It’s all about ‘hygge’ in Denmark. Pronounced ‘hooga’, this Danish concept is all about creating a pleasant, warm atmosphere and is more a way of life than a feeling.
Some of the best ‘hygge’ can be found in the capital, Copenhagen, which is brimming with bars, cafes and restaurants, and a general aura of wellbeing, evidenced by its regular appearance in lists of the best cities to live. Denmark has, in the past, also been rated as the happiest country on earth.
And while some of us may try to replicate the recipe that makes the Danes so happy at home, but the only way to truly experience the feeling is from first-hand experience.
GETTING FROM THE SHIP…
Guests can disembark at three cruise terminals in Copenhagen. Ocean Quay, which accommodates the biggest ships, is the busiest, but passengers will need to use the bus services or a taxi to enter the main city area.
Langelinie, which can accommodate two to four ships – depending on size – has an array of shops and other facilities and is in walking distance of the city centre. The third, Nordre Toldbod, is close to the Kastellet – or Citadel – a star fortress. Copenhagen expects to welcome 875,000 cruise passengers in 2018. Will you be one?
WHAT WE LOVE…
Christiania: Christiania is a society within a society, a mix of houses, workshops, art galleries, and music venues – think of it as the place where the sixties never ended. It has countless alternative attractions: there’s Nemoland, an open-air concert held in the summer, the Spiseloppen restaurant housed in an old military building, and Loppen, an alternative concert venue. A true, unique experience.
Little Mermaid: Guests arriving at Langelinie Pier are welcomed by The Little Mermaid, which is now over 100 years old. Gifted to the city in 1913 by the brewer Carl Jacobsen, this bronze and granite sculpture was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale, and is one of Copenhagen’s most popular attractions. Well worth a selfie!
Tivoli Gardens: Founded in 1843, this amusement park has become one of the most-loved sights in the city. There are a variety of rides (whether young or old) for thrill-seekers and those who prefer a more sedate experience. There is also live music daily and something called Little Friday every Thursday, to showcase emerging Danish talent. The annual Friday Rock concert is held in Tivoli, which also gets in the Christmas spirit with a diverse festive market during the holiday season.
TOP 3 PLACES TO EAT…
Restaurant Kronborg: If you are looking to try that Danish delicacy Smørrebrød (essentially an open sandwich) then this long-running lunch spot. Make sure you get herring!
Noma: Consistently voted one of the best restaurants in the world, if you can handle the high prices then a trip to Noma is a gastronomic adventure you won’t forget.
Höst: The prices at Noma making you sweat? Try this cheaper, more traditional alternative that produces fantastic Nordic cuisine at a fraction of the price.
TOP 3 PLACES TO SHOP…
Strøget: The longest shopping street in Denmark – and one of the longest in the world for that matter – is the place to be for all your shopping needs.
Jægersborggade: Consider yourself hip? Then you’ll want to spend an afternoon browsing the quirky boutiques and shops of the Jægersborggade.
ILLUM: Copenhagen’s premium department store – if you want to return to the ship with bags full of perfumes, high-end fashion lines or even home design, this is the place to be.
OUR LOCAL TIP…
Want to get around the city quickly? Visitors can pay for bus tickets when boarding, but train and/or metro tickets should be bought before travelling.