Christmas in Copenhagen is amazing! The streets are beautifully decorated and the Christmas markets are so much fun. If you’re going to Copenhagen during the holiday season, these are 15 festive things you can do at Christmas in Copenhagen!
Top Ways to Experience Christmas in Copenhagen
Visit Christmas markets
This one is a no-brainer, but you need to visit Christmas markets when you’re in Copenhagen. They have great food and gifts to buy. There are lots of different markets you can visit, and you can learn about all of them on my Christmas market guide!
Tivoli is an amazing place to visit at any time, but it’s especially beautiful at Christmas! It’s decorated with lots of lights and trees, and there are shops with Christmas ornaments and decorations you can buy. If you’re able to, I recommend doing during the day and at night so you can experience the decor and lights at different times.
See the Christmas tree at City Hall
When you go to Tivoli, swing by the city hall to see the Christmas tree! If you time your trip, you can see the tree lighting ceremony.
See the table settings at Royal Copenhagen
I love Royal Copenhagen china, and one of my favorite ways to experience Christmas in Copenhagen is to see their Christmas table displays at their flagship store. They have lots of beautifully decorated tables you can see, and you can also do some Christmas shopping while you’re there.
Drink a Christmas beer
Carlsberg brews a special Christmas beer every year, so make sure you grab one during the Christmas season!
See the display at Hotel d’Angleterre
Hotel d’Angleterre decorates with a new Christmas light display every year. The year I visited, my Danish friends said that it was the simplest design they had seen yet, so hopefully when you visit it will be a bit more elaborate!
Hotel d’Angleterre was a bit disappointing, but Magasin du Nord next door was lit up beautifully!
Get honey muffins from Hahnemanns Køkken
I actually have a cookbook by Trine Hahnemann that I love, so I wanted to visit her bakery Hahnemanns Køkken. They have some great Christmas desserts, and the one that you NEED to get are the honey muffins! They look simple, but they’re one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten.
Watch the Saint Lucia kayak parade
I timed my trip to Copenhagen to make sure I was there for the annual Saint Lucia kayak parade! Every year on December 13, a ton of kayaks lit up with Christmas lights fill the canals in Copenhagen. My Danish friends had actually never been before, so I got to introduce them to a new tradition.
I went to see it in Nyhavn because that’s one of the places where the kayakers will sing Christmas songs, which was a lot of fun! It does get super crowded, so make sure you get there really early (and I recommend standing on the side of the canal with the fewest boats that will block your view).
See the St. Lucia swimmers
The Saint Lucia kayak parade has been going on for years, and I actually got to see a new Saint Lucia tradition- swimming in the harbor! At Nordhavn, a group of people wearing crowns with lights for Saint Lucia swam around while someone performed Christmas songs. It was December, so it was pretty incredible to watch people swim around in the freezing water for so long. It’s definitely a very Danish experience!
Stroll down Strøget
Strøget is the long walking street in Copenhagen, and it’s such a fun area at Christmas. There are lots of lights and decorations (so you should walk around at night, too), and you can also see people performing Christmas carols and dressed up for the holidays. Plus, you can get your Christmas shopping done, too!
Drink gløgg at Hviids Vinstrue
You can get gløgg at any of the Christmas markets, but Hviids Vinstrue is THE place to get gløgg in Copenhagen. They started making gløgg in 1945 and have used the same recipe since. They have to make so much gløgg for the Christmas season that they start making it in May each year! It does get pretty busy inside, but they have outdoor seating if they’re full (and the gløgg will keep you warm).
Eat a Christmas bun at La Glace
La Glace is the oldest patisserie in Copenhagen, and they have some amazing desserts. They have a few different Christmas bakes, and I got their spiced Christmas bun, which was delicious. If buns aren’t your thing, I highly recommend their famous sports cake!
Visit Kronborg and Helsingør
Kronborg (aka Hamlet’s castle) does have a Christmas market for a weekend if you’re able to go, but even if you miss it, it’s worth visiting at Christmas time! Kronborg and the town of Helsingør are decorated for the holidays, and they’re an easy train ride away from Copenhagen.
If you’re looking for another town to visit Roskilde is also a short train ride away from Copenhagen! It has lots of Christmas decor, and you can also visit the famous Viking ship museum and cathedral (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) while you’re there.
Eat a traditional Danish dinner
If you’re not lucky enough to have Danish friends who will cook for you, you should find a restaurant that has some traditional Christmas food! Restaurants like GRØD have rice pudding, and lots of other places serve traditional Christmas meals, especially on Christmas Eve.
Those are 15 things I was able to do for Christmas in Copenhagen, but there are lots more activities you can check out! And if you can’t experience the holidays in Copenhagen this year, check out my guide to celebrate Christmas like a Scandinavian so you can still be festive at home.