City Guide: Copenhagen in December

A Traveller's festive guide to Denmark's capital and the breathtaking St Lucia's descent down the Nyhavn

It was that time of year again where we make the trip to a European city to (quite literally) drink in the festive atmosphere. This year was no exception and it takes us to Copenhagen.

We departed late afternoon on the 11th December which felt slightly different to our usual pre-dawn flight experiences. But it turned out to be a great way to arrive since Christmas is a thousand times better when the lights are on. Amazingly, we arrived in the centre of the Christmas market just outside one of the most Christmassy buildings in the entire city.

Rosenborg Castle

The sun shone for us on the Saturday as we ventured out to see some sights. Our first stop was the small but perfectly formed Rosenborg Castle, which was stunning.


The Round tower is not to be missed. I'd been to Copenhagen before but I never made the spiralling venture to the top, in fact I didn't even realise that you could go to the top until we spotted tiny people admiring the views above! I was so excited to be one of those tiny people, especially considering the mesmerising light across the entire city. 

I love the last picture in this set, captured at the perfect angle to make the Tivoli swings ride appear to be connected to a historic spire! (plus I'm pretty sure there's #nofilter)

Christmas Markets & Shopping Streets

There were numerous Christmas markets throughout the city and we managed to squeeze them all into our long weekend! We also couldn't get enough of the shopping, home decor is crazily cheap and crazily gorgeous. Our favourite shop was Søstrene Grene, we probably went here over seven times, we might have been a little bit obsessed.

Freetown Christiana

Now onto something completely different and insanely surreal. I had read the smallest thing about Christiana but nothing prepared us for what we were about to enter. We were actually heading for the Paper Island food market when we stumbled upon this place, nestled in what seemed to be a standard looking neighbourhood, we saw an entrance immersed in colourful graffiti and decided to venture though the walls. We found ourselves transported into a world seemingly without rules. Well maybe a few rules, one of them being no photos, so these are the few I managed to get before I realised!

Paper Island

We finally found the food market, after a somewhat unusual but fascinating detour. The smells were delicious and we instantly needed food. There was so much to choose from, but eventually settled on Copper & Wheat where we had the best ever duck fat fries. Don't miss out on this place. We nearly did by thinking we'd visit on the Monday, luckily we chose Sunday, a day when the venue isn't closed, to our relief!


The Nyhavn is the historic canal lined with bars and restaurants, it is iconic and stunningly beautiful. And the way it lit up on the Sunday was incredible, you'll see why next in the paragraph!

St Lucia's Day

So, way back when I was researching Copenhagen at Christmas I saw a post by Sarah on that literally sent chills down my spine. I had a sense of disappointment realising there was probably no way this was ever going to happen on my trip. But guess what, it did! We went at the exact same time and saw the once in a lifetime (well, once a year) event along the Nyhavn. 

At first, I really wasn't sure on the day if this was actually happening, we were on our way back from Christianshavn and genuinely considering heading straight to the Tivoli to experience it in daylight before sunset. This would have taken us up there long before 3pm. But we changed our mind on the walk. As we were heading back from the food market we took a different route where we passed the Kayak Society and saw a couple of people putting fairy lights in a canoe and they confirmed my suspicions, they were heading up the Nyhavn, leaving about 3:10pm. We had to be there, so plans changed. We'd head to Tivoli after the Nyhavn, skipping the daylight viewing, but I really don't think we missed out considering the beauty of all the lights. 
So here it is, St Lucias day on Sunday 13th December!

Tivoli Gardens

And then there was the Tivoli, it is the definition of Christmas and was a dream come true! I love theme parks so to go to Europe's oldest theme park at Christmas time was happiness overload for me. We had a busy day and was faced with the dillema earlier in the day to either go to the Tivoli to experience it day & night, or to stay at the Nyhavn for an experience that only occurs once a year. We opted for the Nyhavn and I don't regret it one bit, you can see why just above. 

All in all, Copenhagen was breathtaking. The absolute perfect Christmas break!

Have you been to Copenhagen? What was your favourite location?

Or are you going to Copenhagen and need advice on what not to miss?

Leave me a comment, or get in touch via social media


Ingrid Opstad said...

Great post! I really want to visit Copenhagen and reading this made me want to go even more.

Ingrid x

milli-jane said...

Thanks Ingrid!
I'd definitely reccomend going for the Christmas markets it's such a stunning time of year there :)
Hopefully you get to go soon!

Milli-Jane x

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