The best way to experience any city is by visiting it like a local – far away from the touristy spots – which is why Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Josephine Skriver is the perfect guide to Copenhagen, the city of fairy tales. “It’s such a cozy and simple place. It’s safe, it’s small, and it has everything you’ll need,” she says of Denmark’s capital city. “It has some of the best public transportation in the world, some of the best shopping, some of the best food and beers, and most importantly, some of the best people!”
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The JOJA co-founder misses her hometown’s sense of community when she travels and feels other big cities around the world to be “so big and filled with so much chaos.” Luckily, she returns often and was most recently back for the Copenhagen Fashion Week where she walked the runways for Danish brands Gestuz, Munthe and (di)vision. As nonstop as her trips are, she always manages to live that Hygge life –cozy, family time. “Copenhagen is a lifestyle city,” the 29-year-old reveals. “You just kind of live and do all of the simple things while there – eat, drink, shop and relax!”
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With two of the top restaurants in the world with Noma and Geranium, the culinary scene of Copenhagen is worth the trip alone. Skriver, who now calls Los Angeles and Nashville home, emphasizes that you need a week in the city just to enjoy all the different cuisine. Read on for her ultimate list of what to do in Copenhagen, starting with what is consistently her first stop on any trip home: Gasoline Grill for a burger! “They are still only available in Denmark so as soon as I get home, I have to get my burger on,” she says.
Where to stay in Copenhagen:
The sustainable luxury hotel is a short distance from the train station.
Situated in the former building of the Conservatory of Music, this contemporary hotel is centrally located.
Located in Tivoli Gardens, this boutique hotel is housed in an impressive Moorish-style building.
What foods to try in Copenhagen:
“An open-faced sandwich usually consists of some type of fish, but you can make it any way you’d like,” says Skriver. “That’s the quintessential Danish dish.”
“Of course, we are famous for our pastries... my favorite being the kanelsnegl. It’s the Danish cinnamon roll.”
“Lastly, I would say a classic hot dog! I’m biased but nothing is a better late-night snack after a few drinks and dancing than a perfect hot dog.”
Where to eat in Copenhagen:
“I’m a huge lover of Japanese food and culture, and I love how intimate it is.”
“My husband [musician Alex DeLeon] is part Mexican, so over the years, I have become deeply invested in Mexican traditions and food. This is as authentic as it comes in Europe.”
“As I said before… what’s better than the perfect burger!?”
“Go here for the perfect hot dog.”
Where to cocktail in Copenhagen:
Known as a cocktail pub, the music is never too loud and the scene just right.
With waterfront views and live entertainment, it’s a great place to unwind.
Situated over three floors, two are for cocktails with the top being the whiskey bar. An outside courtyard is perfect for drinks in the warmer months.
Where to shop in Copenhagen:
A showroom offering a curated collection of fashion-conscious apparel, music and books.
Here you will find elements of underground mixed with high end.
Copenhagen’s luxury department store has five floors to shop.
For handmade objects including ceramics and glassware, this is the perfect store for home accessories.
A contemporary design hub filled with furniture, jewelry and ceramics.
What to do and see in Copenhagen:
“It is one of the first theme parks in the world and what Walt Disney based Disneyland on!”
Rent a GoBoat
“Whenever my friends come during the warmer months, I love to rent a GoBoat. You steer it yourself and can take a few friends on the water and through the canals. There isn't a better way to see the city and you have complete freedom.”
Amalienborg Palace is home to the Danish royal family, and Christiansborg Palace houses Parliament. “I have been there as a tourist with my schools, but hopefully one day I will get one,” Skriver says of receiving an official invite to visit with Denmark’s royal family. “It would be the highest honor!”
The waterfront street is known for its multicolored buildings that make a perfect backdrop for any photo.
One more thing to note:
Skriver encourages visitors to pay attention to Denmark’s strive for sustainability. “We really care about taking care of each other, the planet and thinking deeper about everything,” she says. “We love finding innovative solutions. We solve problem-solving. From our furniture to clothing design, to how we pick, cook and choose our food, we believe that you should always be forward-thinking and always push the envelope by challenging ideas and previous ideologies.
“Danes can seem very serious but that doesn’t mean we aren’t friendly! We can be a socially awkward society at times, and we keep to ourselves, but behind it all we love to meet interesting new people and love to get to know people from other places and cultures. We may seem like we have a shell, but underneath, there’s nothing we love more than spending time with people, having deep talks, and experiencing adventure!”