ILLUM is a department store smack dab in the middle of Strøget, one of the longest pedestrianised shopping streets in Europe. I’ve been to a fair few fancy department stores (hello, South Korea) and ILLUM strikes a good balance – it’s not intimidatingly big (it’s almost cosy!) and there’s a decent selection of stuff to browse, ranging from clothes and accessories to quirky trinkets and household items. And though this particular department store doesn’t make a point of having a massive food court or anything, there are a couple of cafes/restaurants to stop by for a bite or drink on the top floor, where you can get some really nice rooftop views of the city and the busy streets below. Keep scrolling to take a look at my aerial shots!
Copenhagen town centre is an aesthetic, cosy, and walkable area (as is many other areas of the city, really). Compared to many capital cities I’ve been to, it’s not super congested either in terms of vehicle traffic, and public transport tends to be efficient and reliable if needed (though pricey, I will give you that). Honestly, it’s up there as one of the nicest cities to walk around in Europe in my opinion, because it’s got a really nice balance of things to do and see. I have to laugh when people point out to me the parts of the town centre that are apparently more ‘grungy’. Having moved from a neighbourhood in Bristol where it was pretty standard for me to dodge broken bottles and other, even more questionable trash on a daily basis, I have yet to find ‘grungy’ here. If any of you have lived in Copenhagen, I’d be curious to know what you think about that.
To me, the city centre is very clean, there are plenty of colourful buildings, a mix of older and more modern architectural styles, cute streets, cobbled courtyards, flowers and ivies climbing up houses, parks and gardens every other corner, design-focused shops, and stylish cafes and eateries to grab a bite or people watch. Even in rainy weather (which I must say is quite a lot of the time…) there is something romantic about the vibe in the city. Hopefully the pictures below capture something of that atmosphere. You can see that even on gloomy and cloudy days, and in less-than-ideal lighting conditions, the city is just nice to look at.
One of the first things I noticed walking around Copenhagen was the lovely array of design/home/concept stores. Of course I had to make some purchases (or ten) for my new abode here in Copenhagen. I won’t include Flying Tiger (or just Tiger as it is known in the UK), which is the most obvious and well known (and super affordable compared to other stores in Denmark) homewares/decor/everyday items store dotted all over Copenhagen.
Here’s some other places I checked out:
Notre Dame (Nørregade 7, 1165 København)
This is a really cute little shop tucked away close to Strøget, the main “downtown” shopping street. Expect lots of earthy tones, ceramics, flower pots and hanging plant baskets. I didn’t take photos from this shop but the cute little clay flowerpots featured in my banner image for this post are from Notre Dame!
Stilleben No. 22 (Frederiksborggade 22, 1360 København)
This shop is a stone’s throw from Torvehallerne market and Nørreport Station – a very obvious place to drop in if you’re walking about town. I was attracted in particular by the colourful ceramics.
African Touch (Frederiksborggade 20, 1360 København)
A couple doors down from Stilleben you have another eye-catching store, full of bright colours and prints, decorative figurines, accessories, and so on.
Søstrene Grene (Amagertorv 24, 1160 København K)
This place is super cute – has a lot of baby/children’s items, stationery, home decor, and some “fancy” food items (ok actually just fancy looking jams, candies, etc.). I bought a fleecy rug from this place along with some cacti (yeah, I’m basic). Compared to the others, it seems pretty affordable too.