“Drink Lots of Wine in the Afternoon and Get Lots of Rest.”

Advice I received from my friend Erin regarding my upcoming vacation. Yep, you read that correctly… an honest to goodness vacation. Joe and I and another couple are heading to Europe for two glorious weeks beginning this Monday. We are visiting Denmark, Sweden, Berlin and Norway and are trying to hit as many amazing spots as we can possibly cram into 14 days. A brief look at our itinerary:

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Eating/Drinking:

Host – Beautiful Scandinavian design, really great food, and very decent price for what you get and the experience.With so many local recommendations for this place, we have to make a reservation.

Mikkeller Bar for #17 the Raid Beer (won the #2 beer in the world in both 2012/2013). Walk down through the Norrebro area of town; a super cool vibe – people just sitting around drinking beer on the street – and so many good restaurants around.

Kent Kaffe Laboratorium – Coffee made with a bunsen burner. ‘nuf said.

Lidkoeb – A lovely looking bar that turns its vacant third floor to a whiskybar, complete with vinyl records, each and every weekend. Just whisky. I want to go to there.

Activities:

Ribersborg – We were warned this is an outdoor bathing area full of naked Swedes, and highly encouraged to embrace the “when in Rome” spirit and join the locals in getting naked, relaxing in a sauna, and then jumping off the pier into the freezing cold sea.

Torvehallerne – ToRVEhallerne entire Copenhagen treasury of a pantry. A food market, where the original, the new, well thought out and it is slowly cooked gets more than 60,000 locals to flock every week. And where everything is bursting with freshness. Not least stage retainers who tripper to welcome you. – a Google Translation of the Torvehallerne official webpage.

Essentially, a giant open air market. But I love the idea of a place where “everything is bursting with freshness”. I am a bit concerned about “stage retainers who tripper”, however.

Shopping:

Women’s & Men’s: Wood Wood

Men’s: Norse Projects

Home: Hay House

Lego: Yes, that Lego.

And our amazing Airbnb in Copenhagen.

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Stockholm, Sweden

Eating/Drinking:

Eriks Gondolen – Drinks with views of the city. Highly recommended.

Drop Coffee HB – This friendly Swedish shop will not only welcome you with a smile, but they the baristas even go to great lengths to make beautiful latte art designs on your coffee. Be careful: You might not want to leave Sweden after spending time in this shop. YOLO.

Lux Dag för Dag – A “farm to table” experience, located in Stockholm. The menu changes seasonally, sometimes nightly, based on availability of ingredients.

Activities:

Take the ferry to the island of Djurgarden. And walk until you find Rosendals Trädgård; a huge outdoor garden, and there’s an adorable set of greenhouses where you can eat the food they grow there.

The Moderna Museet (modern art museum) was really nice here. Another “do not miss” the Fotografiska museum – currently featuring a Martin Schoeller exhibition

Shopping:

Women’s & Men’s: Nitty Gritty (amazingly curated)

Men: Our Legacy, a fantastic selection of well-crafted men’s basics.

Misc: Snickarbacken 7, a café, exhibition space and a concept store in a building that used by stables, located in the heart of Stockholm.

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Bergen, Norway

Eating/Drinking:

Fisketorget – Bergen’s 300-year-old fish market, from what I hear, it is a splendid place for a quick bite.

Activities:

Fjord Tours AS – C’mon, how often do you get to see a fjord in real life?

Bryggen – Historic, cute shopping area, perfect for a long afternoon wandering.

Shopping:

Skostredet – Street lined with local designer stores, both fashion and interiors, as well as a lovely old record shop.

Any other suggestions?

Header Illustration: Nordic Map from Tea Collection
“Places” Pattern illustrations by: Julia Rothman
  • Amazing! We did a similar trip in August; we also visited Reykjavik and Lom, Norway. I loved seeing everything, but I wish we had picked fewer cities or stayed longer, because we were exhausted.

    Our favorite restaurant in Copenhagen was a place called Spisehuset Rub & Stub in the København K neighborhood. It’s a non-profit restaurant (the first of its kind in Europe) that changes its menu daily based on the food donations it receives. We enjoyed 3 delicious courses, and the restaurant is located above a car/coffee shop/board game destination. I’ve honestly never seen so many games in my life.

    In Copenhagen, I also recommend visiting Jægersborggade, a street in Nørrebro for a string of great local cafes and shops, plus an amazing and tiny homemade caramel factory.

    Enjoy your trip!

  • Sounds like a great trip! If you are up for a little hike on a clear day in Bergen, try Fløyen, the lowest mountain. It’s a real easy and quite short hike and you get a nice view over the city and area. Enjoy!

  • In Stockholm, I recommend popping into Petrus bakery. It is around the corner from Drop Coffee and everything (cookies, buns and bread) there is delicious, especially their kardemumma bulle! I also recommend walking around Gamla Sstan in the early morning or dusk.

  • I was just in Sweden and Copenhagen in September for 3 weeks! 85% of your list are places we went to and HIGHLY recommend. Major props to your sources for this itinerary!

    Some other stops we made and really enjoyed…

    STOCKHOLM –

    Galma Stan is a really beautiful old neighborhood that everyone will insist you go to, but you can definitely do it all in a day. Probably even a half day.

    Sodermalm/SOFO is the place to be! I’m from Chicago and I would say it’s very similar to Wicker Park.

    Love Food Cafe – best lunch spot. A+ flavorful sandwiches with a great beer selection. Also, they blast old school American hip hop.

    Skinnarvisberget – A slight hike up a hill will take you to what I consider the best lookout place for a view of the city. Bring some booze, baguettes and cheese and sit on the cliff during the afternoon!

    Wander around SOFO and stop in interesting-looking shops! Brandstionen was a quirky one we liked.

    COPENHAGEN –

    Full disclosure, I want to move here. We also stayed in a Verstbro Airbnb and thought it was The Best. Hope you have the same experience! We did lots of cooking in our flat’s kitchen since food (and everything in general) is hella $$$ but a stop at the olive oil station at Torvehallerne served as a great staple in said meals.

    The Copenhagen Card is worth the fee, in my opinion. It covers main attractions and ALL public transportation. Although bus drivers were very lax about checking tickets and you could probably get away without purchasing tickets for most of the trip.

    Lousiana Musuem – Requires a train ride out of the city but it’s worth it to see a visually stunning art musuem overlooking the Sea. Also Yayoi Kusama exhibit is there now that was previously in NYC!

    Grundvigs Kirke – Again, requires a quick train ride out of the city but give it a Google, it’s the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen.

    All of my other faves are on your list!

    ENJOY! So jealous, wish I could go back 🙂

  • Sounds amazing! I’ve been to Tromso in Norway but I am pining to visit the rest of Scandinavia. I can’t give any tips about Bergen, though I know there is some amazing wilderness to explore not to far from there, so it’s well worth getting back to nature.

    PS. That illustration is perfect, I must find it – it perfectly represents my scandi obsession.

  • My husband and I visited Copenhagen in August and loved it! We went back to the Torvehallerne open air market at least four times … it was a great atmosphere. Loved the stand called “Grod” and tried their risotto (I believe it was a tomato / pesto deal and amazing).

    Also LOVED Mother (a restaurant). The pizza was thumbs UP and it was clear the locals flocked there (and stayed for awhile). Enjoy!

  • PS. Rent bikes in Copenhagen for an afternoon! My husband is huge into bicycling in Minneapolis and I’ve always been a little more iffy about wanting to go (not a fan of sharing the road with cars) … but he finally convinced me while visiting. Biking around Copenhagen was one of the best experiences ever. 🙂

  • Hi Kate,

    I’ve spent a ton of time in Scandinavia over the past few years. You and Joe will love it. A few more things:

    Copenhagen:
    Bikes are an absolute must. I hope they come with the airbnb. There’s no other way to get around. Go for a coffee and breakfast at Mirabelle in Norrebro. A bike ride through Assistens Kirkegard and dinner at Manfred & Vin or Baest (all the same chef empire). Sweet Treat is also a cozy place for an afternoon coffee in Christianshavn.

    Also plan to eat a meal outside in a park or on a street corner at some point. It sounds random, but it’s the Danish way to just hang out in the streets. You’ll see!

    Bergen:
    I just flew home from there yesterday! https://instagram.com/p/88LAATM7b7/?taken-by=ashbouldin Such a great city. As someone above suggested, definitely do the hike in the middle of the city. Just find the stairs and walk up, you kind of can’t miss it.

    Sadly Fisketorget is a bit bare in the winter, but still lovely for a quick lunch. For dinner head to go Bare Vestland. Scandinavian tapas with a great beer selection, and you’ll love the decor.

    With Norway, it’s a must to see it from a boat. Perhaps go fishing. Or there are rib boat tours as well, but those are not for the faint of heart.

    Enjoy! I look forward to seeing some familiar places on Instagram.

  • You guys are going to have an amaaaazing time! My best friend and I just did a similar trip back in April and had the time of our lives.
    Our absolute favourite place to eat on our entire trip was in Stockholm, a little restaurant in the Hotel Skeppsholmen. (very close by Moderna Museet.) I’m still daydreaming about that open face shrimp sandwich I had. Food goals right there. Plus it’s so beautifully decorated instead.

    This is their website: http://www.hotelskeppsholmen.se/en/m/restaurant-langa-raden

  • i live in stockholm, so here goes some of my favorite södermalm spots: restaurang pelikan <- super traditional swedish food in a nice looking old beer hall. lots of different schnapps and herring. monteliusvägen <- a walking path along the island of södermalm, lots of nice looking small houses with gardens etc and with an outstanding view of the town, the water and the city hall. urban deli and the bars around nytorget <- good food in the center of sofo (south of folkungagatan) which is the most trendy area in town. brandstationen <- very nice looking antiques shop. the swedish hasbeens shop at nytorgsgatan <- clog heaven. fabrique <- bakery with lots of shops around town. their cinnamon buns are heaven. babylon – my favourite place in town, a small bar at medborgarplatsen. no-fuss food and drinks but still very good, always crowded, good for visiting both on evenings and during the day. or visit their sister-bar bananas where götgatan, katarina bangata and skånegatan meet. they serve heavenly pizza.

  • It’s a bit out of the way but, if you can make the the time, the Louisiana Art Gallery is SO WORTH IT. A beautiful location with amazingly curated works. Was my favourite part of Copenhagen (and I LOVED Copenhagen).

    Also…reservations are required for pretty much every dining establishment in the city. Wish we’d known that in advance as even in February it was difficult to get into just the neighbourhood sushi restaurant!

  • Oh Kate!So excited for you guys! Haven’t been to the other cities but was just in Copenhagen over the summer and loved it!Probably one of my fave places to visit in the world.

    There are places you to visit and tour but there places that you feel at home. We really felt at home and wanted to stay longer in this city. Food, vibe , everyone is so friendly!
    We just walked around and ran into things like Mikkeler and the Torvehallerne, food, sweets, drinks! Coffee collective is there too! And smorrebrod. And there’s also Aamans with a casual space next to fine dining restaurant.Plus we loved that area with Bacc House Cafe for brunch near the Staten Museum for Kunst and Rosenborg Castle with garden. Quiet and quaint and good local eateries. You’ll also have to try Summerbird flavored almonds! They’re addicting!

    We actually enjoyed taking a boat ride as well just to get the feel for other parts of the city!And of course there are the bikes!

    Well have a great time! And enjoy Germany, loved Munich and Hamburg as well but need to check out Berlin!

  • I am a swede currently living in Stockholm, and your itinerary looks like I wrote it myself! I would probably add a shop called Grandpa to your to do list. I can promise you that your husband would love it as well!

    In Copenhagen I had the best meal of my life at a restaurant called Höst. The place is insanely beautiful, and the food was mind-blowing. It was also weirdly affordable? Seriously, I can’t think of a better introduction to scandinavian cuisine.

    Have a great time!

  • This sounds like the most glorious two weeks ever. Have SO much fun. I unfortunately don’t have any suggestions – I’ve actually never been to Europe! But, I’m pinning this for later and hoping to use it when I do get to visit. Safe travels!

    g.

  • You will love Artipelag, just outside of Stockholm. A beautiful museum built by the inventor of the Baby Bjorn, it feels like a part of the landscape, every detail (down to the silverware in the cafe) is beautifully and thoughtfully designed (and I know from your IG and blog that you are one for the details).

    My friend and I went to Stockholm two years ago and while we were there met up with a photographer friend from Instagram and he took us to Artipelag one sunny Spring day and we had no idea of the natural and architectural beauty that we found. Never even made it into the exhibit, just wandered the building and the grounds. I dream of Artipelag ❤️ Your trip sounds like a dream. Safe travels!

  • Stop by the lobby bar of the Clarion Collection Hotel No 13 (Torgalmenningen 13) and ask Toby to make you an old-fashioned. We stayed way too late one night drinking the varieties he made – each one better than the next, and all better than any old-fashioned I’d ever had.

  • So fun that you’re visiting my hometown Bergen! It’s a wildly beautiful city – be sure to take a walk at Fjellveien or see the view even higher up at Fløien. Norway is really good at coffee, and the best coffee in Bergen is found at Kaffemisjonen. Bergen Kaffebrenneri and Colonialen at Litteraturhuset are also good cafe spots around the city centre. Visit Pepper, it’s a great clothing store. The street Skostredet also have several quirky small shops and is very insta-friendly. I hope you enjoy your stay! Looking forward to seeing your blog posts 🙂

  • It’s been a couple of years since we visited scandinavia and I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed those countries!!!

    Ah memories!

    Note: everyone’s blonde, tall and skinny. I’m sure you already knew that haha!

  • Love Scandinavia! I totally affirm Host, Kent Kaffe Laboratorium, & Torvehallerne – those were definitely gastronomic highlights of my time in Copenhagen! I’d also recommend the quirky Copenhagen Street Food.

    As for landscapes – Church of Our Savior for sky-high views over the city and Assistens Cemetery for beautiful greenery.

    Sounds like an amazing trip & can’t wait to hear about it!

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