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Gettin’ Hygge With It, Copenhagen – Travel Short

Gettin’ Hygge With It, Copenhagen – Travel Short

I’m sitting at my desk lookin’ at photos I snapped at Harbo Bar, and the only thing I feel is that I really, really miss Copenhagen. The crazy thing? I can’t even pinpoint what I miss or why I miss Copenhagen. It’s not the amazing design everywhere. It’s not the stylie people everywhere. It’s definitely not the food. I think the only word that could explain why doesn’t even have an English translation - hygge.

Look up hygge and you’ll find a ton of different translations. I mean, it’s hard to describe something that’s unspoken. You don’t learn how to do it. You just end up in it, doin’ it and totally lovin’ it. It’s creating intimacy, creating warmth and coziness with people… it involves food, drinks and a few lit candles. I mean, who doesn’t love gettin’ cozy around a candle with friends, grubbin’ on food and downin’ beers? You can’t hate on an evening filled with good company, good food and good drinks.

Although hygge isn’t about romancin’… it does create a super intimate mood. You’re not quite conscious you’re doin’ it, but you can’t help it. Hygge is at the core of Danish culture and, to me, it makes the culture inherently romantic. I noticed people gettin’ hygge with it at every bar and restaurant. People in Seattle require a lot of personal space, in New York there’s no such thing as personal space ‘cause there is no space. But in Copenhagen, people sit closer, they lean into each other, they get all into it. 


A full day of puttering around the Nørrebro ‘hood ended at the Harbo Bar. Totally cool spot, the perfect spot to end the night gettin’ down with locals. The weathered wood tables, the menu board built of large tiles perfectly not-perfectly lined up on shelves, the oversized Christmas-like lights haphazardly strung overhead… the perfect mood to get close. I did how the locals do and ordered everyone’s drink of choice – bottles of Økologisk Thy Pilsner. The bottles were passed around the table and then the dice came out. And without skipping a beat, I’m leanin’ in, learning how to play a dice game, Meyer (Mia), that’s heavy on detecting someone’s bluff.

Now how do you detect if someone you just met minutes ago is bluffing? Looking straight into their eyes… I’m sitting around a table throwin’ dice, lockin’ eyes with the dude to my right, the dude to my left. And seriously… it could easily turn into a hot and heavy flirting session if you end up sittin’ next to someone you’re crushin’ on!

Maybe it’s the wet, cold weather in Seattle tonight or maybe it’s the music I’m listening to… but all I know? I wanna rush back to Copenhagen and get hygge with it.

oxxo, Hen