September 25, 2019

Christmas & New Year’s Eve in Copenhagen

Will you be celebrating Christmas or New Year’s Eve in Copenhagen?

Every year we receive lots of questions about Christmas & New Year’s and since the first e-mails have arrived in our inbox it’s about time to get this blog post out. We now got you covered with the best tips and tricks for spending Christmas and New Year’s in wonderful Copenhagen.

The winter months are long (we sure know), but the good thing is that they are packed with local  traditions especially during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  In this blogpost, we will guide you to the best places to eat and drink during your holiday stay and give you insight into the local traditions surrounding both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Christmas Lunch

Gathering with your loved ones for a traditional Christmas lunch, is one of the local traditions not to be missed during your time in Copenhagen. Traditionally it is a feast of ‘smørrebrød’, also called  open faced sandwiches in English. Several toppings are presented for you to compose your own edible masterpiece. You wash it all down with beer or the local spirit called snaps (flavored 40% liquor made from distillated grain or potatoes).  We hope you will join us in these local festivities and not blame the neighboring table if they start singing the popular local snaps-songs during the meal.

Remember to book in advance – locals are out with reservations long time in advance. 

Café Gammeltorv – the traditional

Visit Café Gammeltorv in the historical city center for a Christmas lunch like our grandmother made it. The menu is packed with Christmas delicacies such as pickled herring, pork roast and rice pudding, but it is sadly only published in Danish on their website. However if you decide to trust us and go, we promise, you will not be sorry or leave hungry after the traditional Christmas lunch from Café Gammel Torv.

Restaurant Lumskebugten – the modern

Neighbor to the Little Mermaid, Restaurant Lumskebugten is a wonderful place for anyone on the look for traditional flavors, but open to a modern twist. For Christmas Restaurant Lumskebugten offers their take on a traditional Christmas lunch as well as a more modern Christmas dinner. Both are centered around amazing local and seasonal produce.

Restaurant Selma – the innovative

Curious to explore the next generation of ‘smørrebrød’? Restaurant Selma is the first ever smørrebrød-restaurant to receive a bib gourmand recognition in the Michelin guide. We understand why: the flavors, combinations and techniques are advanced and exciting with respect for the traditions. On their Christmas menu you will enjoy new interpretations of traditional Christmas dishes such as pickled herring, smoked salmon and duck.


Christmas Eve is one of the biggest holidays in Denmark. We do it all on the evening of December 24: sharing the Christmas dinner and giving each other presents. As part of festivities, we even sing Christmas carols, while dancing around the Christmas tree hand in hand. The traditional Christmas feast consists of roast duck or pork roast with crackling served with gravy, boiled red cabbage and two kinds of boiled potatoes: plain or coated in caramel. For dessert, a cold rice pudding with slices of almonds is served with a warm cherry sauce. A game is usually played, where a whole almond is hidden within the portion. If you get the almond, you get a present. Traditionally it is a marzipan pig –  extremely cute!

Christmas Eve

If you are not celebrating Christmas Eve with locals, we recommend locking down your reservation as fast as possible since availability is scarce. Many travelers are surprised by, how Copenhagen is instantly transformed into a ghost town on Christmas Eve. Except for a few take-away places, it is hard to find something to eat during this holiday. Traditional meals are exceptionally hard to come across. Below you find our recommendations for, where to spend Christmas Eve in Copenhagen.

Fru Nimb – the traditional

Next to the amusement park Tivoli, you can find the stunning luxury hotel Nimb. In their traditional Danish restaurant Fru Nimb, they offer a traditional Danish Christmas meal with almond presents and wine pairing. We are certain it will be a delicious and fun way to explore the Danish Christmas traditions.

Kokkedal Slot – the gourmet

Does spending Christmas Eve at an beautiful, Danish castle sound like a dream come true? Then you should consider visiting Kokkedal Slot for a gourmet Christmas dinner. The castle is located near a train station just 30 minutes outside Copenhagen. The castle itself is surrounding by stunning forrests and overlooking the sea and our neighbors in Sweden.

Absalon CPH – the social

For an unusual Christmas Eve, join the communal dinner at the Vesterbro community house called Absalon, after the founding father of Copenhagen. We promise you a fun night of celebrations alongside local Copenhageners in this colorful converted church. You will probably not find any traditional Danish, but plenty of friendly locals open to sharing their Christmas Eve with others.

New Year’s Eve

If you are spending New Year’s Eve in Denmark, we offer you a crash course in our traditions. At 18.00 we watch the Queen’s New Year’s speech. It is sadly not subtitled in English, but now you at least know what is going on, when we all start turning on our televisions. At midnight, we watch the clock of the Copenhagen City Hall strike midnight, get on top of our chairs and jump into the New Year for good luck. Afterwards to toast in champagne and eat the local marcipan cake called ‘Kransekage’. Several restaurants around Copenhagen offer special New Year’s Eve menus. The following are some of our favorites, and they are already open for bookings.

Restaurant Pluto – family style dinner

Hotspot for locals and most likely the recipe for a run night out in Copenhagen on New Year’s Eve.  Restaurant Pluto is perfect for anyone looking for a delicious, casual New Year’s Eve dinner. 10 courses are served family style and hereby offering at wonderful setting for you to leave 2019 behind and enter 2020 on a full stomach. Did we tell you, that they also have wonderful selection cocktails?

Restaurant Kokkeriet – join the local traditions

Michelin star restaurant Kokkeriet has made it their tradition to enter the New Year with their guests. Most restaurants close before midnight, but the staff at Kokkeriet toast with their guests in plenty of champagne and wish them all a happy new year. Top it up with a full nine course-tasting menu and wine pairing, you are sure to enter the New Year in high spirits.

Hotel D’Angleterre – a night of luxury

The world’s first luxury hotel are opening their doors for a luxurious New Year’s Eve with no less than 9 courses and full wine pairing. The hotel restaurant Marchal will certainly treat you to a night to remember and we are certain that the fireworks of Copenhagen will look magnificent from the central location at Kongens Nytorv.

‘God jul og glædeligt nytår’

This is how we wish each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Danish. If you are spending Christmas here, you might as well begin to learn the lingo. Until the holidays begin, we will keep on updating this blogpost to make sure you will have the best time and recommendations for celebrating Christmas or New Year’s Eve in our little Nordic country. If you are curious to learn more about the local Christmas delicacies and traditions, read our Copenhagen Christmas Guide from last year for more information on Christmas markets, food souvenirs and sweet treats.

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