How to Hygge

My favorite part about Copenhagen wasn’t something you can physically go to see, but a feeling you have while you’re there. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, but the feeling of hygge is something I came to realize the city of Copenhagen itself possesses. Hygge doesn’t have to be something you adopt or a way of life, it’s just a feeling of charming coziness, and that’s exactly what Copenhagen is.

If you’re looking to have a good time in Copenhagen, Downtown hostel is absolutely the place to stay. Our flight landed around 8 pm, so we arrived at the hostel around 9pm. It was Sunday night, and the bar (which is also reception) was in pretty full swing. The best part about staying in hostels is that people are so willing to exchange their stories with strangers, it’s something quite beautiful actually. This hostel completely engendered that environment.

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The hostel also offers free walking tours, which was a great way to get a taste of Copenhagen. The must see of course is Nyhavn, which is delightfully colorful  even on the dreariest of days. Sailing vessels littered the canal that the bright buildings bordered. Not a far walk from Nyhavn, but not part of the tour, is Christiania, also known as the free town.

This area was as vibrant as Nyhavn, but for different reasons. All the Danish fairy tales seemed to collide with the 70s to create Christiania. Pastel pinks, greens, and blues composed murals of whimsical trees sprinkled with pixies and and majestic birds. Darker blues, reds, and yellows composed a shimmering peacock on another building. Buddhist prayer flags waved vigorously in their canopy over Pusher Street. Vendors sold oils, edibles, and nuggets of weed from small stands with names like “The Candy Shop”and “Flamingo”.

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Aside from the walking tour and our quick stop to free town, it was absolutely essential to rent a bike. It’s the best way to experience the city. All the must see places and our must eat stops we biked to!

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The must see museums were the National Museum and the David Collection. The National Museum was huge, and unless you want to spend your entire day there I’d recommend picking a gallery you’re interested in and going from there. The collection we chose was life in Denmark (1600-2000s), which was incredibly informative, we both felt like we gained a wealth of knowledge on Danish history. The David Collection was a free museum, and actually one of my favorites. Though the collection does include European art, the Islamic art was a nice break from all the European art we had been seeing. My favorite portion of the Islamic collection was the miniatures, as the details were wonderful. Also a must see was the botanical gardens. Despite it being the winter and how little was in bloom, it was a lovely little piece of paradise in the middle of Copenhagen.

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MOST IMPORTANTLY the must eats. Mad & Kaffe might have been my favorite meal of the entire trip. If I lived in Copenhagen, I would absolutely be a regular here. You can chose between 3, 5, or 7 of their small plates to comprise your breakfast. I got 3, but definitely wish I would have gotten 5 after I tasted their amazing spread. Kobenhavner Cafe has authentic danish food on the cheap. Since this was our last meal abroad, I will openly admit that I essentially engorged myself on a traditional danish open faced sandwich, which included two pieces of fried fish, one piece of poached fish, and shrimp. Don’t judge me, I was just doing as the Danes do.

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