5 Best Christmas Markets in Copenhagen

Despite being one of the coldest places you could possibly spend Christmas, there are still many benefits of visiting Copenhagen in December. There are many markets and activities related to Christmas, and they change a bit every year. Here is a guide to the best Christmas markets in Copenhagen!

As we light the Advent candles, Advent star shines warmly from the neighbor's window and bubbles Christmas music from the radio. The countdown to our great celebration - Christmas has begun. Hot mulled wine, juicy saffron buns and Christmas markets in Europe belong to the tradition. In today's guide we give you tips on Swedish Christmas markets, you should visit to get the best Christmas spirit.

Regardless of where and how the holidays are celebrated as they contribute often with joy, togetherness and extra leave - which makes us good.

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is one of the most well-known cities in the world for its high quality of Life. Effectively, this refers to great infrastructure, public spaces like parks, gardens and museums. Most of the green spaces are well maintained and free to use for anyone.

There is a great harbour, especially the Nyhavn area where one can walk along the water, all the way to the little mermaid. Most tourist attractions are within walking or biking distance. Many of the museums have a free entrance day. One can hire a boat to see the harbour and surrounding waterfront districts. Huge number of tourists are catered for in this area as well.

The city has great history and many important Danish personalities lived and left their mark in Copenhagen. In particular, Hans Christian Andersen, Niels Bohr, Soren Kierkegaard have lived in Copenhagen. Copenhagen is very bike friendly, with dedicated bike lanes all across. It is for no reason that the city is high on tourist map.

Best Christmas Markets in Copenhagen

If you want to look forward and enjoy the combination of new traditions and travel, we highlight destinations with interesting celebrations and the best Christmas markets in Copenhagen.

1. Nyhavn Julemarked

The Danish word for Christmas market is Julemarked and you will see it a lot from now on - most markets include this word in their title. Above them all, we have the market in Nyhavn. Even though Nyhavn is already one of the top tourist attractions in Copenhagen, you get an additional reason to visit it in December. Between the 8th and the 23rd, the picturesque harbour gets decorated with lights, garlands, elf dolls and more.

Small stands will appear in Nyhavn where locals sell the typical Danish Christmas snacks such as:

  • Æbleskiver (a local treat, tasting similar to a pancake, but sweeter and it is shaped like a ball)
  • Glögg (mulled wine)
  • Pebernødder (small round biscuits with a sweet, but nutty taste)
  • Roasted almonds
  • Waffles

2. Christiania Julemarked

Christiania is the rebellious part of Copenhagen: A freetown located inside the capital with just under a thousand residents living in an intentional community. Christiania is most famous for its free-spirited attitude. For example, cannabis trade is extremely common in the area and is done openly in public, despite being illegal according to Danish law.

Even though the Christiania community is in a troubled relationship with the Danish government and with the local police, it is open to all visitors - and it is one of the most visited parts of Copenhagen. They open a major Christmas market every year, and in 2019 it is active between the 8th and the 20th December.

The market takes place in Den Grå Hal (The Gray Hall), and it is completely free to get in. It is considered to be the most alternative Christmas market in Denmark, with foods and items that you can’t buy elsewhere.

However, two things to know about Christiania: Taking pictures is not allowed here, and the locals will get upset if you do. Also, bring cash since almost all the vendors do not accept credit cards. The currency used in Denmark is danske kroner (Danish crowns).

3. Kongens Nytorv Julemarked

In the absolute center of Copenhagen, we find Kongens Nytorv. A major square where something is always happening and Christmas is no exception. In fact, we find one of the best Christmas markets in the city!

It's only open for a week (between the 15th and the 22nd of December) but that's more than enough to enjoy it. Kongens Nytorv Julemarked is designed in a very adventurous way, appealing much to kids and families. Aside from decorating the square in a beautiful way, many stalls will sell foods, snacks and drinks. You will also find interesting souvenirs and artisan items.

If you're looking to buy Christmas gifts at the same time, head over to Magasin du Nord, a huge department store located just south of the square. Magasin du Nord is one of the most popular places to shop among the locals. If you're wondering where to stay in Copenhagen, you can conveniently stay near Kongens Nytorv, since it is a great area and completely central.

Hotel D’Angleterre is a beautiful, high-quality hotel facing the square to the western side. Each year, this hotel also prepares for Christmas by having creative decorations - both inside and outside.

4. Jul i Dragør

The old town of Dragør is located on the island Amager, just 20 minutes away from Copenhagen. It is one of the most idyllic places in Denmark and naturally, the town cares a lot about the classic Danish Christmas traditions.

Jul i Dragør is the name of the event that takes place here. The whole town will decorate for Christmas in a traditional fashion. You can expect to see a lot of stalls selling æbleskiver, glögg, pebernødder, pancakes, coffee and hot chocolate during the whole month of December. The Christmas market in Dragør always opens the 1st of December and closes on Christmas Eve.

To reach Dragør, you can take the metro from the center of Copenhagen to the airport and then shift to bus number 35. You can also take bus 250S directly from Copenhagen’s main station. If you have a car, it takes around 20 minutes to drive there, and if you have a bicycle, it takes around an hour to get there. Dragør works well as a day-trip.

5. Jul i Tivoli

They put a ton of effort in to making the place magical for Christmas, it is the perfect time of year to go and drink Gløgg (mulled wine) and go for a lovely stroll. They have convenient braziers of coals about the part for you to warm yourself by. Another great thing about Denmark is all of the outdoor cafes that are heated this time of year. You can sit outside, with a heater above you and a blanket and still enjoy the view.

Jul i Tivoli is more of an event rather than a market. There are markets inside, sure, but it’s mostly about trying the attractions, seeing the decorations and having fun. They also have a theatre where classic Christmas shows are performed. It’s a magical place and enjoyable for everyone.

Tivoli is open for much longer than the other Christmas markets and events in Copenhagen: The attraction park opens its doors on November 16th and stays open until January 5th. Unfortunately, it is not free. You can expect to pay 130 DKK (20 USD) for the entry price itself, or a price of 240 DKK (35 USD) where you have free access to all attractions as well as buying the entry. We recommend the latter solution. There are discounts for small kids, families and large groups.

Foods to eat in Denmark during December

We briefly mentioned some of the things you can typically buy in the Christmas market stalls in Copenhagen, but let’s elaborate a bit.

The æbleskive is one of the most popular Christmas snacks in Denmark. Outside of the Nordic countries and perhaps Germany, it is not a typical snack, so it might be the first time you’ll ever try it. An æbleskive is a ball of dough, usually baked in the oven but sometimes also fried, and it tastes a bit like a sweet pancake. Locals will usually dip it in sugar or cover it with a sauce. Glögg, a popular Nordic drink which is basically mulled wine, is normal to order alongside æbleskiver as a drink. Both are served hot. The glögg comes in different variants, alcoholic and non-alcoholic - therefore, everyone can easily try it.

Pebernødder are also very popular. They are tiny baked biscuits, brownish in color and with a slightly nutty taste. There are many ways to make pebernødder, so they can vary a bit. Many Danes bake them at home, but you can also buy them in the supermarkets and in these Christmas markets. Pebernødder are only eaten during the winter, so it’s a very typical snack for this time of the year.

If you fancy a larger meal, Danes love to eat grønlangkål in December. It’s a stew-based dish made primarily with kale, but it also contains other ingredients and it can be made in several ways. For Christmas Eve, Danes usually eat duck or roast pork, served with potatoes, brown sauce and red cabbage. The dish risengrød is also popular in December. It can be either lunch, dinner or dessert, whatever you are in the mood for.

Christmas markets in Copenhagen will often sell small portions in served in cups. Risengrød is a mix of rice and milk. Locals will add a piece of butter, some cinnamon or cane sugar on top, after the dish has been made. But this can be done based on your own taste, and you can leave these things out if you’re not in the mood for them.

In general, most Danish Christmas dishes and snacks are slightly spiced, but we are talking about sweet spices - and in relatively small amounts. They will not upset your stomach, so you can calmly eat anything you get served when visiting a Christmas market or a restaurant!

Best Christmas Markets in Copenhagen

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Kalyan Panja