Copenhagen: The Good Life

Herb Lester Associates' creative guide to one of the world's most livable cities


Copenhagen may be one of the world’s most livable cities, but navigating the surplus of reasons why it is indeed a crowd favorite—from shops to restaurants to monuments—can feel like a heavy task for even the savviest of tourists. We experienced this firsthand on a recent trip to the Danish capital, but while bumbling through the Strøget after a stop at one of our favorite design shops, Hay, we came across a superbly edited map of the city by Herb Lester Associates. Spotted in the aptly named, creative skate shop The Good Life, Lester’s guide immediately became an invaluable tool to have on hand, and later on, a souvenir worth framing.


“Copenhagen: The Good Life” is one of many uniquely illustrated city guides made by the seemingly map-obsessed team at Herb Lester Associates. But their fixation on high design doesn’t end with smart layouts and handsome typography—the content inside is reason enough to pick one up. They don’t shy away from recommending some of Copenhagen’s must-see landmarks like Tivoli Gardens, but they also suggest lesser-known attractions like the photography-worthy Gunboat Sheds, a former naval base now used mostly by creative media agencies and architecture firms. Our favorite tip though is decidedly Mikkeller, a craft brew bar and beer supplier to the Rene Redzepi-run restaurant Noma. There, we tasted several, dare we say, mind-blowing beers, such as the Bad Seed Albino Gandi and the Mikkeller Vesterbro Pilsner.

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The fold-up map is illustrated by Washington, DC-based Matt Chase, whose talent often ends up on the pages of Monocle and beyond. His simplified drawings fall perfectly in line with the rest of Herb Lester Associates’ range of retro-inspired maps, which span several cities and include particular topics like “Writing Manhattan” or “London’s Best Specialist Suppliers.”

Pick up a copy of “Copenhagen: The Good Life” online from Herb Lester Associates where it sells for £4, or from The Good Life’s online shop or physical storefront, both of which stock several of Lester’s other city guides alongside an array of covetable Scandinavian wares.

Images courtesy of Matt Chase and Karen Day