Whilst hygge may be quintessentially Danish, the qualities it represents are entirely universal and wonderfully autumnal. Pronounced ‘hooga’, hygge is the Danish concept of creating a warm and cosy environment whilst enjoying the good things in life with the people you love.
The Danish are routinely ranked amongst the happiest and most fulfilled nations in the world, and we believe hygge is a huge part of this success – no wonder it is starting to stretch through different countries and cultures. So, we thought we’d help you find hygge this autumn by highlighting the world’s best cities to get cosy with friends and family over a warming drink and delicious food.
This is our guide to our top 10 travel destinations for hygge and autumn cosiness.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Where else to start than the Danish capital of Copenhagen? As the end of year nears and the dark nights draw in, Copenhagen comes alive with locals and visitors, wrapped in oversized scarves taking to the streets to enjoy mulled wine (gløgg) and freshly-baked pastries (we’d recommend the delicious Roman Snail pastry).
- Malmo, Sweden
Just edging out capital city, Stockholm, Malmo offers great autumnal retreats for a little hygge. From the city-wide Malmo Loves Food festival to the array of spas – there’s plenty of hygge to go around. During the days, head to Kungsparken, a large park in the centre of the city which is resplendent in oranges and reds throughout the autumn.
- Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland’s charming capital Reykjavik is one of the world’s northernmost cities and amongst the chilliest. This means that the pedestrian streets of the capital are full of delightfully warming cafés, bars and restaurants to hide away from the cold. We’d recommend visiting Svarta Kaffið, a small café beloved for its soups. Open all day, Svarta Kaffið’s offers two types of freshly-prepared soup every day, served in an oversized loaf of bread – perfect alongside a pint of Jóla Gull (the festive variation of the local lager).
- Tallinn, Estonia
Perhaps Europe’s most underrated capital city, Tallinn in Estonia boasts incr
edible architecture, enchanting history and enigmatic culture. Visit in autumn and head straight to Tallinn Old Town, the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe, typified by quaint cobblestone streets, Gothic spires and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them cafés. Fruit wines, flavoured with apples and berries are hugely popular with the locals, and make the perfect drink to enjoy by a roaring fire in Tallinn.
- Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg may be grandiose in scale and spectacle, but the Russian city also knows how to do reserved and stripped back. The large tree-lined boulevards create incredible spectacles as the leaves turn from green to gold, and the low-season timing means you’re free to explore these with friends and family without interruption. St. Petersburg also enjoys its fair share of Indian Summers (or in Russian, a ‘peasant woman’s summer’) with warm, sunny days well into October.
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Enchanting architecture perched protectively over the famed canals, a world-famous café culture and a relaxed atmosphere running throughout; Amsterdam is a joyous place to visit any time of year, but most of all in the autumn. The city certainly knows how to do indulgent treats at this time of year – and none top the combination of hot apple pie and chocomel (chocolate milk), served in the city’s famed cafés.
- Edinburgh, Scotland
If you fancy something a little stronger to warm your cockles this autumn, there’s nothing better than a nip of single malt scotch. If you don’t fancy heading out to the chilly highlands or wind-ravaged tiny islands renowned for producing the world’s finest whisky – Edinburgh is the place to enjoy the ‘water of life’ in cosy and beautiful surroundings. Head to the Leith area of the city for the thriving bar scene where you’ll be able to pick from endless drinking holes and even more whiskies.
- Helsinki, Finland
The Finnish widely regard autumn as a time to reconnect with nature – hiking paths across beautiful mountains and through forests blessed with crisp red leaves. Retreating into the capital, Helsinki, after a day of exploration provides the perfect chance for a little hygge in the city’s renowned bistros. At the cutting edge of European cuisine, Helsinki’s roster of leading chefs are pioneering new techniques whilst honouring old favourites. If we had to pick one restaurant in Helsinki, it would be Ravintola Nokka – beloved for their use of local produce to create modern flavours.
- Flåm, Norway
Sitting in the midst of the Norwegian Fjords, few places in the world can boast as beautiful a setting as Flåm. Peaceful waters, awe-inspiring mountains and beautiful waterfalls surround the area – providing an exceptional backdrop to a little autumnal hygge. Whether you want to explore Flåm in its entirety on board Flåmsbana (the Flåm Railway – recently named the most incredible rail journey in the world) or indulge in the local delicacies (fresh game, lamb and salmon is abundant and delicious, here), the tiny village offers something for everyone.
- Boston, USA
Our sole entry outside of Europe, Boston comes alive as the colder months take hold. Typified by harsh conditions but warm welcomes, Boston is endlessly friendly and blessed with an amazing array of places to hide from the cold. Of all the entries on this list, Boston is the most likely place you’ll find and make new friends. Just set up shop in any of the city’s huge number of bars and you’re sure to soon strike up conversation with the friendly locals.
So, if you’re keen to indulge in a little hygge this autumn, we have a huge range of last-minute cruise deals which could take you to some of the cosiest and most charming destinations the world has to offer. Alternatively, if you’re planning a little further ahead, head over to our homepage or call our friendly sales team on 0808 231 3514.