Denmark and Sweden

When is a great time of year to visit Denmark? You might not think of January for this northern European country, known for its wind. But, Denmark is on the expensive side as far as European countries go, so when we saw great flight prices to Copenhagen for MLK holiday weekend, we decided to lean into the cold. We visited both Denmark and Sweden by adding a one-day trip to Lund and Malmö in southern Sweden.

Bicycle parked at Orange House
Copenhagen Neighborhood


Danish culture is known for its hygge (pronounced hugh-ga), a quality of coziness and comfort that gives a feeling of contentment. Indeed, the locals in Copenhagen are very nice, polite, friendly, and they speak perfect English.

The city is peaceful, even with wide boulevards full of cars and bikes. The bikes have their own very organized bike lanes and follow traffic signals. This is a lovely city for pedestrians.

There is not a lot of daylight this far north in January, but we enjoyed seeing candles all day on every café table, and in so many windows. This is a tradition in Denmark that goes back to the Vikings, to show that visitors are welcome.

Bicycles parked at train station in Denmark

We learned about the history of the Danish monarchy through the centuries by touring around Rosenborg Castle, a very beautiful castle with spires and towers. The self-guided tour takes about an hour, including seeing the Crown Jewels in the dimly lit cellars. We timed our tour so that we could then watch the Changing of the Guard. It’s quite a display of a military march, with the band playing whenever the Queen is in residence. They started at 11.30 from Rosenborg Castle and wound their way through the city to end at Amalienborg Palace at noon.

Colorful Nyhavn in Denmark
Nyhavn neighborhood in Copenhagen


Kronborg Castle from Ferry between Denmark and Sweden
Kronborg Castle

Giant Thermometer

Copenhagen is a peaceful city with beautiful architecture and lots to see, right on the picturesque sea. Even though we did have some very cold temperatures, rain, and wind, overall it was not as cold as we expected.

If you are in Copenhagen, wondering what the current temperature is, you can reference the large thermometer at the Old Town Square. This is Celsius, and the locals kept telling us how surprisingly warm it was.😂 (4 Celsius = 39 Fahrenheit.)

We had a wonderful time, and we didn’t run into crowds at any of the sights. But we can see that Denmark and Sweden would be even lovelier countries to visit in warmer weather, with a bit more daylight.

Rob and Barbara at harbor with boats
Elsinore, Denmark


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