Five Christmastime activities and traditions all tourists must do in Copenhagen

Cophenhagen is one of the most magical places during Christmastime. Click here to find out about the best activities and traditions you have to get involved in.

Christmas is all about losing yourself in the magic and embracing fairy tales, but this can be hard to do if you’re living in the wrong place.

Christmas wasn’t made for hot climates or rainy weather. Christmas was made for snow, for bitter chills, for cosy evenings and for warm, fire-lit nights. It’s a magical time and, to experience it properly, you need to be in a magical location.

In our opinion, the most magical location to celebrate Christmas has to be Denmark – specifically, Denmark’s capital city, Copenhagen. Visiting this city is like transporting yourself back in time, where everything feels steeped in tradition and history.

Whether it’s the gorgeous Danish architecture or the quaint Christmas markets, this is a vacation that takes you to the spiritual home of Christmas and keeps you wrapped in the magic even after the holiday has ended.

But if you’re going to be visiting Copenhagen this year, what exactly should you do to take advantage? There are several Christmas activities and traditions to get involved in as a tourist, so here are 5 of our favourites to give you an idea.

Go dancing around that christmas tree
The first thing you need to know is that Christmas is typically celebrated on the 24th of December, not the 25th. On this day, Copenhagen citizens will wake up, open presents, prepare and eat Christmas dinner, and proceed to dance around the tree to the song “Nur Er Det Jul Igen”.

It might seem like a strange tradition, but it’s a lot of fun – and it helps you to burn off those Christmas dinner calories too!

Visit the luxurious Amalienborg Palace
One of the most amazing places to visit in Copenhagen is Amalienborg Palace, a museum that is also home to the Danish Royal Family. In Denmark, there is a strong love for their Royal Family, especially for the current Queen, Margrethe II.

Every year, people tune in to watch her New Year speech, and the odds on the Queen’s new year speech in 2023 are that it’s going to be the most watched yet – over 2 million watched in 2022, and after a turbulent 2023, interest in Margrethe’s 2023 speech has already begun to pick up.

Explore the scenic Tivoli Gardens
Once you’ve explored the Amalienborg Palace, why not take a trip to Tivoli Gardens? These are gorgeous gardens right in the heart of the city, and at Christmastime, they are set alight by gorgeous, bright lights, making them look like a location out of a fairy story.

Sounds boring? Well, don’t worry, because they’re also home to an amusement park! Around the gardens, there are multiple roller coaster rides like the Rutschebanen, the Golden Tower, and the world famous Star Flyer, jazzing up your garden inspection with some good, adrenaline-filled thrills. Just make sure you have the appropriate winter gear, because it can get pretty cold 260 feet in the air!

Enjoy a christmas dinner in a Hygge restaurant
There’s a thing in Denmark called “hygge”, which involves sharing a meal with friends and family in a warm, cosy atmosphere. Across the city of Copenhagen, you’ll find plenty of hygge restaurants and bars where you can honour this tradition, sitting down with loved ones to simply relax and enjoy the quieter pleasures of life.

Things like this might seem small, but actually, they can be the most magical moments of an entire trip – especially if it is snowing outside and you’re sitting in the warmth with a hot cup of cocoa in your hands!

Bustle your way through the christmas markets
Christmas markets are a fixture of European winter holidays. Germany, France, Belgium – these countries are well-known for their markets, gathering street-lining and plaza-filling stalls that offer handcrafted gifts and tasty treats. The smells, the visuals, the sense of togetherness are all part and parcel of the Christmas spirit. Copenhagen’s contribution to this essential Christmas tradition shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated.

Strøget, the 1.1km shopping street – among the longest in Europe – is one place to head to. It’s home to many Christmas markets, but one is the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market. While the street itself, independent of the market, will have shops amply decorated with impressive window displays, the market collects it all in a familiar and excellent market experience. You’ll find live music being played, plenty of great food – sausages, nougat – and trinkets and gifts.

The best market to visit, though? Nyhavn. The setting is what makes it stand out. While the 1.1km stretch of Strøget gives you plenty of straight-lined, propulsive energy to experience a few markets, the Nyhavn Christmas Market runs up one length of the canal and down the other. Rustic, colourful, Pinterest-ready buildings are mainstays by the canal, but come Christmastime, they’re decorated and accompanied by little stalls selling the lovingly made goodies everyone wants and expects. The restaurants are open too, ready to seat you so you can be warm and fed and appreciate the scene and Christmas spirit.

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