Erika de Casier’s summertime guide to Copenhagen
The Danish R&B singer-songwriter and producer gives us a local’s tour of all the most charming spots in her home city.
Erika de Casier, Denmark’s very own R&B sensation, has been spending lots of time in the sunshine since the recent release of her second album, Sensational, which she wrote almost entirely in lockdown. Released to critical acclaim, it features shimmering vocals and ‘90s-inspired melodies across a selection of tracks, blending nostalgic soundscapes with de Casier’s typically sharp and witty lyricism.
The 31-year-old moved from her native Portugal to Denmark when she was eight, before finally settling in Copenhagen six years ago. In that time, the city has undeniably influenced her creative process. “I’m used to spending a lot of time alone and I’ve always been very good at entertaining myself, which I think goes together with writing songs and feeling comfortable sharing or expressing something through music,” de Casier says, Zooming in from her home in the Danish capital.
“Copenhagen in the summer is a completely different city. If I had one suggestion, it would be for people to come during this time,” she says. “In the winter everybody is inside and hygge, which means cosy, but it’s more broad than that. Summer can be hygge too.”
It basically means you’ve had a good time – and there’s plenty of fun to be had in Copenhagen over the next few weeks. “That’s what I love,” she continues, “the parts of the city that come alive, the outdoor areas.” De Casier is most drawn to the canals, oceans and, of course, major parties that pop up over the summer months. Whereas in the winter… “It’s just grey, there’s nothing, no people. Copenhagen becomes a different city in the summer, it becomes bigger.”
Below, de Casier curates her favourite summertime spots in Copenhagen, featuring everything from llama-gazing to techno raving next to a McDonald’s. Get stuck in.
Best first date destination…
There’s a cemetery that I live right next to called Assistenskirkegården, in the middle of Nørrebro . It’s a beautiful, huge garden where people come to hang out and read. There’s also Freetown Christiania, where people don’t pay tax and you can smoke weed because it’s not part of Copenhagen – there are lots of great places to eat and chill there. It has so much more to offer than the weed, though. It’s very charming and the people are so nice. The houses there were built by hippies in the ‘70s while they were on acid, so they’re all lopsided and really colourful.
Best stop-offs on a road-trip…
A classic spot to go to is Louisiana, a modern art museum in Hørsholm , by the water. It’s from the ‘50s and was built by two architects in the style of an old mansion. It feels like you’re at somebody’s house and the design of it is very Danish. The space itself is an artwork.
Then I’d go thrift shopping in small towns around Copenhagen. You can find fun places in Sjælland, the small island that the city is on, and it’s a nice way to shop without spending a fortune on Danish clothes or going to H&M.
Then I would head to Amager Strandpark , a man-made island in Copenhagen, for a full beach experience. It never feels packed because it’s so big. There’s a smaller beach called Svanemøllen on Østerbro that’s super cute, but in the summer it’s really busy.
Best spot for a boozy picnic…
The last one I went to was actually in Assistenskirkegården, the cemetery, but a lot of people think that’s weird. Why not use the space? It makes it more human. Like, yeah, there are graves here. I would want people to hang out by my grave. There’s also a cute garden where I filmed the No Butterflies, No Nothing video, Haveselskabets Have in Frederiksberg. It looks like something from the 1700s. It’s very wholesome. There’s also Søndermarken , which is a very nice park. It’s close to Cisternerne, which is a very cool underground art space.
Best club to head to once Covid restrictions lift…
There’s a techno spot called Ved Siden Af. It used to be on the outskirts of Copenhagen, but then it got closed down – that was called Et Andet Sted, which translates as “somewhere else”. Then they reopened the club in the middle of the city, next to McDonald’s! You really wouldn’t think an underground club could live there. A very typical place to go is also Kødbyen in the Meatpacking District – you can go bar-hopping there, it has grit. I’d also recommend a concert space called Alice and Hotel Cecil, which hosts lots of different events.
Best place to grab some food…
Vivant is great – it’s a wine bar started by some friends from Norway. You can get tapas and natural wine there, or sourdough bread and olives. Another place I love to go to is La Banchina, where you can also drink wine and eat fish plates before going swimming. Then there’s Oysters and Grill. My favourite cafe is Café H22, where you can get coffee and buy records. If you’re going for something really cheap, I love Dürüm Symfoni , which serves delicious kebabs and falafels.
There’s a whole street, Møllegade , that has around five independent book shops. Old friends of mine have opened Ark Books, which I love.
Best place to be alone with your thoughts…
Walking or biking helps me to clear my head. Going to Nordhavnstippen is a great way to get away from the city – you can look out to the sea, look at the sheep. Then in Sydhavnstippen , you can check out the llamas. Tippen means “the tip”, so Nordhavn is the northern dock and Sydhavn is the southern one.
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