We try to time visits to Køge on market days, which take place on Wednesday and Saturday (it's best to go in the morning) at the main market square, Torvet, the best-preserved market square from the Middle Ages in Denmark. The town is crowded with people from the countryside, many of whom have products to sell, including fruits, vegetables, Danish cheese, and smoked fish, as well as handicrafts and even secondhand goods. If you have a choice of days, we have found that the Saturday market is livelier. You can wander from stall to stall as street musicians -- most often jazz artists -- entertain you from courtyards nearby.
The best and largest selection of Danish gifts is found at Jørgen Müller, Torvet 3-5 (tel. 56-65-25-80), on the market square. Here you can pick up Georg Jensen silver, exquisite Royal Copenhagen porcelain, Holmegaard glass -- you name it. The best selection for women's fashion is Rokkjoer, Torvet 2 (tel. 56-65-02-58), which has an impressive array of continental coats, blouses, and dresses -- many in what they call "oversize."
For South Zealand antiques, the best outlet is Antik Bahuset, Brogade 16E (tel. 56-66-17-19), selling old furnishings, pewter, brass, and a lot of pre-1900 items. It's open only Saturday 10am to 1pm, unless you call for an appointment. Another good antiques store is Tamalat Antik, Brogade 22 (tel. 56-65-63-10), with a wide selection of furniture, and good buys in paintings, jewelry, glass, and porcelain. Finally, Krybben, Torvet 19 (tel. 56-63-02-01), offers a wide selection of clothing, crafts, shoes, and antiques -- an odd mixture, but intriguing nonetheless. A special feature of Krybben is an upstairs gallery exhibiting the works of a talented local painter, Anne Kureer.
For the novelty alone, you might want to visit Købmandshandel, Vestergade 6 (tel. 56-66-30-67), a grocer's shop of yesterday. Two hundred different sorts of tea, spices from around the world, and everything from olive oils to licorice root to rock candy are on sale -- you'll even find syrups, fruity jams, and handmade candles in rainbow colors.
Køge used to be known for its goldsmiths. Thriving since 1979, Guldsmedien Ejvind Sørensen, Nørregade 31 (tel. 56-66-19-91), is in a charming old building dating from 1612. A selection of gold and silver jewelry is sold here.
For the very best of Scandinavian, especially Danish, design, not only furnishings but also home accessories, head for Hjelm's Bolighus, Nørregade 32 (tel. 56-65-06-30), the leading design outlet in Køge for more than 4 decades.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.