Since visiting last year I have been raving about Copenhagen to anyone who will listen. However, everything I seem to rave about Copenhagen involves winter, which has had me thinking that it’s the perfect place for a winter break. Denmark is known for Hygge and the way they embrace winter so I guess my thoughts make total sense. Copenhagen is no different and during the lead up to Christmas it is a special place to be. With winter and Christmas drawing ever closer I thought I’d share with you the things I loved about Copenhagen and why you shouldn’t let the cold put you off.
I’m the sort of person who bases my destinations very much on the weather. Will I still be able to see everything in the cold? Will we really get our money’s worth if we go in winter? The answer to these questions and more is definitely yes.
Copenhagen is built for the colder months and darker days.
The streets are laced with colourful fairy lights and the inside of any eatery or bar is a similar story. The streets certainly make up for the lack of natural light at this time of year. You don’t notice the darkness with a disheartened feeling but with a warming, coming alive feeling. The city is great by day but by dark it really comes alive, it doesn’t make you want to hide inside. Instead it makes you want to hop from bar to bar enjoying the buzzing atmosphere among locals and tourists with a glass of glugg and a warm fire to sit by.
Tivoli Gardens are a real testament to this idea, the gardens are a place that feels alive as darkness falls. Especially in the lead up to Christmas as this place turns in to a winter wonderland. As you enter the gardens wrapped up in layers to fight the cold, the smell of Christmas hits you. A mix of scents from the Danish version of mulled wine called glugg to the variety of foods sold among the huts. It smells delightful and exciting in the same breath.
The Christmas festivities take over the park in the lead up, with dazzling lights and an army of Christmas trees all decorated in fake snow. There are cute huts selling food and drink as well as little Christmas themed trinkets and woollen clothing. But it is more than just a market. It is magic, and Christmassy and just perfect for getting in the festive spirit.
The old amusement park covers the entire park with rides above your head neatly tucked into the decorations of the gardens. The rides rattle around before you realise they are there. Although we didn’t ride on any, there is certainly something for everyone and a reason to visit even in the winter months after Christmas.
Going back to those inviting cafes, pubs and bars, they all look so cosy inside with candles flickering and roaring fires heating up those who have already made their way in. There are a number of hot drinks on offer to help that warming up process and you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave unless it’s onto another equally as cosy spot possibly with something to eat this time. The atmosphere inside each one is that of happy, vibrant people having the best time and seemingly living their best life. These locals don’t let a little cold and dark get in their way of happiness. They are wrapped up for the weather yet still manage to look stylish and seem to always find time for a little socialising even though the evenings are dark.
Even if you know nothing about Copenhagen, you will probably have seen the photos of the colourful buildings in Nyhavn around the Old Port. This area of the city is perfect for brightening up any grey winter day and then come night those talked about fairy lights light up, to help keep the atmosphere alive. You can wander up and down the cobble streets here taking it all in or come December stop off at a Christmas market stall or two. There are plenty of options to keep you toasty including the typical glasses of Glügg but also numerous food options. It’s not just the Nyhavn port that lights up the city with colour, most of the roofs have that unique greeny coloured roof or orange tiles that from above make the city looks awash with colour.
There are so many little things, that put together make Copenhagen a great place to visit during the winter. From the indoor markets with roaring fires to the candle lit bars, going out seems fun even in the freezing temperatures.
No where did I put my copy of ‘The Year of Living Danishly’, I feel it’s about time I read about how to make home feel a little more like Denmark.