Denmark is a wonderful place to visit during the winter months. The cold weather and shorter days bring a cozy new dimension to this Scandinavian country best known for its summer bicycling culture and laidback vibes. From November through February, Denmark takes on a more hygge spirit as locals embrace candlelit dinners, fireside reading sessions, and long nights spent indoors with friends and family. The major cities become enchanting wonderlands decorated for the holidays with twinkling lights and bustling Christmas markets. For travelers, winter provides a chance to experience Denmark like a local and take in the top sights without massive crowds. Of course, winter travel requires some additional preparation and planning.
To fully enjoy Denmark during the colder months, here are five tips for visitors making the trip:
1. Pack Warm Clothes and Rain Gear
Denmark has a cold, wet climate in the winter so packing the right clothes is essential. Bring warm layers like sweaters, fleece jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves. Temperatures often dip below freezing so a heavy winter coat is a must. Make sure to pack winter boots with good traction to handle icy sidewalks. Don’t forget rain gear like waterproof jackets and boots as there is a lot of precipitation. Packing clothes that are warm, waterproof and block the wind will keep you comfortable when sightseeing.
2. Experience the Hygge Lifestyle
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish concept that focuses on coziness, comfort and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. In the winter, Danes spend lots of time indoors enjoying hygge activities like reading by candlelight, baking comfort foods, or getting cozy under a blanket with hot drinks. Visit cafés and restaurants serving traditional Danish foods like meatballs, pastries, or potato dumplings. Stroll through Christmas markets drinking gløgg (mulled wine). Relax in your hotel with hot chocolate as you watch the snowfall. Embracing hygge is key to enjoying Denmark in the winter.
3. See the Sights without Crowds
The major sights in Denmark are less crowded during the winter months. In Copenhagen, you can comfortably explore top attractions like The Little Mermaid statue, Amalienborg Palace, Tivoli Gardens, and the colorful Nyhavn canal area. Check out modern Danish design at places like the Design Museum. Outside the capital, head to historic castles like Kronborg and Frederiksborg. The second largest city, Aarhus, has great museums and galleries along with cozy cafés and restaurants. With smaller crowds, you’ll be able to take your time and really appreciate the Danish sights.
4. Experience Nature and Wildlife
From Zealand’s beech forests to Jutland’s windswept coastal areas, Denmark’s scenic natural areas are ideal to explore in winter when tourist numbers are lower. Spot native wildlife like red deer, foxes and over 200 bird species that winter in Denmark’s wetlands and marshes. Look for starfish and seals on the beaches of the Wadden Sea. See snow covered forests and meadows while on guided nature walks. Try winter activities like cross-country skiing, ice skating or sledding. Soak in the peacefulness of Denmark’s nature areas blanketed in snow.
5. Apply for a Visa Online If You Need To
If you are a US citizen, you can visit Denmark for up to 90 days without a visa. However, you will need a valid passport. Some travelers may need to obtain an eVisa before arriving, which involves completing an online application. Be sure to check the current visa requirements for citizens heading to Denmark and apply for a Denmark eVisa in advance if necessary. Having the proper documentation will ensure you avoid issues or delays entering Denmark.
Denmark is a magical winter destination with its festive cities, inviting hygge culture, and snow-covered natural beauty. Following these tips to pack properly, see the sights, embrace local experiences, appreciate nature and get any required documents will help you make the most of visiting Denmark in the colder months. Just remember to dress warmly and you’ll be ready to discover all that Denmark has to offer in winter.