Welcome back to the Travels with Quigley series, featuring travel tips from my adventures with a jet-setting rescue terrier. This is our third edition in a series of dog-friendly guides to cities around the world. We’ve already discussed how you and your pup can enjoy the Big Apple and the Big Easy, and now we’re taking readers across the pond to explore the delightful city of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Now that we live abroad, I thought we should share a few of our recommendations around Europe! Denmark, home of intentional intimacy — better known as hygge — consistently rules the World Happiness Report, so what better place to tour with one of the world’s most smiley dogs? Copenhagen, which we visited… is at once a buzzing metropolis and a fancifully old-world wonderland. Theirs is a culture of relaxed sophistication, a city of movers, shakers, lovers, and makers. As the locals like to say, the City of Spires is a city for life. Join us as we share a few preferred stops along our journey.
Where to stay
Quigley and I were invited to enjoy the superb hospitality of Charlottehaven, a charming collection of sustainable apartment rentals with a unique community frequented by locals and visitors alike. Our fully furnished, two-bedroom apartment was the perfect size for a larger group. This space was the best of both worlds, offering the convenience and intimacy of an apartment paired with the exceptional service and amenities of a hotel. Our group (Quigley included) particularly enjoyed the expansive outdoor gardens and the delicious dog-friendly brunch, which included an egg station, cocktails, and various seasonal gourmet dishes. For more details on our experience, check out the full review on our blog.
For those seeking a luxurious boutique chain with a variety of locations, Guldsmeden Hotels offers multiple pet-accommodating properties. Their Manon Les Suites location, in particular, features a bohemian-style pool and lounge that will cause you to (momentarily) question if you ever want to leave the hotel.
Skt Petri and Hotel SP34 are known for their hip atmospheres and aesthetic eateries. Budget travelers will be happy to know that the cozy A&O Hostel in the vibrant Nørrebro neighborhood allows dogs, though they recommend booking a private room!
Where to Eat and Drink
While not forbidden by law, most restaurants in Copenhagen do not allow dogs indoors. Thankfully, you’ll find a few dog-friendly cafés, as well as many delicious options with friendly patios.
If you’re looking for a cozy indoor eatery in which you and your pup can both escape the rain and indulge your taste buds, look no further than Café Atelier September. The dishes — including the perfectly seasoned avocado on rye, or the seasonal porridge with zucchini jam, granola, and matcha — are simple yet divine. The café decor is minimal and bright, and the servers are friendly. I recommend snagging a seat by the window, where you can watch passers-by as you read the morning paper.
For a classically cool Copenhagen culinary experience, we have two happening haunts to visit with your hound. If you fancy a seaside meal, take a walk to Toldboden, a harborside eatery and bar serving local, seasonal seafood and steaks. Located in an old ferry terminal, the restaurant brims with maritime charm. Dishes here are best enjoyed on the patio, with views of the harbor and a happy dog at your feet secretly sharing your fries. If you find yourself farther west in the Nørrebro neighborhood, make your way to BRUS, an ambitious and experimental restaurant, brewery, and shop. Whether you’re looking for a full meal or simply wish to pair a pint with a few bar snacks (#PorkRindsForPresident), you will not be disappointed.
In a group and can’t decide what you’re in the mood for? The street food stands at Torvehallerne may be the perfect spot for your eating and shopping needs, with over 60 kiosks selling everything from fresh fish and meat to gourmet chocolate. As a native Californian, I was personally surprised and delighted by the tacos at Hija de Sanchez, while Quigley stopped for deep sniffs outside the Coffee Collective before tucking under his patio table.
Where to Shop
When you’re ready to spoil your pet for good behavior, swing by Barks n Bones, an adorable pet boutique north of the city center. Owner Camilla lavished kisses and gifts upon Quigley, all while educating our group on the newest organic foods, toys, and treatments. Her passion for healthy, well-adjusted dogs is unquestionable, and an hour spent in her shop is sure to delight everyone involved. Quigley strutted away in a dapper Cloud 7 bandana, his belly full of treats and his smile obscured by a new felt tug toy. This is an absolute must-visit for all dog owners!
Enjoy shopping for yourself — with your dog by your side — at a few unique Copenhagen institutions. Project 4 and Wardrobe 19 are brother and sister shops focused on local labels, the perfect spots for finding your own fashionable Danish adornment. Bike enthusiasts will find no shortage of stores in this city of cyclists, but a visit to Sogreni will provide the sleekest accessories. Fun fact: they are partnered with SP34 hotel and will provide a 15 percent discount on your stay! For unique vintage finds, head to Carmen or one of the many flea markets scattered across the city.
Where to Play
The canals of Copenhagen are a highlight for any visitor. I couldn’t think of a better way to see them than by boat — more specifically, by GoBoat. Quigley co-captained our solar-powered vessel, which held up to eight people. Each of these ships comes equipped with a table in the center, so you can comfortably enjoy a picnic while you take in the most famous sights of the city (including the occasional canal duck and alluring motor bubbles, if you’re a dog).
For walks, there are a variety of environments to savor. The King’s Garden surrounding Rosenborg Castle is open to the public and is a favorite among local and visiting pet owners. For a more “alternative” experience, stroll through the shops, galleries, eateries, and performance venues that make up the village of Freetown Christiania, an intentional commune representing an avant garde lifestyle. Those who venture outside of the city can hike to one (or all) of the Six Forgotten Giants. This open-air sculptural treasure hunt was created by artist Thomas Dambo in an effort to bring art beyond museum walls, and to encourage others to explore nature. Whatever your style, Copenhagen has ample space for your pets to prance about and take in the sites.
Where to Pose
The famous Tivoli Gardens is a dreamy whirlwind of rides, games, performances, and exquisitely whimsical design — and just one day every year, it becomes a dog-lover’s dream come true. Time your travel just right and you can bring your furry best friend to the park for Dogs’ Day (generally held in late August) to revel in all of its colorful, unabashed, summertime glory. Take part in the Pooch Parade, observe the themed performances, or simply do as Quigley did — smile brightly and take advantage of the joyous atmosphere and brilliant design.
Lines and color are the clear winners for any pup portrait. A trip to Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without taking in the classic, colorful facades of Nyhavn. Or, if you prefer pastel palettes and quirky architecture, the exteriors of Palads Teatret, the famous yellow houses of Nyboder, and the unconventional design of Superkilen Park provide backdrops that feel straight out of Wes Anderson film.
We hope you enjoyed the tips, inspiration, and — of course — the fluff. Please drop us a message with any further questions, or to share your own insights!