Nyhavn, a 17th-century harbour, is easily the most iconic landmark in Copenhagen. A rainbow of multicoloured townhouses, wooden sailboats, modern vessels, cafes, stalls and seafood restaurants you could be busy here for a weekend without exploring Denmark’s capital any further. Here Culture Trip rounds up the best hotels to stay in this enchanting nook.
Nyhavn attracts a crowd as diverse as its history. While you’re there, be sure to seek out the local-led canal tours to lush urban gardens or head across the bridge to Christianshavn where you’ll also find some of the oldest houses in Copenhagen.
This boutique hotel sits inside a pair of adjoining 200-year-old storage warehouses slap bang on the waterfront. The original grained Pomeranian pinewood beams are still intact in all 130 rooms, and the junior suites have a living area, Carpe Diem beds and Karmameju toiletries. The major draw is Sea by Kiin Kiin, a Southeast Asian restaurant with interiors and food inspired by 1930s Hong Kong. Order the scallops with lemongrass beurre blanc, while you mull over the gin menu (with 100 varieties in total, it merits a lengthy ponder), or order a specialty beer brewed in honour of Nyhavn.
The owner and creator of this hotel is one of Denmark’s most famous ballet dancers, Alexander Kølpin, and its formula is beaming, bend-over-backwards-for-you staff, beautiful Nordic design and excellent food and drink. The hotel attracts a mix of business execs, families and couples and both the bar and the restaurant have access from the street so locals can drop in with ease. Rooms range in size to the biggest, a master apartment, with a connecting room, a living room and fireplace.
The stuff of Scandi-design dreams. From the moment you walk into the marble lobby of this 77-room property, a Neoclassical building from 1903 that formerly housed the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, your mouth will drop open. The decor is a mash-up of styles and materials: concrete, marble, oak, leather — with furnishings both mid-century and modern. The airy city-facing rooms have views of Tivoli Gardens and there’s a sauna, hammam and a small fitness room in the basement. A fleet of cherry-red bikes outside can be rented (for a fee) to explore the city. NOI restaurant is a local hotspot with a very creative menu.
When they say Copenhagen Strand is a seaside hotel, it’s not just because it overlooks the harbour or is housed within a well-preserved 19th-century fisherman’s warehouse. The restaurant windows are close to the ceiling, letting in shafts of sunlight to make it feel as though you are enjoying your Nordic breakfast (eggs, cheese, cold meats, freshly baked breads, fruit) under the sea’s surface. The maritime theme carries through all 174 newly renovated rooms. If the weather is dry and sunny, sink into one of the hotel’s beach chairs to enjoy a quiet moment as you gaze at the harbour with a cup of coffee.
Looking for a romantic getaway? The bed and bubbles package here could be one to book. Renovated in 2018 and with a history that dates back to the late 17th century, Hotel Phoenix is decorated in Renaissance style inspired by Versailles and oozes old-world charm. If you like a steak with a side of literature, Murdoch’s Book and Ale brasserie has a dramatically lit ceiling, high bookcases and a range of stiff cocktails.
This boutique hotel on the historic island of Christianshavn boasts truly fantastic views over the canal and Nyhavn. Stroll across the bridge after breakfast to seek out attractions such as the Royal Theatre, Amalienborg Castle and the city’s main shopping street, Strøget. The building dates back to 1754 and also has a bright and airy restaurant where a different “meal of the evening” is served every night of the week at 7pm (duck, five spice, beetroot mashed potatoes, puffed kernels and chives whipped butter, for example).
Love sandwiches? Listen to how the Danish do it. This hotel has become part of the fabric of Copenhagen’s Nyhavn area and you’ll find cosy cafés nearby. But snacks are important here. The kitchen will dish out a series of Smørrebrød (the national open-faced sandwich which translates as “buttered bread”) all day and will happily send you off with a packed lunch ahead of a day sightseeing. The King’s Garden is a short walk from the hotel.
A lasting symbol of luxury and elegance in the city centre, this five-star hotel opened in 1755 and today marries Victorian architecture with contemporary Nordic design. The corridors whisper of past banquets, lavish love affairs and unparalleled grandeur. The Michelin-star Restaurant Marchal and Balthazar Champagne Bar add extra ritz, while there’s a spa, swimming pool and shop, d’Angleterre Creations, on site. Expect to be enchanted.
This Guldsmeden hotel is set in a peaceful, stylish neighbourhood full of art galleries and close to the Design Museum. Enjoy a drink in the bar then hop on a bus just outside (which runs every five minutes through the night) to the lively Latin Quarter. Feeling lavish? Book room 408, a sprawling suite with a balcony overlooking the park, a four-poster bed and a huge bath. The hotel has an orangery, a charming courtyard, with a charger for electric vehicles, and plenty of comforting details and top-notch service.
These recommendations were updated on December 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.