Needless to say Danes go all in when it comes to Christmas decorations, presents and the cosy atmosphere. In this page, I will guide you through some of the most magical Julemarkeder (Christmas markets) of the country, full of cool gifts, decorations, traditional food, gløgg (mulled wine) and of course, æbleskiver (baked fritters).
Note: unlike in many other European countries, where Christmas markets run all the way to New Year’s Eve, Christmas markets in Denmark come to a close much earlier. Some at the beginning of December and some a few days before the actual Christmas day.
Aarhus has numerous Christmas markets, however there are two in particular which stand out.
Den Gamle By is the Christmas market in the Old Town- which will provide you with a very authentic and charming experience. As you stroll through the Old Town, you will come across horse carriages, stunning decorations and lanterns, which make the Christmas atmosphere even more "hyggelig". The Old Town itself holds hundreds years of history, which you can witness as you pass by the different houses and streets, where these Danish traditions originate. If you are traveling with children make sure you also stop at the Mintmaster’s Mansion, where you can meet Christmas elves and give them your Christmas list!
Tivoli Friheden in Aarhus, is the second most popular place to visit during the Christmas time. It is actually an amusement park, which turns into a Christmas market full of decorations, lights and fun rides. If you are lucky you might also see Santa Claus. Like all markets this one also offers a vast variety of traditional Christmas treats.
Unlike other markets, both Aarhus Christmas markets listed, run from mid November until the New Year’s Day.
If you happen to be visiting the small island of Ærø during the Christmas time, you will experience a slightly different vibe compared to the bigger Danish towns. Ærøskøbing -even during the summer season- is a very charming and cosy town, filled with colourful houses, cobbled stone streets and small boutique shops. As the festive month of December approaches, the Christmas spirit blossoms. Small house windows are decorated with candlelights and ornaments, while decorations are placed on doorsteps and locals are being spotted enjoying a warm drink in a hygge setting. Many locals convert their barns, doorways and porches to sell gifts and traditional decorations. You may treat yourself to a warm cup of tea or gløgg (mulled wine), and traditional baked fritters with a prune in their centre.
Plan a visit to the Christmas market in the Freetown of Christiania. This will be a very special occasion and experience, and a kind of Christmas market which you will not experience anywhere else in the world. Christiania market has a very oriental bazaar vibe, with numerous stalls, where you can purchase jewellery, handicraft items, candleholders, and clothes. This market runs from the beginning until the 20th of December.
One of the biggest and most popular markets in Copenhagen is the Højbro Plads, found in the midst of the busy pedestrian shopping area. If you’d like to indulge in a bit of Christmas shopping, Højbro Plads is the perfect place to take a break and enjoy roasted almonds. This Christmas market starts already in the mid November and lasts until the 22d of December.
Note: These are only two out of a dozen Christmas markets, which can be found in Copenhagen.
The Odense Christmas market feels like you are traveling back in time, and specifically, to the Hans Christian Andersen times. This special time of the year was very much reflected in the author’s written work. The old fashioned market has a rather fairytale-like atmosphere, where decorations and food is sold. The market is ideally located next to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, from the end of November till the beginning of December.
Cover picture credits ©: nemoris
Like this story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.