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window display of colorful French macarons at Montmartre in Paris during a citytrip

6 Ways To Hyggefy Your Citytrip

My son and I took a citytrip to Paris this spring. When looking at the hyggefactor of the moments we enjoyed most during our visit, here’s what I think made the difference.

1. Do something simple and out of the ordinary just for fun!

I think my son will remember his visit to the Eiffel Tower anyway. But what really made a lasting impression is the fact that we had waffles afterwards on our way to the metro at 11.30 at night. That’s the story he’s telling everyone: ‘We went to the Eiffel Tower AND AFTERWARDS WE HAD WAFFLES!’ That simple touch made the difference between a great experience and a hygge moment that’s going to last a lifetime. Waffle: 3 euros. Hygge moment: priceless!

2. Be where you want to be, not where you paid to be

We could have stayed all day inside the Louvre museum to get the most out of the money I spent on the admission ticket. But it was hot and crowded and we didn’t want to be in there. So we left and enjoyed our most hyggelig citytrip-moment. We also went to the Palace of Versailles. I pre-ordered tickets thinking it would provide us with a quick entrance…and so did everybody else. We never went inside, because there’s no way I was going to spend our precious time waiting for hours in line to get in. Instead, we had an amazing time walking the gardens and having a picnic. Both times, the decision to just do what feels right led to the best and most memorable moments of our trip. I actually felt good about myself all day for making this decision! Now, that’s money well spent I say.

3. Have a picnic!

Ok, the weather could be a deal breaker here, but I think a picnic is almost always a recipe for instant hygge. Pick a spot anywhere you like and enjoy! So much better than the mediocre quality food, lousy service from stressed out waiters and crazy high prices you’ll find in so many places during a citytrip. On the day we went to Versailles, we swung by the supermarket first. We got some ‘baguettes’, butter, salami, Camembert cheese, fresh orange juice and radishes. I brought some cutlery and a checkered dishcloth for a nice cozy touch, we chose a nice place in the gardens and…voila! Another moment that made it to our citytrip top 3 most hyggelig list!

4. Stroll the streets while having ice cream

I love ice cream. Not just any ice cream, but big, extravagant scoops of delicious Italian ice cream on a cone. I also love strolling around somewhere just absorbing the atmosphere. So I can’t think of a better way than doing this while having that ravishing ice cream! If you’re lucky, you stumble upon an ice cream parlor with a full display of all those yummy-looking different flavors. Just choose your all time favorite flavors in case you develop an immediate case of decision-making anxiety. In that case I always choose lemon and chocolate. In a city, there are usually plenty of places to get ice cream. We found a great place near Place du Tertre at Montmartre (Tutti Sensi). We enjoyed this little pleasure while discovering this cozy piece of Paris.

5. The 1-on-1 factor

We have two kids and we usually go on trips as a family of four. That’s fun too, but taking this trip with just my son really brought in a different dimension. Apart from practical advantages such as not having to compromise as to where to go, quicker decision-making and simply having to deal with two needs and opinions less, there’s also the quality of the interaction. It was great spending time away from our normal surroundings and taking time to zoom in on his interests and what’s on his mind. Especially when there are more kids in one family, I really feel that it’s good to spend time alone with each of them. Of course it doesn’t mean you have to take them to Paris; you’d be amazed what a day together in a place nearby can do.

6. Remember your trip by heart, not physical stuff

Ever since realizing that I don’t need more stuff in my house, I pretty much stopped buying things I don’t need or bring me joy in the long run. As a tourist, you can’t really escape the many souvenir shops that sell all this – in my opinion – junk. I avoid going in there, but the colorful display of all these gadgets has an irresistible attraction to kids. So I had no choice but to follow my son in there. Of course it is fun to bring something home from your citytrip or to surprise your loved ones with a gift. My suggestion is: choose wisely and consider whether you’re doing yourself or someone else a favor with your choice. After some negotiation, my son and I agreed on the souvenirs we would take home with us. Our modest list of trophies from Paris: a box of real French macarons (yes, those from the picture above!), a pocket umbrella for me, a hoody and an Eiffel Tower keychain for my son, paper bookmarkers from the Louvre for my mother and my husband, a Mona Lisa notebook and nail files for my daughter. All items carefully curated with my anti-clutter criteria in mind: can I eat it, wear it or use it and does it spark joy? I think we succeeded.

 

 

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Marjolijn
hello@hyggehytte.com
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Characteristics of a Hygge Spot

We realize that the definition of a hygge place may vary slightly from person to person. However, as a guideline we use the following characteristics that are generally considered hygge.

Basic lighting
Basic lighting is the light you turn on when you enter the space. The light spreads evenly and doesn’t create too much effect or contrast. Think ceiling lamps, hanging lamps and build-in spots.


Atmospheric lighting
Atmospheric lighting is for creating…atmosphere. It’s a soft, indirect light that spreads throughout the space. This is called diffused light. Use different heights of atmospheric lighting for optimal results, for example table lamps, floor lamps and wall lamps.


Functional lighting
Functional lighting is focused light that enables you to see what you’re doing. It’s the light above your dinner table, the reading lamp next to your lazy chair and the spots above your kitchen sink.


Accent lighting
Accent lighting is used to single out a specific object or place and focus attention on it. This could be a painting or an architectonic detail.


Decorative lighting
Decorative lighting is about the esthetics of the armature itself. Lighting the space is not its purpose; it’s just there for the effect. Most of these light sources have little light output and stand out because of their appearance. Fireplaces and candles are also decorative lighting.

Hygge is the art of creating warmth, coziness and contentment in any given moment.

Hygge Hytte  means 'cozy cottage', a place where you can unwind and recharge.