Santa Lucia Kayak Bar

Christmas activities in Copenhagen

Photo: Santa Lucia Kayak Bar

Museums, markets, floating lights and winter bathing, Copenhagen offers many christmas activities.

BaneGaarden Christmas


Banegården  - an urban Christmas landscape
Otto Busses Vej 45, 2450 Copenhagen - Website

At Christmas time, Banegården turns into a Christmas landscape at the weekends and a great assembly point. While Banegården’s food stalls and bakery serve traditional Christmas treats like gløgg, hot chocolate and æbleskiver, which can be enjoyed in their heated Christmas living room, their outdoor area offers bonfires, where it will be possible to make s’mores and a Christmas version of twisted bread (a Danish children’s classic). Every Saturday, Banegården also hosts an informal Christmas lunch, which they call Julebal, which is a Christmas party, where there will be Christmas bingo followed by an afterparty.

Christmas lights

Photo:Aske Jørgensen & Viktor Sylvester Rasmussen

Copenhagen Christmas Walk - Free self-guided audio tour of Christmas in Copenhagen's city centre
Vesterbrogade 2Y, 1620 Copenhagen - Website 

Copenhagen Visitor Service has created the Copenhagen Christmas Walk this year, which lets you experience the Christmas ambience every day of December. The walk will guide you to the city centre's most beautifully illuminated streets and traditional Christmas markets. During the walk you can listen to stories about Danish and Copenhagen Christmas traditions. You can find the Christmas Walk here



Jægersborggade - Local Christmas shopping in Nørrebro
Jægersborggade, København N

Jægersborggade is home to several art galleries, organic produce shops, vintage clothes, ceramics, and jewelry designers, as well as delicacy shops and restaurants. Needless to say, the small residential street is always full of life, which is also guaranteed throughout Christmas.

Jægersborggade is the ideal street to purchase delicacies for December. Karamelleriet makes handmade quality caramels and Christmas calendars, which include delicious treats each day in December until Christmas Eve. The spirit shop, Den Sidste Dråbe, serves free samples of delicious port wine all December long with local spirit manufacturers visiting each Saturday. As goes for Christmas presents, Keramiker Inge Vincents Studio Shop creates quality household items for both local customers and Michelin restaurants. Inge creates unique Christmas presents by offering paper-thin vases and lighting houses that occupy the space between craft and fine art.

Every Saturday in December, Jægersborggade will have a Christmas choir, brass band, gløgg and samba and street dance activities.

Santa Lucia Kayak

Photo:Daniel Rasmussen

Santa Lucia kayak parade in Copenhagen’s Canals
Børskaj 12, 1221 København - Press photos

Every year on the 13 of December, as soon as the night gloom sets in, the canals of Copenhagen are lit up by hundreds of kayaks with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations, sailing through the narrow canals, honoring the Danish Santa Lucia traditions. The parade is a very alternative take on the traditional Santa Lucia, which normally takes place at the Danish schools or other institutions. Here the parade participants wear white dresses while holding a lit candle in their hands as they sing the tunes of Santa Lucia. Instead, the alternative floating Santa Lucia parade is to be enjoyed from the quayside around Copenhagen. The kayakers will float peacefully along the waterway while singing Santa Lucia as they pass the most picturesque canals in Copenhagen, bringing a wonderfully festive atmosphere to Copenhagen. Have your camera ready and remember to bring warm clothes – Kayak Bar will provide gløgg for the event starting at 16:00.

How to experience it by land
The parade will cross Copenhagen’s canals starting at 17:00. Try to be at your favorite spot on the route before that time. Remember to bring some warm clothes and your camera. Local tip: rent a bike to be able to experience the parade in several of the spots around the harbor as well as the singing at Christianshavn at 17:45 and Højbro Plads at 18:15 during the parade. The parade ends at 18:30 at Kayak Bar.

How to experience it by water
All experienced kayakers are welcome to join the Santa Lucia parade. If you have your own kayak, you can participate for free. If not, you can rent kayaks from Kajakhotellet. The joint starting point of the parade is at Kayak Bar at 17:00, and you must sign up to join the parade from the water.

Christmas in Copenhagen is more than just Christmas markets, and the city's creativity unfolds when it comes to Christmas activities. Hundreds of kayakers paddling through the canals with Christmas lights on their boats, floating saunas and jacuzzi's to keep yourself warm after winter bathing, disco-ice skating right by noma's co-owned street food market - Copenhagen never fails to surprise.


Photo:Mellanie Gandø

Winter dip - Take a cold dip in designed dipping zones in Copenhagen's harbour

Lots of locals use the Copenhagen harbour to go for a swim during the wintertime – they are free all year round. So, find your inner Viking and have a cold dip at some of the many dipping spots in Copenhagen’s unusually clean harbour in dipping zones at Kalvebod Bølgen and Nordhavn. It goes especially well with a hot drink afterwards like gløgg to warm you.

It is also possible to combine the cold dip in a harbour bath with a warm sauna experience at places like La Banchina, where you can rent their sauna. La Banchina is located in the urban area of Refshaleøen. Besides being a swimming spot, La Banchina is a small café and restaurant serving seasonal and locally sourced vegetarian food and a great natural wine selection. 

Broens Gadekøkken

Photo:Rolands Varsbergs & Danny Samarov

Broens Ice Skating Rink – Ice skating with views of the Copenhagen canals
Strandgade 95, 1401 Copenhagen K – Website/Press photos

From November 3rd, 2023, until February 25, 2024, Broens Street Kitchen is transformed into an ice-skating rink, free to use and with skates for rent onsite. During this period, expect winter activities like ice disco, silent disco, skating shows, free skating lessons, ice hockey tournaments, etc. You can also enjoy a tasty street food lunch such as burgers from Gasoline Grill and Poulette, Mediterranean food from Phago, or Danish sausages from Kejser sausage with lovely harbour views of a Christmas-clad Copenhagen and the smell of homemade gløgg and Danish æbleskiver. Or participate in Christmas activities such as lighting the Christmas tree, Advent Sundays, Christmas Choir or watch the Santa Lucia parade on ice on December 13th. 

Hey Captain winter canal tour

Photo:Hey Captain

Hey Captain - Christmas tours on the canals
Kvæsthusbroen 1, 1252 Copenhagen - Website 

Until December 17 Hey Captain turns their social canal tours into cosy Christmas tours, where their boats get partly covered with a roof while lanterns light up. Inside the boat, blankets, candles, and hot beverages keep the guests warm.

Kronborg Slot

Photo:Marc Skafte-Vaabenaard

Kronborg Castle - Christmas at the home of Hamlet
Kronborg 2 C, 3000 Helsingør – Website/Press photos

Get in the Christmas spirit at Denmark’s spectacular renaissance castle, Kronborg Castle. On the 25th-26th of Nov., and the 2nd-3rd of Dec., the castle yards will be decorated to the brim with Christmas trees and festive decorations, transforming the castle into a wonderful Christmas market. A selection of different stalls selling high-quality products, Christmas decorations, and wonderful Christmas foods will be available, as well as a wide range of cozy Christmas activities. Children can get in the Christmas mood by joining activities such as children's workshops. The castle is also the setting for Christmas concerts, where you can experience the tones of violinist Michala Høj, feel the energy of a gospel choir or enjoy the intimate atmosphere of the Christmas jazz concerts. The entire Kronborg Castle will be open on the dates of the market, so you also can experience the new exhibition 'Forever and Always Kronborg', which focuses on the Kronborg stories of the Danes. 


Photo:Brittany Overgaard

Frilandsmuseet – Christmas in the Old Denmark
Kongevejen 100, 2800 Lyngby – Website/Press photos

Situated in Lyngby, very close to Copenhagen, Frilandsmuseet is an Open-Air Museum that offers guests a look into rural life in Denmark in old times. Every weekend from the 2nd to the 17th of December from 10-16, the outdoor museum will offer a good old-fashioned Christmas spirit and nostalgia with Christmas games, animals, food, theatre, and workshops, where you, for example, can make Christmas decorations from straw. Explore what Christmas used to be like for poor and rich people back in the day, and taste the Christmas treats from the food stalls, which include æbleskiver, gingerbread, hot chocolate, glögg, traditional Christmas cookies, and candied almonds.


Photo:Carsten Holler

DAC - Make Christmas gifts at DAC's workshops
Bryghuspladsen 10, Copenhagen K – Website/Press photos

A cosy Christmas starts in the Danish Architecture Center (DAC) with lots of experiences for young people, adults, and kids with their families. Join DAC's interactive workshop and create your own Christmas gifts with an architectural twist every weekend from November 35 until December 26. You can also join one of DAC's guided architectural tours that explore the city's iconic landmarks dressed in their holiday finery and unfold the stories behind these architectural marvels. Tours every weekend in November and December.


Photo:Strömma PR

Strömma - Christmas jazz on the canals
Nyhavn, 1051 København K - Website

Each Sunday at 3 PM this holiday season, starting the 27th of November, Strömma kicks off December with a Christmas Jazz Cruise, where jazz bands play their versions of well-known Christmas songs. The boats are roofed and heated, so guests may enjoy the music and sail around the canals in cozy atmospheres.



Tivoli - A Christmas classic
Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 Copenhagen V – Website/Press photos

No Christmas without a stroll in the world-famous historical garden from 1843 in the city centre. Every year, the theme park is lit with lights and filled with Christmas spirit. A true fairy tale Christmas market is on display and the place is a Christmas stable for Danes of all ages.

Det Kongelige Teater

Photo:Det Kongelige Teater

The Royal Danish Theatre - The Nutcracker at the Old Stage
Kongens Nytorv 9, 1050 København K - Website

Each year, The Royal Danish Theatre presents its ballet, The Nutcracker, in an extravagant setting. A ballet all set to Tchaikovsky’s music, the ballet is both for children and adults to recall the carefree wonders of their childhood. In this interpretation by Balanchine, The Nutcracker captures the essence of fairytale and is a wonderful family show to enchant yourself with this Christmas, starting from the 26th of November.

Royal Copenhagen

Photo:Jeppe Bjørn

Royal Copenhagen - Annual Christmas tables and porcelain courses
Amagertorv 6. 1160 København K - Website

Each year, the Royal Copenhagen Flagship Store sets its tables with beautiful porcelain and decorations interpreted by Danish well-known personalities. The tables are decorated with memories of Christmas to joy visitors of all ages. This year, the Christmas tables celebrate their 60th anniversary. Royal Copenhagen also hosts porcelain courses, where guests may paint their own porcelain while being taught by a qualified teacher. 

Giuseppe Liverino

Senior Manager - Press & PR