My favorite Airbnb: a cozy apartment in Copenhagen with woolen blankets and vinyl records
When booking places to staywe usually find ourselves drawn to features like modern kitchen appliances and luxury king-size beds, but this time we were happy to ditch our usual criteria and embrace a cozy Nordic vibe: the Danes l’ call it “hygge”.
A term as charming as it is difficult to pronounce, “hygge” (pronounced Hoo-Guh) translates most closely in English to “cosy” – which brings feelings of contentment or well-being.
It’s an aesthetic and philosophy that has grown in popularity over the past decade. Hygge doesn’t have to be grandiose in its presence. In fact, it’s often found in small moments: freshly baked cinnamon rolls, a warm fireplace, time spent making greeting cards around the kitchen table, a cup of hot chocolate cradled in both hands. . This northern star guided us as we scoured Airbnb’s listing pages until we found Kimmie’s house.
Located in Vesterbro, a trendy new neighborhood in western Copenhagen, the apartment complex was on the ground floor of an old building built in 1899. Stepping through a giant red door, we found ourselves in a communal yard filled with bikes and bright, basketed gravel. walkways dotted with potted plants.
Kimmie’s unit was the first door on the right, which made access incredibly convenient – a nice bonus for big packers. Once inside the apartment, a small hallway led past the bedroom facing the street before opening up to the kitchen and living room, the true heart of the house, where we spent the majority of our time.
In the dining cove, we ate cinnamon and apricot danishes around a circular wooden table with a small cream lamp, woven chairs, candles, and a wool blanket. In my favorite corner, we sat back in an engulfing beige leather armchair, reading books beside a sunny windowsill filled with tiny plants. On one museum-worthy wall, a handful of framed artworks hung, illuminated by a pendant lamp that cast a soft glow. From a vintage stereo receiver, sounds from the hosts’ vinyl record collection played.
The only element of the apartment which was not of impeccable comfort was the absence of air conditioning, which is generally the case in all accommodation in Europe. Given from Denmark commitment to reducing emissions by 70% by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050, this is not surprising. And it seemed like a fair trade off sleeping under thin sheets on a summer night for the good of the planet.
The joy of our Airbnb continued as we walked out of the house and onto the street. The location in the heart of Vesterbro was a perfect base for our adventures. Once a part of town where nefarious nightlife took place, Vesterbro is now home to artistic bars, destination restaurants, and elegant boutiques. Its more avant-garde past lives on in the surviving tattoo shops and dive bars.
One of our favorite cocktails of the trip, a refreshing concoction of prosecco, limoncello and soda, was half a block from our Airbnb at Jojo, a chic and colorful bar where artisanal cocktails – palomas, negronis, espresso martinis – were on the menu. And those morning pastries that we gorged on daily? A two minute walk. Plus, our location was convenient to the rest of Copenhagen’s must-sees. It was a five minute drive from Tivoli Gardens and a twelve minute drive from Nyhavnthis postcard of the colorful 17th and early 18th century townhouses lining the canal.
As one of the happiest countries in the world, it’s hard to have a bad time in Denmark. However, spending our mornings and evenings at Kimmie’s made us love Copenhagen even more. His home has been instrumental in making it one of our most treasured towns. Until we can return, we’ve pledged to bring some hygge to our two-bedroom apartment in Boston. This fall, you’ll find me curled up with a book in my newly redesigned reading nook, where knitted blankets and woolen socks abound.