The best time of year to visit Copenhagen depends on what you want to do. It’s pleasantly mild during the summer, with lots and lots of daylight because of how far north it is. Festivals such as Distortion make the most of the long days and short nights.
But what about the winter? While the possibility of snow and shorter days means you should leave your swimsuit at home, there’s plenty of awesome culture to be had.
Fear not, because this hip Danish city knows how to have a good time even when it’s cold outside. The indoor Copenhagen Street Food market serves up high-quality plates of everything from Korean Bulgogi to Hungarian Goulash, and the place really gets hopping when they turn up the music (when I was there back in April, it was Cuban Salsa night — you’d be surprised how groovy the Danes can be).
The city overflows with interesting things to see and do, including shopping for vintage lamps, noshing on New Nordic cuisine, and sipping on high-end coffee and munching on delicious cinnamon rolls — you can’t help but stumble into excellent cafes and bakeries around just about every corner.
Outside of Copenhagen, the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum puts you face-to-face with thousand year-old Viking ships, including a full-size battleship that could sail between Denmark and Ireland in just three days. They know that for a fact because a few years ago, the museum’s workshop built an exact copy of the ship and sailed it themselves!
Right now, there are cheap flights from Chicago to Copenhagen, with quick stopovers in Iceland. I found a sample fare for the middle of January for just $458 but you can find similar prices anytime between November and the end of winter. Since Copenhagen is next to the ocean, there’s a good chance it will actually be a bit more temperate than what Chicagoans are used to — but still, pack a warm jacket.
Jan 23 to Feb 5 from Chicago O’Hare to Copenhagen on Icelandair for $458. Support this website by booking your flight on DoHop.
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