6 ways to experience some Danish hygge this winter

We’ve put together a list of just some of the ways to experience some of that hearty Danish 'hygge’ this winter. So as the nights draw in, put on your warmest clothes, get out there and explore some of the sights and experiences Aarhus has to offer this winter - and remember your gloves!

  1. Christmas in Den Gamle By

Den Gamle By (credit:  Visit Aarhus )

Den Gamle By (credit: Visit Aarhus)

This is a must-do for anyone living in Aarhus or visiting for the first time - Danes and internationals alike. Den Gamle By or ‘The Old Town’ is a huge open-air museum with 75 buildings from all over Denmark. Different areas of the town are themed around certain time periods - so you can experience how people lived in Denmark from the 1600s onwards.
It’s lovely to visit at any time of the year but at Christmas they crank the hyggeliness up a notch!

Open air market stalls serve hot chocolate, gløgg and æbleskiver while choirs and bands play carols beneath the enormous Christmas tree in the town square. The shops, museums and houses are open as always with living history guides to show you around.

See how they brew Christmas beer, take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the town and listen to carol singing - you can see their Christmas program here.
Christmas in Den Gamle By is open seven days a week from 17th November until 1st January, including 24th, 25th, 31st December and 1st January. 

2. Brætspil cafe

Brætspil cafe on Vestergade (credit:  Vink Aarhus )

Brætspil cafe on Vestergade (credit: Vink Aarhus)

It’s hard to beat an evening spent with your friends, playing games and drinking beer. For the cold winter evenings, that’s exactly what Aarhus’s board game cafes offer. As you see in the image above, the shelves are lined with hundreds of games and you simply select whichever fits your mood. There are two Brætspil cafes in Aarhus, one on Vestergade and the other on Fredensgade close to the bus station.

A word of warning - it can get pretty busy in the cafes in the evenings, especially when the cold Danish wind is blowing and everyone wants to be inside drinking beer and having fun.
Therefore you can pre-book a table via the website - 6 hours sounds like just enough time to finish 1 game of Monopoly right?

3. Ice-skating rink

The ice rink in Rådhusparken (credit  Visit Aarhus )

The ice rink in Rådhusparken (credit Visit Aarhus)

Every year you can get out on the ice at the rink on the Musikhus Park in the centre of town. During the winter months it’s open every day of the week, with skates available to rent from the kiosk.

It’s very hyggelig to be out on the ice on a beautiful winter’s day, but just remember to wear warm trousers and jacket - and if you are as bad as I am at skating, be prepared to fall often!

The rink is open on Monday-Wednesday from 12.00-18.00, Thursday - Friday from 12.00-20.00, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00-17.00

4. St. Lucys procession at ARoS

St. Lucy’s procession inside ARoS’s Rainbow Panorama - (credit  Visit Aarhus )

St. Lucy’s procession inside ARoS’s Rainbow Panorama - (credit Visit Aarhus)

The Saint Lucy’s Day procession takes place on the 13th December at ARoS art gallery in the centre of town. The procession has been a tradition in Scandinavia for a long time, where a celebration of light was traditionally held around the shortest day at the Midwinter Solstice.

The tradition came to Denmark from Sweden, and the first Luciadag was first celebrated on 13 December 1944 as a way "to bring light in a time of darkness". Implicitly it was meant as a passive protest against German occupation during the Second World War and has been an annual event ever since.

It’s a beautiful sight to behold and take a break from the Christmas hustle and bustle. The procession starts on level 4 of ARoS and makes its’ way up the stairs to level 8. From here, it moves up to Olafur Eliasson’s Your Rainbow Panorama (image above).

5. MADE workshop

MADE worksho.jpg

By the time it gets to January it’s more important than ever to get out and explore what Aarhus has to offer - Christmas is over and you need some more hygge in your life!

Luckily, on Saturday, January 19 from 10.00-12.00 Aarhus Makers are running another MADE workshop at Frontløberne at Sydhavnen, Jægergårdsgade 152.

Here you can spend a hyggelig winter morning creating your very own scented soy wax candle with Redolent Revival’s Tara Streiff. In this fun and hands-on workshop, Tara will guide us through her candle-making process as we each craft our own candle from start to finish.

The afternoon session is already sold out but you can get your hands on tickets to the morning MADE workshop here.

6. Jul på Ø

jul på Ø.png

And finally, we have a hyggelig Christmas market to recommend to you!

We are teaming up with some awesome local organisations to bring you a seaside Christmas market at Bassin 7! On Dec 1+2 will we be popping up with an Aarhus Makers Pop-Up Shop, Christmas craft workshops and julebanko inside Street Coffee.

We're bringing a selection of wares from talented Aarhus-based artists, designers and crafters to the seaside Christmas market at Jul På Ø in a curated Pop-Up Shop inside Street Coffee on Dec 1 + 2. Find unique gifts, prints, beautiful homewares and wearable goodies from Redolent RevivalAoife Soden GlassNej Tak, FarvelSilke Og Bomuld By Z, Pixel Pencil and Urban Code. You can also join fun Christmas craft workshops and play a round of Christmas BANKO.

Sadly, we’re only about for the weekend of the 1st and 2nd, but don’t worry, the entire Jul på Ø event also takes place on the following 8th/9th and 15/16th!

Ben Culpin