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Embrace hygge: How to survive Denmark's long nights this winter

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Embrace hygge: How to survive Denmark's long nights this winter
With the right mindset and preparations, Denmark's long nights can provide many opportunities for rewarding experiences. Photo by Stéphane Juban on Unsplash

Denmark's days will get a lot shorter and the nights much longer after the clocks go back this weekend but with these tips you can not only survive ,but also embrace this unique aspect of Danish life.


Winter in Scandinavia can be a pretty grim affair.

Due to the country's geographical location, Denmark experiences long nights and short days during the winter season. Its northernmost regions, in particular, see substantial variations in daylight.

In December and January, you can expect only around seven or eight hours of daylight in Copenhagen, and even less in the country's northern parts.

READ MORE: Why Denmark's extra grey January can cause winter blues

While the darkness may initially feel off-putting, embracing a positive mindset and a few simple preparations will allow you to acclimate to the charm of Denmark's winter season.

From investing in good lighting to enjoying local seasonal dishes, there are a number of things you can do to not only survive but also thrive during the dark months.

The importance of good lighting

We're starting off with practical advice. As natural daylight is limited during the winter, investing in good lighting for your home is very important.

Make your living space brighter and cosier by using warm, soft lighting options like table lamps and string lights.

This will not only combat the darkness but also create a comforting ambience where you'll be able to immerse yourself in the Danish cultural phenomenon of hygge – which is also the next item on our list of tips.


Embracing hygge – especially in the winter

The concept of "hygge", which loosely encompasses a feeling of cosiness, contentment, and overall well-being, is deeply ingrained in Danish culture.

Danes are particularly focused on cultivating hygge during the long winter months – and you should be, too!

READ MORE: Hygge: The Danish art of being in the moment

A great way to "summon" the spirit of hygge is to create a warm atmosphere indoors. Candles, warm tea or cocoa, and soft blankets are all great ways of reaching this goal. Of course, sharing such an inviting setting with your loved ones will make the experience even more special.


Winter activities and socialisation

In many cities, Denmark offers a rich cultural scene that comes alive during winter.

Events, concerts, art exhibitions, and theatre performances are all great ways to make the most of the dark evenings.

Copenhagen, for example, is particularly well known for its cultural offerings and event scene, so if you're living in the capital, you'll have many options to choose from.

Hiking Denmark

It's always a good idea to stay active during the winter period. Walks are a popular option among Danes. Photo by Elin Tabitha on Unsplash

Insider tip: Use the long nights as an opportunity to connect with friends – or meet new people in your area. Danes have a reputation for their hospitality, and you can use the winter period to start a new activity or join a club to get to know people.

If you decide to spend more time hanging out with friends, game nights can be a great way of spending an evening in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.


Enjoying seasonal dishes

Danish cuisine is hearty and delicious, with many dishes that can keep you warm during the winter months. Don't shy away from trying traditional staples such as frikadeller (meatballs) at local restaurants.

Exploring the local food scene can be a delightful way to make the most of the darkness – and it can be even more fun if you do so with friends.

At the same time, if you do indulge in Danish winter cuisine, remember that it's essential to stay active.

Engage in outdoor activities like long walks or ice skating during the daylight hours, as regular physical activity can help boost your mood.


Engaging in volunteering opportunities

If your current lifestyle and work circumstances allow for it, consider volunteering your time.

Numerous organisations rely on help from volunteers. This winter, why not explore opportunities such as assisting at a local charity shop?

Volunteering can be a fulfilling way to contribute to society while making the most of your time.

With the right mindset and preparations, Denmark's long nights can provide many opportunities for rewarding experiences.

READ MORE: How to take on the Danish winter like a true Viking

Remember, the country's appeal is not limited to its sunny days; it's also found in the cosy, inviting atmosphere of its winter nights.

So, bundle up, grab a cup of warm tea, light some candles, call over a friend or two, and enjoy the magic of the country's dark winters.


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