City Break: Copenhagen with Kids
Did you know that the most happier people in the world live in Denmark? They even have their own – correctly untranslatable – world HYGGE to describe well being and enjoying daily things.
Well, which could be a better place to take your kids for their first city break? Yep, we went to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen for a city break with kids to understand and learn their happy factors. Here are 10 things we discovered.
It has been suggested that Danes are just genetically happier than other nations, but more often their happiness is explained with the systems that the country is operating with, health care for instance. Danes know how to enjoy both theirselves and others, to enjoy the moment, even if it’s simple and rutinuous. That’s something I want to teach my kids (and learn myself as happy little travellers require happy parents), so we did our happiness investigation at our trip to Copenhagen with kids and that’s what we found out.
1. Ride a bike daily
It’s a common fact that you need to move your body in addition to your brain cells to stay healthy and happy. 60% on Copenhagen citizens use a bicycle for their daily transportation, no matter what season it is. Calories are burning, day light grows your serotonin level and moving around outside in fresh air makes you think happy thoughts more likely.
Riding a bike in all seasons begins at a very young age when kids are stuffed into wooden boxes integrated to their parents’ bicycles to go to kinder garden or preschool. All ages do it from year to year. So, when you go to Copenhagen with kids, rent a bicycle with wooden box and try it out yourself.
2. No traffic jams
There are many people in Copenhagen but not so many cars. Who doesn’t use a bicycle uses public transportation which is working well – both the metro and the bus system works like a clock and public transportation is comfortable, clean and has good reputation among citizens.
It seems that Danes have eliminated one cause of daily frustration – traffic jams – and have become more happy by that. Still, we saw some jostle in the traffic but it was caused by bicyclists who are fast and sometimes furious. Therefore, as a tourist it’s suggested to be careful if you decide to ride a rental bike on your trip to Copenhagen with kids.
3. Clever design
Danish design is world famous and everybody recognises the famous designer brands like Hay or NORR11 that are situated in the hart of Copenhagen. The creation of local designers has good reputation and it’s used all over public interiors.
In addition, Danish design is not only nice to watch. You will find loads of smart widgets which don’t only look good but are user friendly and practical for daily functions not to mention the reasonable prices. If you need to sweep the floor do it with a design broom. And did you know that Lego comes from Denmark? Hygge guaranteed, both for adults and for kids.
The Danes are crazy for eco and you’ll see ecologically clean products everywhere from groceries to clothes. Even the simpler hotels are eco-friendly, no chemical products are used for cleaning the rooms or doing the laundry and all the soaps and other toiletries are eco-labelled.
You will find tasty naturally raised food served even at 24/7 open kiosks. Scandinavian minimalistic design also always comes hand in hand with eco brands. Can you think of kid-friendlier or happier place to take your baby for a city break?
5. Good food
Food with good quality is a must in Denmark. Copenhagen has several legendary world famous restaurants with Michelin stars. But don’t think you will get into Noma which has been selected the world’s best restaurant for many times or other legendary places without booking it early.
Even if you don’t’ apply for top quality restaurants if you travel to Copenhagen with kids, you may still enjoy some good meals in more regular restaurants. Use Foursquare app for best recommendations in your area and try Danish famous sandwiches or hot dogs that they somewhy call sausage wagons or prefer more figure friendly choices like quinoa, cous cous and lenses for example that are all common foods for Danes.
6. Eating out
Daily cooking is a sometimes tedious obligation if you have children and would like to give them the best possible food. One thing that is mandatory in Danes’ everyday life is eating out. Couple of hours after the end of office day there’s a pleasurable noise in all the restaurants in Copenhagen and there are plenty of them everywhere. Indeed, everyone is eating out and so can you at your family vacation.
If they’re not having dinner out with family or friends they’re picking up their take away food. What a nice way to save some time and actually rest and enjoy yourself after working hours. So stop cooking and cleaning and talk to your family and friends instead. Definitely worth trying at least temporarily if you travel to Copenhagen with kids.
7. Being yourself
You are who you are and in Copenhagen that is a common sense. Colour of the skin or sexual orientation or anything else likewise isn’t a reason to judge there. Or even a reason to think of any judgments. Kissing boys or multicultural couples are equally accepted in Copenhagen and the phenomenon even has it’s affect on migration. In fact, some young and smart people that would be a valued contribution to any society decide to move there for tolerant living environment. I believe in tolerance. If you do too and would like to show to your little ones that the world is different but they should always be themself and treat others with respect then travelling to Copenhagen with kids is a good place to do that.
There are plenty of museums, theatres and concert hall in Denmark. If you go with kids you may want to visit Children’s Museum at the National Museum, National Aquarium, Planetarium and Copenhagen Zoo or peek inside famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales.
We practiced discovering all the cool museums and design lofts and cafeterias to see the real hygge culture there.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s necessary to shop to be happy, but to be honest buying something special might colour up a day after all. Copenhagen Airport has been rated by passengers to be one of the best airports in the world in many categories for years and the shopping experience is one of them. Wide choice of quality shopping continues at crowded streets of Copenhagen old town. The most interesting little shops you will find away from the city central at regular streets that have been conquered by hipsters and there is a variety of vintage shops and trendy restaurants. If you observe locals it seems that shopping, wearing and designing their homes with quality designer brands is one part of their lives they really enjoy.
If you travel with kids you may not find time for shopping but visiting designer brands representation shops is still worth it. Nevertheless, what we found intriguing was that at the most hip regions you will not find a restaurant that has thought about families with small children and offers something for them at weekend evenings. Actually it even seemed that Copenhagen public places and modern businesses are not designed considering families with small kids. So take that into account when you travel to Copenhagen with children and do your homework finding places that fulfill your needs.
10. Beautiful people
Danes are beautiful in any way – they’re polite, smiling, tolerant, well dressed and in a good shape. It seems to me me that they thoughtfully take time to do the things that make their lives happier. Well balanced everyday life and enjoying simple moments seems to work out well.
So there was the happiness we were looking for in a most simpler form. Copenhagen is definitely worth visiting and discovering with kids. If you find something else don’t hesitate to let others know, too and write a comment below for instance.
If you visit Copenhagen with kids there are several wonderful places to go: The Little Mermaid statue, a colorful district of Nyhavn, magical Tivoli Gardens in the city central or the worlds oldest (nevertheless, still cool) Bakken amusement park outside the city. Find out more