5 Wintery, Wonder-Filled Days in Copenhagen

Explore Copenhagen’s winter wonders during this five-day itinerary, covering the most charming and cozy experiences the Danish capital has to offer.

People gathering in an amusement park covered in snow at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens in December

Photo by Kim Wyon

Copenhagen, Denmark’s bustling capital, welcomes travelers year-round with some of the world’s most exciting architecture, an innovative restaurant scene, eco-friendly living, and rich culture. Those looking to explore the city at its coziest should consider coming during winter when they can embrace the spirit of hygge—a feeling of contentment found by enjoying the good things in life with those you love.

During this special five-day itinerary, you’ll experience everything from scenic strolls through Copenhagen’s most beloved historic neighborhoods and the excitement of Tivoli Gardens to shopping at Christmas markets and local Danish holiday traditions. Visit one of the city’s abundant bakeries, and if you are there in February, make sure to try one of the sought-after fastelavnsboller, a custard-filled pastry that celebrates the Carnival tradition called Fastelavn. Many other festivities fill this time of year, including the floating Santa Lucia parade on December 13, New Year’s Eve fireworks from Tivoli, and the Copenhagen Light Festival in February.

Now it’s even easier to enjoy the enchantment of Copenhagen. American Airlines is launching a new direct route from Philadelphia to Copenhagen starting June 6, 2024, making Denmark more accessible from North America than ever before. Find out the best time for you to go to Copenhagen by taking our quiz based on your travel style.

A woman looking at an exhibit at the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen, Denmark

Trip Highlight

Danish Architecture Center (DAC)

See why Copenhagen was named UNESCO World Capital of Architecture during a visit to the Danish Architecture Center. Learn about Danish design from the Viking Age to the present day, browse thought-provoking exhibitions, and sign up for engaging city walks and events.
Logos of VisitCopenhagen and VisitDenmark

Trip Designer

VisitCopenhagen and VisitDenmark

VisitCopenhagen and VisitDenmark welcome all travelers to the vibrant Danish capital of Copenhagen and the wonders beyond. With the new American Airlines route direct from Philadelphia to Copenhagen, traveling to explore The Land of Everyday Wonder has never been easier.

Day 1:Stroll Through Christianshavn and Nørrebro

Welcome to Copenhagen! Once you arrive, check into Manon Les Suites and enjoy a cocktail or smoothie next to the hotel’s Bali-inspired pool, a perfect retreat if you ever feel winter’s chill nipping at your heels. When you’re rested, head out for lunch at Lola in Christianshavn, where the kitchen offers a modern take on traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) with inventive toppings like butter chicken salad and marinated herring with pickled kumquats.

Stroll back through Christianshavn, one of Copenhagen’s most scenic districts known for its cheerful, vibrant houses and picturesque canals. Take your time soaking up the charming atmosphere. When you’re finished, cross the canal passing the Danish Parliament, also known as Christiansborg, until you reach the Copenhagen lakes—an ideal spot to sit and people watch. Go west of the lakes to explore Nørrebro, the city’s most multicultural neighborhood

Here, you’ll find a selection of Copenhagen’s exciting and diverse food, from Michelin-starred Nordic cuisine to the best ramen you’ve ever slurped. Get into the spirit of the season with a glass of traditional Danish mulled wine (gløgg) at Barking Dog. Then go for wood oven-baked pizza at Bæst, which serves their own hand-crafted mozzarella and ricotta made in the micro-dairy upstairs.

Day 2:Visit Museums and Architectural Landmarks

Renowned for its influence on design and urban planning, Copenhagen was designated UNESCO World Capital of Architecture from 2023 to 2025. Learn why during a visit to the Danish Architecture Center (DAC), where the permanent collection and insightful exhibits demonstrate how architecture has impacted Danish society from the Viking Age to the present day.

Next, step outside the museum with one of DAC’s expert guides to see the city’s modern masterpieces and iconic landmarks, including Christiansborg (the seat of the Danish parliament), The Silo, Opera House, and Skuespilhuset (the Royal Playhouse), Danmarks Nationalbank (designed by Arne Jacobsen), and the upcoming Vandkulturhus (Waterfront Culture Center) designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

Feeling inspired? Make your own souvenir—a clay cup, bowl, or anything in between—and bring it home from Creative Space. If you prefer something more seasonal, sip a cup of coffee and knit a chic sweater at Woolstock. Reflect on the day during dinner at design-forward Esmée, where you can dine on caviar, wagyu tomahawk, and rhubarb tart surrounded by thoughtful design touches like thick velvet curtains, marble surfaces, and lush greenery.
Two people drinking beverages while soaking in an outdoor hot tub at CopenHot in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Photo by Mellanie Gandø

Day 3:Check Out Charlottenlund’s Celebrated Museum Followed by a Sauna

Take the public S-train and bus 15 minutes north of Copenhagen to visit Ordrupgaard, where you can see one of Northern Europe’s most important collections of Danish and French masterworks from the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to the main building and galleries, Ordrupgaard is the site of Finn Juhl’s house and modern extensions by star architects Zaha Hadid and Snøhetta. Immerse yourself in the works and life of Juhl, the celebrated Danish furniture designer, before strolling through the park enjoying open-air pieces by contemporary artists like Olafur Eliasson.

Back in Copenhagen, warm up at Aire Ancient Baths in the former buildings of the Carlsberg brewery, or do like the Danes and visit CopenHot for an outdoor hot tub and sauna experience.

That evening, enjoy dinner at Vækst, where the menu focuses on New Nordic dishes made from Danish ingredients. Served in an enchanting greenhouse filled with flickering lights and hanging plants, vegetables and herbs take center stage, with some fresh fish and meat thrown in for good measure.
A baker piping cream on a tray of pastries at Apotek 57 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Apotek 57

Photo by Daniel Rasmussen

Day 4:Learn to Bake Traditional Treats Before Heading to Tivoli Gardens

Venture out for breakfast at a Scandinavian bakery such as Apotek 57 or Andersen & Maillard. Dig into the fragrant, spiced layers of a classic cardamom bun and get toasty with some of Copenhagen’s best coffee. Next, it’s your turn to get in the kitchen with CPH Cooking Class. Learn how to make Danish favorites like smørrebrød, rye bread, cinnamon twists, wienerbrød (Danish pastries), and sourdough.

End your day at Tivoli Gardens in the heart of Copenhagen and marvel at all the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations. The world’s second-oldest amusement park, Tivoli brings out the child in everyone, no matter their age. (Note that if you’re traveling to Copenhagen in January or February, Tivoli will be closed.)

Try not to fill up on cotton candy and popcorn before dinner at one of the park’s many restaurants, such as Kilden i Haven—a sustainable Danish bistro that serves sophisticated dishes like lamb sirloin with parsnip and beetroot with tarragon, horseradish, and nori. Before returning to your hotel, go to Nimb Bar for the ultimate winter nightcap: gløgg and æbleskiver (spherical pancakes).
The streets crowded with people at the Værnedamsvej and Tullinsgade Christmas Market in Copenhagen, Denmark

Værnedamsvej and Tullinsgade Christmas Market

Photo by Malthe Zimakoff

Day 5:Embrace Hygge Like a Local

Put on a warm coat and explore Copenhagen’s city center, the heart of town and a hub for culture, restaurants, historic attractions, and fairytale castles, like Christiansborg Palace and Rosenborg Castle. Or, if you forgot your coat, go thrifting at one of Copenhagen’s many elevated second-hand shops or other sustainable boutiques.

If you’re around during November and December, visit some of the local Christmas Markets, which capture the hygge spirit of the season. Listen to festive music, shop for handcrafted gifts, and try mouthwatering treats, like waffles, sausages, and roasted almonds.

After all the merriment, heat up with some spicy food courtesy of Copenhagen’s new Asian wave. In recent years, more exciting Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and fusion restaurants have popped up around the city—many of which are influenced by or have chefs who worked with Noma’s René Redzepi, the influential chef behind New Nordic cuisine. Don’t miss Kappo Ando, Restaurant Koan, Slurp Ramen Joint, Juju, or JATAK.

Next, get even cozier by visiting a board game café like Bastard, which boasts more than 3,800 board games in its library, or by playing bingo, croquet, or table tennis at Absalon, a community space the owners like to describe as “an extension of your own living room.”

Finish the evening with a drink at Balderdash, a tiny, playful bar housed in a building from 1732. Sip the bartender’s inventive creations—such as an old fashioned with smoked bone marrow and burnt butter—by the fireplace and toast to a memorable trip.
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