CULTURE CLUB • December 2018
No country does winter wellbeing like the Danes, and as the mercury plummets, Denmark offers an idyllic, hygge-filled break with buckets of style. Nanna Hjortenberg, director of Copenhagen’s Chart Design Fair, give us the lowdown on getting to know the country like a local
In Denmark we work hard, but we make time for plenty of play, too. We spend time with our kids after school, catch up with friends and keep up to speed with the cultural scene. Weekends for me are about long morning coffees, buying fresh flowers and shopping at one of the local food markets that take place every weekend. I’m obviously a fan of galleries and museums so I visit a few each weekend, and when I can, I love travelling to the coast and to the peaks towards Sweden for fresh air.
It gets incredibly dark and cold in winter so it’s important for us to create cosy indoor spaces. After a day exploring Copenhagen, head to a café for biscuits and a mug of glögg – a spiced wine served piping hot. And, if you’re brave enough to join the city’s growing set of winter swimmers, check out our harbour baths for a bracing dip, which makes the warmth of inside all the more sublime.
Some of Copenhagen’s best Christmas markets are in its residential neighbourhoods. Stop by Værnedamsvej between Vesterbro and Frederiksberg on weekends, where many locals get together to finish off their Christmas shopping.
Around the west coast of Jutland and Wadden Sea National Park – Denmark’s newest World Heritage Site – you can spot bathing seals and collect wild oysters straight from the beach. The new exhibition centre at Wadden Sea Centre, designed by one of Denmark’s most talented contemporary architects, Dorte Mandrup, is a must-see, exquisitely designed and featuring informative displays. In Jutland, you can also visit the Tirpitz Museum, which was incorporated into a former World War II bunker.
If you love art and design, head to the former Meatpacking District of Kødbyen where you’ll find some of the city’s best-known galleries – Gallery Bo Bjerggaard, Gether Contemporary, V1 and Eighteen. Very much ‘on the beaten track’ but still worth visiting is the newly opened Danish Architecture Centre at BLOX, designed by Dutch architectural firm OMA. It has beautiful views of the city and gives some background to the Danish tradition of architecture. If you’re visiting in August, CHART takes place on the last weekend of the month at Copenhagen’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts – a three-day celebration of contemporary art, with a special exhibition and programme of talks, performances, music and debates.
Stop by buzzing community house Absalon in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district for a communal dinner where you can get up close and personal with locals and play bingo and table tennis. Everyone in the city cycles, so rent a bike for if you want to experience Copenhagen like a true native.