With its cool reputation and plentiful sights, Copenhagen attracts tourists all year round. In November and December, Danes go all out for Christmas, making this a magical time to visit the capital.
In the warmer months, Copenhageners take every chance they get for a dip in the ocean that surrounds the city, and for the rest of the year, museums, cafes and historic sights offer plenty of things to see and do. Read on to find out when to visit Copenhagen for the perfect vacation.
Enjoy long sunny days and Scandinavian nights in the peak season (May–August)
The Danish weather is fairly consistent year-round, with mild summers and moderate winters, but because of the country’s geographical location, the light plays a big role. In winter, the sun sets at 3:30pm, leaving the days dark and long.
Copenhagen’s high season runs from May to August. In the summer, the days seem never-ending, and the sun sets as late as 10pm. This magical season attracts visitors who want to experience long, Scandinavian nights. July is the warmest month in Copenhagen, and lots of events, festivals and activities take place in the summer, making this a fun time to visit the city.
Have a cozy, authentic experience in the winter low season (January–March)
In winter, temperatures hover around freezing and the sun can set as early as 3:30pm, meaning dark mornings and afternoons. As a way to cope, hygge was created – the habit of embracing coziness, comfort, contentment and cherishing the little things such as lighting a candle, snuggling up on the couch with warm blankets and spending time with loved ones.
During the winter months, visitors get to see a different, more local and more authentic side to Copenhagen, as tourists take up less space, allowing local culture to come to the forefront. Visitors can also save money on accommodations – winter is the cheapest time to visit Copenhagen. Luckily, there are plenty of indoor activities, from museums to shopping, fine restaurants and cool cafes to enjoy when visiting Copenhagen in the low season.
Enjoy mild weather during the winter and fall shoulder seasons in Copenhagen
The shoulder seasons in Copenhagen are in the fall (September to November) and spring (March, April and May), but the weather can vary widely during either season. You might get lucky and experience summer-like weather in September or May, or if you’re unlucky, these months can be gray, muggy and rainy.
In general, the shoulder seasons are perfect for a city trip if you’re happy spending some time inside, exploring museums and historic attractions and shopping in Copenhagen’s design stores.
January is the time to stay warm indoors
For many Danes, January is a dreary month. Christmas is over, but the dark Scandinavian winter and gray skies remain. Visit to see how the Danes do winter – the peak season for hygge. Cuddle up inside cute cafes with hot mugs of coffee, go shopping in stylish designer stores and take advantage of January sales, or go ice skating at one of the city’s many ice skating rinks.
February is quiet and uncrowded in Copenhagen
February is still considered winter in Copenhagen, but the lighter days are slowly starting to come back. It’s the low season for tourism and you may have the main attractions to yourself. Hang out at all the museums and, if you dare, take a dip in the ocean, Viking-style, at one of the city's beaches.
Key Events: Copenhagen Fashion Week, Winter Jazz, CPH Light Festival, Copenhagen Dining Week
The weather starts to warm in March
In March, spring starts to spring, the daylight comes back and locals bid farewell to the Scandinavian winter as Daylight Saving Time begins. The sidewalk cafes start to fill up and the temperatures begin to reach acceptable levels for sitting out.
Key Events: CPH:DOX film festival
April brings spring flowers, festivals and flea markets
Spring flowers start to bloom in April. The cherry blossoms are gorgeous and the lighter evenings come back slowly but surely. It’s a good time for outdoor activities – festivals and flea markets open again, and Tivoli Gardens opens for the season.
Key Events: Flea market season starts, Sakura festival, Easter, summer season at Tivoli Gardens
May sees big celebrations for Labor Day
May in Denmark is a hit-or-miss for the weather. On a good day, May feels like summertime in Copenhagen; on a bad day, it’s cold and rainy. On 1 May, Copenhagen’s historic labor day celebrations, Første Maj, take place in Fælledparken, a huge park with rides, food trucks, partying and political talks.
Key Events: Copenhagen Marathon, spring market at Værnedamsvej, Første Maj (Labor Day), Tivoli Food Festival, Copenhagen Beer Week
June marks the beginning of proper summer
June is the time of year when Copenhageners knock off early from work to take a plunge into the many watering holes in Copenhagen. The city truly comes to life and visitors get to experience seemingly never-ending summer evenings, when the sun only sets after 9:30pm and music events fill the calendar.
Key Events: Copenhell, Royal Run, Distortion, Sankt Hans (Danish midsummer), Three Days of Design
July is all warm days and summer crowds
July is peak tourist season in Copenhagen, as most Danes get time off during the summer and many take the opportunity to visit the capital. A must-do at this time of the year is jumping into the canals of Copenhagen to cool down.
Key Events: Local music festivals around Copenhagen, Copenhagen Jazz Festival
August is the time to sit out in the evening sun
In August, it’s still summer and still warm. The light Scandinavian summer nights continue, and so does the influx of tourists. Visit Copenhagen in August to enjoy mild weather and sunny days for time outdoors.
Key Events: PostNord Denmark Tour, Chart art fair, Copenhagen Fashion Week, Copenhagen Cooking Festival, Copenhagen Opera Festival, Pride Week, Iron Man
September sees temperatures dip
As fall comes around, the temperature drops, but the weather can still show its good side with sunny days and average temperatures that make the perfect backdrop for a city trip.
Key Events: Copenhagen Half Marathon, ColorFun, GoldenDays
Fall colors arrive in Copenhagen in October
October is the fall month when the leaves turn orange and yellow, the apple season begins and the weather turns crisp and fresh. Rain is a regular occurrence this time of year, but as the Danes say, “there is no wrong weather, only wrong clothing.”
Key Events: Copenhagen Culture Night, Halloween in Tivoli
Winter sweeps in by November
In November, fall gives way to winter – the darkness takes over, and you should expect some rain. The first signs of Christmas slowly begin to show in the streets and you can enjoy your first glass of glögg (spiced wine) of the season.
Key Events: Hubertus Hunt, winter ice skating rinks open
December in Copenhagen is full of Christmas spirit
Expect dark, gray days lit up by Christmas magic, and true hygge vibes. If you’re looking for the most magical time to visit Copenhagen, and Christmas is your thing, December is the time – the Danes go all-out for Christmas.
The holiday festivities start in November, when the streets and squares are bedazzled with string lights and Christmas decorations. Christmas markets take place throughout the city, stores are decorated and Tivoli Gardens opens each year as a magical winter wonderland and Christmas elf city.
Visit the Christmas market at Christiania for cute homemade gifts for kids’ stockings. Sip a glass of glögg at the Højbro Plads or Nyhavn Christmas markets. Visit Tivoli Gardens and make sure you try a serving of æbleskiver, a Danish Christmas dessert consisting of round pancakes served with jam and powdered sugar.
Key Events: Christmas markets, Tivoli Christmas