copenhagen // day 2

This morning I visit the Rosenborg Castle (60 DKK for students). I had asked Nina which of the three palaces she recommend I visit if she only had to pick one, and this is the one she chose. The Dutch Renaissance-style palace was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606, but ended up being used only as a backup residence twice: the first time after Christiansborg Palace burned down in 1794, and the second during the British attack on Copenhagen in 1801. I find the upper rooms much more appealing than those on the ground floor, which are predominantly dark and stuffy (when it comes to palaces, I’m more of a rococo person anyway). A two-word tip for the throne room: look up. The ceiling is beautifully crafted. After visiting the living quarters, I head downstairs to view the famous Crown Jewels and Danish Crown Regalia. In addition to the golden crowns, there are some serious jewelry pieces down there. (Note: it’s rather random, but in the Crown Jewel room I am suddenly reminded of that scene in Sherlock where Moriarty infiltrates the Tower of London and wears the Crown Jewels - just for shits. It’s incredibly sexy.)

I then head over to the Statens Museum for Kunst, the Danish National Gallery. So far, along with the Rundetaarn and Designmuseum, it’s in my top favorite visits. In addition to classical Danish art, the museum also has a great collection of French paintings, and has dedicated an entire exhibit to ‘Fransk Kunst’ – French art from 1900 to 1930. I don’t know whether Matisse is growing on me or whether Statens just happens to have his nicest pieces, but I’m really fond of all the ones by him that they have on display. What I enjoy the most at Statens, though, is its extensive collection of modern art. In fact, the latter is given just as much space as classic art, which I think really speaks to the appreciation Danes have for modern aesthetics, as well as to their generally progressive mindset. I spot one of Niki de St.Phalle’s familiar Nana statues, and also discover works by Claus Carstensen, Troels Wörsel and Harald Giersing.

Upon leaving the museum I make the strategic decision to spend the entire afternoon shopping. Tomorrow is Sunday, so everything will be closed, and Monday is Easter, so everything will also be closed (when traveling around Europe, you pretty much end up shaping your itinerary around which days things are actually open). I thus go store-hopping around the Stroget area, where I avoid the international brands and favor local chains, boutiques and concept stores instead. Just as I did for Dublin, I’m going to share these in a list format, because there are just so many!

  • Storm – Very hipster shop with a great selection of coffeetable books, kicks, headphones and clothes for both men and women. What really sells me, though, is the fact they have a candle that says “Ginsberg is God”. Amen.
  • Casashop – One of the best home decorating stores I’ve visited. Make sure you check out the section downstairs for even more eye candy!
  • Isabel Marant – I know it’s not Danish, and I didn’t even go inside, but Marant is my favorite RTW designer so she deserves a mention.
  • Vipp – Need a high-end trash can? Vipp has got you covered.
  • Beau Marché – Another highlight. This shop/restaurant/café/wine bar has an excellent assortment of modern and vintage home décor pieces tied together by their French-Danish theme.
  • Rue Verte - Luxurious, dark furniture and home accessories. There’s also a high-class Joe and the Juice in there.
  • Munthe – I was too intimidated to step inside, but this clothing shop looks very nice.
  • Konditori Antoinette – Craving something sweet, I hop inside this little café and purchase its cheapest (and most visually appealing) item: a liquorice macaroon (13 DKK). The macaroon itself is very dry (even more so than the ones from overrated LaDurée), but its gorgeous color more than makes up for that. Sometimes you’ve got to compromise.
  • Kok – Adjacent to Konditori Antoinette, this cooking store will be a heavenly place for cooks and foodies. It has a great assortment of tools, cookware and cookbooks.
  • Hotel Chocolat – Ok, this place is definitely more on the touristy side. But hey, everything in there looks terrific, and there’s a café where you can order many different types of hot and cold chocolate drinks so…
  • Noa Noa – I later realize this is actually a chain that runs throughout Scandinavia (I’ll see a few in Oslo as well). Even so, it has nice clothes, and a particularly adorable children’s wear collection.
  • COS - Another local chain store. Mostly minimalist/contemporary pieces.
  • Bang & Olufsen – If you’re a sound/tech aficionado, this one’s for you.
  • samsoe & samsoe - Extremely well-curated clothing chain. Great pieces by Envi, and beautiful leather pouches by Royal Republic.
  • Ricco's - Hip spot for a coffee break.
  • Norr – Basically the local Urban Outfitters. I fall in love with some pillows. There’s also a cool coffee shop called Frankly Market inside.
  • Isle Jacobsen – You probably know this brand for its lustworthy laced rainboots. I’m a Tretorn owner myself, but Isle Jacobsen boots has always been on my mind… In this store, there are also cool, colored rain jackets and parkas, as well as slightly less cool clothing (Jacobsen should stick to outwear, methinks). I don’t have a benchmark to tell you if it’s actually worth it to buy her products in Copenhagen rather than in America, but I’m guessing it may be, at least a little.
  • Perch Tea – All I can think of in this tiny shop is how much my roommate Anya would be swooning over the variety of tea it has to offer. And that smell…
  • Moss Copenhagen - Lovely clothes. Look out for my upcoming entry in which I go to their outlet.
  • Urban Outfitters – I’m curious, okay? Just want to see if they had the same products as they do in the States and Canada. And from what I see, it’s pretty similar. So there.
  • Hay – Hands down, my favorite store in Copenhagen. The prices are rather high, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t buy in there. Especially those brass scissors. I buy this adorable notebook (119 DKK) to serve as my travel journal.
  • Malene Birger – Birger is a Danish fashion designer. We actually retailed some of her pieces at the boutique I worked in last summer, but I had limited knowledge of her other collections. She has some lovely embellished pieces in her RTW this season.
  • Plint - Fabulous home accessories! Nearly everything is arranged by color palette, which only makes me like it even more. The prices are pretty fair, too.
  • H&M Home – We don’t yet have H&M Home stores in North America, so for me, at least, this is quite exotic. And despite a few tacky pieces, H&M Home has some really great things! I’m tempted to buy all their dish towels, especially the faux-French style ones, but my mom’s already got way more than she needs.