An Introduction to the Danish Art of Coziness

Hygge: The Danish Art of Coziness

Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word "hygge" (pronounced "hooga") has exploded in popularity around the world. It translates roughly to "coziness," but it means so much more than that. So what is hygge, really? We've created this handy introduction to the Danish way of life known as hygge. Read on to find out!


What does hygge mean?

Hygge is as Danish as pork roast and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world?


The high season of hygge

The high season of hygge is Christmas, when Danes pull out all the hygge stops. Danish winters are long and dark, and so the Danes fight the darkness with their best weapon: hygge, and the millions of candles that go with it. Ever been to Tivoli Gardens or walked the streets of Copenhagen during the festive season? Then you know what Danes can do with lighting and mulled wine (known as gløgg)! If you haven’t, you should experience it! 

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How to pronounce hygge

Hygge is a useful word to use when in Denmark! It sounds a lot like 'hooga', so give it a try when you're here!

The Scandinavian origins of hygge

Hygge actually comes from a Norwegian word meaning "well-being." It first appeared in Danish writing in the 18th century and has been embraced by the Danes ever since!

Seeing is believing

Some of the UK's top Instagrammers went about capturing hygge during their recent trip to Copenhagen.

Happiness and hygge go hand-in-hand

CNN - Where are the World's Happiest Countries?

BBC - A heart-warming lesson from Denmark

Lonely Planet - How to get cosy in Copenhagen

NPR - Winter Doldrums Got You Down? Have Some Hygge

Fathom Away - What the Hell is Hygge?


Top 10 'hygge' things to do in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is one of the best places to hunt for hygge on the planet! Find out how to hygge your way round Denmark's capital.