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Christmas fun in Copenhagen

Take advantage of Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane with Denmark and channel a little Christmas cheer in Copenhagen.

Stocking shopping at Hojbro Plads, Copenhagen.

Christmas markets

You’re spoiled for choice in Copenhagen, with Christmas markets (or Julemarked) setting up shop across the capital throughout November and December.

The market on Hojbro Plads in the heart of the old town is one of the best. Think log cabins imported from Germany’s Tyrol, gluhwein, sausages, waffles and pancakes. This year, the market runs from November 12 to December 22.

The Hans Christian Andersen Julemarked is located on Nytorv Square, just off the main pedestrian shopping street of Stroget. Shop food and stocking fillers beneath the Christmas tree in the square. The market runs daily from November 12 to December 21.

Julemarked Kongens Nytorv is one of the largest markets. Browse the many stalls under the facade of the beautifully-illuminated Hotel D’Angleterre, which reveals an advent scene in each of its windows throughout December. The Julemarked Kongens Nytorv opens daily from November 12 to December 22.

The world-famous, colourful quayside buildings of the Nyhavn make for a stunning backdrop to its Christmas market. Enjoy candlelit open-air restaurants, cafes and bars as well as a plethora of market stalls and street food. The market runs daily from November 12 to December 22.

Twinkling festive lights at Nyhavn.

Children will love the hugely popular Tivoli Gardens funfair park which is beautifully decorated during the lead-up to Christmas. Head over just before dusk when the lights come on. Christmas at Tivoli runs from November 30 to December 31 but is closed on Christmas Day; tickets can be bought online.

The alternative neighbourhood of Freetown Christiana hosts an indoor market at The Grey Hall (Den Gra Hal). Expect to browse local, handmade crafts but for just a handful of days, from December 9-20.

River cruising

A great way to soak up this compact capital is from its waterways, especially if you’ve walking-averse kids in tow. Hop on an hour-and-a-half guided cruise from the Nyhavn and sail into the harbour and past the world-famous Little Mermaid statue. She’s a tiny but tenacious sculpture, having been graffitied and even beheaded in the name of political grandstanding. Despite this, she has maintained her spot at Langelinie since 1913.

Cruise past Amalienborg Palace, the current residence of the Danish royal family, The Copenhagen Opera House, Christiansborg Palace and the Royal Library. Then squeeze your way up the narrow canals of Christianshavn.

Bike tours

Copenhagen is perfect biking territory with plenty of designated cycle lanes and mercifully few inclines. Many of the hotels offer bike hire, enabling you to freewheel your way around the tourist spots.

Head to Amalienborg Castle for the changing of the guard and pedal your way along the river to Torvehallerne open-air food market in Norreport. Copenhagen has long been a seafaring port and Torvehallerne is filled with mouth-watering seafood and fish dishes. Wash it all down with a festive glogg (Danish mulled wine).

History hit

Brush-up on - or kick-start - your Danish historical knowledge with a wander around The National Museum of Denmark. From Vikings right up to the present day, you’ll pick up all sorts of facts and figures. Did you know, for example, that the Danish flag is the oldest in the world? It’s fascinating stuff and richly depicted with engaging displays and succinct descriptions.

If you’ve got kids tagging along, head downstairs to the Children’s Museum, where the same subject areas are covered with hands-on displays and fun activities.

Carlsberg fun

Carlsberg beer is one of Denmark’s most famous exports - along with Lego - and the Carlsberg Visitor Centre is well worth a visit. The entrance ticket includes a horse-and-carriage tour and a beer tasting at the Old Carlsberg Brewery. Guided walking tours are also available.

The brewery was founded in 1847 by Danish industrialist and philanthropist JC Jacobsen. Despite having no formal scientific training, he realised that the production of beer - which until then was carried out in numerous small breweries - needed to be based on a scientific method to be industrialised. The resultant brewery is named after his son, Carl Jacobsen.

Palace style

Christiansborg Palace is the former royal residence and is today the seat of the Danish parliament, the Danish prime minister’s office and the Supreme Court of Denmark. Several parts of the building are still used by the royal family, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Royal Chapel and the Royal Stables, all of which can be viewed by the public.

Expect to be blown away by stunning chandeliers, gorgeous ornaments, majestic tapestries and the sheer splendour of it all. The stables will be a hit with the kids - they contain real royal horses and a host of royal carriages.

City views

The Round Tower (Rundetaarn) is located in the heart of the capital and was constructed in the 1600s in what was then the geographical centre of Denmark. Indeed, until the late 1700s both Sweden and Norway fell under Danish sovereignty and Denmark was the central point of the country. Today, it lies on the far eastern edge.

The Rundetaarn is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe and is still used by amateur astrologers. Follow the wide, cobbled, spiral walkway to reach the viewing platform at the top for views of the city from 270m up.

Brick building

Legoland is not located in Copenhagen but is worth mentioning as one of Denmark’s most famous attractions. If you’re taking public transport from the capital, the trip takes around three hours and it’s recommended to stay overnight.

The park is adjacent to the original Lego factory in Billund and was built by Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen’s son, Godtfred, as a means of promoting the product. The once-14-acre site now sprawls across 45 acres, with 50 rides spread throughout Duplo Land, Imagination Zone, LEGOREDO Town, Adventure Land, Lego City, Knight’s Kingdom, Mini Land, Pirate Land and Polar Land.

Note that the park closes at the end of October and reopens in March.


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