I’m really big on being outside. I love it. I’m also extremely sensitive to the cold, unbearably so. In all honesty I should be living in California, but hey, Denmark is also wonderful. I step outside and I want to step right back in again, in the winter months that is.
Living in one of the colder cities in Europe doesn’t help, so I’ve been mulling over the issue for a while now (since my arrival from London in October to be exact). Here are some tips on how to get a little dose of fresh air and still enjoy life when it’s freezing cold.
1. Find your nearest botanical garden
First things first, pretend it’s not December and pretend you’re not in northern Europe. Botanical gardens are steamy sweaty pits of green delight. You’ll kill two birds with one stone: all that oxygenated air (you know, the plants and all that) and tropical warmth. The Copenhagen Botanical Garden is in an absolutely beautiful centre not far from the centre of town, so you can run into some shops as soon as you’re done.
2. Go for a run
I know, I know, not the natural thought when it’s cold, windy, wet and dark all the damn time, but I assure you it’s the best! Pick a trail that is not along a main road, get your thermal running gear on and get out there. You can find some amazing nature spots that way and though the initial few steps might take your breath away, you’ll soon pick up a sweat and be taking the layers off. I’ve found some truly magical sites this way, with the lake in Christiania being one of my favourites.
3. Seek out nature spots out of the city and pack a big bag of snacks and clothes
Nature is only ever short Google away. The key to doing things properly when its minus a million out is to prepare. You can never be too prepared! I was desperate for trees and forest recently, and a quick bit of research informed me that Rude Skov forest is only a short train ride from Copenhagen. It’s the kind of place you can get lost in (in a good way), so make sure you take a fully-charged phone, plenty of layers, water and some tasty snacks. I passed horses, a rabbit and a hell of a super fit mountain biker.
4. Combine nature with something else
Although I hadn’t planned it, a recent trip to Louisiana Museum Of Modern Art left me spellbound by its placement and surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, the art was mind blowing, but the nature! From the gardens to the views out to sea, I was truly amazed. It was perfect – get warm walking around the gallery, step outside, go back inside, take in the incredible lunch buffet, pop outside again, have a hot chocolate, take a step outside, step back inside, have some cake, step outside… you get the idea. If you’re really not interested in nature then the gift shop is truly excellent also.
5. If all else fails, just stay local
If the idea of runs, trains and researching random forests leaves you aquiver, then just seek out what’s nearest to you, nature-wise. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I am lucky enough to live a stone’s throw away from the beach! Now, beaches do not equate to European winters, I get that. I’m not about to get my bikini out, (although I did see a lot of naked people jumping from the saunas on the piers into the sea, then climbing back into said saunas. Kudos to those guys). A simple cycle along the seafront (I don’t think air gets fresher than that) followed by brunch at Wulff & Konstali is highly recommended. The air never smells as sweet as it does when there is promise of waffles and avocado soon to come. Enjoy.
Natalia Bagniewska has just recently moved to Copenhagen and is looking for friends and people to share a coffee with. She and loves pictures, photos and the Danish way of life. She has worked on the picture desks and written for publications such as The Debrief, The Mail Online and ASOS Likes.