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Danish Christmas Dinner: traditional dishes

Christmas should be seen as the alternative high season for visitors, with so many traditional dishes and activities unique to Danish culture. However, visiting Denmark to try a typical Danish Christmas dinner may be a valid reason on its own…

Having a peek inside the average Danish kitchen on December 24, you will most often be met by the lovely smell of caramel glazed potatoes, roast pork, duck, and red cabbage with red currant jelly. This is typically followed by the creamy rice dessert, “Ris à l’amande”, topped with cherry sauce. The dessert is at the same time a fun game for all, as one whole almond is left unchopped in this almond-based dish, waiting to be found by one lucky person – who then receives a gift, the so-called “almond present”.

Danes spend a lot of time at the table during Christmas; traditional “Christmas lunches” can be experienced already in November, where the same dishes may be served along with Danish “smørrebrød” – traditional open sandwiches – usually accompanied by one-too-many Christmas brews and homemade “snaps” – a wide variety of bitters infused with tasty spices such as cardamom, orange, vanilla and cinnamon. “Skål!”… Cheers, as we say in Danish 😉

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Danish Christmas Activities & Traditions

In between the Christmas treats, lunches and dinners, there are a range of traditional activities to do. Why not bake your own Danish “peberkager”, “æbleskiver or make your own artistic “konfekt”? Let’s divide your group into teams and have a Bake Off – Christmas Edition!

Your group can also visit Sweden to experience the Santa Lucia tradition or visit the Christmas markets in Malmö on a short trip across the “Øresund” bridge in the afternoon, before returning to a Danish Christmas dinner in the evening. Between the courses, Danes typically enjoy a game of “pakkeleg” – everyone brings a small, wrapped gift; set the timer and roll the dice – roll a six and grab a gift. Who ends up with most presents?

Denmark offers many Christmas markets all over the country. See as many as possible on a Christmas market hop; we will organize your tour with transport. Our Gastro Tours are popular all year round – a special Christmas Gastro Tour can be arranged for groups, with activities incorporated and with stops at popular Christmas markets and restaurants. We recommend a stroll down the famous “Strøget” shopping street and visiting Tivoli to enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations for a unique experience.

Want to know more about our Christmas activity programmes and events? Please contact Ebbe Kiær on +45 33 45 45 11 or e-mail

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Charming Danish Christmas Markets

Walking around the many old streets and squares in Denmark at Christmas time, you might stumble upon a Christmas market with everything from handmade Christmas decorations to”Gløgg”, hot chocolate and  “æbleskiver” with jam and icing sugar.

Found in larger towns as well as many little villages, the most popular markets are in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg. A short visit can be the perfect little break between work and dinner; experience Danish culture up close and have a chat next to one of the market’s huts while enjoying a warm cup of Gløgg. Don’t forget your warm coat and gloves, although many markets offer heating lamps to keep you warm.

For more information about the Christmas markets and group arrangements, please get in touch with Ebbe Kiær on +45 33 45 45 11 or e-mail