If you’re fed up with the same old scenery and in need of a relaxing break with a sizeable dose of culture, then a weekend away in the Danish capital is just what the doctor ordered. Denmark was voted the happiest country in the world last year and many believe that the secret to this is the Danish concept of hygge.
Actually pronounced ‘Hoo-Gah’, hygge is essentially the notion of making one’s life as cosy as can be. But its even more than that; often described as ‘cosiness of the soul’, it’s now become a popular wellness trend. If you’re tempted to experience it yourself, then Copenhagen is a great place to start. Boasting glorious greenery, marvellous museums, and a lively social scene, here’s your guide to the spirited Scandinavian city.
Most Copenhagen urbanites travel strictly on two wheels, so to really get a taste of Danish living, you’ll have to hire a bike. Luckily the place is brimming with bike rental shops and you can usually rent from your hotel or hostel. If you don’t feel comfortable setting off on the roads straight away, there are plenty of big parks to explore while practising.
If you’re looking for a truly scrumptious midday meal then don’t hesitate, head straight towards Mad & Kaffe in the city centre. They have lots of popular brunch choices on the menu but all with a little twist! In line with the whole hygge trend, this place offers a nice chilled out vibe and some seriously satisfying food.
If you want to gain an insight into the history of the city, then visit Christian IV’s renaissance castle surrounded by the King’s Garden. Built in 1606, this impressive building was originally a summer house for the King. It’s now home to the crown jewels and other royal treasures.
The city’s main strip is called Nyhavn. It overlooks a large canal and comprises of bright and bold buildings, creating a rainbow effect all the way down the waterfront (which looks great on Instagram). Head here for bars, entertainment, and, most importantly, waffles. Vaffelbageren is the perfect place to stop off for a delicious dessert while you plan the rest of your day.
If you’ve got green fingers, then you’ll definitely enjoy a visit to the Botanisk Have at the University of Copenhagen. The gardens alone are quite breathtaking, but you can also have a wander around the giant greenhouses situated there which house everything from palm trees to tropical fish. A trip here really soothes the soul and the setting is ideal for a long stroll in the summer months.
Birthplace of Lukas Graham, Freetown Christiania is an autonomous neighbourhood with just 850 inhabitants. The community was first established in 1971 when hippies occupied some empty army barracks and it has continued to grow ever since. This is a very different experience from the norm and in order to keep their society private, the public are not allowed to film or photograph while visiting. Despite this, it’s a fascinating place to visit and guided tours are available on arrival from citizens themselves.
If you happen to run out of things to do, which is highly unlikely, you can always hop on a train to Malmo in Sweden. Tickets are around 20 euros for a round trip and you’ll get to travel across the mighty Öresund Bridge. Definitely worth it for a quick whistle-stop tour.
So what are you waiting for? Copenhagen is calling!
Words: Kate Dooley
Hashtags: #copenhagen #denmark #travel #scandinavia #hygge