After leaving the summer months and the stunning island of Corsica behind me, my next foreign adventure was a quick trip to Denmark’s capital city: Copenhagen. Ryanair’s flash winter sale meant I was able to snag return flights to the city in December for just £15 – THE SAVINGS!!
Despite this amazing deal, part of me wondered if it was really worth leaving the famously cold and rainy UK to travel somewhere even colder… Thankfully, however, these reservations were quickly squashed when I landed in Copenhagen. It truly is a fantastic city to visit. Whatsmore, it’s even more magical in winter!
Thus, here’s my ‘Guide To Visiting Copenhagen In Winter’:
Copenhagen’s Winter Weather –
As I mentioned briefly above, winter in Copenhagen is chilly! Temperatures average around 2°C meaning you’ll definitely want to wrap up warm. My gloves, hat and scarf were certainly my best friends during my time in the city.
More than this, you can almost guarantee that rain will be forecast for your trip, even if you’re visiting for just one day. After all, Copenhagen is one of the ‘rainiest’ cities in Europe. Therefore you’ll also want to bring a waterproof/umbrella.
This said, in my experience, the rain passed quickly and actually provided the perfect excuse to stop for a coffee in one of the cities adorable cafés.
Beware Of Attraction Closures –
One downside of visiting Copenhagen in winter is the fact that several of the cities ‘main attractions’ close down or have shorter opening hours. Although this is common practice in most destinations, I found that some of the opening hours advertised in Copenhagen were not accurate.
For example, I had planned to visit Christainborg Palace, but when I arrived everything was shut up and deserted, despite their official website stating that the palace would be open. This was very annoying as I could have spent the time exploring other areas of the city!
Feel Festive at Copenhagen’s Christmas Markets –
Despite these closures, I still found plenty of things to see/do in Copenhagen during winter, especially since I visited in December, which meant one thing: CHRISTMAS MARKETS.
Such markets have sprung up in most of Europe’s cities in recent years, but I have to say that Copenhagen’s really stand out from the crowd. Picture gorgeous wooden stalls, lined with festive foliage, selling anything from fudge and mulled wine to Christmas ornaments.
A visit to one of the following markets is all you’ll need to get into the festive spirit:
1) The Christmas market in Nyhavn harbour (my personal favourite)
2) Freetown Christiania Christmas market
3) the Strøget Christmas market
4) Tivoli Gardens at Christmas
Other Places To Visit In Copenhagen In Winter –
Trivoli Gardens –
Christmas market aside, Tivoli Gardens is one of the best places to visit in Copenhagen whatever the time of year. Nevertheless, I actually think ‘the oldest theme park in the world’ is most magical in Winter!
There’s just something so heartwarming and mesmerising about the lights that line all the buildings, rides and paths. Although its hard to capture the parks true beauty on camera, it’s easy to see why it allegedly inspired Walt Disney.
I will say however that a trip to Trivoli can get quite expensive. This is because you have to pay for each ride on-top of the £15 entry fee…
Nyhavn (New Harbour) –
You haven’t been to Copenhagen if you don’t visit the iconic Nyhavn area. This colourful waterfront is what most people picture when they think of the city! Although touristy, its the part of Copenhagen I found most beautiful. Thus, its somewhere you really don’t want to miss, even in the cold!
The Strøget –
If you’re anything like me and love to do a bit of shopping, then another highlight of Copenhagen in winter is ‘The Strøget‘ – one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in Europe.
Filled with a vast variety of shops from cheap independent stores to some of the world’s most expensive brands, I found it to be the perfect place to do some Christmas shopping! But, if you plan on visiting the other side of Christmas, fear not because you can always splurge in the January sales!
The Royal Palaces/Castles –
Denmark has one of the oldest Monarchies in the world, thus there’s no surprise that the country’s capital features a rich array of royal monuments and buildings that you can visit. The most notable of which are: Amalienborg Palace (the current home of the royal family), Rosenborg Castle (which I found particularly stunning), and the previously mentioned Christainborg Palace.
The Round Tower –
The ‘Rundetaarn’ or round tower is a 17th-century astronomy tower located in the heart of Copenhagen. For the very affordable price of Kr. 25, you can climb the towers spiral core and observe spectacular views of the city from an encircled outdoor platform.
Although the Round Tower is open year round, the viewing platform obviously gets very cold in the Winter! For one, the strong winds felt at the top make the temperature feel even colder, so you’ll really want to wrap but warm before visiting.
None the less, I found that the views are certainly worth freezing your butt off for a few minutes. 😉
Copenhagen’s Many Museums
My last suggestion of what to do in Copenhagen is to visit one or more of the cities museums. Although I personally didn’t visit any on my trip, they provide the perfect place to keep warm.
I’ve heard fantastic reviews about the Museum of Modern Art and The National Gallery of Denmark.
The little Mermaid In Winter
You might notice that I’ve missed Denmark’s most famous landmark, the ‘little mermaid statute’ out of my guide to visiting Copenhagen in winter. This is because although famous, the statute is said by many to be pretty underwhelming. More than this, it’s actually quite a walk from the city centre and is equally as difficult to reach by public transport.
In this way, I decided to skip visiting the ‘little mermaid’ on my trip because traipsing miles in the cold/wet to be unimpressed by a small statue didn’t appeal to me!
To summarise, although cold and admittedly VERY rainy, visiting Copenhagen in winter is certainly not a bad idea!
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Thinking of Heading to Copenhagen yourself? Drop any questions you may have in the comments below! Also, I’d love to hear any suggestions of more things to do in the city, whatever the time of year!