MIA to CPH
I was recently invited on a press trip (sponsored by Visit Denmark, Visit Copenhagen, Scandinavian Airlines) to explore Copenhagen, Denmark. The Danish capital has become quite the destination with its startlingly impressive cuisine, design, style, and overall quality of life. I was beyond eager to get to know the city and discover the meaning behind a concept I’d read about: “hygge.” Most commonly (mis)generalized as “cozy” – hygge is an inherently Danish term used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment. It’s about not just being present, but also recognizing and enjoying the present…creating moments to help enhance daily life i.e. burning a candle, or meeting a friend for coffee. I couldn’t wait to experience it straight from the source.
Getting to Copenhagen is quite easy thanks to direct flights between MIA & CPH through Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). We flew comfortably in SAS Plus, which gave us access to the Lounges, delicious food and refreshments, and tons of in-flight movies/entertainment. One 9-hour flight later and we made it to our destination.
I stayed at the brand new luxury boutique Hotel Sanders right in the center of the city and within walking distance of pretty much everything. With its beautifully curated interiors and hospitable (not to mention good-looking) staff, the hotel is the epitome of casual luxury and simple elegance minus the pretentiousness, which almost instantly makes you feel at home. The inviting restaurant is aptly referred to as “Kitchen.” The lobby is not a lobby; rather it’s the “Living Room.” Classic cocktails flow from the intimate and seductive hotel bar, TATA.
The Sights…and Flavors
Throughout our entire stay we indulged in the most delicious (and beautiful!) food. I was blown away at how fresh everything is. New Nordic Cuisine has revolutionized Danish gastronomy and created a focus on local ingredients. From tasting new spins on classic dishes to traditional foods like pickled herring, and trying natural wine for the first time – I marveled in it all. Here’s the list of restaurants, cafes and bars we visited. Plenty of hygge across the board. You’re welcome:
- Almanak at The Standard
- SEA by Kiin Kiin
- The Barking Dog
- The Coffee Collective Jægersborggade
Aside from eating my way through the city, I was able to explore the sights, sounds and of course the shopping (I’m looking at you Storm Copenhagen)! We did a fun boat tour throughout the canals, under the bridges and out into the harbor. We were shown around the diverse neighborhood of Nørrebro, which has evolved from being a primarily working class area to one of Copenhagen’s hottest neighborhoods with tons of local shops. It was there that we also got to see Superkilen – a colorful sprawling urban space that fuses architecture, landscape and art (hello Instagram photo-opp). Later we strolled through Assistens Cemetery, the final resting place of famous Danes like author Hans Christian Andersen.
Before this trip, I was already fascinated by the Viking Age of Scandinavia and Norse mythology. Danes are quite proud of their heritage, and it shows in their everyday, from the cuisine to the Norse art tattooed on their bodies. I was also very intrigued by the secret of hygge, and often wondered whether this was the key to Danes being consistently ranked among the happiest people in the world. My takeaway from this trip is that they are definitely doing something (or basically everything) right.