Copenhagen interiors and gifts shopping guide

by Andrew Stone

With their practical, democratic eye for detail the Danes (OK, with help from their Scandinavian cousins) have conquered the applied arts, not least among them furniture and interior goods design

And Copenhagen is a great city to experience it. As you might expect in the home town of dozens of world-renowned interior designers Copenhagen is a terrific place to find interesting, quirky furniture and household odds and sods.

Just walk into pretty much any hotel lobby, restaurant or cafe and you're likely to eat from, sit on or enjoy looking at the work, classic or contemporary, of a local designer. Happily you can also shop for much of this stuff too.

Some neighbourhoods specialise in particular things. The city centre has a decent selection of classic interiors shops, Ravnsborrgade in Nørrebro is lined with interesting antique and bric a brac shops, while Bredgade is home to the very high end interiors shops and high-spec furniture places and kitchen outfitters.

Silverware and ceramics

Firmly on the tourist shopping map but still worth exploring, sister store to the Illum department store, Illums Bolighus (Amagertorv 10; +45 3313 7181) stocks some very high end Danish-designed interiors and furnishings including silverware, ceramics, tableware, glass and furniture. It's almost next door to Copenhagen Porcelain (Amagertrov 6; +45 3313 7181), which is in turn next door to the famous Georg Jensen (Amagertorv 4; +45 3311 4080) silverware flagship store.

For great gift ideas, seek out the beautiful, often one-off ceramics and glassware at Stilleben Ceramics (Læderstræde 14; +45 3391 1131; made by the shop’s owners. Hay CPH (Pilestræde 29; +45 9942 4400; and CasaShop (Store Regnegade 2; +45 3332 7041; are both must visits for cool interiors items.

Furniture and ‘upcycled’ knick knacks

Designer Zoo (Vesterbrogade 137, Vesterbro; +45 2681 1826) is a young designers’ collective and a great place to find one-off items of furniture, jewellery, glass or ceramics. In a similar vein, Workshop Copenhagen (Studiestræde 16; +45 8838 8427;, is a great place to go to find lots of original work as well as ‘upcycled’ knick knacks. Upcycling is essentially revamping interiors items by giving them a 21st-century overhaul which often completely reimagines a piece of furniture, bowl or piece of artwork to give it a new look or even a new purpose.

A taxi-ride from the city centre are two more stores that you really should not miss. Normann’s massive showroom (Østerbrogade 70; +45 3555 4459; is a must visit for some exclusive furniture, lamps, kitchenware, perfume and other homewares. If you only visit one interiors/design place I reckon it should probably be this one. Slightly further afield still is Paustian (Kalkbrænderiløbskaj 2, Østerbro; +45 3916 6565) a massive Scandinavian interior design store featuring designs from the likes of Aalto, Eames, Jacobsen and Starck and occupying a magnificent Jørn Utzon-designed warehouse in the docks area.

Specialist items

If you're after specialist categories here's a quick rundown of some other notable stores in central Copenhagen:

  • Gregory Pepin (Bredgade 22; +45 3311 5252) is a specialist stockist of antique Jensen silver.
  • Holmegaard (Amagertorv 8, Strøget; +45 3312 4477) is a stockist of wonderful, delicate glassware.
  • Le Klint (Store Kirkestræde 1; +45 3311 6663) - famous, classic, stylish and typically Danish, these concertina-style lampshades and other lamps make ideal (portable) gifts.
  • Royal Copenhagen Porcelain (Amagertorv 6, Strøget; +45 3313 7181) offers expensive but classic porcelain, both practical and decorative and including the high-end Flora Danica line.
  • Sølvkælderen (Kompagnistræde 1; +45 3313 3634) is another good option for lovers of antique silverware.

Flea markets

In the warmer months, open air flea markets spring up. While they vary in quality you may find some interesting bric-a-brac among the tat. Hunting grounds include Israels Plads, outside the town hall, (get up early for this if you want to bag a bargain), along Nørrebrogade, and Gammel Strand (good for antiques and period pieces) in the centre of Copenhagen. Ravnsborggade Loppemarked is also worth checking out. It's close to Copenhagen's lakes at the end of Nørrebrogade, where antiques predominate, as you'd expect given all the antique shops lining the street.

More expert advice on Copenhagen

Now for the bad news... Copenhagen’s shops ‘aint cheap. A sales tax of 25 per cent is hard to stomach and the designers here don’t exactly cut each other’s throats in a bid for sales. If you are eligible for a sales tax refund make sure you collect it on leaving the country. There's a refund office at the airport.

For suggestions on where to stay in Copenhagen, see my Copenhagen Hotels – Award winning expert hotel reviews, from cheap to luxury hotels in Copenhagen page.

Read my overview on Shopping in Copenhagen.

Happy shopping.

Andrew Stone

A travel journalist for more than ten years, I have been writing about Denmark and Copenhagen ever since my first visit in 2000, writing Lonely Planet's Denmark Guide.

Copenhagen is an amazing city I keep coming back to not least because I have some very good friends there. There are many reasons to love Denmark. Despite its diminutive size (you can cycle across it in a morning) it's a hotspot for amazing food (including Noma - voted the world's best), an amazing sense of design, an incredible heritage, brilliant little bars and chic boutiques. The locals are a handsome bunch and the vibe is easy going.

Over the years I have nosed around most hotels in town, eaten at many of the restaurants and hung out in many of its bars. I also know the wider region around Copenhagen very well.

I have  now worked on three editions of Denmark plus several editions of the Lonely Planet Scandinavian Europe and Europe on a Shoestring. I have also contributed to Time Out's Copenhagen guide and have written numerous features on Europe's most perfectly formed little capital city.

My Copenhagen

My favourite stroll - A wander along the harbour front between Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid takes in the Opera House, warships, cruise ships, parked-up gin palaces, historic dockside buildings, the fairytale Rosenborg castle and in the distance flickering wind turbines. It's wonderfully atmospheric and ends up beside the Little Mermaid statue (something of an anti-climax perhaps).

Where to be seen - Swish new cocktail bar 1105 is a dark, moody spot and the cocktails are the best in town.

Where to grab a coffee - Vinyl & Coffee is a supremely chilled out little cafe down a quiet Vesterbro side street, selling the latest hip cool indie albums on vinyl and spinning said releases on the decks beside the coffee machine. Most importantly of all the coffee is the best I've tasted in town.

Where to eat - You're really spoilt for choice in this foodie's playground, now officially home to the world's best restaurant, Noma. You won't get in, mind. So, try Relæ, home to some ex-Noma chefs busy developing their own amazing and usually successful gastronomic ideas.

Where to go for some peace and quiet - Kongens Have, the gardens beside Rosenborg castle are beautifully manicured and blissfully quiet. The perfect spot for a picnic.

What to shop for - Copenhagen is your town for original design, quirky one-offs and 'up-cycled' furniture. The city is thick with design talent, whether it's interiors, fashion or accessories you're after.

The best views - I still get a kick out of climbing Vor Frelsers Kirke near Christiania with its spire that winds to a dizzying finish right near the top and offers panoramic city views.

Don't leave without... riding through the streets on a bike. You can't come to the greatest cycling city in the world and not get on a bike. It's the best way to feel like a local. Bike hire is cheap, in some cases free, and you can cover lots of ground on its mostly very flat terrain.