Wine & Dine

Out and About: Spending Christmas and New Year in Copenhagen and Denmark

Christmas Eve and the Christmas days are special in Denmark – everything (nearly) closes down and finding eateries that are open, and shops to buy whatever you forgot, can be tricky. We try to guide you here.

By Sanobar Elahi    Pictures. Hisham Ammar

You know that the next month or so you will be running around trying to get the entire last minute gift shopping done, packed and ready to be handed out or placed under your well decorated Christmas tree and that it will stand majestically in the corner in all its shiny, sparkly, well-lit glory.

Christmas stockings line the chimney, other seasonal trinkets lay spread out across your living space… yes you have done well. Your home screams “Christmas”. Now to enjoy with family and friends with lots of good food, chit chat and general merriment!

Oh, the food, the Christmas dinner. Where some people (read: women) cherish the time spent in the kitchen making a loving hearty meal from scratch, extra special since it is Christmas, others would rather spend the time not having to worry if the duck is well roasted, or if the onions caramelised right.

Cooking is neither as rewarding nor fulfilling for quite a few people and for those, there is hope.

Find further down in the article a few restaurants and hotels in Copenhagen that are open for special Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve arrangements.

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Denmark closes down for Christmas

Other than a few open eateries, the Danish cities come to a standstill  from December 24th  to 26th and  again on January 1st, with very few public places remaining open.

All shopping malls such as for instance in Copenhagen Fields, Fisketorvet, and Lyngby Storcentre etc. remain closed as do other businesses. This goes for those in the rest of Denmark too!

If you do find yourself bored and wanting to do something outside, some tourist attractions do remain open during the holidays like Tivoli ( take note though that Tivoli closes at 17:00 on the 24 December), Copenhagen Zoo (closes at 14:00 on the 24 December) and the ice rink at Frederiksberg Runddel or if nothing else, a walk around the Copenhagen waterfront can prove to be very relaxing without its usual hustle bustle disturbing the serenity of a well-lit crisp Christmas evening.

On the 24 December and the 31 December the cinemas are closed – but they are open the 25 and 26 December.

For other parts of Denmark the Visitdenmark site’s (only in Danish) of different cities around Denmark have information about opening hours of restaurants and hotels, for instance:

http://www.visitvejle.dk/vejle/jule-og-nytaarsaabent-paa-hoteller-og-restauranter

http://www.visitaarhus.dk/danmark/julens-aabningstider-gdk955660

http://www.visitaalborg.dk/aalborg/aabningstider-i-julen-i-aalborg

In general if your are trying to find something that is open, google the name of the city and jule og nytårs åbent 2018 and see what comes up.

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Some supermarkets are lifesavers!

If you planned it all wrong or your organisational skills are zilch, some branches of grocery stores like Netto, Lidl, Aldi, Irma and Føtex Food remain open throughout Christmas and New Year’s so all hope is not lost if the baby runs out of formula or the kids out of their favourite cereal.

Check the respective websites of the above stores to see which one of their branches are open on Christmas break.

Stay away ? On the exchange day

If Christmas shopping madness is not out of your system, be prepared for Dec 27th, the big exchange day for Christmas gifts and when sales erupt in all stores!

Though gifts can usually be exchanged well into January the next year, most shoppers like to take opportunity of sales and get more out of the discounted prices.

So if you got a rather doubtful looking sweater from Grandma or two of the same Georg Jensen necklaces, now would be the time to exchange and get what you really wanted.

All in all, Christmas in Denmark is a joyous occasion marked with a beautifully well-lit city and the right balance between commercialism and family life!

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Our selection of restaurants that are open – they sell out quickly though.

Allegade 10 on Frederiksberg (Copenhagen area)

Allegade 10 on Frederiksberg (Copenhagen area). Picture: PR

Allegade 10
2000 Frederiksberg
33 31 1751
www.allegade10.dk
Christmas menut: 18.00 – 22.00. Price: DKK 598 per person/ Book ahead of time as this one is also quickly sold out. One of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg’s oldest restaurants built in 1780. Located within walking distance of Frederiksberg’s centre, zoological museum and Tivoli. The interior resembles that of a museum with portraits of Danish king and queens, the atmosphere being very elegant and sophisticated.

 

 

Hereford - normally mainly steaks but for Christmas more traditional Danish food. Picture: PR

Hereford – normally mainly steaks but for Christmas more traditional Danish food. Picture: PR

Hereford Village
Frederiksberggade 21, 1. sal
1459 Kbh. K
33 3230 00
www.herefordvillage.dk
Christmas menu: begins 18.30 pm. Price: DKK 699 per person including drinks
New Year’s Eve Buffet: begins: 19.00 pm. Price: DKK 950 per person including drinks

Conveniently located on the Walking Street, this restaurant boasts of brilliantly made steaks and its wide variety of menus. For Christmas though, be prepared for a very well rounded traditional Danish Christmas meal. Book ahead of time – preferably before 1 December!

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Maybe go for Italian at La Rocca instead of Danish? Picture:PR

Maybe go for Italian at La Rocca instead of Danish? Picture:PR

La Rocca
Vendersgade 23-25
1363 København K
33 12 66 55
www.larocca.dk

Christmas Eve menu price: DKK 580 per person. There are 2 seatings that evening.Book ahead of time. If you are craving non-traditional Christmas food, why not try out authentic Italian cuisine at La Rocca. Located in the cosy neighbourhood of Nansensgade, within walking distance of Nørreport metro station.

 

Hotel Phoenix in Copenhagen

Hotel Phoenix in Copenhagen Picture:PR

Restaurant Von Plessen (Phoenix Copenhagen)
Bredgade 37
1260 København K
33 95 95 00
www.phoenixcopenhagen.dk
Christmas Dinner, Dec 24 is already sold out
New Year’s Dinner, Dec 31: 18.30 pm – 23.30 pm
(Queen’s New Year’s Speech will also be screened) 4 course menu/drinks/champagne DKK 1395 per person Located within the Phoenix Copenhagen Hotel, Restaurant Von Plessen is a good merge in style between historical grandeur of Louis XVI and modern art.

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More Moderne - The Harbour. Picture:PR

More Moderne – The Harbour. Picture:PR

The Harbour
Kalvebod Brygge 53
1560 København V
3338 9645
www.theharbour.dk/restauranten

Christmas Eve menu: 18.00 pm. Price: 945 kr. per person
New Year’s Eve menu: 18.00 pm. Price: 1,495 kr. per person
Queen’s New Year’s Speech will also be screened
Book and prepay well  ahead of time

 

Built in 2006, this ultra-modern and minimalistic restaurant overlooks the Copenhagen waterfront. Located in the Copenhagen Island area, the menu in this restaurant is internationally aspired and appealing to one’s appetite.

 

An early Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Your Danish Life!