10 Ways to Make the Most of Christmas in Copenhagen

Jul Love Christmas in the Danish Capital

When living in Denmark. I say. Bring on Christmas.

(Originally posted November 2016, updated November 2018)

It’s mid-November now. The clock has turned back and the dark descends earlier each evening. By Christmas, we’ll be down to a mere 7 hours of daylight per day here in Denmark. No need to fret. Don’t be concerned. Bust out your candles. Turn on those twinkly lights. Let’s get our Jul on. It’s one of the things I adore most about living here in Denmark. And many Copenhagen Christmas activities kick off for real this weekend when Santa switches on the lights swung over the streets in the center city.

How to celebrate this beautiful and hyggelige* Jul season when here in the capital? There are so many things to do, but these are few of my favorites. Here are 10 ways to help you make the most of your Christmas in Copenhagen:

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Visit Den Gamle By Open Air History Museum in Aarhus Denmark | Walk the Streets of Danish history | Oregon Girl Around the World

Walk the Streets of Danish History at Den Gamle By Museum in Aarhus

A Look at What Life Was Like in Denmark

Step Back in Time at the Old City Museum

As an American growing up on the west coast of the United States, moving to Europe is like living in history every day. Especially in a country like Denmark, where their iconic red and white flag has been waving here for over a thousand years. That is a long time. And a lot of history. Want to learn more about how the Danes lived hundreds of years ago? Step inside the brilliantly recreated open-air museum known as Den Gamle By in Aarhus. Den Gamle By is Danish for the old city. Here you can take a walk back through time.

75 historical buildings from all across Denmark have been repositioned here in Aarhus. These are not replicas. They are the real deal. Step inside each building and see how people lived and worked in days of yore. Founded in 1909, the museum was the first of it’s kind in the world. Now, under the patronage of Denmark’s current reigning Queen Margrethe II, it is a bustling microcosm of Danish history and culture. Stroll with me and see a slice of what Danish life was like. Back in the day.

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Learn About Viking Life at the Trelleborg Museum | Slagelse, Denmark

A Visit to King Harald Bluetooth’s Viking Ring Fortress and Village
STEP BACK IN TIME AND LEARN HOW THE DANISH VIKINGS LIVED AT TRELLEBORG

When you hear the word “Vikings” what instantly jumps to mind? Maybe long-bearded axe-wielding warriors. Or seafaring explorers in longboats wearing horned helmets? Or maybe you conjure Ragnar Lothbrok? From the HBO series The Vikings? Or Thor. And Odin. Or just Chris Hemsworth? Nah. He’s Australian. How about Harald Bluetooth? Who? Harald Bluetooth. If you’re from Denmark you might. King Harald Bluetooth was the son of the original Danish King, Gorm the Old. Bluetooth claimed all of Denmark and Norway for his kingdom in the second half of the 10th century. Jump forward a 100o years and the current reigning Danish monarch, Queen Margrethe II can trace her family line back to old Gorm making Denmark the longest running monarchy in Europe. Gorm and Harald were Vikings. But what was Viking life like 100o years ago?

Denmark, like all the Scandinavian countries, is proud of its heritage and happy to share everything they know about their Viking history. All over the Danish country and throughout the landscape, evidence of the mighty Viking society can still be found. And you won’t need to know how to read the runestones to get a feel for how the Vikings lived in the Middle Ages. At the National Museum Trelleborg, you can walk the ramparts of a real Viking fortress and learn about village life in the idyllic Danish countryside.

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Iconic Danish Village on South Fyn | Faaborg Denmark | #Funen #SydFyn | Oregon Girl Around the World

Faaborg Denmark | An Iconic Danish Village on Fyn

Find Your Way to Fyn | The Garden Island of Denmark

Faaborg is the perfect little Danish Village in Southern Funen

First things first. I’m a realist. It’s true. But you may want to scratch Iggy Azalea from your mental playlist because I’m really not that fancy. Actually. I’m a lover. Of down to earth. And the outdoors. And nature. I know. I live in the city. But I crave green and small towns and simple and seek it out often. And recently found it again on Fyn. I love Fyn. It’s the middle sister of Denmark. I’ve spoken of her charms before. Fyn is the island west of where Copenhagen sits, full of rolling green fields plump with rye and wheat and new potatoes, rhubarb and strawberries. Those luscious Danish strawberries that when ripe are like red jewels of juicy goodness. And apples, don’t forget the apples come autumn that fall ripe from orchards across Fyn. This is where the goods are grown to make much of the delicious Danish cuisine. There is reason Fyn is known as the garden island of Denmark.

But more than just pastoral, Fyn is full of pretty little Danish villages that can charm your socks off. Faaborg, on the south side of the island, is a perfect example of an iconic Danish town. I’ve shared my favorites before, but Faaborg fits with this lot just fine. Conjure this. Half-timbered houses. Cobblestone streets. Scandinavian colored buildings with delightfully detailed doors. Tack on red-tiled roofs and fancy scrolled signage and you have the makings of a magical little village in Denmark. Fyn is the childhood home of Hans Christian Andersen and in towns like Faaborg, you can picture the whole story happening here. Cue swans stage left. Oh hej swans! Continue reading “Faaborg Denmark | An Iconic Danish Village on Fyn”