Around the Clock in Europe

Travel’s great gifts are its unique experiences: the dusky glow of a Parisian bridge, a cold, clear morning in pristine Copenhagen. Sun-drenched Amsterdam is perfect for a midday bike, London for a twilit cocktail.

Four European cities. Three times of day. Moments of curiosity, of pleasant surprise, stretching across hours and borders.

Paris

Le Marais

Copenhagen

Café Wilder

Amsterdam

Nine Streets

London

The Nightjar

Morning

Whether over a steaming cup or weaving through colorful marketplaces, the early hours may be some of the best to discover the true identity of a city.

Copenhagen

Photo: Jan Søndergaard

Copenhagen

Photos: Jan Søndergaard

Kent Kaffe Laboratorium

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Duck into this below-street bar in the heart of Copenhagen and you might think you’ve mistakenly walked into a laboratory. Chemist flasks bubble away over burners, raising the art of coffee up to a Scandinavian science. But fresh white walls, intimate tables and couches, and an extensive bookshelf offer up the perfect balance in the form of the famed Danish “hygge,” or coziness.

Address

Nørre Farimagsgade 70,
1364 København K, Denmark

Get There

Flights to Copenhagen departing daily
on Icelandair

“Papirøen, Copenhagen’s street food market, is a must-visit. It has such a great atmosphere, and everyone can find something they like. During the summer months, you can sit outside by the water and enjoy the view.”

–Helga Björg Antonsdóttir, Icelandair Flight Attendant

London

Photos: Ash James

London

Photos: Ash James

Borough Market

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

The high green rafters of Borough Market shelter a bustle that has long been constant—its first iteration was founded in 1041!—yet is constantly evolving. The tastes of the beloved market cross borders, from bowls of fresh spices to chilled oysters to perfectly-aged cheese. And its influence goes further: New ventures include a dedicated podcast and online recipes using ingredients from the market’s diverse vendors.

Address

8 Southwark Street,
London SE1 1TL, UK

Get There

Flights to London departing daily on Icelandair

Amsterdam

Photo: Ralph Reniers

Amsterdam

Photos: Ralph Reniers

CT Coffee & Coconuts

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

CT Coffee owes its high brick walls and part of its name to the Ceintuur Theater, which was an Art Deco-era national monument. Don’t mistake it for a relic: the food and coffee menus are extensive, the decor a bare but comforting white-and-wood combination. Over a plate of signature coconut pancakes, settled into any one of the three mezzanines, you’ll feel the intersection between Amsterdam’s legacy and its future more in this uniquely airy space than anywhere else.

Address

Ceintuurbaan 282-284
1072 LR Amsterdam, Netherlands

Get There

Flights to Amsterdam departing daily
on Icelandair

Paris

Photos: Romain Ricard

Paris

Photos: Romain Ricard

Du Pain et Des Idées

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Arguably, no morning in Paris is complete without pastry, and this bakery in the bourgeois-bohème 10th arrondissement is no slouch. They deliver on their name—roughly “Bread and Ideas”—with both classics (baguettes and chocolate croissants) and modern twists (their signature is a pistachio pinwheel). Resist the urge to devour your spoils on the premises, and instead walk the few blocks to the Canal St. Martin for a breakfast that’s both scenic and leisurely.

Address

34 Rue Yves Toudic,
75010 Paris, France

Get There

Flights to Paris departing daily on Icelandair

Noon

The best places to explore at midday offer respite from the city’s frenetic pace while rekindling curiosity that might have faded after a busy morning.

London

Photo: Ash James

London

Photos: Ash James

Chelsea Physic Garden

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Hemmed into a quiet square in the city’s western Chelsea neighborhood, the Physic Garden feels both otherworldly and especially English. Guided tours help uncover its seventeenth-century roots in apothecary traditions, as well as point out the current blooms and bushes. It’s also good for a quiet stroll down the neat gravel paths, or people-watching from a bench. The garden’s message is clear: Sometimes the best way to understand a city is to step away from it, even briefly.

Address

66 Royal Hospital Rd,
Chelsea, London SW3 4HS, UK

Get There

Flights to London departing daily on Icelandair

“If you walk up Primrose Hill, you get a nice view of the city and all the major landmarks. From there, you can go on Regent’s Park Road and get a cup of coffee at any of the cafés there.”

–Helga Björg Antonsdóttir, Icelandair Flight Attendant

Paris

Photos: Romain Ricard

Paris

Photos: Romain Ricard

Le Marais

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

The Marais district is always one of the first stops for a visitor to Paris, but not because it never changes. Though the narrow streets are peppered with landmarks and museums, new life is constantly popping up in the neighborhood: You can peek into art galleries on every other corner, and independent boutiques add bursts of color amid the limestone. Add in the numerous parks and gardens (some of them tucked into secret alleys), and it’s not hard to see the flexibility that’s made the Marais so beloved.

Address

Historic district in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in Paris

Get There

Flights to Paris departing daily on Icelandair

Copenhagen

Photos: Jan Søndergaard

Copenhagen

Photos: Jan Søndergaard

Les Voyageurs

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

A sister cafe to the continental Beau Marché restaurant-market, run by a Danish brother-sister duo who grew up in Geneva, Les Voyageurs gives off the easy familiarity of a hometown haunt. The low-key brasserie charm, present in the menu and decor, gets a kick into high gear by way of the coffee and clean-lined interior—both Copenhagen signatures. These siblings are proving that even when it comes to the classics, opposites can attract.

Address

Holbergsgade 9, 1057 København K, Denmark

Get There

Flights to Copenhagen departing daily
on Icelandair

Amsterdam

Photo: Ralph Reniers

Amsterdam

Photos: Ralph Reniers

Mendo, Nine Streets

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Amsterdam’s iconic Nine Streets district has been given a sleek, modern kick from this bookshop. It’s unabashedly sophisticated, the dark walls and ceiling punctuated by gallery lights, the books in carefully curated arrangements. Their catalog is a treat for the visually inclined, ranging from travel to design to photography— making it the perfect place for thoughtful gifts, coffee table treasures, or just slow drifting from one shelf to the next.

Address

Berenstraat 11, 1016 GG Amsterdam, Netherlands

Get There

Flights to Amsterdam departing daily
on Icelandair

Night

A darkening horizon can inspire an entirely new perspective. The spaces that draw the light after dark, whether over a meal or music, are where you’ll find the heart of a city.

London

Photo: Ash James

London

Photos: Ash James

The Nightjar

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

This newcomer to Hoxton, in London’s East End, might seem at first a contradiction: It’s fresh, as it’s tucked behind a plain door between 24-hour kebab shops, but also time-honored, with clear nods to Prohibition in the decor and music lineup. The cocktails, meanwhile, draw on both, lovingly crafted in elaborate vessels based on each drink’s name. (Yes, there is a Nightjar, served in a glass shaped like its namesake bird.) The balance struck here is clearly purposeful, pulling the glamour and intrigue of a speakeasy into the gleam of the new millennium.

Address

129 City Road,
London EC1V 1JB, UK

Get There

Flights to London departing daily on Icelandair

Copenhagen

Photo: Jan Søndergaard

Copenhagen

Photos: Jan Søndergaard

Jazzhus Montmartre

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Montmartre, as it’s often called for short, is arguably one of the greatest jazz venues in one of the genre’s world capitals. Greats from Herbie Hancock to Charles Mingus have graced the Montmartre stage, but the club is hardly snobbish: The performance roster is ever-changing, standards giving way to new sounds and back again, so it’s an incomparable choice for  novice and seasoned listeners alike.

Address

Store Regnegade 19A,
1110 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Get There

Flights to Copenhagen departing daily
on Icelandair

Amsterdam

Photo: Ralph Reniers

Amsterdam

Photos: Ralph Reniers

Hoxton Hotel

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Built behind the facades of five Amsterdam canal houses, the Hoxton’s London roots give way to a very Dutch openness. Its proximity to the sights, including the Rijksmuseum and (of course) the canal, make it an ideal base for exploration—and even better to come back to in the evening. The industrial-chic bar, restaurant, and lounge spaces are infectiously cozy, hosting events such as cocktail workshops and creative talks. In the Hoxton, travelers will find both an homage to the Amsterdam’s history and a modern haven.

Address

Herengracht 255, 1016 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Get There

Flights to Amsterdam departing daily
on Icelandair

Paris

Photos: Romain Ricard

Paris

Photos: Romain Ricard

Clamato

Why here and now? How do I get there?

Info

Diners have long been flocking to Septime, but its sister eatery next door is still new enough to only take walk-ins. A breath of fresh sea air in the landlocked Parisian streets, Clamato forgoes French classics in favor of fresher offerings, including octopus carpaccio and tarragon lobster. An early arrival promises a view of early evening light streaming into the leafy back courtyard. Between the menu and the breezy mood, capping a classically long Parisian day with an evening at Clamato is a palate cleanser of its own.

Address

80 Rue de Charonne,
75011 Paris, France

Get There

Flights to Paris departing daily on Icelandair

The Rundown

Glance over each city's hidden highlights again using the links below. Then make plans and set out to explore them for yourself!

The Rundown

Glance over each city's hidden highlights again using the links below. Then make plans and set out to explore them for yourself!