This guest post was written by Marie Meier Nielsen.
When first-timers are visiting Copenhagen, it can be difficult, at first, to wrap one’s head around why it is that the Danes are ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world - it’s cold, it’s expensive, and the language is hard to understand. But when you spend some more time there, soon you come to realise that there a myriad of reasons to fall in love with Copenhagen.
For me, it took over 3 years of continuous continent hopping and intense searching for the perfect place to live; the place where everything just felt right, and where I’d also like to settle down for a longer period of time. Little did I know then, that this city was going to be in my home country, Denmark.
Ever wondered why the Danes always look so contented? One of the primary reasons (to my understanding) is this concept of social cosiness, known locally as “hygge”, inherent in the Danish culture. Hygge (pronounced as ‘hoo-ga’ or ‘hue-gah’), can be difficult to translate, and it’s best explained as ‘an ever-embracing’ feeling, somewhere in between comfortable and intimate, and it’s most often experienced when spending time with your closest ones.
When, let’s say, the weather outside is miserable, but you’re blissfully relaxed and curled up on the couch with your favourite book, we call this experience hygge. Perhaps you’re having a few friends over for a cup of tea or coffee; this heart-warming sensation that you get inside your chest is another example of hygge.
Here are my favourite 5 hygge-like ways to survive the unfriendly weather in Copenhagen:
Visit your Copenhagen friends
Blankets, candles and the company of your loved ones are the necessary ingredients to turn any rainy evening into a hygge one.
With so much of our time spent mediated through screens, it’s entertaining and reinvigorating to actually to meet people in person and play games, and HUSET-KBH offers all the types of board games you could imagine.
Visit Tivoli Gardens during Christmas
If you’re in Copenhagen around Christmas time, make sure to visit Tivoli, the oldest amusement park in the world - it’s a treasured tradition among the locals as well as a whole other level of hygge.
Danes love beer and so do I. In Copenhagen, on many streets you can find one beer bar after another. Whether it’s right after work on a Monday, on a night out on Saturday or during Sunday brunch, we always make time for some beers and quality catch ups. Some of the places on the top of my list at the moment are Mikkeller & Friends and Nørrebro Bryghus.
Even though I was skeptical about moving to Copenhagen at first, and would have preferred to live and study in ever-sunny California, I am glad now that I made the decision to move back to Denmark. This is the city where I feel that I’ve found the perfect place to settle down, and this is in major part thanks to hygge.
Guest Blogger: Marie is a Scandinavian solo traveller, who started exploring the world 4 years ago, and has been to more than 30 countries already, and she’s not planning to stop any time soon. In 2015, Marie’s blog received an award for one of the 10 best travel blogs in Denmark. Currently, she’s based in Copenhagen, where she’s studying and preparing for her future adventures. You can also book Marie for a Showaround city tour, and get a glimpse of a local’s day-to-day life.
Showaround: Thank you Marie for being our guest blogger!