Copenhagen's weather is a bit different. When thinking of Scandinavia, the mind conjures up images of snowy landscapes, slippery slopes, and temperatures that are altogether quite uncomfortable for most travelers from toastier climates. This is why Copenhagen is such a surprising destination.
Because of its extreme northern European location, the length of daylight hours in Copenhagen varies greatly.
This is typical for all Scandinavian countries. You can expect long summery days in contrast with the short darker days of winter. In summer, the sun will rise as early as 3.30 am and set around 22.00 pm. In the winter, you are limited to daylight from 8.00 am to 3.30 pm. In Denmark, the shortest and longest days have always been traditionally celebrated. Coincidentally, the shortest day of the year corresponds roughly with our Christmas celebrations, known as “Jul” by locals.
Before you begin your journey to Copenhagen, it is advisable to get acquainted with the typical weather you will experience, along with seasonal events and activities.
Quite surprisingly, the weather in Copenhagen is rather mild and temperate. The Danish capital is surrounded by ocean, and it is thanks to its close proximity to the sea that the weather is mostly consistent. The landscape is low and flat, so the moderating effects of the ocean are able to reach far inland.
Copenhagen is no exception, and the capital shares the maritime climate. Take note though, that even if the weather is usually consistent, sudden gusts of wind can quickly change the temperature, slicing right through you in the colder winter months, so you will still need to pack enough clothes to keep the chill out.
The summer months from June to August in Copenhagen are moderately warm and quite pleasant with temperatures ranging between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. It is during this relatively warmer period when locals flock to Copenhagen’s beaches, one natural, and one manmade. Be warned though, at 16 degrees, the water is not akin to the swimming beaches we are used to. In fact, it is quite chilly. In spite of the longer days of sunlight, Copenhagen is not typically a sunny city. In reality, it is not often that the sun peaks through the almost perpetual blanket of grey and overcast sky. Visit Copenhagen in May or June to beat the summer stampede of tourists, but if the hustle and bustle of city life appeal to you, go in July and August for the numerous open-air concerts and outdoor parties.
Then it’s on to autumn that lasts until November. Days are still sunny, and leaves are starting to turn into hues of blazing red and orange. Temperatures in Copenhagen will drop from 17 degrees in September down to 12 degrees in November. Nighttime temperatures will drop to freezing point by mid-November. However, considering the latitude, -1 degrees are still not as chilly as you would expect.
Winter starts early in December and lasts until February, with February being the coldest month.
You can expect average temperatures between 0 and 2 degrees during this time. The joy of visiting Copenhagen during the winter months is experiencing a Scandinavian Christmas. You cannot help but be swept away by the merriment and festive atmosphere, and a glass of mulled red wine at a local Christmas market in Copenhagen will keep your blood pumping.
Spring hails the return of longer days from March, gearing up for summer. March sees the last death throes of winter, so it is not the best time to visit. It is the driest month of the year, with low temperatures.
The rainfall in Copenhagen, like fellow Northern European cities, is rather unspectacular. It does not rain; it drizzles, with the wettest period occurring each year in mid-autumn. After October, the rain in Copenhagen becomes somewhat petulant and indecisive.
It can rain more frequently during the winter months, but almost half-heartedly so. Because of the frequent drizzling rainfall in Copenhagen, snowstorms are not as common you would imagine.
Due to its mostly temperate climate, Copenhagen is a popular tourist destination throughout the year, regardless of the season.