At the risk of stating the obvious, Copenhagen is pretty darn cold in the winter! Especially if you’re used to walking around outside most of the day. In the other places I’ve visited, I’ve spent large chunks of the daylight hours just walking around, getting to know the city, and taking pictures. In Copenhagen, I tried to do the same but I just felt so cold all the time! So I came up with a list of things to do in Copenhagen in the winter. A lot of these things you can do after dark as well, which is helpful since in late November in Denmark, the sun sets as early as 4 pm. These are things that will still give you a taste of this fascinating Danish city, but will also let you take breaks inside warm buildings and trendy restaurants.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been to Christmas markets in Paris, France; Stuttgart, Germany; Salzburg, Austria; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Barcelona, Spain. Every major European city, and I believe most of the smaller ones too, has its own Christmas/holiday market. Each one is a little different. Here are some highlights of the ones I saw.
Luxembourg is a tiny country ruled by a Grand Duke, making it the world’s last Grand Duchy. The Grand Duke’s palace is in the center of Luxembourg city. It opens in the summer for tours. Unfortunately, my visit was in late November, so I wasn’t able to go in. On the bright side, November has excellent weather for drinking hot chocolate, which worked out perfectly since The Chocolate House is right across from the Grand Ducal palace.
Plan your visit to the Louvre in the evening. Check the closing times on the days you want to be there, and show up a few hours before it closes. See everything else on your list first. Then, go see the Wedding of Cana. It’s on the wall opposite the Mona Lisa, and is one of the biggest and most impressive pieces of art in the museum (or in any museum, for that matter). Then wait for the crowd on the other side of the room to start dissipating. Once it does, take some time to appreciate Da Vinci’s masterpiece.
Like the rest of Ireland, Dublin has a lot of history, and not much of it is happy. Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin’s former prison, is no exception; many leaders and revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed there. It’s one of the most interesting historical sites in Ireland, and one of the most visually appealing. Several films have featured it, including The Italian Job from 1969.
I’ve already posted about the Maison Picassiette in the town of Chartres. It was incredible, but here are even more reasons to pay a visit to this little French town, starting with the impressive Chartres Cathedral.