Two cities > one great Christmas experience

Combine the capital of Copenhagen with Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, for a true Scandinavian pre-Christmas experience. Copenhagen is especially wonderful at Christmas time and the historic city of Malmö in Sweden is another great Yuletide attraction.

Thanks to the Öresund Bridge which majestically links the two countries, it’s never been easier to enjoy the delights of being part of a Danish and Swedish build up to Christmas. With a convenient rail-link the cities are just 35 minutes apart.

COPENHAGEN > In Copenhagen, serious shoppers head for Ströget, northern Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street. From mid November onwards, shopkeepers try to outdo each other in creating the most attractive window displays. Many look for exclusive designs or perhaps special quality decorations for the Christmas tree, if so, head straight for Illums Bolighus, a centre for Danish and international design. Next door at Amagertorv Square stands the Royal Copenhagen flagship shore, a wonderful 17th century building filled with fine porcelain, crystal and collectable Christmas plates as well has Georg Jensen silverware.

Royal Copenhagen is also famous for its display of Christmas tables. They have a different theme each year and are decorated with the best of Royal Copenhagen finery. Be prepared to queue for this annual visual highlight!

Another must do, is a visit to the annual Christmas Market at Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli Gardens is the most popular attraction in Denmark, and this time of the year they put on a fabulous display of the best illuminated trees you will ever see in Europe. Some sixty stalls sell Danish handicrafts, seasonal foods and gifts. The market is this year will open on 16 November.

MALMÖ > Just over the Öresund Bridge, Malmö is another great place for shopping. The big department store, Hansakompaniet, is the place to go when in need of inspiration for last-minute Christmas gifts. Here you’ll find trendy clothes, restaurants, beauty products and household goods. Then move on to Saluhallen, at the picturesque Lilla Torg Square, a true mecca for gourmets with several small shops selling tea, chocolates and seasonal delicacies. There are several copy bars and restaurants surrounding Lilla Square, where locals and visitors alike meet up for a traditional warm ‘glogg’. From 25 November the City of Malmö puts on its Christmas market, attracting more and more visitors each year.

A good time to be in Malmö is on the 13th December for Lucia! This tradition takes place each year on the 13th of December, when Lucia, ‘The Queen of Light’ wearing candles in hair, together with her attendants, travel through the city in a horse drawn carriages up to the Stortorget Square where locals will have gathered to sing traditional carols and watch the official crowning of Lucia.

Getting there > With flight times around two hours you can be there in no time at all. SAS Scandinavian Airlines operate regular direct services out of London Heathrow and City airports, Dublin, Aberdeen, Manchester and Birmingham. For latest offers www.flysas.co.uk

For further information go to www.visitdenmark.com

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