Let’s do Jul in the Danish capital
When living in Denmark. I say. Bring on Christmas.
It’s late 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. No need to fret. Don’t be concerned. Break out your candles. Turn on the 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 hyggeligt* 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:
YOUR COPENHAGEN CHRISTMAS
1. CELEBRATE THE LIGHTS
Copenhagen’s center town is a twisty cobble of charming old streets and colorful buildings. And while grey and potentially dreary this time of year, once strung with swaths of greenery and lights so twinkly, even you might not notice the chill at your cheek. Come Saturday, singers and sausages and Julemanden will be on hand to get you ready to start the holidays. Let the lights illuminate the city.
- Copenhagen Christmas Opening Event :
Saturday 19 November 15:30-16:30
Amager Torv | Strøget, København K
Help us awaken the Christmas Spirit on the 19th November at 4 pm, as we present our annual Christmas decorations in the centre of Copenhagen. – Copenhagen Christmas
2. CUT YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TREE
Soon enough the trucks with cut trees will roll in all over town. But if you are seeking to chop your very own fir from a farm full of charm, there are many options to be found. Read more here about our experience finding our Christmas tree or juletræ last year.
- Rosendal-Gaard Julemarked : 19th November – 23rd December
Rosendalsvej 5, 3140 Ålsgårde
- Jul at Ryegaard : 28th November – 20th December
Munkholmvej 380, 4060 Kirke Såby
3. VISIT THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS | JULEMARKED
Already starting, Julemarked will pop up on nearly every corner and in every church. And while Copenhagen’s major Christmas markets have a certain kitsch charm, don’t limit yourself to their standard Jule fare. In this city known for design, seek out a kunst marked – an art market. I prefer these unique and special markets full of local artists, creators and makers selling their one of kind art and design market.
- Kødbyens Hyggeligste Julemarked : 3/4th December
Slagtehusgade 44, 1715 København V
Visit Kødbyens friendliest Christmas Market! We welcome you to a cozy Christmas market in our beautiful studio in the Meatpacking District.
We have plenty of mulled wine, organic fruit, freshly baked pastries, organic sodas, mistletoe, candles … exciting gift options and design products at good prices.
This year we are: Lisa Grue, Summer Will Be Back, Sabine Brandt, Mai-Britt Amsler, Naja Tolsing, Sille Knotte, Urban Garden Company, Fie Sahl and Camilla Severinsen.”
- DesignerSpace Design and Loppemarked : 10/11th December
Old Central Post Building
Tietgensgade 37, 1704 København V
Come and discover the magical light art, entertaining children’s workshops, tasty Christmas food and musical performances. Meet the new designers. Make a bargain. Buy your Christmas tree.”
- German Christmas Market : 18th November – 23rd December
Højbro Plads, 1200 København K
Children and adults have a chance to meet the Christmas market’s own Father Christmas every Tuesday to Sunday between 1 and 5 pm. Here you can have pictures taken with Father Christmas for free.”
– Julemarked Højbro Plads
- Nyhavn Canal Julemarked : 11th November – 23rd December
Nyhavn, København K
Carlsberg’s old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage can be experienced:
Thursdays on the 24th November, 8th December, 15th December and 22nd December. We look forward to seeing you!
– Nyhavn Erhvervsforening
4. LIGHT THE TREE AT CITY HALL
Every year Julemanden parades with the Copenhagen Fire Brigade making a loop from City Hall starting at 13:30 to historic Nyhavn Canal and back down the pedestrian shopping street Strøget. At 15:40 he returns to the Råhuspladsen where he will be met by the mayor. Speeches will be made and the 20 meter spruce tree will be lit with 800 LED lights and 100 Christmas hearts.
- Tree Lighting at City Hall :
Sunday 27th November 13:30 – 16:00
Rådhuspladsen | City Hall, 1599 København K
5. KAYAKS CRUISE THE CANALS FOR ST. LUCIA
The traditional Santa Lucia parade with candles takes on a Copenhagen twist as kayaks paddle through the canals. To participate, you must have our own vessel. To rent one from Kayak Republic – you need to show proof of EPP2 level training. It is free for everyone to enjoy from the shore.
6. TASTE THE WHITE GLØGG AT HOTEL D’ANGLETERRE
Even if splurging at the fancy Hotel D’Angleterre isn’t in your Christmas budget – ogling their lights and annual Jule display is a must do in Copenhagen. For a special afternoon out – step inside for their famous white gløgg and marcipan snowballs by the fire. Gløgg is Denmark’s warm spiced wine and Hotel D’Angleterre fashions theirs with white wine and apricots. A super swanky Christmas treat.
- Hotel D’Angleterre
Kongens Nytorv, København K
7. CHRISTMAS CAROLS BY A CHOIR
Something about carols being sung by a choir that seems to always help set the mood.
- Twas the Night Before Christmas :
Saturday 3rd December 19:00
Suoni Ensemble and Copenhagen International Children’s Choir
Klampenborgvej 215 B, 2800 Kongens Lyngby
A musical celebration of christmas favourites, both old and new. The Concert features pieces that are arranged and written by composer Siobhan Lamb and performances from The Suoni Ensemble, The Suoni Chorus and The Copenhagen International Children’s Choirs. “
- Juleoratoriet :
Friday 16th December and Saturday 17th December
Copenhagen Drengekor | Boys Choir
Københavns Domkirken (Vor Frue Kirken)
Pilestræde 67, 1112 København K
8. JULETIDE AT TIVOLI GARDENS
A Copenhagen Christmas is not complete with a visit to Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park. Tivoli is all kinds of wonderful in every season, but it shines at Christmas. Even if you aren’t tempted by rides, you’ll want to come for the lights. Tivoli wears Christmas well and drips with charm. I adore the Julemarked, not to be missed.
Will you be in Copenhagen ON Christmas with nothing to do? Tivoli is open and starts their annual Fireworks Festival on December 25th. Grab a warm mug of gløgg and enjoy the fantastisk display.
- Tivoli Gardens :
19th December – 31st December
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København VNOTE: Because Danes celebrate Christmas on the 24th – the park hours are limited from 11:00-16:00.
When darkness falls over the Gardens you can enjoy the evocative Lucia Parade, which passes through the Gardens at 17:30 on Tuesday 13 December.
Tivoli has a long tradition of candles in the Gardens, and the Lucia Parade complements our tradition beautifully. The choir is made up of a hundred girls.
The parade starts and finishes at Castle Square next to the Tivoli Castle, giving Tivoli’s visitors a chance to enjoy the beautiful Santa Lucia song and other atmospheric Christmas tunes.”
– Tivoli Gardens
9. DANCE TO NØDDEKNÆKKEREN – THE NUTCRACKER
This is a tradition near and dear to my heart, having danced in the Nutcracker for seven years of my youth. Last year I took the family to see the Royal Ballet perform at Det Kongelige Teater. Alas, this year they are performing Alice in Wonderland. But luckily for Tschaikovsky lovers, you can still get your fix. Tivoli Ballet performs their version all month. And Queen Margrethe herself helped with costumes and sets.
- The Nutcracker :
1st December to 30th December
Tivoli Concert Hall
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
3rd December to 22nd December
The Royal Danish Ballet
Det Kongelige Teater
Kongens Nytorv 9, 1017 København K
10. GO ICE SKATING AT FREDERIKSBERG RUNDDEL
Maybe the Lakes will freeze enough this year to be able to skate upon, but until then – you can glide on the rink that sits outside the Frederiksberg Castle Garden. Don’t own skates? No problem. You can rent a pair or a penguin! 50dkk per 30 minutes.
NOTE: You will need to leave your CPR card or 500dkk as deposit.
- Frederiskberg Ice Rink – 26th November to 28th February
Frederiksberg Runddel 1, 1621 København V
Cheers from Copenhagen this Christmas season. – Erin
Save it for later. Share with your friends!
hyggeligt* = full of hygge, that untranslatable Danish word for a sense of cozy contentment.