What Exactly is Hygge? Five Ways We Discovered Hygge in Copenhagen

Sitting in a coffee shop wrapped in our scarves, and laughing over old memories.  That’s hygge.  Walking beneath the lights of Tivoli garden in the late evening. That’s hygge too. Hygge doesn’t exactly translate from Danish into English, but most people equate it with being “cozy,” although, it reaches a little deeper than that. Hygge is pronounced like “Hue-ga,” but Emily was under the impression is was pronounced like “hoog-ly.”  So for three days in Copenhagen, we made it our mission to experience as much hygge as possible, and proclaiming “This is so hooglie” for basically everything we did.  We wanted to wear our most hygge scarves, eat at the most hygge cafes, I even made my meal choices based on what seemed like the “hooglie” thing to do.

What exactly is hygge though? And “how can a feeling being a city highlight?” (Thanks to Lonely planet for that quote, which we found hilarious. But I will note that hygge was, indeed, the city highlight.)  Like I said, hygge is most closely translated to cozy, but it goes beyond that.  Hygge season extends from autumn through winter, peeking during the Christmas holiday season.  It involves friends, family, and care-free conversation.

Here are the most hygge activities we did:

Bike Riding

Everyone in Copenhagen bikes as the main form of transportation.  We decided to do like th locals and rent some bikes to better see the city.



La Glace

La Glace is Copenhagen’s oldest bakery, founded in 1870.  They have a large assortment of pastries and cakes.  My favorite was the nougat cake, which is also their house specialty.



Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli is the grand champion of hygge – especially at night.  Wandering, and laughing around the park underneath the lights lights of the rides with my friends, was one of the happiest experiences I had in Copenhagen.  We took it to the next level with gluhwein, warm, spiced wine.




Coffee Shops

Sitting over some lattes and chatting with your friends is hygge for obvious reason.


Wine Bar

And finally, enjoying some good wine and cheese on a relaxed evening can be hygge too.


In conclusion, it’s really a shame that we don’t have any kind of english translation for this word, but I know I will undoubtedly be adopting hygge into my vocabulary this winter.

Categories: Denmark, Europe

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