When to go
Denmark has the least extreme climate of the Scandinavian countries, and though temperatures vary little across the country, wind conditions and proximity to the sea shake things up a bit – you’ll notice the stiff breezes along Jutland’s west coast in particular. Rainfall levels are more or less constant throughout the year, with an annual average of 61cm; the west tends to be wetter than the east, however.
Though spring usually brings bright sunlight and cloudless skies, the best time to visit Denmark is during the summer months of June, July and August, when the climate is warmest and the blossoming landscape at its prettiest, and when tourist facilities and transport services are operating at full steam. Bear in mind, though, that July is vacation month for Danes, who head en masse to the countryside or the coast – though even then, only the most popular areas are uncomfortably crowded. Summer is almost always sunny and clear, with temperatures rarely stifling: the warmest month is July, which averages 20°C (68°F), though highs of 26°C (78°F) are not unheard of. Copenhagen attracts visitors all year round and is a bit of a law unto itself; as the intake peaks during July and August, the best times to visit the capital are May, early June and September, though you’ll find plenty going on throughout the year.
Autumn can also be a good time to visit, with the falling leaves providing a gorgeous golden show – though bear in mind that the coastal waters can get downright chilly as early as September, and that most sights and attractions maintain reduced hours outside of high season, from mid-September onwards.
Cold but rarely severe, Denmark’s winters are decidedly less frigid than those of its northerly Scandinavian neighbours. Although temperatures can drop as low as minus 15°C (5°F), they usually hover around freezing, with the tail-end of the Gulf Stream keeping the frost off in the coastal towns. Although the possibilities for outside pursuits are limited, winter isn’t off-limits for visitors. During the darkest months, when daylight is in short supply, slugs of snaps and hot gløgg help to keep the cold at bay, and the Danish hygge comes into its own.
Travel offers; book through Rough Guides
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
Scandinavia for first-timers: 7 ideas for short breaks
On the face of it, Scandinavia isn’t a very sensible place for a holiday. For one thing, it’s almost always going to be colder than the place you’re leavi…
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone
Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…
Copenhagen for kids: a Scandi family escape
Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen is a bit of a conundrum. On the surface, a city that is known for its designer shops and foraged foods, in a region that is ofte…