I grab my luggage and wheel it onto the train following behind the stylish, attractive Danes in front of me. I can tell already I will I like my three-day stay here. We pass a mixture of wide green pastures and graffitied gritty buildings. 20 minutes later and I have arrived at my destination: Urban House Copenhagen.
The last thing I want to do right now is wait in a thirty-person line with each person asking questions that were answered on the website. Good thing that’s not the case here, where the check-in process is pretty much non-existent. Or as existent as you’d like it to be. When you book a room at Urban House, you are provided with a code to your room that works on the entrance, as well. When time is tight, A.K.A. me in Copenhagen with only three days, I just want to get up to my room, and get out of my room. In the year 2016, how is it that this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a place like this? I thought we were supposed to have robots and flying cars by now; the least we can do is have a self-automated check-in process. Copenhagen, I’m liking you.
I quickly open up my laptop to research the buzz phrases that every backpacker knows – something like “quirky things to do in…” or “hipster guide to…” or “cheap cool must-see…”. The results are predictable, so I do the next thing every backpacker does: I close my laptop and go get some face-time with the front desk. The smiley woman points me to Christiania and the Design Museum.
The location in Vesterbro makes for a pleasant walk to the city’s attractions. It takes about two minutes to get to Central Station, about five to get to Tivoli Gardens, and maybe ten to get to City Center. Copenhagen is a biking city – claiming it has more bikes than Amsterdam, but I assure you that the city is also walkable, so if you have intense anxiety about Copenhagen rush-hour, fear not. One day, I even walked from Vesterbro to Christiania to Nørrebro.
…And that’s precisely the reason I spent a few hours the next morning exhausted in the hangover lounge. Hygge goals, I tell you. “Hygge” is a word that you’ll hear about five million times in Copenhagen. Because of the long winters and frigid temperatures, they try their hardest to maintain good vibes and keep their coze game strong. For Urban House, this means quotes all over the walls, staff photos, pillows everywhere, and the famous, hangover lounge.
And no, you curious reader you, those few hours spent in the hangover lounge were not because I was hungover – although this mojito could have made me so…
To the bartender’s proclamation, his mojito was killer.
I took a seat in the corner to ponder where the next few days in Copenhagen would take me. I was secretly hoping there would be live music from their stage near the bar, but instead, I settled for house music as I scarfed down a vegan burger and glared at passerbys from behind the window decal that read, “If you’re reading this, you’re on the wrong side of the window.” With a nice buzz and some Danish hygge, I can confirm, they are.
As I sat there observing the people coming in and going out of the hostel, I noticed one specific thing: I can’t even remember the last time I stayed in a hostel that wasn’t cool. There’s something changing. The world is beginning to understand what hostels are and hostels are accommodating to that as well, by taking the best from hotels and the best from hostels, and becoming so-called hybrids. For example, here, there are single rooms, family rooms, dorm rooms and more – yet, socially it feels like a hostel. There are people chilling in the lounges, cooking together in the kitchens, taking tours together, and specifically here at Urban House, you could potentially even get tattoos together from the tattoo parlor. Yes, a legit vintage tattoo parlor inside of the hostel. They’re no longer just places to stay, but rather cool places to hang out, even amongst locals.
And speaking of locals, the Copenhagen nightlife scene is happening about two steps out of the front door. If you’re staying on a night where live music is not happening, you are already located right in the middle of the Red Light district / cool nightlife ‘hood (Hey, what’s the difference these days?) known as the Meatpacking District. Even the social media manager, A.K.A. my girl Edith, joked about how it looks like she’s walking into a strip club when she is really just going to work at the Urban House offices. Hostel-hotels with personality, I’m in love.
Next time, you find yourself in Copenhagen, check in to Urban House – oh, and say “Hi” to Edith!
Do Urban House