Exploring Copenhagen Christmas Markets: Cozy, Magical & Great Booze

Copenhagen is one of our FAVORITE cities! It has Vikings! It has so many bakeries that the city smells like cinnamon! And, during December, Copenhagen Christmas markets bring a sense of cozy magic to the city!

After visiting over 50 Christmas markets, Caleb and I both agreed that the Copenhagens Christmas markets just hit differently than the rest of Europe. They felt more festive, special, and romantic than many of the more popular markets that tourists go to!

In this review, we’ll share everything you need to know to decide if you should visit, as well as a detailed guide to all the markets! Here’s a video we made so you can get a sense of the vibe:

Culture Craving Couple contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, we may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting us! You can see our disclosure policy.

YouTube video

✔️ Quick Info:

📅 Opening Dates:  Nov 17 until Dec 31, 2024.  Some of the markets may start closing in the week leading up to Christmas. However, Tivoli is always a safe bet. It’s open until January 5th, 2025!

⏰ Best time to go: late afternoon to just after sunset on weekdays.

🍴 Must eat: Aebelskiver and Glogg

🏨 Where to stay: We stayed at at Cabinn Copenhagen and wish we would have stayed here instead. It’s just as affordable (for Copenhagen) but it’s closer to the main areas.

💴 Paying: card is accepted most places. Bring Euros just in case.

Markets covered in this guide: Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn christmas market, Hans Christian Andersen Market, Højbro Plads Christmas Market, Kongens Nytorv

What To Expect & Know If You’re Deciding To Visit

The Good: It’s Seriously Festive & Cozy

Honestly? The Christmas markets in Copenhagen were the coziest of all the Christmas markets that Caleb and I visited over the 2 months, and we visited 50+ markets all across Europe.  We freaking loved them and thought they were SUPER festive and also romantic.

We loved them so much that we’re going back this year, and we *usually* are the kind of people who always travel to new places.

A Christmas market stall in Copenhagen illuminated at night, offering 'Hot Toddies Whiskey - Rum,' with a wooden barrel in the foreground set against the cobblestone street

The markets were the LEAST busy of *any* country that we went to. It could be because we were there at the end of November, which is a little bit before the “tourist time.” However, we also think that Denmark isn’t the first country that comes to mind for tourists going on a Christmas market trip.

It’s usually German cities like Berlin or maybe Prague or Strasbourg.

The markets all had that Scandinavian “Hygge,” which I think just means cozy(?) Either way, from the mulled wine huts to the twinkly lights, the lack of people, the fur everywhere, and the BAKED GOODS, these markets SCREAMED cozy.

We love that the markets weren’t decorated in a gaudy, commercialized way, like many of the worst Christmas markets in Europe. While the market in Tivoli Gardens definitely is more decorated, it still paled in comparison to other markets across Europe that felt more like a theme park than Tivoli…which is *actually* a theme park! 

Twinkling Christmas trees flank a red market stall at night in Copenhagen, with holiday decorations and goods on display for sale

If you want to pair your trip with some local culture, it’s worth visiting the Christmas markets in Copenhagen on Dec 13 for the Santa Lucia parade, when kayaks sail through all the canals decorated for Christmas! 

You can also go to a restaurant for a traditional Danish Christmas lunch after exploring the markets, which was a highlight of our entire christmas market trip.

Not all cities offer the ability to experience a traditional Christmas market and some local culture, so we think that really sets Copenhagen apart!

Patrons inside a cozy, wooden cabin at a Christmas market, illuminated by fairy lights and offering traditional winter drinks, as per the signage.

The Bad: Say Bye To Your Dolla Dolla Billz

We always like to keep our thoughts honest,  so there are a couple of potential downsides that we should warn you about.

If you’ve done any research on Copenhagen, you already know it’s expensive. While we found Christmas markets across Europe to all be more expensive than we imagined (except Bratislava, another favorite), Copenhagen is definitely the most expensive.

Close-up of a sign reading 'Hot Wine Gløgg' at a Copenhagen Christmas market, with a backdrop of festive greenery and shimmering baubles

Like, it was around 10 euros for a 200ml cup of glogg. And you might think, “Okay, I’ll just get one to keep costs down,” but it’s SO good that you’ll order another and then be tipsy, so another will sound like a good idea, and then you’ll be broke.

Maybe that’s just our experience, though. 😏

Get Our Best Travel Tips

We’ll show you how to plan an epic vacay, have amazing experiences, eat the best food and save some $$!

We also weren’t crazy about the food at Copenhagen Christmas Markets, to be honest, except for one or two things. As HUGE foodies, that was a letdown.

However, we ate at some restaurants that kinda changed our life, so there IS amazing food in Copenhagen, just not at the markets. 

A close-up of various types of fudge, including chocolate, rocky road, and other candy-topped selections, displayed in a market stall with a vendor in the background.

Copenhagen at Christmas is for you if…

To help you decide if you want to visit or not, here are some things that would make it worth checking out if you agree to all/most of them:

  • You want a cozy Christmas vibe
  • You don’t mind a slower pace and taking your time
  • You like simplicity and a more “authentic” Christmas feel, not a Christmas carnival
  • You like great food but don’t mind eating outside the markets.
View from a market vendor's stall showing a large pot, beverages, and the back of a vendor looking out at the busy Christmas market decorated with red Christmas balls and lights.

It’s not for you if:

On the flip side, if you agree with these thoughts, Copenhagen may not be a Christmas market match:

  • You’re on a budget.
  • You want to be able to eat all the traditional German christmas market-style food.
Nighttime at a Christmas market in Copenhagen with visitors gathered around Landers Cirkusbar, featuring a brightly lit menu and festive decorations
A festive view of Tivoli Gardens amusement park at night, illuminated with Christmas lights reflecting on a lake, showcasing rides and traditional architecture.

Detailed Market Guide

The Christmas Market At Tivoli Gardens: a festive fairground

Honestly, we weren’t sure if we were going to like the Christmas markets in Tivoli Gardens because we suspected it would be SUPER commercialized.

I have to say, Caleb and I were pleasantly surprised! They really go ALL out and turn the whole grounds into a wonderland! There are Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, and there are tons of lights down by the little pond thing with a light show. There’s the most ADORABLE-like grouping of stalls in the center.

The inner stalls are where you’ll want to go to get food (warning: it’s not cheap), and you can get the usual fair food like waffles, donuts, fries, and, of course, glogg. We loved that they had cute little tables and chairs set up everywhere so you could just bask in the cozy Christmas light glow and take it all in.

A couple enjoys a moment over hot drinks at a Copenhagen Christmas market, seated by a tree adorned with lights, giving a cozy and intimate atmosphere

We also found some cozy little huts on the outside of the gardens with cool fur-lined chairs that you could hang out in if you wanted a more secluded, romantic space!

The gardens have some rides if you want to do that, but we LOVED just wandering around the grounds, glogg in hand, and enjoying the magicalness of this market.

A couple sits by the canal in Copenhagen, facing the row of brightly colored buildings, enjoying the view despite the overcast sky.

Nyhavn christmas market: colorful but underwhelming

When you think of Copenhagen, you think of Nyhavn. It’s that super-cute row of colorful houses on the canals that you see in every single Instagram photo. You absolutely can’t miss crossing the bridge to see the whole street from each side.

While Caleb and I were both like “WOW” when we first walked into the street because it’s so dang cute and festive with the hanging garlands and fairy lights set against the colorful buildings and the little restaurants decked out with sheepskins and cozy blankets, we were honestly a bit underwhelmed by the market itself.

A wooden market stand decorated with Christmas greenery and signs for traditional hot beverages, with customers inside enjoying drinks.

Sure, there were some of the cutest Glogg stalls ever (pictured above ), but the market itself was kinda small, and we didn’t see much goods or food for sale.

So, we suggest getting a Glogg, strolling down the cute street, and then continuing along. Don’t stop eating or drinking here because it’s super touristy, and everything costs approximately 100 times more.

Hans Christian Andersen Market: the most festive feel…and a creepy viking

WE LOVED this market and think it’s the best Christmas market in Copenhagen! Named after the famous storyteller, this “Julemarked” (the Danish name for Christmas market) was the perfect size – not too big or too small – and it was a super cozy Christmas market, but also lively and fun at the same time!

We saw a lot of stalls selling Christmas treats here (The Danish do love their sugar), and I had the most awkward run-in with a Viking.

A man and a woman in Viking costumes smiling for a photo at a Christmas event, the man wearing a green tunic and fur hat, and the woman in a white beanie and black coat.

Okay. I can’t just breeze past that, can I? There was a legit Viking selling his mead (honey wine), and he gave us a lot of samples and then came and hugged me and tried to get me to touch his necklace, which was shaped like something I cannot write up on this blog. You have eyes, look at the picture.

PRO TIP: Avoid the mead tent. 😅

A man in a purple jacket enjoying a hot beverage at a Christmas market, with twinkling lights and holiday decorations enhancing the festive mood.

OTHERWISE, this market has THE MOST MAGICAL little hut bar called “Cirkusbar” where this super sweet lady chatted to us and gave us the best glogg and aebleskiver. When you go back into the bar, it’s like Christmas smacked you upside the head with SO MUCH Christmas decor everywhere. We wanted to stay there all night…

But we had more glogg to drink and Christmas markets to visit.

Practical Stuff: You’ll find this market near Strøget in the city center.

A vibrant evening scene at a Christmas market, showing various decorated stalls and a large crowd enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Højbro Plads Christmas Market: best for shopping and eats

This market is right in the center of Copenhagen, honestly? It’s almost exactly like the Hans Christian Andersen market, but just a bit bigger!

And…minus the Viking. Phew.

We thought this market had the best options in terms of handcrafted, unique Christmas gifts and souvenirs and the most variety for “real food.” IE: it’s not just sugar. 

Wooden handicrafts market stall in Copenhagen displaying an assortment of kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and chess sets, with price tags visible.

If you want to eat at the markets or do some shopping, this one is your best bet.

We also loved all the cozy huts where you could drink your glogg, and we got to try some white glogg here. While it’s good, we’d tell you to stick to the red version. Don’t fix what ain’t broken and all that.

The Hotel D'Angleterre in Copenhagen lit with vibrant blue lights and ice-like decorations under a winter night sky, enhancing its grandeur and festive spirit.

Kongens Nytorv: go for the surrounding lights

Just outside of the city center, we stumbled across this very tiny little Christmas market. Honestly, there is nothing super special about the market itself – it’s a lot like the others in the city except smaller.

We did love all the buildings around here, though, as they’re all decorated for Christmas. You have to check out Hotel D’Angleterre across the street at night because it gets lit up with big blue icicle projections on its facade. Super pretty!

TAYLOR’S TIP: Check out Hviids Vinstue, one of the oldest bars in Copenhagen! They are famous for their glogg so we went and had 2 glasses, it was that good (and cheaper than at the markets!) We also love the cozy pub atmosphere, which reminds us of London pubs

An atmospheric pub scene decorated with Christmas lights and vintage memorabilia on the walls, featuring patrons enjoying drinks and conversations at wooden tables

Regional Food To Try

While we weren’t super wowed by the food at the markets, there are some things you must try:

  1. Glogg –  Scandinavian mulled wine, and we think it’s the best drink at markets! It has all the usual spices of mulled wine but also has cardamom Raisins, and blanched almonds are usually steeped in it, which gives it a really rich, sweet taste. 
  2. Aebleskiver – Little puffy pancake balls served with powdered sugar and jam that are specific to the Christmas season. We had them at the Cirkus Bar.
A street food stall at a Christmas market serving pastries in a paper tray, with a large pot and festive lights in the background.
  1. Flammelachs – a side of salmon cooked over an open fire. It’s all over Europe at Christmas, but it’s the best in Scandinavia!

Non-Christmas Market Danish Food You Must Eat

Here are our other recommendations for things to eat in Copenhagen at Christmas, because we do think Copenhagen is one of the best cities for foodie couples like us!

A well-presented plate of sliced roast duck garnished with green microgreens and red onion rings, served on a white plate with a blue-rimmed border in an elegant restaurant setting.
  • Danish Lunch (Julefrokost) at Restaurant Schønnemann – this was one of the most memorable experiences and meals of our life. They specialize in smorrebord (open-faced sandwiches) and have Christmas varieties.

You’ll have amazing sandwiches with fish and meat paired with schnapps (kinda like vodka), and you can end it all with more cheese and schnapps for dessert.

The staff is incredibly funny, and our waiter pinned a Santa pin on my jacket out of nowhere because I was on my phone, and it was to teach me “how to behave in a restaurant.” it was all good fun, and we loved the family feeling of this spot!

Make reservations, as they book up fast!

Close-up of a hand holding a traditional Scandinavian cinnamon pastry, dusted with sugar, against a blurred background of a Christmas tree.
  • Cardamom buns and Saffron buns at Juno Bakery – you’ll have to take the train outside of town to visit Juno, but it’s the best bakery we’ve been to in the WORLD.

Cardamom buns are very traditionally Scandinavian, and these actually changed our lives! The saffron buns are only at Christmas and are so unique!

  • Prefer cinnamon buns? Go to Sankt Pefers Bageri. It’s famous, and we went there twice in two days. 
A man in winter attire drinks from a cup at a Christmas market, standing next to a wooden table with a red candle holder, with festive booths and sparkling lights in the background.

Tips For Visting 

How Many Days To Stay:

We recommend 2-3 full days in Copenhagen so you can take your time at the markets and see/eat all the things Copenhagen has to offer!

A compact, minimalist bedroom featuring a large bed with white bedding, a wall-mounted television, a kettle, and a large photograph of an industrial setting

Where To Stay:

Copenhagen is pricey, so we stayed at Cabinn Copenhagen because it was the cheapest we could find without being a hostel.

It IS really small and quite a bit outside the city center. If you don’t mind walking or taking public transport and want to save some money, we recommend it.

>> Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.  <<

However, next time, we will spend a little bit more and stay at Wakeup Copenhagen. It’s still a mid-budget, compact hotel, but it’s only 10-minute walk from downtown!

>> Click here to check prices, reviews, and availability.  <<

A quaint cafe with outdoor seating, festively decorated for Christmas, set against colorful historic buildings on a cobblestone street.

Go to 711

Seriously. They are everywhere, and they are AWESOME.  Just go to experience a little Danish culture. 

Don’t Miss This Next:

Now that you know all about the Christmas markets in Copenhagen, Denmark, you have to know all our best Christmas market tips! We wrote you an ultimate tips guide to make sure you have the best Christmas experience!

So, will you be going to Copenhagen at Christmas? Any questions?

Other Christmas Market Guides

Get Our Best Travel Tips

We’ll show you how to plan an epic vacay, have amazing experiences, eat the best food and save some $$!
A couple embraces while watching the sunset behind the Crystal Palace in Madrid's Retiro Park, a moment of romance and tranquility by the reflective waters.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *