We’ve been embracing the hygge here in Denmark – Christmas lights, hikes through the woods, and cozy days watching movies cuddled up on the couch, who could ask for more? Below is my Copenhagener’s guide to surviving a cold, dark, Danish winter.

Christmas in Tivoli GardensP1180798 (2)

Tivoli is fun to visit anytime it’s open – we have annual passes, which means we can easily head there to spend an entire day or just a few hours. In the summer months you can see are concerts, or just walk around the park to enjoy some nice weather. At Christmas, Tivoli becomes something even more special – its enchanting, with glittering lights, snow-laden decorations, and the smells of candied pecans and gløgg everywhere.

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Tivoli entrance.

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Too much Christmas?

København Christmas Lights & Markets     

Just before Christmas we spent one night visiting the Nyhavn and Kongens Nytorv Christmas Markets, as well as strolling around the lit up Strøget. The Hotel D’Angleterre had designed its windows to be an advent calendar, featuring all the stories of Hans Christian Anderson, and the Magasin Du Nord was decorated beautifully as well. img_0012-1

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Hotel D/Angleterre
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Magasin du Nord

Nøddeknækkeren At the Kongelige Teater

We attended a show at the Royal Danish Theater for our first time, The Nutcracker. Our girls know the story well, and love it; we try to attend every year. The theater itself is elegant and small; you feel close to the stage no matter whether you are in the balcony or on the ground floor. The performance itself was beautiful, and the set design stunning. Also, they had a Christmas tree made of ballet slippers in the lobby!

Embracing the Hygge

At home, we decorated for Christmas the Danish way – a tree, stars, and lots and lots of candles. We also experienced our first Santa Lucia concert at school (this is actually a Swedish, not Danish, tradition).

Now that the holidays are over, we’re taking advantage of any sunny days – going running, hiking around Dyrehaven, and enjoying the sunrises and sunsets from our balcony.

Dyrehaven

Dyrehaven is a park north of Copenhagen and just a quick train ride away from our place in Østerbro. It’s pretty big, half marathon races take place here, and many people come to cycle or run.  There are lots of ancient oak trees and red and fallow deer. When we were there we even saw a white deer.

Also on the site is the Hermitage, or Eremitage, a royal hunting lodge from the 1730s, about 80 Bronze Age grave mounds from about 1700 to 500 BCE, and even ancient rock carvings. Bakken, the world’s oldest existing amusement park, is also housed in Dyrehaven, but it isn’t open in the winter. Here is a really great link outlining the history of the area: Dyrehaven.

img_0759We have a beautiful view from our balcony at home, and sunrises and sunsets really bring us some lovely light. I take a lot of photos from our balcony, consequently :).

Other photos, from work and morning runs. The winter light in Copenhagen can create such magic. Spring will come eventually, but until then, we have splendid winter skies and soft morning light.

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