I have a thing for Nordic countries. I’m not sure why, and I didn’t even realize I did until I found myself spending two holidays in a row visiting three of them, all during the coldest and darkest periods of the year, making them that much more magical. Iceland was the first one we visited in December 2016 (you can read all about it here), and this past January we chose Stockholm and Copenhagen as our dose of Scandinavian beauty. I know what you’re thinking: Why would I go to the coldest and darkest places during the coldest and darkest months? No, it’s not because I’m a cold and dark person. It’s because while I’m sure these places are spectacular in the summer, there is something truly mystical about them in the winter. To me, it’s when they really shine, when you feel they’re at their most authentic.

The choice of Stockholm and Copenhagen was made solely based on the way they sound when you say them together. They just go. Does that make sense? And the truth is that they do go together. I loved each of them independently, but paired they made a whole lot of sense. The only thing we missed out on were the Faroe Islands, which I promise I’ll go back and see, because my run on all things Nordic is far from over.

Here are the highlights from our trip. Enjoy!