A brief history of my love for Copenhagen: It all started last spring. I was having a rough time and had started to read some not quite self-help books, but kind of. It wasn’t on purpose, I’d just come across some recommendations and needed something to read. First, it was The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight. Really transformative, read it if you haven’t. Then, a couple books later I ended up reading The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. I don’t know if these two books are ever talked about in the same context , but they are what helped pull me out of a very bad slump.
In The Little Book of Hygge, Wiking talks about the Danish concept of hygge, which loosely translates to coziness akin to being curled up on a couch reading a good book during a thunderstorm. The tenets of hygge largely focus on the “little things in life” – being comfortable, spending time with people you like, and eating good food. How could I not be on board with that? So I’ve become low key obsessed with the idea of hygge and how I can create a hyggelig atmosphere everywhere I go. So, when it was time to book my flight back to NYC and I found a flight with an 8 hour layover in Copenhagen, I knew I had to do it. (And by found, I mean, sought out on purpose).
What does one do for 8 hours the capital city of Denmark? Let me tell you…
Have Breakfast at Next Door Cafe
I just had a simple breakfast of bacon and eggs with some tea, but the best part of Next Door Cafe is their quirky decor. From clear glass tables adorned with mementos from diners past underneath like a makeshift gallery (think:notes, tickets, and someone even managed to stick in a pack of birth control pills). Such a cool vibe and a great way to start the day.
Stop by Tivoli Gardens
A historic and fully operational amusement park, it was especially cute with all of its winter decorations. I didn’t go inside, because as much as I love amusement parks, I was on a time crunch. Took a couple of photos and kept it moving.
Take a photo in Nyhavn
This is where every tourist (myself included) takes their standard “Copenhagen picture.” The canal, the vibrant, colorful buildings, it’s absolutely worth stopping for the photo op.
Take a Canal Cruise
An ultimate tourist activity, but if you’re short on time, it’s a great way to get some information about the city and historical context. The tour I joined was right there in Nyhavn and was about an hour long. It was a little chilly sitting outside, but I felt that I was in a prime photo-taking spot. We passed by the famous Little Mermaid statue (a bit disappointing because it’s so tiny) and went underneath some precariously low bridges, and just really got to see parts of the city that I probably wouldn’t have gotten the chance to on foot or by public transportation. The last canal cruise I took was in Amsterdam, but for some reason I don’t really remember much of it…
Visit Freetown Christiana
If you’ve been around for a while, you know I LOVE graffiti and street art. It’s my absolute favorite and there’s loads of it in Freetown Christiana. It’s actually this semi-autonomous town that was founded in the 70s (a vibe you’ll pick up right away) that is home to art galleries, music spaces, and a few places to eat.
Relax and have a Chai Latte at Espresso House
Okay, so Espresso House is a chain, which is generally frowned upon on The Bronx Socialite. (*accepts stern talking to & finger wagging & judgment*) This is the very last thing I did before heading to the airport. I was tired. Sue me. I cozied up with my notebook and did a bit of writing while sipping on my latte. It was a nice way to wrap up my short trip to Copenhagen.
Was 8 hours enough? Of course not. But it was a really great way to spend what could have been 8 hours stuck in the airport. Bleh. I can’t wait to go back.