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28th November 2022
Winter Destination - Copenhagen
Copenhagen is a fabulous city to visit at any time of year, but it is somehow even more magical in the winter months. Think Christmas markets, an abundance of cinnamon buns, streets lined with fairy lights, and even a sprinkling of snow. Embracing the ‘season of hygge’, Copenhagen has all the makings of an unforgettable winter destination.
Make sure to wrap up, as Danish winters can be cold (sometimes reaching -1 °C), so lots of warm layers will be your friend. The best way to explore the city is on foot, so you can take in all the picturesque cobbled streets and colourful houses which line the canal. Alternatively, there are plenty of places across the city to rent bicycles, where you can get from A to B a bit speedier. In fact, this is how the locals get around– there are lots of dedicated cycle lanes meaning even less confident cyclists can feel comfortable on two wheels.
Take a look at our list below for 5 definitive reasons why Copenhagen should be your next holiday this Winter. Less than a 2-hour flight from Stansted, Copenhagen is perfect for a city break over a long weekend.
In recent years, Copenhagen’s street food scene has exploded, with an influx of food trucks and permanent street food markets cropping up all over the city. Don’t be fooled though, these are restaurant-quality establishments, just on a smaller scale. Copenhagen’s street food scene champions sustainable food made with the freshest organic ingredients. You will get to feast Danish twists on international foods, meaning you are bound to discover something new. The beauty of street food is that you don’t have to decide on just one meal, you can try a bit of everything that’s on offer.
Our favourites are Torvehallerne and Reffen food markets. A both of these markets, you will be treated to spiced mulled wine (gløgg), hearty stews, sticky cinnamon and cardamon buns and different versions of the infamous Danish open sandwich. At Reffen, you will have the option to sit outside to enjoy a front-row view of Copenhagen’s harbour, but both markets have inside seating so you will be guaranteed to escape the cold and enjoy some delicious warm food.
Travel tip: We recommend heading to a street food market on one of your first nights in the city because it can be a great introduction to Copenhagen’s food scene in general.
Name something more romantic than ice skating hand in hand with your partner, under twinkly festive lights. And to make it even better, ice skating in Copenhagen is free. So, you won’t need to worry about rushing your session, you don’t pay by the hour here. Instead, you will just need to rent some skates, and you can stay on the rink as long as you like. The best skating rinks are Frederiksberg Runddel, which is an outdoor rink and opens at the end of November, and Valby at Toftegårds Plads, which is open all year around.
Travel tip: If you really want to ice skate the ‘Danish way’, during the coldest months, you can even skate on the lakes, as they usually complete freeze over. Just head over to Copenhagen’s ‘inner lakes’ (Sortedams Sø, Peblinge Sø and Sankt Jørgens Sø) for a truly unique experience. Before you grab your skates, check all the safety information on this page.
If you need a little break from the cold, you might fancy wandering around a museum for the afternoon. Luckily, Copenhagen has no shortage of top-notch museums and galleries. From modern galleries to more traditional art from the past, Copenhagen’s museums have something for everyone. Our top three choices of museums in Copenhagen are:
Travel tip: If you don’t mind travelling a bit, we could not recommend the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art more. This is dubbed one of the best art museums in the world. Set in a stunning coastal location with ocean views, everything about this museum is photo worthy. Don’t just take our word for it, go check it out.
After braving the cold, it might be time to unwind and more importantly, warm up in a sauna and hot tub. Luckily, Scandinavians really know how what they are doing when it comes to both of these things. This is a quintessential Danish winter activity, do not miss your opportunity to relax after a long day of sightseeing– in style. Trust us, it’s the best way to experience a chilly Copenhagen day, and pair with a glass of wine to take it to the next level.
Travel tip: If you are after something a little out of the ordinary, try CopenHot. This would be our top recommendation for a ‘sauna with a view’; they even offer spas on boats, so you can basically set sail on Copenhagen’s iconic canals while in a jacuzzi– what could be better?
Scandinavia is known for its epic Christmas markets, and Copenhagen is no exception. Expect to find handmade Christmas gifts and crafts, and lots of sweet treats like Æbleskiver (round Danish pancakes), Gløgg, fudge and cured meats. We would recommend checking out all three of the following: Nyhavn Christmas Market, Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market and The Christmas market at Kongens Nytorv. Nothing will get you in the Christmas mood more than wandering around these cosy markets with a steaming hot chocolate – you’ll forget about dreary rainy British winters before you know it.
To get even more in the festive mood, you have to try out Tivoli Gardens (to be honest, this place is great all year around). Tivoli lies in the heart of the city and is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. For the most magical festive atmosphere, go check out this location on a crisp winter’s day (bonus points if you manage to visit around Christmas time). You will find your typical fairground rides, scrumptious Danish festive treats, as well as stunning views and paths to explore. Rumour has it, Walt Disney fell in love with Tivoli Gardens so much that it inspired his Disneyland theme park.