Our tribute to our old and authentic town, Ribe
This view of Ribe old town in Denmark was ours the last 31 years as managers at Danhostel Ribe – the hostel in Ribe. Now it is time for us to say goodbye, but before a new manager takes over next year, we’ll pay a tribute to our lovely town at wintertime in this last blog post.
If you like the atmosphere in a smaller town
you’ll certainly like Ribe. Ribe is a beautiful historic town by the North Sea and the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea, not far away from Legoland or the German border.
Maybe You Should Rethink your Winter Break
If you want a break far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and had enough of noise and crowds, we suggest that you go for a winter break in a smaller town. Why not choose Ribe?
VisitDenmark – The official tourism and travel information guide to Denmark – mentions Ribe first in “Denmark’s prettiest towns” and Ribe was also recently voted “The winner of Europe’s Best Big-Time Small Destinations”
The authentic Ribe at wintertime
Winter is a great time to travel if you want to see the authentic Denmark. In winter everything seems much slower. Also, travel is cheaper (Link: the hostel’s offers) and Ribe is less touristy, when the peak season is over, and the starlings have danced their last so-called Black Sun dance by the end of October.
Black Sun is Denmark’s biggest natural phenomena. MNS recently mentioned it as one of the “24 of the coolest and most surreal natural phenomena on earth” while linking to our hostel’s explanation of the phenomena: Black Sun
Recommended blog posts about Christmas and winter in Ribe
We can recommend these two blog posts:
– Christmas and winter in Ribe is special. 30 photos from Ribe in Denmark
Danish “hygge” lifestyle – a new trend worldwide
No doubt that the Danish “hygge” lifestyle has become a new trend worldwide.
The Danish word “Hygge” made it to the shortlist of Oxford Dictionaries international word of the year. It lost out to the word ‘Post-truth’ – but no doubt, the “hygge” lifestyle has become a popular gift to the world from Denmark.
Many Danes associate hygge (≈ cosiness) with Ribe old town – where winding cobblestone streets and alleys, half-timbered houses and crooked doors and windows make people feel comfortable and remind them of H. C. Andersen’s fairy tales.
The Viking town Ribe
Ribe is Denmark’s – as well as Scandinavia’s – oldest town. This historic port town has pretty much seen it all.
Vikings lived, worked and traded in Ribe when it was founded early in the 8th century AD, and soon became the largest trading centre of the Nordic countries.
The results of the latest archaeological finds and research convinced some archaeologists that the Viking Era started in Ribe and not in the year 793 AD, after the Vikings landed in England on the first official Viking raid.
Scandinavia’s first pedestrian street
You will see no buildings left from the Viking Age in Ribe, but when you stroll along Sct. Nicolai street, you walk on top of what was also Scandinavia’s first pedestrian street. In this street Vikings could go shopping food and clothes, but also luxury goods such as jewellery and knives. You can see many of the artifacts found here on display in Ribe Viking Museum at the end of the street.
The Medieval and Renaissance heritage of Ribe
Ribe has more than 120 preserved buildings, only Copenhagen has more, but they are scattered throughout the city, while in Ribe they are within walking distance from our hostel, Danhostel Ribe.
Many medieval buildings can be seen in Ribe, and according to the Danish Agency for Culture, Ribe is Denmark’s best preserved Medieval town.
Many of the old buildings are Renaissance buildings from around 1580, due to a big town fire at that time.
Enjoy the silence – it has become a luxury
Peace and quiet has become a luxury in a noisy modern world. In Ribe you don’t have to pay extra to have a little privacy, space and silence.
In Ribe you can have space and silence
A walk along the river, Skibbroen, is a pleasant and relaxing experience for both mind and body.
A Mindful Walk in the Park
Alternatively, you could enjoy a walk in one of our beautiful parks. By the river in Ribe Art Museum‘s park, where Vikings once were busy traders, you may be lucky to watch several wintering birds, like ducks, swans, geese, and seagulls.
The best place to watch wildlife
If you really want to go birding in winter, is one of the best places in Denmark the Wadden Sea National Park, which attract huge flocks of overwintering birds.
A National Park and a UNESCO Site
When you walk along the quay, Skibbroen, you can see our hostel on the other side of the river. The meadow outside the hostel is part of a national park.
The Danish Wadden Sea National Park is the biggest national park in Denmark, but in Ribe only the meadow outside the hostel is part of it. Several times every winter the meadow is flooded, when the water level in the river rises all the way to the front of the hostel.
Parts of the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2014. For further information and adventures in the national park: Wadden Sea National Park and Storm Surges
Look up to see all the details
Street lamps, guild signs, roofs without gutters, and crosses carved in the timber uprights holding up the roof meant as protection against witches and witchcraft are all good examples of details. But if you want to know some of Ribe’s history, you should study our “self-guided walking tour of old town Ribe in Denmark” or read the story of Maren Spliid and other “witches” in Ribe. (you can find both articles in German and Danish on the hostel’s homepage too)
Wrap up warm and have a snowball fight
Dress in a woolly jumper or a warm coat and have a snowball fight, You can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate in one of the many cafés after.
Build a snowman
– or build a snowman on the meadow by the river just outside the hostel.
Do your Christmas shopping under festive lights
Christmas shopping always feels a little bit more authentic in the dark and under lovely lights. The pedestrian high street offers good Christmas shopping in the town centre of our historic town.
If you had enough of crowded Christmas markets
If you had enough of glittering and famous, but crowded Christmas markets around Europe, we can recommend Christmas shopping in Ribe. The weekends are a little busier than usual due to the many Christmas events.
A few more winter photos to enjoy
Never mind the weather
….if you stay at the hostel, you can just look out of the window.
But on the other hand: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
Contact us or book Online at Danhostel Ribe: Contact
Written by Gudrun Rishede and Jens Philipsen, Danhostel Ribe
© All photos: Gudrun Rishede