Copenhagen in December: Weather, Season, Temperature, Climate

Last Updated on September 3, 2023 by asoulwindow

Copenhagen in December: Weather, Things to do & Travel Tips

Denmark is a magical country and visiting Copenhagen in December is an unforgettable experience.

But naturally, before travelling to the city, you may have some questions about how to prepare for a trip. “What is the weather like?”, “what should I wear?” and more.

Fortunately, this blog post will cover everything you need to know about a trip to Copenhagen in the final month of the year.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in! 

Copenhagen Central Post Building Denmark Europe
Copenhagen Central Post Building Denmark Europe

Is December a good time to visit Copenhagen?

In one sentence, Copenhagen is worth visiting in December, absolutely. In fact, it’s possibly the best time of the entire year to head to the Danish capital.

How dark is Copenhagen in winter? Copenhagen may be known for its notoriously chilly and dark winters, but that’s all the more reason to visit during December. The city is lit up with twinkling lights and decorations, making even the darkest days feel cosy and bright. Plus, there’s something about the crisp winter air that just makes the city’s hot chocolate and gløgg (mulled wine) taste even better. 

Does Copenhagen have Christmas markets? Should I go to Denmark at Christmas? If you enjoy Christmas and love getting into the Christmas spirit, then Copenhagen should be your go-to December trip.

The Tivoli Gardens, the world-famous amusement park, transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the holidays, with over 60 stalls selling everything from mulled wines to Danish handicrafts. There’s also a nightly light show, ice skating rink, and Christmas-themed rides. It’s one of the most magical things to see in the world.

Does Copenhagen get snow?

As hinted above, the weather in Copenhagen in December isn’t exactly warm. The temperatures are low, and there is even snow in Copenhagen at least a few times throughout the month. The daily average temperature is 2°C, so the city is barely above freezing point.

Is it rainy in Copenhagen in December?

It doesn’t rain much in Copenhagen in December.

Copenhagen Airport Kastrup Denmark Europe
Copenhagen Airport Kastrup Denmark Europe

Copenhagen weather in December

Being part of Denmark, a Scandinavian country, such weather is to be expected. And to be honest, it adds to the experience of Copenhagen in winter. Visiting Copenhagen when it is sunny feels wrong somehow. To get a true Scandinavian experience, it needs to be cold, and December offers the temperatures.

Is Copenhagen too cold in December? But fear not, it isn’t an unpleasant cold. It’s not very windy, which helps to make it feel warmer than it actually is. 

You should also expect pretty grey skies consistently throughout the day and also expect the days to be short too, with the sun setting around 4 pm. 

The weather in Copenhagen in December only makes the trip more memorable, as it allows you to cosy up with a hot chocolate, or enjoy a glass of mulled wine surrounded by the Christmas lights and ongoing festivities.

What to expect in Copenhagen in December

One thing to expect in Copenhagen in December is a cosy atmosphere. As the temperature drops, the city embraces the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), which means creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of cafes and restaurants with flickering candles, warm blankets, and delicious comfort food. It’s the perfect time to indulge in Danish pastries, mulled wine, and hot chocolate.

You should expect high prices too, but this is pretty standard for Copenhagen throughout the whole year as it is an expensive place to visit

Lastly, you should expect there to be a moderate amount of tourists like yourself. Since December is such a special time to visit Copenhagen, it’s one of the busiest months of the year for Copenhagen’s tourism, particularly as it’s one of Tivoli Gardens’ opening seasons. 

Holidays in Copenhagen in December

Obviously, the main holiday in Copenhagen in December is Christmas, and as mentioned already, Tivoli Gardens offers a Christmas experience like no other.

If you’re looking for a unique holiday experience, consider celebrating Christmas Eve the Danish way. Known as Juleaften, the evening begins with a festive meal, often featuring caramelised potatoes, and red cabbage. After dinner, it’s time to exchange presents and dance around the Christmas tree. It’s a heartwarming and joyous tradition that truly captures the Danish spirit of hygge, a common theme amongst Copenhageners in December.

Finally, if you visit later in December and want an unforgettable New Year’s Eve experience, Copenhagen is also the place to be. The Danes celebrate the new year with a tradition called Gammelårsaften, which involves smashing plates and glasses against friends’ and neighbours’ doors. Quite crazy for a city that is so safe and laid back! It’s said to bring good luck for the year ahead, and it’s a fun and festive way to ring in the new year. Plus, many restaurants and bars offer special New Year’s Eve menus and events, so you can celebrate in style.

What to wear in Copenhagen in December

What should I pack for Copenhagen in December? Since the weather in Copenhagen is pretty cold in December, you need to wrap up pretty warm. The key to dressing for cold temperatures is to wear layers. The more layers the better, because you can always take layers off if you get too warm, but you can’t magically make more layers appear if you are too cold. 

Comfortable and sturdy footwear is also a must when visiting Copenhagen. Be sure to pack waterproof and slip-resistant shoes or boots, as the city can be snowy and icy during this time of year. It’s important to keep your feet warm and dry, so opt for footwear with good insulation and traction.

And of course, bring a hat, gloves and a scarf. You’ll need them! 

Things to do in Copenhagen in December

If you do choose to visit Copenhagen in December, you might need some inspiration for things to do. Of course, there are things you can do all year round like take a bike tour of Copenhagen or visit Rosenborg Castle, but these things to do will really get you in the festive spirit and allow you to make the most of a December trip to Copenhagen. 

Visit Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens is a must-visit attraction in Copenhagen any time of year, but it’s especially magical during the holiday season. During December, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights, festive decorations, and holiday-themed entertainment.

Tivoli Gardens Gate Copenhagen Denmark Europe
Tivoli Gardens Gate Copenhagen Denmark Europe

Take a stroll through the illuminated gardens, go ice skating on the park’s outdoor rink, and enjoy seasonal treats like mulled wine and æbleskiver. The park even has its own Christmas market, where you can shop for unique gifts and decorations. And don’t miss the spectacular fireworks show on New Year’s Eve!

Go ice skating

Embrace the winter weather by going ice skating in Copenhagen’s beautiful outdoor rinks. Frederiksberg Runddel is a popular spot for skating, surrounded by trees and stunning architecture. You can also skate on the roof of the Lüders parking garage with a view of the city. Even if you’re not an experienced skater, there are often classes available to help you get started.

Shop at Christmas markets

Is Copenhagen worth visiting at Christmas? Copenhagen is known for its fantastic Christmas markets, offering a range of handmade crafts, gifts, and traditional Danish foods. The largest and most popular market is the one in Tivoli Gardens, but there are also markets at Nyhavn and in the trendy Nørrebro neighbourhood. Sample festive treats like æbleskiver and gløgg, browse handmade decorations and gifts and soak up the holiday cheer. Is Copenhagen snowy at Christmas? On some days around Christmas, it does snow in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen in December Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen Denmark Europe
Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen Denmark Europe

See the Royal Danish Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Experience the magic of the holiday season with a performance of “The Nutcracker” by the Royal Danish Ballet. The ballet has been a holiday tradition in Copenhagen for decades, and the Royal Theater’s production is a must-see for fans of the classic story, or anyone seeking a bit of festivity in Copenhagen. The stunning costumes, beautiful music, and talented dancers will transport you to a magical winter wonderland.

Admire the Christmas lights at Nyhavn

Nyhavn is a picturesque harbour lined with colourful historic buildings. It’s famous around the world and is incredible to see at any point of the year, but during the holiday season, it’s even more magical. The buildings are smothered with festive lights, creating a warm and cosy atmosphere. Take a stroll along the harbour, snap some photos, and enjoy the holiday cheer. 

Copenhagen in December: Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Below are some questions related to visiting Copenhagen in December.

Is Copenhagen too cold in December?

Copenhagen is quite cold in December, but it’s not too cold. As long as you dress appropriately, you won’t feel the cold. Visiting while the temperatures are low means the vibe in Copenhagen is even cosier, with hot chocolates and mulled wine becoming a more common occurrence.

Is Copenhagen worth visiting at Christmas?

Copenhagen is absolutely worth visiting at Christmas. It’s the most magical time of the year, and it’s the most magical time to visit Copenhagen too. The city is jam-packed with festivities, and you don’t need to look further than Tivoli Gardens to discover how festive Copenhagen really is. The whole city transforms into a winter wonderland.

Is Copenhagen dark in winter?

The days in Copenhagen during the winter are pretty short, with the sun setting around 4 pm. The sky is also pretty grey throughout the day too, meaning that yes, Copenhagen is quite dark during the winter. This makes sense as Copenhagen is part of Denmark, which is in Scandinavia.

Copenhagen Central Station Denmark Europe
Copenhagen Central Station Denmark Europe

Final thoughts: How is Copenhagen in December?

And there you have it, a complete guide to visiting Copenhagen in December.

Is Copenhagen worth visiting in winter? It really is the best time of the year to visit the city. It’s so magical and special, it’s a truly unforgettable trip.

Tivoli Gardens at Christmas time alone makes Copenhagen worth visiting in December but there is so much on offer throughout the city during the festive period. It makes for the trip of a lifetime.

Enjoy your winter trip to Denmark and most importantly, enjoy Copenhagen in December!

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