a cute cafe), but my favourites were the vintage stores- in particular Lisa Larsson’s Second Hand and POP. I think we spent two hours in Lisa Larsson’s and I found a really great old-season Acne dress. Shopping in Stockholm is a bit more expensive than Copenhagen but we still enjoyed window shopping.
(Us freezing but happy outside Fotografiska; Audrey’s shoe falling off).
Where to eat:
Mathias Dahlgren: We came here just for the molten chocolate cake, and it was amazing.
Pom & Flora: Sort of the ‘Atelier September’ of Stockholm, which does simple but comforting breakfast bowls and toasts.
Fabrique: A bakery chain, but still perfect for a quick breakfast of cinnamon/cardamom buns and bottomless (!) filter coffee.
Kaffebar: A great coffee spot where we couldn’t stop eyeing the snacks and cakes people were having (which we would have devoured if it weren’t for the big lunch we had eaten right before).
Kaffeverket: A good lunch spot near Acne Archives, perfect for a refuel via soup/salad/pastry after a shopping workout. We also heard good things about Mellqvist for lunch/coffee but didn’t have a chance to go.
Urban Deli: There are a few scattered around the city, but they’re a sort of gourmet supermarket meets restaurant and bar. We had some time to kill before dinner and had a glass of wine and some cheese, which you can’t go wrong with.
Speceriet: Sister restaurant of Gastrologik, we had the most amazing dinner here (though I would have a hard time choosing between this place and 108). Perfect and seasonal small plates to share that weren’t outrageously expensive for how beautiful and delicious they were.
Rolfs Kok: A dinner spot for meatlovers and people who love a big hearty meal. We loved the fish stew and potato pancake with roe and sour cream.
Where to stay:
For accommodation we opted for another Airbnb, which ended up being very comfortable and in a great location (right around the corner from Fabrique and a few super markets). It was nice to have a place with a kitchen because there was a night when we decided to stay in and cook, and ended up overdosing on pasta and ice cream. Again, link if you’re looking to book a place for your first stay and want a discount.
And this was Audrey’s sad ‘leaving Scandinavia’ face.
That’s all for now- I hope this post is helpful to those of you looking to visit these beautiful cities. Tell me if you do end up visiting / if you have been and have any recommendations for me or anyone else!