PopulationMetro: 1,305,000
One of Europe’s new culinary capitals lets you eat it up and work it off.

René Redzepi put Nordic cuisine on the map when his restaurant Noma was named the world’s best in 2010. It may have shuttered its famous doors but the Danish capital continues to be a hotbed for innovative cuisine as well as for contemporary art and design.

Surprisingly, Copenhagen only ranks at #91 in our Culinary category but trust us when we say you should go here hungry.

Flocking from around the globe, forward-thinking young chefs who “graduated” from Noma have gone on to open their own restaurants, such as Amass, where owner (and former Noma head chef) Matt Orlando plates the week’s freshest catch. The look of his restaurant—and many others across town—is barnhouse chic, thanks to concrete floors and weathered wood beam ceilings. But you don’t have to book months in advance or score a table at one of the 15 Michelin-starred restaurants across the city to eat well.

CITY PERFORMACE
Place
Place 38
Product
Product 28
Programming
Programming 11
People
People 56
Prosperity
Prosperity 50
Promotion
Promotion 8

Fortunately, the halcyon culinary scene has plenty of disposable income to support it: Copenhagen ranks #28 in our Prosperity category, powered by a local GDP per capita that ranks #21 globally.

Compact enough so you can walk or bike everywhere, Copenhagen offers plenty of culinary delights, but also a rich cultural heritage and lots of green spaces and pretty canals to explore. In summertime, the King’s Gardens, which was originally built in 1606, is a favorite for picnicking with family and friends. If the weather cooperates, you can do like the locals and go for a dip in the inner city harbor. Afterwards, head to Himmeriget, a new bar that serves beers from around the globe and some of the best microbrews in the country. Dance the night away at Vega, an architectural gem-turned-concert hall featuring mid-century wood paneling and brass details as well as the rad acoustics that such places bestow.