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Bundle up for a magical trip to Denmark in December as the country transforms into a real-life winter wonderland. The daylight hours are fleeting, and temperatures are plummeting, but the Christmas spirit is everywhere. Whether you want to experience the lively festive markets and twinkling lights in cities like Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens and Aarhus' Den Gamle By, cozy up by the fireplace at a countryside inn in West Jutland, or ski down the pristine slopes in Silkeborg, Denmark in December promises a magical time to everyone.

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Denmark Weather in December

Snowfall in Copenhagen during December.
Discover the enchantment of Copenhagen adorned in a blanket of snow during December, a picturesque winter wonderland awaits.

December in Denmark marks the start of the peak winter season, with below-freezing temperatures, short daylight hours, and four days of snowfall on average. Temperatures range from -1°C (30°F) to 4°C (39°F), which can dip even lower during the night. Rain transitions to snow, particularly in western Jutland, covering the landscape in a picturesque white blanket. Sea temperatures also reach their lowest, impacting coastal regions. Daylight is minimal, with the winter solstice marking the year's shortest day. Despite the darkness, festive lights and decorations illuminate cities, creating a magical ambiance.

Read our best time to visit Denmark article for a more detailed month-by-month overview.

Why visit Denmark in December

A tourist couple having fun ice skating at an ice rink.
Partake in one of the most popular winter sports, ice skating, at night when the ice rinks and parks are adorned with dazzling Christmas lights, on your Denmark trip in December.
A Christmas market stall selling ornaments and artifacts during December in
Shop at the local Christmas markets for your Christmas decorations and also some traditional artifacts you could take back home as a souvenir.

Besides the festive atmosphere and special seasonal attractions, there are several other reasons to take a trip to Denmark in December. Here are some of them:

  • Winter activities: Go ice skating at free rinks in Copenhagen or take a winter swim in the sea with local clubs. See the Northern Lights dance across the skies of the northwestern coast of Jutland. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy forests and countryside around Dyrehaven. Warm up après-ski style in a cozy mountain hut in Silkeborg with hot drinks and Danish treats like æbleskiver and gløgg.

  • Seasonal attractions: Special events happen throughout Denmark in December, adding to the festive atmosphere. Christmas markets all over the country sell traditional food, drinks, and handicrafts you can take back home as souvenirs. Attend a Christmas church service, dance around the family Christmas tree, or try the traditional roast duck or goose dinner on December 24. On New Year's Eve, Copenhagen puts on a spectacular parade with dancing, music, and fireworks to ring in the new year.

  • Fewer crowds: December is the off-season for tourism in Denmark, so popular attractions and hotels will be less crowded. You can tour Copenhagen, the usually crowded capital city, more relaxedly. You can also expect to land great deals on accommodations and airfare if traveling during the off-season.

Where to go and what to do

Skiers dropped off at a ski spot by a helicopter.
Embark on an exhilarating heli-skiing adventure in Denmark's pristine landscapes on December, where thrill meets winter wonderland.

Copenhagen is a must-visit in December with its festive Christmas markets and decorations. There are many things to do in Copenhagen in December. Go ice skating at the park or at free rinks at Frederiksberg Runddel and along the harbor. Wander down Nyhavn canal to see the colorful buildings lit up at night. During your stay, be sure to sample traditional treats like gløgg, æbleskiver pancakes, and roast goose.

Visit Elsinore and tour Kronborg Castle, known as Hamlet's Elsinore, covered in snow. The dramatic castle set against the icy sea is straight out of a fairy tale. Stop into cozy cafes for warming Danish dishes and hot drinks as you explore the town.

Odense puts on a magical Christmas market in Hans Christian Andersen's hometown. The pedestrian streets are lined with stalls selling handicrafts, holiday decorations, and snacks. Kids can visit Santa, while adults can sample mulled wine and traditional foods. Pop into the author's childhood home to learn more about his life.

Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing along scenic trails in areas like Gribskov north of Copenhagen, Silkeborg in central Jutland, or Klosterheden Plantage near Viborg. In December, Aarhus shines with the Christmas spirit. As Denmark's second-largest city, Aarhus embraces the cozy hygge spirit of the holidays with lights, seasonal treats, and festive gatherings. Stroll through the Aarhus Central Food Market Christmas market to shop for handicrafts, sample gløgg, and other warming drinks. Step back at Den Gamle by the open-air museum in Aarhus, where old-fashioned Danish Christmas customs and decorations transport you to Christmas's past. See Aarhus in a new light at the Aarhus Light Festival, illuminating tunnels and streets with rainbow-colored light art installations. Catch a holiday concert at the modern Musikhuset Aarhus concert hall in Aarhus.

Ribe is Denmark's oldest town and the perfect place to witness long-held Christmas customs. Enjoy the festive music, feast on holiday flavors, and feel the community's holiday spirit as you wander the car-free streets. Dress warmly and take in the sights of the ancient cathedral and picturesque homes trimmed for the season.

Need Help Planning Your December Trip To Denmark?

Planning a December trip to Denmark? Let our experts guide you! From navigating the best Christmas markets to uncovering hidden gems in Copenhagen, we'll help you create the winter getaway you have mapped out in your head.

For a hassle-free trip, contact our local travel experts to organize a customized Denmark trip itinerary for a one-of-a-kind summer adventure!

More information:
Denmark in November
Denmark in January

Published by Supriya Rayamajhi, updated on March 19, 2024

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