Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Copenhagen one way or the other appears solely to have develop into extra totally itself. With restrictions lengthy gone (they had been lifted in January) and summer season at hand, the town’s outside areas, designed to extract each little bit of pleasure from summer season, have multiplied. There are extra harborside spots to sip wine and swim, whereas devotion to environmental sustainability has generated a wholly new hangout for the green-minded. The Danish fetish for buttery pastries has remodeled itself right into a veritable eruption of recent bakeries, whereas the broader eating scene — already world class — has develop into greater and higher. And in a metropolis the place bikes already represent the first technique of transportation, Copenhagen is getting ready for its biking apotheosis: The Tour de France begins right here on July 1.
What’s taking place
For the primary time in historical past, the Tour de France’s Grand Depart begins in Denmark, with a 13-kilometer time trial via the streets of Copenhagen earlier than transferring on, throughout Days 2 and three, to levels that begin farther west in Roskilde and Vejle. On June 29, the competing groups will be presented first on a trip via the town after which in a particular occasion, full with stay music, at Tivoli Gardens. The primary day’s race ends at Copenhagen’s metropolis corridor, however an enormous cycling-themed occasion will happen in Fælledparkenon Days 1 and a pair of, with stay music, bike video games for teenagers and huge screens for watching. On the morning of July 2, the route will open for cyclists of all ability ranges to bike a “Tour de Copenhagen.”
However that may hardly be the one celebration. Danes love a pageant, and they’re greeting a summer season calendar that’s as soon as once more stuffed with them with palpable aid. This yr, all of the outdated favorites — from the heavy steel paroxysms of Copenhell and easy vibes of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival to the gastronomic excesses of Copenhagen Cooking to the intellectual discussions of the Louisiana Literature Festival are again, and have been complemented with new additions like Syd for Solen. However the largest of all — extra ceremony of passage than mere pageant — is Roskilde, which takes place June 29 to July 2. This yr it’ll try and channel all that pent-up power with a postponed Fiftieth-anniversary celebration and the biggest roster — 132 acts, together with Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Submit Malone and the Strokes — in its historical past.
What to see
A number of of Copenhagen’s cultural establishments used the pandemic to complete long-planned enhancements. The Danish Design Museum, which for some time was mainly a warren of rooms stuffed with chairs, reopens on June 19 after a two-year restoration, with an exhibition on how design can tackle international challenges like local weather change and pandemics. And certainly one of Europe’s best collections of Nineteenth-century French artwork received a brand new showcase earlier this yr when Ordrupgaard debuted its new wing, underground however open to the sky, on the sting of the town.
However maybe essentially the most topically related renewal is the Freedom Museum. Previously referred to as the Museum of the Danish Resistance, it was destroyed by arson in 2013, and has been solely rebuilt from the bottom up. Its interactive exploration of how Germany’s largely unobstructed takeover of Denmark in 1940 steadily transitioned into lively resistance that sabotaged German weapons and mustered a volunteer fleet of fishing boats to spirit the nation’s Jews to security makes for an particularly poignant lesson today.
The place to eat
Spurred maybe by two lengthy lockdowns during which takeaway espresso and cake had been among the many few pleasures left, the town that invented the Danish (although right here they’re referred to as wienerbrød) has entered a brand new Golden Age of pastry. There’s now an unbiased, chef-led bakery in virtually each neighborhood, and infrequently lengthy traces stretching down the sidewalk. Among the latest to strive: Albatross & Venner, Benji and Ard — and that’s not counting Apotek 57 and Studio X, two cafes hooked up to totally different design outlets, the place additionally they do some mouthwatering in-house baking.
The remainder of the eating scene is flourishing as nicely — perhaps a bit an excessive amount of. For all its acclaim as a global eating vacation spot, prepandemic Copenhagen nonetheless had a tough time convincing its locals that eating places had been for extra than simply birthday celebrations and weekend date nights. However since restrictions lifted in January, they appear to have gotten the message; all of a sudden locations in any respect ranges of the meals chain are totally booked most nights.
Fortunately, there’s a slew of recent locations to fulfill the demand. Chef Christian Puglisi’s groundbreaking Relæ and his pure wine bar, Manfreds, each closed through the pandemic, however from these losses, three distinctive spots have risen. At Koan, housed in what was Relæ, the chef Kristian Baumann injects a number of the flavors and strategies of his Korean heritage into his precision-cut Nordic delicacies, for dishes like a plump, peppery mandu with fjord shrimp or a baked Jerusalem artichoke served with a luscious langoustine cream. Throughout the road, within the cramped, convivial area that was Manfreds, its former chef, Mathias Silberbauer, serves joie de vivre at Silberbauers Bistro, together with relaxed Provençal cooking with an emphasis on bracingly recent seafood and soul-satisfying comforts like onion tart and white bean stew.
After a residency at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the chef Jonathan Tam returned to Copenhagen and opened Jatak, an intimate jewel of a restaurant designed by his spouse, Sara Frilund, the place the refined dishes — delicate curves of uncooked brill twinned with candy steamed pumpkin; strips of endive whose crisp bitterness is each enhanced and softened with a housemade sesame sauce — are a deeply private reflection of Mr. Tam’s Cantonese background, his a few years as head chef of the vegetable-forward Relæ, and his dedication to native produce.
New eating neighborhoods are additionally rising. Tucked right into a postage-stamp of a forest on the town’s southwestern edge, Banegården used to accommodate Copenhagen’s railway works, however the timbered buildings have now been repurposed by inexperienced meals companies, together with a farm store, a locavore restaurant and, sure, a bakery — one with wonderful croissants and a dedication to sustainability so severe that there aren’t any disposable cups; you may solely get takeaway espresso through a deposit system for the thermos-style cups.
However maybe essentially the most thrilling transformation is of the stretch alongside the southern finish of the town’s lakes. At Propaganda, Youra Kim’s Korean fried hen, all stickiness and spice, is already iconic, and it, in addition to her different high-voltage dishes, just like the knockout grilled white asparagus and tteok, pairs nicely with the spectacular choice of pure wines. And at Brasserie Prins, which manages to be cozy with out tipping over into twee, the American-born chef Dave Harrison attracts on his time cooking in Paris to make some very old-school French dishes — plush quenelles in sauce Americaine, a crisp pan-fried veal mind, even a stalwart île flottante — one way or the other appear totally trendy.
The place to remain
A metropolis that has lengthy lagged in fascinating locations to remain is lastly catching up by reworking architecturally fascinating areas with historical past into inviting new accommodations. A former college constructing centrally positioned behind the Spherical Tower, has been remodeled into 25Hours Copenhagen (beginning at 1,296 kroner, or about $182, double occupancy), the place the colourful rooms supply a pleasant visible break from all that Scandi minimalism, whereas the town’s former put up workplace, throughout from Tivoli Gardens and Central Station, has morphed into the stately Villa Hotel (charges begin at 2,331 kroner). Kanalhuset (additionally beginning at 2,331 kroner) has turned a canalside residence within the very hygge neighborhood of Christianshavn right into a superbly designed apartment-hotel that gives non-compulsory communal dinners every evening. And two new locations supply an much more individualistic expertise: the intense, welcoming houseboat Kaj (beginning at 3,000 kroner), which comes with its personal kayaks for friends to make use of, and the intensely stylish the Darling (starting at 7,440 kroner), which showcases Danish design and is hung with works from a altering roster of acclaimed native artists.