If you’ve settled on a trek to Denmark — owing to its rich culture, history, and mastery of the good life, of course — then hats off to you. Surely, you’ll want to know how to make the most of that good life while you’re there, yes? Let us help; we’ve highlighted 11 top spots for shopping in Copenhagen that will give you the retail therapy every vacation needs.
Department store/mall: Illum
Western travelers are intimately familiar with the department store concept, but Illum is far more than a Macy’s or Sears. This hub of all things à la mode treats shoppers to dozens of brands, featuring the latest in Nordic fashion (we saw some oversized boots worth a look); quirky-fun, odd textured accessories; poké bowls and other non-native culinary diversions; and a whole host of other treats. Multiple floors give you access to top names like Tiffany, Alexander Wang, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Dior, Diesel, and countless others. Really, you could spend your whole day here — just be careful how much you spend.
All-in-one: Frederiksberg Centret Shopping Mall
In the heart of Copenhagen, this 90-store mall is beloved of Copenhagenites. Tourists will fit right in, too, what with fashion brands like H&M, Moss Copenhagen, and Tiger of Sweden blending seamlessly with jewelers (we’re always dazzled by the gems at Thiele), sports hubs (nods to Intersport), chocolatiers, and, of course, good eats like the curry-spiked Bangkok pizza from the aptly named Classic Pizza Restaurant.
Self-described as Copenhagen’s “pantry,” TorvehallerneKBH is an open, outdoor marketplace with a mission to provide hungry patrons the best in raw, ethically sourced, and carefully cooked foods. The market actually dates back to 1889, though the current iteration boasts some key updates. Partially housed in two glassy buildings in Israel Square, the market dishes up everything from cheese (Arla Unique) to kimchee (The Chinese Merchant) to ice cream. Come for inspiration for your homemade dinnertime feast, or simply snack your way through the cuisine of more than 60 cities. No other city we’ve been to boasts something quite like TorvehallerneKBH, and we’ve gained a few pounds celebrating that uniqueness.
Wine: Ubbe’s Vinhandel
What is food without wine? So preaches Ubbe of Ubbe’s Vinhandel, a cozy wine shop in the shadow of Christiansborg. The shop is three generations old and proffers some serious bottles: Champagnes from France, Montepulcianos from Tuscany, Riojas from Spain — even cider. You’ll also find some spirits in attendance (we recommend perusing their healthy supply of Portos), and beer is always kept cool for those craft brew lovers. Quirky fact: You can buy a Champagne saber at Ubbe’s for around $200.
Kitchen and dinnerware: Royal Copenhagen
It may seem odd to be shopping for tea saucers and serving platters when you’ll be back on a plane in a few days, but Royal Copenhagen is nonetheless a great place to browse. You might even find something small to take home with you; intricately painted teaware, mugs, and teapots all make wonderful souvenirs. If you want something truly masterful, find a piece that leverages shades of blue — it is the one color in which Royal Copenhagen painters really excel.
Men’s fashion: Han Jkøbenhavn
Admittedly, Nordic fashions can be slightly eccentric, but Han Jkøbenhavn offers the quiet styles Western visitors would likely find appealing — and not too adventurous. Try on some long-sleeve, striped polos; understated leather jackets; or a fleece sweater. Or, go rogue with some multicolored pajama pants and a fanny pack. Whatever you eye, know that things aren’t cheap here (one sweater we looked at was around $120). You can find great deals on some items, though, so Han Jkøbenhavn is always worth a stop. (Oh, and they have plenty of items for ladies, too.)
Women’s fashion: Stine Goya
This brand has been pegged by many as the “sweetheart of Danish fashion,” and we can see why. Ladies’ looks are unique here, to say the least, with flowing cotton, nylon, and silk meeting prominent frills, pleats, and floral patterns. The 1970s influences much of the line here, though it’s clear those influences mingle with more modern flair. It’s likely you’ll find something that fits your style — or at least touches on it. Whatever you home in on, rest easy knowing the company is keen on sustainability and sources its materials accordingly.
Furniture and home: Nordic Nesting
We don’t know about you, but the WWoT team genuinely loves ambling through a furniture store — especially one with quirky designs and atraditional constructions. Nordic Nesting fits that description to a “T,” what with cute wooden owl sculptures nesting next to faux greenery atop rattan tables and faded green couches that look like they came right out of “Mork & Mindy.” Clearly, you’re not going to be buying furniture, but there’s plenty of other stuff you might snag — like a retro, ’70s green headset; a herringbone tote, or a chimpanzee head doubling as a coat hook.
Kids: LEGO Store
Kids in tow? There’s really only one place to take them: the flagship LEGO Store. Drop them down in a sea of multicolored LEGOs and watch them construct to their hearts’ content. You’ll find all manner of themed LEGOs here, of course — including “Harry Potter” sets, “Batman” sets, “Star Wars” sets, and, oddly, “Powerpuff Girls” sets. Older LEGO aficionados will have just as much fun constructing MARVEL scenes, football stadiums, and pirate ships. We got lost in the Chinese New Year set, but we’ll be back to build the NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander. Be sure to buy a (small) kit to go and give your kids something to look forward to when vacation is over.
Perfume and cologne: Crime Passionnel
Crime Passionnel is dizzying — and not just because of the cloud of scents that hits you when you walk in the door. Many of the scents we hadn’t even heard of (including one strangely inspired by “Hannibal,” the movie), and several converted us instantly. Standouts for us included the Black Oud fragrance, with nutmeg, cumin, and incense notes; and Absinthe, which is apparently designed to “evoke degrees of hysteria.” If all this mad sniffing has you taken aback, never fear; you can process all those scents and buy online later when you’re ready.
Wild card: Hats, Boots & Bourbon
Some of the most fun enjoyed during a day of shopping occurs when you stumble across something truly bizarre —a concept you never thought would exist or, at the very least, bring in a sizeable clientele. Hats, Boot & Bourbon fits that category for us; it’s a, well, haberdasher meets footwear purveyor meets bar. Yes, you can definitely try on some suede shoes while sipping a Sazerac, and yes, you can absolutely fuss with the tilt of your Stetson while nosing a knuckle of Eagle’s Rare. I mean, really, whoddathunk?
There’s plenty more shopping in Copenhagen, of course — alongside dining, exploring, and adventuring. If you need more inspiration, we recommend checking out the city’s information-rich tourism website.