As far as stylish European capitals go, Copenhagen is definitely one of them. It’s also pretty far north, and if you’re visiting in the winter you definitely don’t want to freeze. If you’re wondering how the heck you’re supposed to do that or simply what to pack for Copenhagen in winter, then you’ve come to the right place.
I first visited Copenhagen in May, and even then in the evenings I needed to wear a coat. So Copenhagen in December? I was convinced I was going to die. So naturally, I put on my research hat and did some major planning for what to pack for Copenhagen in Winter. Here’s what I came up with.
WHAT TO PACK FOR COPENHAGEN IN WINTER: CLOTHES
Well, duh, you’re going to want to pack some clothes. Walking around in Copenhagen in the middle of December with no clothes on is a surefire way to get frostbite. But what kinds of clothes, exactly, should you pack? Here’s what I suggest:
- Merino wool base layers – Merino wool base layers are going to be your new best friend when it comes to surviving the cold in Copenhagen, which is why they’re #1 on my list of what to pack for Copenhagen in winter. If you don’t already know about the wonders of Merino wool, all you need to know is that it’s super warm but also lightweight and moisture-wicking, which means no awkward sweating because you’re way too bundled up! Get both a longsleeved merino wool undershirt and merino wool leggings and wear them literally any time you leave a building in Copenhagen. Trust me on this one.
- 2-3 long-sleeve shirts – because you’ll be wearing your Merino wool undershirt every day, you don’t really need to pack too many shirts because they won’t be getting stinky. This is one area where you can pack light for Copenhagen!
- 2-3 sweaters – sweaters are always a good idea in colder climates. I packed 4 which honestly ended up being way too many. Not only were they not getting dirty/sweaty, but I was also bundled up under my huge coat the whole time anyway, so it wasn’t like anyone on Instagram was going to notice repeat outfits. I would say for a trip less than a week you definitely don’t need more than 2-3 sweaters.
- 2 jeans – same idea as with the shirts, really. Jeans last a few wears without washing anyway, so you won’t need more than 2 pairs when you’re wearing them over your merino wool leggings.
- Down coat – if you’re from a warmer climate and don’t already own a super warm (preferably down/synthetic down) winter coat yet, this is one area you’re not going to want to skimp out on. I personally brought a big down, waterproof coat (it actually never snowed while I was in Copenhagen, just freezing rain) and it worked wonders.
- Wool socks – you do NOT want your feet to get cold, and wool socks are your best bet for keeping your feet warm during long days out exploring. You can actually get pretty decent, cheap sets of wool socks on Amazon (that’s what I did) if you don’t already own any.
- Underwear – Enough to last your trip or less if you plan on doing laundry.
- Bras – I usually bring 1 white/nude bra and 1 black one.
WHAT TO PACK FOR COPENHAGEN IN WINTER: ACCESSORIES
Since you’re going to be bundled up pretty hardcore, you don’t really need any accessories like fancy jewelry or the like. Instead, here’s what I recommend you bring along:
- Warm shoes/boots – Along with your super toasty wool socks, you’re going to want to have a nice pair of lined, warm winter boots or shoes (that can also stand up to lots of walking!). I recently purchased a pair of Vivo Barefoot boots for all the cold weather trips I took in December and they totally lived up to the hype. They’re lightweight (so perfect for travel) but also SUPER warm, totally weatherproof, and comfy enough to walk all day in. I couldn’t reccomend them more!
- Gloves – A good pair of gloves is always a necessity in cold weather! If you’d like to keep your hands super toasty all day (and not have to take them off when you want to use your phone to, like, make sure you don’t get lost or take a picture) go for a pair of touchscreen gloves!
- Hat – Hats are both cute AND keep all of the heat from escaping out your head/your ears freezing off. I really love ones with bobbles 😉
- Scarf – Again, a practical necessity for cold weather. Pick one that’s both warm and fashionable if you want to fit in with the locals (though let’s be real, none of them are going to be as bundled up as you are).
- Fashionable bag or backpack – Don’t forget to bring along a functional yet fashionable purse or backpack to use while you’re in Copenhagen. I usually prefer big bags when I’m travelling so I can fit all my camera gear plus whatever else I might need for the day, but bring along whatever works for what you know you’ll need!
WHAT TO PACK FOR COPENHAGEN IN WINTER: TOILETRIES
Along with all of the toiletires that you normally pack like shampoo and soap, here are a few extra things that you should be sure not to miss when you’re thinking about what to pack for Copenhagen in winter:
- Heavy moisturizer – If you usually use a more lightweight moisturizer, try switching to one that’s a bit heavier for your trip to Copenhagen. It can really make a difference in cold, dry weather!
- Lotion – The cold is a recipe for dry skin, so pack some lotion to combat it!
- Chapstick – Chapped lips are the worst, and you’re definitely going to get them if you don’t bring some along to Copenhagen.
WHAT TO PACK FOR COPENHAGEN IN WINTER: GEAR
In addition to clothing and toiletries, here are a few additional items you should bring along:
- Reusable water bottle – Copenhagen’s tap water is SUPER drinkable, and bottled water is both expensive and bad for the planet. Bring along a reusable water bottle like this one to save the planet and some money at the same time! Or, if you want to get really fancy when it comes to saving space, you can even get a collapsible water bottle. Pretty cool, huh?
- Umbrella – When I was in Copenhagen it never actually snowed. I was just caught in freezing rain,
like,all the time. If you don’t have a coat that is both simultaneously super warm AND waterproof, bring along a small umbrella you can stick in your bag. You’ll thank me later.
If you’re planning on staying in a hostel (Copenhagen is expensive so tbh it’s necessary), here’s a bit more gear you should definitely bring:
- Outlet Splitter – Charging all your devices is a nightmare when you’re hard-pressed for outlet real estate, so bring along an outlet splitter like this one and you’ll be good to go!
- Travel towel – Most hostels don’t provide towels, so if you don’t bring along a travel towel like this one you’ll likely be stuck paying for a rental. Which sucks pretty hard when you’re just trying to save some money.
- Lightweight combination lock – just like towels, some hostels also don’t provide locks for the lockers except for a small rental fee. Those rentals really add up, so I always bring my own lock with me just in case!
WHAT TO PACK FOR COPENHAGEN IN WINTER: TECH
- Camera – Copenhagen is absolutely beautiful, so you won’t want to miss taking photos while you’re there! I always travel with my Sony Alpha A6300 and it has never done me wrong.
- Camera charger – For charging your camera
- Phone – For telling mom and dad you’re still alive when the plane lands
- Phone charger – For telling mom and dad you’re still alive a day later
- Outlet converter – For actually being able to use all those chargers you’re bringing. A universal outlet converter is always a good investment!
And there you have it, the complete list of what to pack for Copenhagen in winter! I hope this is helpful and that you have a fabulous time in Copenhagen when you get there!
If you’re looking for more helpful advice for your trip, check out a few more of my posts:
- How to Find Hygge in Copenhagen
- Copenhagen on a Budget
- 3 Days in Copenhagen // An Itinerary for First-Timers