Summertime in Copenhagen – 10 Must Do’s

Tried and True Things to Do This Summer in Copenhagen
FROM BIKING TO BOATING TO SWIMMING AT THE BEACH

(Originally posted May 2016, updated June 2018) 

Summer in Copenhagen. It’s amazing here. And we earned it. It was dark, dank and cold in December. But now, the Danish summer days are long. Full of that Nordic light we all so craved over winter. At midsummer’s peak, celebrated on the 23rd of June with the annual Sankt Hans Aften festivities, the sun shines 17.5 hours in Copenhagen. The swing feels radical in contrast to the average 7 hours of daylight back in December. But it’s summer now in Denmark, or sommer in Danish. And there is so much to love about summer in Copenhagen.

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The trees lining many streets are once more lush and verdant. Flowers bloom everywhere. At the end of May, the air is lavish with lilacs and vining roses. Roses that drape around doorways of those charming, colorful old houses all over town. The sun glints off the water and everywhere people are out soaking it up. Faces to the sun. When it’s out. And lately, it has been out in great quantities. A reminder when planning a summer holiday to Copenhagen, don’t expect perfect weather. There are few places better when it’s blue, blue skies overhead. But, be prepared for some good days and some potential grey days. Remember to bring layers. Even if you turn up during a few of the more lacking days weather-wise, you can absolutely still enjoy this beautiful city and have a great time exploring. So, without further ado, here are my favorite things to do in Copenhagen in the summer, in no particular order.

My Top 10 Danish Summer Experiences in Copenhagen

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Rhubarb is Rabarber in Danish

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I may not be fluent in Danish. Actually enrolling in classes would probably be a good way to get cracking on that. But I have picked up some Dansk words and phrases and I definitely know how to eat in Danish. Not eat a “danish.” Eat Danish. Spoiler alert – that breakfast pastry that you may know as a “danish,” is called Viennese bread here, because it actually originated in Austria, brought here by immigrant bakers a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong Danes make darn good wienerbrød. Rigtigt godt brød in general. Really good bread. Because man can not live on bread alone, I am grateful for the culture that promotes sustainable seasonal produce, grown in Denmark. In fact, much of Denmark outside the main cities is covered with agriculture. Right now with warm summer temps across Denmark – there are plots full of delicious Danish early summer fruits and vegetables. Strawberries. Jordbær. Peas. Ærter. Asparagus. Asparges. And rabarber.

Rabarber = rhubarb in Danish. It is fun to say. One of the few words I can say correctly. Almost. To my Danish friends, if you make me say it, pretend you understand and give me this one. Just this one. Rabarber. You can correct me on all the others. Rabarber is plentiful right now. Where you are too? I know rhubarb isn’t uniquely Danish. (If you are interested in what is, check out this post – 5 Most Uniquely Danish Foods)

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Bellevue Beach | A Beautiful Day Out North of Copenhagen

You can’t beat the brilliant blue Baltic Sea here at Bellevue Beach
Soak in the scene on this swath of sand in Klampenborg

Today I took the long way round after dropping my youngest at school, the older two having already made it on their own for their early starts. Not having finished my morning coffee when the wee lass wanted off to catch her friends before the bell rung, I put it in a flask to take along. (No, not an alcoholic flask. Flask = thermos; my UK friends might be rubbing off, can you tell?) Repositing the lass with friends at school, I kiss goodbye and head off on my bike. I make my way via the neighborhoods that skirt Copenhagen’s northeastern suburbia to my destination – Bellevue Beach on the water in Klampenborg. You can also get here easily by train, but it is unbelievably beautiful weather this week and it feels good to be out of the rain. (Forgive me – my son is learning how to play America on his guitar and it just seeps in.)

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