24 reasons to visit Copenhagen for Christmas

Photo: Marc Skafte-Vaabengaard

We believe you might enjoy all of them one by one.

There are many reasons why Christmas in Copenhagen can be truly special and magical and we Danes tend to fill the Christmas month with plenty of Danish "hygge". We have gathered 24 recommendations filled with cheery, jingly, cosy, and tasty holiday experiences to make sure that each and every day in December will ooze Copenhagen Yuletide.

Christmas decorations at The Winter Garden at The Glyptotek.
Photo: Ana Cecilia Gonzalez

Christmas decorations at The Glyptotek

Step inside and discover this beautiful building with high ceilings and a showstopping centrepiece winter garden full of palm trees surrounding a fountain and pond. And come and make Christmas patterns or elf monsters in clay at their Christmas workshop.

Santa Lucia parade in kayaks
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Santa Lucia parade in kayaks

On December 13, you can experience an alternative take on the traditional Santa Lucia parade, when kayaks sail through the canals dressed in lights and Christmas decorations.  

Karussel i Tivoli
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Christmas lights in Tivoli Gardens

Once again the historic garden will be filled with glittering Christmas lights, the cutest wooden houses decorated with pine branches, and snow-covered trees to create that perfect Nordic Christmas atmosphere.

Christmas beers at Barr
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Christmas beers of all kinds

Juleøl, Danish for Christmas beer, is of the most beloved drinks amongst Copenhageners when the Christmas atmosphere is in the air, starting from the first Friday in November.

Rosenborg Castle in the snow
Photo: Copenhagen Mediacenter

Magical Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle was built by one of the most famous Danish kings, Christian IV, in the 17th century. The beautiful castle features 400 years of royal treasures, and the Crown Jewels and Royal Regalia.

A woman crafting at Creative Space
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Great ideas for homemade gifts

Make your own ceramics and jewellery or dive into the world of knitting, and bring home a very special and personal Christmas present for your loved ones.

Man sitting at table at Il Buco
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Cosy indoor places

Christmas is here and though the streets are filled with joy and twinkling lights, we simply can't deny the fact that the darkness and cold weather call for an extra bit of indoor "hygge".

Girls ice swimming in Copenhagen harbour
Photo: Mellanie Gandø

Ice swimming at the harbour baths

The Christmas month is perfect for ice swimming, the Scandinavian classic where you plunge into freezing-cold water is good for both body and (Christmas) spirit.

Christmas at Kronborg Castle
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Christmas at Kronborg Castle

Only a few places in the world are surrounded by as much drama and history as Kronborg Castle. It is world-famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Indulge in a world of spa and wellness

Spend your Christmas days in a warm and relaxing spa, while it's cold and frosty outside.

A family ice skating at the harbour-front Broen's Ice Rink
Photo: VisitCopenhagen

Broen's Ice Rink

At the end of the Inner Harbour Bridge, you will find Copenhagen's new ice rink. Brown's Ice Rink is the latest addition of places where Copenhageners and visitors alike can challenge their inner Bambi on ice.

Family at The Blue Planet
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

The wonderful world of aquatic life

Experience the life aquatic as an alternative Christmas activity. You'll discover majestic hammerhead sharks, secretive octopi and graceful rays at Northern Europe’s largest aquarium, Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet).

Christmas lights and the Copenhagen Zoo Tower at Zoo
Photo: Marc Skafte-Vaabengaard

Wild lights at Zoo

Copenhagen ZOO opens its doors to a lovely, old-fashioned Christmas. With more than 400,000 sparkling Christmas lights and cosy market stands, a regular ZOO visit is turned into a magical experience.


Smørrebrød and other traditional Danish foods

Christmas time is the high season of traditional danish food, and nothing is more traditional than the danish lunch, you've probably already heard about it; it's Smørrebrød.

Christiansborg palace night
Photo: Marc Skafte-Vaabengaard

Christmas at historical Christiansborg Palace

Once home to kings and queens, Christiansborg Palace now houses the Danish Parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State. You can visit the state rooms and walk in the footsteps of royalty. 

Absalon Kirke
Photo: Giuseppe Liverino

Communal dining

Communal dining has in recent years gotten more and more popular in Copenhagen. And to be fair, what's not to like about delicious and diverse food at reasonable prices combined with great company in a cosy environment?


Gløgg at one of the oldest bars in Copenhagen

Hviids Vinstue is one of the oldest bars in Copenhagen and has existed in the same location for almost 300 years. Every year their special recipe for Gløgg attracts people from near and far.

Photo: PR Photo: Time's Up Vintage

Second hand and vintage shopping

If you are a second-hand or vintage lover, you have come to the right place. Copenhagen is full of stores giving clothes and furniture a second life. Go find the perfect present for your loved ones.

Christmas Market | Erik Hageman
Photo: Erik Hageman

Exploring the Christmas Markets

In Copenhagen, it is impossible not to get in the spirit of the Christmas holiday season. The best place to soak up the atmosphere is at one of Copenhagen’s many Christmas markets.

Nimb hotel fireplace
Photo: Mellanie Gandø

The fireplace at Nimb Hotel

Feel the calm set in and get all comfortable and warm in front of the enchanting fireplace at Nimb Hotel in the Tivoli Gardens, after spending the day in the cold Danish December weather.


Photo: Astrid Maria Rasmussen

Copenhagen’s urban downhill slope

No snow? No problem! You don't have to go to the Alps to ski during Christmas in Copenhagen. Enjoy a day on skis at Copenhill.

Drinks Frederiksberg
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

A world of cocktails

Fancy a drink? A cocktail revolution has put Copenhagen on the map as a top-tier cocktail destination. There are not only many places to go the quality is also spot on.


Risalamande at the bakery Andersen & Maillard

Every year at Christmas, the bakery Andersen & Maillard’s makes their famous Risalamande to-go and to-stay, the most famous and traditional Danish Christmas dessert you can make. Risalamande is a rice pudding with vanilla, almonds, and whipped cream served the traditional way with warm cherry sauce.

Deers in The Deer Park
Photo: Thomas Høyrup Christensen

Experiences beyond Copenhagen

The laid back Copenhagen lifestyle stretches far beyond the city limits. Do like the locals and head for the coast or countryside to enjoy, relax and grow.