Many people have wondered why the Nordic countries always consistently rank high in the World Happiness Level Index. Is it because of their strong social trust in each other among many other factors such as acceptance, homogeneity and others? Or is it because of their incredible sense of belonging and congenial atmosphere that adds to social connection? We have all heard of the incredible goals that the social democracies such Denmark and Sweden have excelled in such as gender equality, dressing stylishly and adopting minimalism of all sorts. Today I will explore the wonderful cities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, 2 cities that you can visit in a long weekend due to the close proximity of their locations. I visited these cities in the winter and can attest that summer is always a popular season to visit the Nordic countries, as winter can be quite chilly and prone to snowfall. We may all have that picture of the nordic countries in our minds, such as the steep mountains and tall castles, however those are only some of the attractions that Scandinavian offers. My first thought when I arrived in Copenhagen was the modern and minimalism of the airport, contrasted with the colourful buildings of Navyn. In Sweden, I loved the taste of Swedish meatballs and walking among the organized streets among the old town. If your looking for a distinct nordic charm and appreciation of nature, look no further than Denmark and Sweden.
Copenhagen Brief History:
Firstly, lets explore the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, the capital of the Scandinavian nation. Denmark is one of Europe’s oldest continuous nomarchies and is most famous for Nyhavn, its colourful commercial port that has a celebrated history of hosting famous artists such as Hans Christian Anderson. Copenhagen in particular was a small fishing village conquered by the Vikings in the early years. Later on, it became a prominent nordic trading centre with the rise of several Nordic kings. Today Copenhagen is a leading international conference centre harnessing the best of the talents of the Nordic nations. It is a industrialized, forward thinking nation with modern goals and ideals for the future. Further, Copenhagen airport is elaborate and large, consisting of many modern and designer labels with amble time for you to get lost during the entire day. Copenhagen is most known for it’s castles, with 12 famous castles, including the famous Rosenburg Castle, located in the heart of Copenhagen and contains Denmark’s oldest Royal garden. With public transpiration and walking, Copenhagen’s castles are all within walking distance and offer glimpses into the life of the Danish royals.
Nyhavn was constructed by King Christian V from 1670 to 1675, and was then designated as a gateway from the sea to the old inner city when the ships would reach the harbour to ship goods and trading items. Nyhavn today is known as a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district that is lined with brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century houses, along with many historical wooden ships. Summer is a good time to stroll through the harbour and take a ride along the canal.
2. Rosenburg Castle
Located in the heart of Copenhagen, Rosenburg Castle is a renaissance castle and was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 by King Christian IV, one of the most famous Scandinavian kings. Highlights of this castle include tapestries that commerce battles between Denmark and Sweden, crown jewels, and Venetian class collections.
Stockholm Brief History
Many history books start categorizing Stockholm’s history beginning from the early Viking Age (800-1050 AD), and slowing credited the rise of the founding of the kingdom and rise of trade to Stockholm’s growth.Stockholm is most famously known as “Venice of the North”, consisting of many canals and waterways, along with it the popular Old Town of Gamma Stan. Gamma Stan is Stockholm’s original city centre and dates from the 14th century with cobbled streets and rust-coloured town houses. The Royal Palace is not far away along with Stadsholmen island and the islets of Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen and Strömsborg. If you want to try some traditional Swedish cuisine, be sure to try Swedish meatballs at a local Swedish restaurant, and you will sure enjoy the cuisine. With nearly 100 museums, Stockholm has more museums per capita than any other place in the world, with the most famous dedicated to the legendary song group ABBA.
Gamma Stan is Stockholm’s old town, with cobbled streets and colourful 17th and 18th buildings and home to the Royal Palace with hosts an authentic charm. Gamma Stan is known to be one of Europe’s best preserved medieval areas, hosting not only the Royal Cathedral, various museums and stunning architecture.
Swedish Architecture is differentiated by its minimalism and focus on creating value in high quality materials. Because of the harshness of the climate, architecture is altered to reflect the landscape and values of the people. Scandinavian design elements are characterized by merging the structures with the surrounding environment, integration of wood and natural materials, natural light, clean lines, and neutral colours to embrace nature and minimalism in today's ever-changing world.
Scandinavian and Nordic Life
Both Scandinavian nations offer amble history, modern architecture, along with minimalism in design everywhere you go. By using cutting edge technology and values, the Nordic nations have something to teach other nations. If you are looking for a elevated experience looking to embrace new cutting edge ideas, then look no further than a trip to Denmark and Sweden. Both nations offer amble amount of natural scenery to explore the outdoors, from fishing, hiking, and skiing in the winter, all while taking advantage of the long hours of sunlight in the summer. Although the Nordic countries' way of life may be quite expensive, they do focus their values on different elements. The Scandinavians believe that being one with nature is essential in life, one that we in other nations should adopt us well. Spending time with nature allows us to balance life and our other commitments, while recognizing the importance of life.
Chelsea Reviews: 4/5
I loved the Scandinavian culture for their effortless and minimalistic sense of style, their strong emphasis on equality and warm hospitality of these Nordic ancestors. Although known for been tough competitors in skiing and other Nordic sports, other industries such as fashion are also known for Nordic inspiration, including the popular brand Fjällräven. The water in Sweden is known for being one of the freshest in the world, along with the natural climate and environment. If your looking for a peaceful and tranquil escape that embraces nature’s roots, then look no further than the Scandinavian nations, which have come full circle to embracing their Viking and hunter-gather roots. Life was always meant to be lived alongside with nature, not without it.