Things to do

Get into the festive spirit with Christmas concerts and carols in one of the many churches

December is a delightful month for those who enjoy the sound of songs and carols, performed in that very special venue – the church. It is also a busy month, as the offers are abundant.

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By Bente D. Knudsen   Picture: Hisham Ammar

The tradition of concerts and Christmas carols performed in the realm of the church is strong in Denmark.

From the traditional classic Christmas concerts such as Händel’s Messiah and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to Christmas carols, gospel songs and modern Christmas songs; the choice is large and varied.

A bit confusing is that some Christmas concerts are free while others require tickets at varying price ranges – even if they also take place in a church.

Finding concerts can be trickier as many of the free ones are listed only in Danish on the churches’ sites, however, we have tried to find a selection for you to enjoy.

Find local ones in your area by checking the church website.

Not all of the concerts are in Danish only, as many have a repertoire also of English songs.

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Join the International CBS Choir with students from more than 33 countries – who aim to lift the roof of the old Sankt Thomas Kirke on Frederiksberg with their international Christmas concert on 9 December at 16:00 – this concert is free and part of the Copenhagen Churches’ Christmas Concert 2018 program.

You can also enjoy an international Christmas service with lots of music on 19 December at 20:00 in Trinitatis Kirke in Copenhagen on Købmagergade 52.

The English Church St. Albans offers several combined church services and carols on 9 and 10 December (16 December in Aarhus) – tickets ( they are for free) are required as these events are very popular amongst both expats and Danes, and they get sold out quickly. You can chance no shows at the church door on the day itself.

Ticket registration on their website from the beginning of December.

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Concerts that are more classical are performed in some of Copenhagen’s most beautiful churches.

For instance J.S.Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on 13 December by the Copenhagen Bach Choir at Holmens Kirke  interpreted and performed a.o by opera singer Mathias Hedegaard in this beautiful church.

Tickets can be bought at for DKK 200.

At Holmens Kirke, the ensemble, Kammerkoret Camerata, will be performing three concerts on the 18, 20, and 21 December of Händel’s Messiah. Tickets at DKK 265 can be bought from

Tickets for all events at Holmens Kirke can also usually be bought at the entrance  – up to one hour before the concert starts – subject to availability. Check before to see if they are sold out – both billetto and ticketmaster show sold out concerts on their sites when you look for tickets.

The University Choir Lille Muko also welcomes Christmas in Holmens Kirke with a Christmas concert with soprano Signe Asmussen and tenor Peter Lohdal, who will be accompanied by some of Denmark’s finest musicians on flutes, harp and organ.

They will perform a number of the most beloved Danish Christmas hymns and carols as well as other beautiful works interpreting the glad tidings of Christmas.

The audience will also get the chance to sing along on a couple of Christmas carols during the concert. Performance is 15 December at 14 and 17:00, as the concert sells out quickly buy tickets (DKK 200) in advance here.

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Jesus Kirken in Valby hosts an annual Christmas concert by the the Danish national boys’ choir, Det Danske Drengekor ( ages 5 to 9) on the 16 December at 16:00 – this is a popular event for the boys’ families.

The choir will sing both international and Danish Christmas songs and carols. Tickets in advance at

Københavns Domkirke is host to two concerts where Det Danske Drengekor is accompanied by the symphony orchestra Copenhagen Phil on 14 December at 19:30 and 15 December at 16:00,  here they will perform the Juleoratorium, where Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is interpreted in Copenhagen’s main cathedral.

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Free Events in Copenhagen – here our best tips:

All of Copenhagen’s churches host a range of free events – both in December and January. They have organised information on all of them in their digital guide.

Even if in Danish – the concert guide organised by date is easy to follow.

On 8 December the The Royal Academy of Music invites families to a free concert at Konservatoriets Koncertsal, on Julius Thomsens gade 1. The DKDM children’s choir and Brass ensemble will perform twice; at 14:00, and again at 15:50. Each concert lasts one hour and entrance is free.

With both a German, English and Swedish church in Copenhagen, it is worth checking out their offers for Christmas.

The English Church St. Albans offers several combined church services and carols on 10 and 11 December (16 December in Aarhus) – tickets ( they are for free) are required as these events are very popular amongst both expats and Danes, and they get sold out quickly.

Ticket registration on their website from the beginning of December  here

The beautiful German Skt Petri Kirke in Copenhagen City centre hosts a Christmas concert on the 25 December at 15:30 performing Bach’s cantatas

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At Skt. Matthæus Kirke you can delight in wonderful English Christmas carols and other English Christmas songs performed every Friday in December at 17:00 ( 7, 14 and 21 December).

Carols by candlelight on 13 December also at Sankt Matthæus Kirke at 19:30 is a beautiful vocal performance of more than 100 singers in a church, which on this evening is lit only by candles.

Also, the children’s gospel choir, Gospel Generation KIDS & NEXT, performs a great upbeat concert at Nazaret Church on 6 December at 17:00 in Østerbro. Ryesgade, Østerbro.

If you enjoy gospel songs then do not miss the Christmas Gospel Concert by Vesterbro Gospel Choir on the 15 December at 16:00 in Eliaskirken on Vesterbrogade. Entrance DKK 60 at the door.

Another Christmas gospel concert takes place at Grøndalskirken on the 13 December at 19:30 by the Green Valley Gospel choir who will be accompanied by piano and percussion. Here they ask for a small entry fee of DKK 50 – children under 12 years for free.

In Frederiksholms Kirke, the local church choir, Sydhavns Kantori, with 35 singers, perform their Christmas concert the 8 December at 16:00 with both Danish, French and English Christmas songs and carols.

Or checkout the Bach cantatas in Trinitatis Church on 16 December at 17:00 where the Trinitatis Ensemble will perform J.S. Bach’s cantata 61 as well as a collection of advent cantatas.

At Trinitatis Church you can also enjoy more jazzy Christmas music when on Friday 7 December at 16:30 the Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet perform the moving concert for violins by Bach, Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, not on violin but on their four saxophones!

In Helligåndskirken in Copenhagen (Strøget) you can enjoy a beautiful Christmas star concert with Danish soprano Ingeborg Børch on 11 December at 20:00. Here she will sing Christmas carols and salmes, works by Händel, and more.

On Sunday 23 December at 16:00, Mariakirken on Istedgade in Copenhagen invites you to a Christmas concert with both English and Danish songs and carols accompanied by their own choir as well as the Danish Radio Choir and the Opera choir.

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Find concerts in Copenhagen through the guides on the churches’ site kirkenikbh (the church in Copenhagen) here.

They have an excellent guide for each day of December. The Danish text can easily be translated with google translate.

They also post articles with a collection of concerts – for instance 24 free Christmas concerts available here

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Aarhus – Here our best tips for Aarhus

Also Aarhus has many beautiful churches in which Christmas concerts take place and even a cooperation with the English Saint Alban’s Church at Møllevangskirke in Aarhus, where the ever-popular Christmas Carol Service will be held on Sunday 16 December at 18.00.

According to Saint Alban’s no ticket is needed for this occasion, but they recommend you come early if you want to get a seat!

Christmas concerts will also take place in the churches Vor Frue Kirke, Sct. Pauls Kirke, Aarhus Domkirke, Sankt Lukas Kirke and Skt. Johannes Kirke, some events are free, others require tickets. On the churches’ own websites you can find dates and links for tickets.

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The Sct Pauls Cantori and orchestra will be performing their Christmas concert on 15 December at 16.00 in Sct Pauls Kirke, a range of Danish and international Christmas songs and carols will be performed a.o Benjamin Brittons’ “A ceremony of Carols”. Tickets at DKK 50 at the entrance, doors open at 15:45.

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Skt. Lukas Kirke in Aarhus is host to a Christmas concert with the band Guess What on 8 December at 15:00. And at Vor Frue Kirke, you can enjoy a Christmas concert with the Akademisk Kor on 21 December at 17:00 or at 20:00 ( tickets DKK 60) and also  J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio will be performed on 9 December at 19:30 – tickets DKK 200.

In Aarhus Domkirke you can enjoy the  Christmas concert performed by Jysk Musikkonservatorium on 14 December at 15:00, tickets DKK 50 as well as the cathedral’s own boy choir, the Skt Clemen’s Boy Choir’s Christmas concert on 21 December at 19:30. Tickets for this concert at


A general web site listing paying Christmas concerts with famous Danish singers and performers can be found at