In search of a birthday gift in the heart of Copenhagen one day in mid-November, we unexpectedly found ourselves at the centre of festive celebrations. We had no idea the holiday season was being launched already, and were delighted to find a variety of events happening around the city. Walking towards the Strøget shopping area from Nørreport Station, our first clue were the boughs of evergreens strung over our heads across the pedestrian streets , though not yet lit. Then, the mini Christmas market set up in Kultorvet, with a Hans Christian Andersen theme. Only the mulled wine station was open so far, but all the the booths are ready to go, each with the name of an Andersen story: The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Match Girl. A representation of the author strolled around the area, welcoming visitors.
Reaching the main shopping area, I was excited to discover a larger market set in the shadow of the tower of the Christiansborg Palace. Already bustling with visitors, this market was mainly food and drink, with a few stalls of goods. Happy customers ate German sausages and sipped on mulled wine, and Santa made a welcome appearance.
|German Market at Amagertorv|
|‘Brændte mandler’ – roasted almonds|
We strolled on toward the main square of Kongens Nytorv to visit the Magasin du Nord department store. We were almost there when we heard it: a brass band playing festive music. Getting closer, we saw that a large crowd had gathered, and the reason why: the Royal Brass Band was playing, made up of the Queen’s guards. Dressed in their smart navy coats, with their large furry helmets, they played festive music for the crowd. For a short video clip of the performance, click here
|The Royal Life Guard’s Marching Band|
After a few moments, I looked up at the ritzy Hotel d’Angleterre that we were gathered beneath, and gasped. The hotel was gorgeously decorated in a Nutcracker theme, with Clara and her doll, the Nutcracker Prince fighting the Mouse King, framed by curtains made of fairy lights, bathing the scene in a warm glow.
After a successful visit to the incredible food and wine market in the the basement of the Magasin du Nord, we headed back down Strøget to Central Station to catch our train home. It was bustling with cheerful shoppers, and many of the shops were beautifully decorated for the holidays. Passing Tivoli Gardens, it had undergone a makeover since the recent Halloween celebrations, and the entrance gates now featured Christmas trees, Nutcrackers, and lots of twinkling white lights. A crowd was gathered outside, waiting to enter for the evening’s events. The Tivoli Christmas Market begins today, and I will be sure to visit and share my experience.
It was a wonderfully unexpected evening that really got me into the festive spirit, and truly excited to spend Christmas in the magical city.