Is Copenhagen the cozy capital of the world? I think yes! Over the past few years I’ve become obsessed with the Danish tradition of hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”). It’s tricky thing to define, but for all intents and purposes, hygge is the Danish tradition/lifestyle approach that celebrates “coziness of the soul.” Light a candle and get snuggled up… because today I’m sharing seven cozy experiences in Denmark.
Enjoy A Slow, Rainy Day To Its Fullest
As travelers, a rainy day can ruin our day’s itinerary of events. The wet, dreary weather forces us to get indoors and find alternative plans. The Danes, on the other hand, view a slow, rainy day as the ultimate standard for a very hygge day.
The rain naturally makes us reflective, quiet, still and slow. Savor it. Spend an extra hour in bed, sipping on coffee in your hotel room. Enjoy the sound of the rain as it pitter-patters on your window sill. Take the time to eat slowly over a meal and enjoy the company of the travelers that you’re with (or journal, if you’re alone). Embrace mother nature’s moody weather as a cultural experience.
Enjoy Nature, Even In The City
Hygge is all about connection and reflection. No matter if you’re in the heart of Copenhagen’s bustling, narrow alleys or if you’re docking for the day from a magical Scandinavian cruise (like we did a few years ago!)… Denmark is splattered with so much natural beauty to soak in.
Check out the city’s cemeteries and waterways and green spaces. And definitely make an effort to visit the Tivoli Gardens! While you explore, acknowledge the way the ivy grows over older buildings, or the changing of colors. Breathe in the air, look up towards the sky and down towards your feet. The notion of enjoying nature’s splendor doesn’t necessarily have to happen in the deep, dark woods. Nature’s unending beauty and oasis is right in front of you!
Cozy Up In A Cafe
The Danes love their coffee (or “kaffe” as they’d say). And for good reason! The cafe culture in Denmark is incredible. Hygge coffee shops are sought after by locals for their coziness appeal. Hunt out the perfect spot for a mid-afternoon break. Things to look out for: books, wood burning fires, non-fluorescent lighting, candlelight and a warm vibe that can’t be put into words. And don’t you dare hold back on the sweets! To get a real cozy, hygge caffeination fix, it should be a little sinful and indulgent.
If you’re not a caffeine type of gal, definitely try some of Denmark’s famous mulled wine! It warms the heart and is a local delicacy not to miss.
Connect With Others
Potlucks are 1,000% hygge. Everyone contributes a yummy, delicious meal? The group effort of coming together on a cold day? Dreamy, right? But considering most travelers don’t have the time or the means to do something like this… why not make an effort to simply connect with locals? Find a locally loved restaurant to get a slice of life, cook in for a night, ask your host if you could treat them to a coffee or join a local meet up.
Buy Something Homemade
Home is an integral element to the hygge lifestyle. Travelers may not have the luxury of having a home away from home while in Denmark… but there’s some really simple ways to up the homey-ness to your adventures. Buy trinkets made by hand (here are some of our favorite, unexpected souvenirs we love to pick up!), shop at a farmer’s market or buy something that to bring home that will really tap into your memory of visiting Denmark.
Don’t Set A Schedule
This is a total struggle for most travelers, I know! If you can swing it… look into slow travel. There’s no cozier way to explore this world than to take the time to know its people, its traditions, its changes. But, fear not! For any traveler with a limited time frame – a really cozy experience to have is simply not following an itinerary for just a day!
Booking a warm, friendly hotel is a really important element of making the most of your time, especially if you’re really digging deep into the whole cozy aspect of Copenhagen. After all – it is your home away from home! I adored my stay at 71 Nyhavn Hotel for its rustic, homey feel. It’s a great place to snuggle up at the end of a day. (P.S. you can use this link to get $30 off your stay!)
Disconnect To Reconnect
Put the screens down! As travelers, we’re constantly battling the desire to stay present while also capturing our travels. But for the sake of hygge, it’s important to be absolutely present in the moment. So, the less distractions… the more cozy you can really get! Try exploring one day completely without a smartphone’s GPS. Get wonderfully lost and see what you get in to. Or if your schedule’s a bit tight, agree to not pick up your phone while out dining with your travel pals. Read, journal, play board games, have great conversation. Disconnecting ourselves from our screens gives us the cozy reconnection we’re all hunting for in our modern world.
Planning a very hygge trip to Denmark? Be sure to check out our favorite recommendations in Copenhagen and insider tips!
Photos by Nastasia Yakoub