Nobody takes on Christmas quite like the Scandinavians, and during December the Danish capital becomes a true winter wonderland, complete with twinkling lights and gently falling snow. So why not celebrate the festive season in style with a short break in Copenhagen?
Get your Christmas 'hygge' on
Denmark sure knows how to have fun. No wonder it was named the happiest country in the world by a UN World Happiness Report in 2016! The Danish even have a special word, 'hygge', which refers to the warm and pleasant feeling that you get between a close group of friends or family. To experience some Christmas 'hygge' for yourself, grab a group of loved ones and experience some of Copenhagen's top festive activities.
Tivoli Christmas market
Live reindeers, a replica of St Basil’s Cathedral, and thousands of fairy lights created by Tiffany & Co. head designer John Loring, all combine to make the Tivoli Christmas Market a must-see. There are stalls selling mulled wine and apple cakes, cosy festive jumpers, and plenty of cute Scandi knick-knacks to bring home as gifts for friends and family. There’s also an ice rink and some roller-coaster rides if you want to get your adrenaline pumping. If all that's not enough to get you planning your visit, the market is also only a 5 minute drive away from our Radisson Blu Scandinavian Hotel, Copenhagen, so if the Danish winter gets a bit too cold, you're never far from a warm, comfortable bed.
Drinking a Christmas brew
The Americans have eggnog, the Germans have 'Gluhwein', and the Danes have 'julebryg', aka Christmas Beer. The most famous is the Tuborg version, which has a huge launch party known as J-Dag and takes place on the first Friday of November. The first drink is served at one minute before 9 p.m, and beer fans will note the caramel, liquorice and blackcurrant flavors. There's plenty to do aside from drinking too. See the horse-drawn carriages, blue santa hats, and foam-filled streets that make this festival so popular.
Christiania Christmas market
An alternative take on Christmas can be found in Christiania, a bohemian and self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of the city. The quirky main market takes place in the Grå Hal (Grey Hall) and has the atmosphere of an oriental bazaar. Colorful stalls sell all sorts of handmade pieces and antiques, and you’ll also find plenty of great food stalls serving up delicious wholesome food influenced by a wide range of cuisines. While you’re browsing you’ll be serenaded by live musicians playing traditional festive tunes.
Visit the Royal Smushi Café
The Royal Smushi Café is on the Strøget, making it the perfect place to pop in for lunch after a bit of Christmas shopping. The café goes all out for the Christmas season, offering special festive desserts such as ris a l'amande (rice pudding with almonds and cherry sauce) as well as an extensive menu of Christmas 'smushis'. A smushi is a mini open-faced sandwich, around the same size as a piece of sushi. Treat them like tapas and order a few different ones to share with with your friends alongside a cup of specially-selected tea or coffee. Choose a seat next to the window too as the restaurant backs onto a small courtyard which hosts a Christmas market, just perfect for people watching.