It’s been a long time since I last covered the Danish capital’s Christmas markets, and it’s time for the 2023 edition. Not that much has changed, actually – and that’s a good thing.
Copenhagen sparkles even brighter during the holiday season, and if the weather is on your side (which unfortunately is never guaranteed here) it’s hard not to get into the Christmas spirit.
The Danish capital comes alive with twinkling lights, festive cheers and the intoxicating scent of mulled wine and roasted almonds. Christmas markets pop up around the city, offering an enchanting blend of shopping, music, food and of course hygge. I would highly recommend getting the Copenhagen City Pass to make sure you get to see the rest of this great place too.
With that said, let’s get into the list.
Key Takeaways: Best Christmas Markets in Copenhagen 2023
|Copenhagen has abundant Christmas markets, big and small||From the sprawling Tivoli affair to local neighbourhood markets, there are abundant options for all tastes|
|The charming harbour district of Nyhavn is a top pick||With its postcard canal and cosy stalls, Nyhavn sets the stage for Christmas magic|
|Families will love the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market||Next to the statue of Denmark’s famous author, this market offers rides, activities and theatre for kids|
|For an upscale Christmas market, head to regal Kongens Nytorv||Set amid palaces and grand architecture, the elegant Kongens Nytorv market sells speciality foods and refined crafts|
|The alternative Christiania Christmas Market is a unique choice||Set in the hippie enclave of Christiania, this bohemian market oozes artsy charm|
|Experience rides, carols, thousands of lights and festive stalls inside Tivoli Gardens||The iconic amusement park transforms into a Christmas wonderland – don’t miss it!|
|Indulge in traditional treats like æbleskiver, gløgg and roast pork sandwiches||Beyond the trinkets, it’s all about the food! Savour these Christmas goodies as you explore the markets|
|With ample markets, plan an itinerary to navigate the options||Optimal routes range from 1-day highlights to leisurely 3-day market crawls|
From quaint neighbourhood stalls to sprawling festive affairs, Copenhagen has a Christmas market for every taste and budget. Read on as we round up the very best yuletide markets worth bundling up for.
The Big Hitters: Famous Christmas Markets in Copenhagen
|Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market||Inside Tivoli Gardens amusement park||Magical setting, rides, live entertainment|
|Nyhavn Christmas Market||Nyhavn harbor district||Charming harbour location, smaller local stalls|
|Højbro Plads Christmas Market||City centre square||One of the largest markets, 100+ stalls|
|Kongens Nytorv Christmas Market||Historic Kongens Nytorv square||Smaller refined market amidst elegant surroundings|
|Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market||Next to the famous H.C. Andersen statue||Family-friendly with kids’ activities|
|Christiania Christmas Market||In the alternative freetown Christiania||Bohemian, local artisans and crafts|
Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market
No Copenhagen Christmas is complete without a visit to the enchanting Tivoli Gardens Christmas market. Set within the iconic amusement park, which dazzles with over 500,000 twinkling lights, the market exudes hygge appeal.
- Magical setting with charming Scandinavian architecture
- Access to Tivoli’s world-famous rides and attractions
- Luxurious and sparkling Christmas decorations
- Live entertainment, music and activities
- Local arts, crafts and food vendors
With over 60 festive stalls scattered throughout the park, the market sells beautiful ornaments, toys, woollen apparel and delicacies like gløgg (mulled wine), æbleskiver (pancake balls), roasted nuts and more. Grab a steaming cup, let the aroma transport you, and leisurely stroll under the fairy lights. It’s a Christmas fantasy come alive!
The market runs from mid-November through December, so you have ample time to soak up the holiday atmosphere. We recommend going in the evening when Tivoli is fully illuminated. With the lights dancing off the lake and the rides swirling behind the stalls, it’s magic through and through.
Good to know: Entry tickets to Tivoli Gardens are required to access the market. Combo tickets including rides are available.
Nyhavn Christmas Market
For a charming local Christmas market, head to the iconic Nyhavn district. With its colourful storybook houses and docked wooden ships blanketed in lights, Nyhavn sets the stage for a quintessential Christmas market.
What to expect:
- Smaller neighbourhood market nestled along the harbour
- Picturesque colorful houses illuminated for Christmas
- Local arts, crafts, foods and more
- Hygge galore with steaming mugs of gløgg
The Nyhavn Christmas market brings Christmas cheer to the postcard-perfect port. The narrow stalls stretch along both sides of the canal, stocked with handmade knick-knacks, traditional Danish holiday treats and more.
It’s an intimate market with fewer crowds, letting you meander and take in the sights. Grab a cup of gløgg, find a perch along the glowing harbor, and soak up the Christmas spirit.
Insider tip: Come during the day and return at night when Nyhavn glows with lights!
Højbro Plads Christmas Market
As one of Copenhagen’s largest and most popular Christmas markets, Højbro Plads is a must-visit. The expansive central square transforms into a twinkling winter wonderland, packed with over 100 stalls.
What you’ll find at Højbro Plads:
- Traditional Danish Christmas foods and drinks
- Handicrafts, decorations, clothing, and more
- Holiday concerts at the main stage
- Vibrant, festive atmosphere
- Located right in the city centre
From warm æbleskiver and mulled wine to handmade ornaments and knitted hats, you’ll find it all here. The market stretches through the square and down the small streets branching off. Lively tunes and the hum of shoppers fill the crisp, cold air.
Come with an empty stomach – you’ll want to nibble your way through! And leave room in your suitcase – the abundance of stalls makes it easy to get caught up in the Christmas shopping spirit.
Tip: Weekends are lively but crowded. For a more relaxed visit, come on a weekday.
Kongens Nytorv Christmas Market
For a refined Christmas market amid regal surroundings, pay a visit to Kongens Nytorv. This elegant square is home to a posh Christmas market with over 60 stalls.
What to expect at Kongens Nytorv:
- Central location surrounded by grand architecture
- Specialty gourmet foods and artisanal goods
- Elegant chalet-style stalls with crafts and decor
- Fewer crowds than larger markets
With the grand Royal Theatre as a backdrop and twinkling lights draped on the trees, this Christmas market has an upscale ambience. Here you’ll find speciality delicacies, fine wines, and carefully curated Danish crafts.
Stroll with a glass of gløgg in hand and admire the fancy holiday displays in this ritzier part of town. The refined setting offers a pleasant contrast to Copenhagen’s larger and more boisterous markets.
Visit in the early evening for smaller crowds and magical lighting displays that give this posh square even more character.
Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market
For families visiting Copenhagen, the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas market is a must. Next to the iconic statue of Denmark’s famous fairytale author, this market balances family fun with yuletide magic.
Why kids love this market:
- Located next to the statue of Hans Christian Andersen
- Fairytale characters, plays, and activities
- Crafts, face painting, and carousels
- Traditional foods and sweet treats
Little ones can meet storybook characters, catch a Christmas play, craft paper decorations, ride the carousel, and fill up on cookies and hot chocolate. There’s also ample shopping for parents, with stalls selling toys, clothing, decorations and more.
Its central location makes it easy to combine with visits to other downtown Christmas markets and attractions. You’ll build priceless family memories while still enjoying traditional holiday market fare.
Christiania Christmas Market
For an alternative, bohemian Christmas market, head to the unique freetown of Christiania. The artsy Christiania Christmas market is a treat for the senses.
What makes Christiania special:
- Located in the alternative, artsy community of Christiania
- Unique handmade goods by local artisans
- Mulled wine and mead, vegetarian dishes
- Lively, informal atmosphere
With its alternative flair, this is no ordinary Christmas market. The village comes alive with glittering lights strung through the trees and the aroma of roasted chestnuts in the air. Live music, impromptu jam sessions and bonfires add to the festive ambience.
Marked with spray-painted signposts, stalls bursting with rainbow knits, upcycled decor, handmade ceramics, organic soaps and more – all created by Christiania’s creative locals. This market marches to the beat of its own drum, oozing hippie charm.
Don’t miss the local mead and vegetarian grub. And remember that while hash and marijuana are openly sold here, photography is strictly forbidden.
Good to know: Christiania has multiple entrances. Enter via Prinsessegade for the easiest market access.
Smaller Local Christmas Markets in Copenhagen
Beyond the major affairs, Copenhagen hides a trove of smaller neighbourhood Christmas markets waiting to be discovered. Here are a few more excellent local markets to check out:
Værnedamsvej Christmas Market
Located in the cosy Frederiksberg district, this charming neighbourhood market stretches along Værnedamsvej. The street comes alive with stalls from local shops and cafés selling crafts, clothes, decorations and treats.
Frederiksberg Gardens Christmas Market
Hosted at the entrance to the royal Frederiksberg Gardens, this is a beloved family-friendly affair with food, lanterns, craft stalls and more.
Copenhagen RAW Christmas Market
This curated artisan market hosts over 50 vendors selling homemade crafts, art, clothing, food and more. Located in the trendy Vesterbro district.
Grønttorvet Christmas Market
This cosy Christmas market focuses on seasonal, locally-sourced treats and handicrafts. Great for families!
What to Eat at Copenhagen’s Christmas Markets
Beyond the trinkets and treasures, we’re here for the food! Indulge in these decadent Danish Christmas treats as you market-hop:
Gløgg (Mulled Wine)
No Christmas market experience is complete without a steaming mug of gløgg. This aromatic, spiced red wine warms you from the inside out.
These spherical pancake puffs, topped with jam and powdered sugar, are a Danish Christmas favourite.
Pebernødder (Gingerbread Cookies)
Crunch into spice-laced, icing-topped gingerbread cookies as you browse.
Flæskesteg (Roasted Pork Belly Sandwiches)
Warm, crispy pork belly sandwiches make for perfect on-the-go noshing.
Rich, thick hot chocolate helps take the bite out of icy Scandinavian winds.
Roasted Almonds and Chestnuts
Warm, candied nuts roasted over an open fire make a great hand-held snack.
Travel Tips for Visiting Christmas Markets in Copenhagen
To make the most of Copenhagen’s Christmas markets, keep these handy tips in mind:
- Bundle up! With frigid temperatures, warm layers, hats, gloves and scarves are a must.
- Wear waterproof shoes. Slushy streets and snow are part of the deal.
- Bring cash. Some vendors may not accept credit cards. Cash ensures you can buy those must-have gifts and treats.
- Have small bills. Stalls may not have change for large denominations.
- Pack light. Markets can get crowded. Travel light so you can squeeze through busy lanes.
- Visit on weekdays. For fewer crowds and more elbow room, visit markets early on weekdays when locals are working.
- Pace yourself. Trying to see multiple markets in one day? Space them out to allow wiggle room in your itinerary.
- Take breaks. Pop into a café to warm up with a treat when the cold gets extreme.
Plan Your Christmas Market Itinerary
With so many excellent Christmas markets to check out in Copenhagen, planning your route is essential. Here are suggested 1, 2, and 3-day Copenhagen Christmas market itineraries:
1-Day Christmas Market Itinerary
If you only have one day, your best bet is to see the central Copenhagen markets:
- Morning: Kongens Nytorv + Højbro Plads
- Afternoon: Tivoli Gardens
- Evening: Nyhavn
2-Day Christmas Market Itinerary
With a second day, you can see more markets and dive deeper:
- Morning: Tivoli Gardens
- Afternoon: Højbro Plads + Kongens Nytorv
- Evening: Hans Christian Andersen Market
- Morning: Christiania Market
- Afternoon: Frederiksberg Gardens Market
- Evening: Nyhavn
3 Day Christmas Market Itinerary
With 3 days, you can take an unhurried approach:
- Morning: Tivoli Gardens
- Afternoon: Højbro Plads
- Evening: Kongens Nytorv
- Morning: Christiania Market + Værnedamsvej Market
- Afternoon: Frederiksberg Garden Market
- Evening: Nyhavn
- Morning: Copenhagen RAW Christmas Market
- Afternoon: Hans Christian Andersen Market
- Evening: Norreport Station Christmas Market
More time in the Danish capital? Check out more posts about Copenhagen (and Denmark) here.
Celebrating Christmas the Copenhagen Way
Copenhagen’s Christmas markets allow you to celebrate the holidays like a true local. Here’s a quick look at Christmas Danish-style:
- Hygge is key. That cosy, content feeling you get from the twinkling lights, steaming mugs, and cheerful crowds – that’s hygge in full effect!
- Christmas Eve (December 24th) is the main event. Families celebrate with a big Christmas dinner, dancing around the tree, and opening gifts.
- Ris à l’amande (rice pudding with almonds) is the traditional dessert, with a whole almond hidden inside. Whoever finds it wins an extra present!
- Christmas Day (December 25th) is more relaxed, often spent eating leftovers and playing with new gifts and toys.
- Nisse are the mischievous elves who live in houses, barns and stables. Leaving them a bowl of rice pudding keeps them happy!
- Julebryg – Christmas beers – are a beloved holiday drink. Sample them at local bars and the markets.