Fall is Fantastisk in Denmark
reasons why you should consider a visit this autumn
(Originally posted August 2016, updated September 2018)
It’s fall y’all! And usually, at this time of year, people fall into two disparate camps, opposite ends of the spectrum in their reaction to the changing of seasons. The first group comprised of those who clap giddily for early back to school advertisements and look forward to sweaters and gourds and the fruits of a fall harvest. The second group being those who slump into a heap with dread that the long break is finished. Summer finally over.
Me? I’ll be honest, I’m a little of both. I love the casual, travel-friendly, family-centered, long days of summer. When it starts, I adore having no schedule and going with the flow and finding what we’ll do the next day that next day. For the most part. But that is me. You too? And if you are like me, by the end of those six to eight weeks of summer free-flow, I’m ready (usually VERY ready) to jump back into a little more structure. If you know me, you’ll know I mean just a little more structure. (Wink. Wink.)
So if the mere mention of autumn excites you, read on. If it makes you choke up or even illicits panic, I want to light a tiny spark. Offer you a taste of what’s to come. And it is good. It is. Believe me. Fall in Denmark is delightful. Come on now. Come visit!
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should visit Denmark in Fall.
1 | THE WEATHER
Cooler days turn into crisp star-filled nights that spark a reaction painting the landscape in brilliant russets, cadmium yellows, mushroom browns and scarlet reds. Fall is sweater weather. And Scandis have great sweaters. Seriously. And scarves and jackets and boots. Oh my. Fall here can be mild and sunny and beautiful and not wet at all.
Or it can be exactly the opposite. Bring layers. Or buy them here. It’s a win-win. Perfect fall weather, either way. Shopping for fall clothes is reason enough to visit the Danish capital, so many options in every price range. Bring on sweater weather. You live here? You know? Oh yeah. Pretty much feels like fall here right now. I’m embracing it now, but wouldn’t say no to a few more days on the beach either.
2 | THE FOOD
Fall is the season for harvest. Reaping what’s been sown. Not unlike harvest time where I’m from – fall is the time for apples. Æbler in Danish. Fresh Dansk æbler are pretty darn delicious and I have lived in a state known for their apples. (Psst… that’s Washington State (not D.C.) for those who don’t know.) Here in Denmark, you can pick yourself a peck of perfect apples in many a pretty place. If you want a huge thumbs up, 5-star review of my new favorite apple picking place – read here on Yelp. (Do you Yelp? Come friend me – it’ll be fun!) We picked 25 kilos of juicy Dansk æbler last fall and successfully tarted, turned over, sauced and sliced nearly all of it! Yum.
Starting mid-August, pears and plums will be ripe for the picking too. Check out plukselvfrugt.dk for an interactive map to find one near you. And it’s not just for apples – this helpful site can help you locate other self-picking fruit opportunities that suit your hopes, wishes and desires. They have an app as well – download it now and all your self-picking fruit dreams can come true.
Look for fresh foraged mushrooms, squash, græskar (pumpkins), havtorn (sea-buckthorn), red currants and lingonberries at the markets and on the menus this season. Denmark is terribly tasty when the calendar starts turning to Autumn.
3 | THE CULTURE
Kulturnatten – or Culture Night in English – is the second Friday in October. This year it falls on Friday, October 12th 2018. It is an amazing night full of culture across the spectrum and truly involves the entire city of Copenhagen. Starting in the evening – all galleries, churches, museums as well as local businesses, government buildings and agencies, throw open their doors to the public offering a myriad of cultural activities for free. There is truly something for everyone – all ages and all interests.
We learned how to cook pancakes on a fire, make votive holders out of birch logs, harvest seeds from summer’s spent blooms to plant again next spring, what kind of grains are in your bread and how they are grown, how to press your own cider and even how to clean a deer and cook the venison over an open flame. Looking for something a little less “campy?” Live choral music in the churches lit up at night offered goosebump-inducing harmonies. So fun to see inside all those buildings whose spires litter the Copenhagen landscape. Talks, lectures, special exhibits, light shows, live music and PEOPLE. Everywhere. We have never seen so many people out and about in town. It is magical. Starting September 1, you can check out the entire schedule for this year’s festivities and download their interactive app. Meet you there?
4 | THE HOLIDAY – HALLOWEEN
Halloween isn’t that big here in Denmark. Not compared to the costume-planning for months (adults and kids alike), requisite pumpkin patch outings, jack-o-lantern adorned and ghost-bedecked homes and small-town neighborhood extravaganzas. As well as candy hauls that make all dentists cringe. All of what I am used to back in the States. I will admit I did miss our Halloween from our “from.” Don’t knock it until you try it!
Experiencing Halloween here in Copenhagen is unique in its own right – a hybrid blend of expat and Danish. In Danish you don’t say “Trick or Treat,” but rather “Slik eller ballade.” It means, candy or a song? My daughter just hoped someone wouldn’t ask for a song! But for any fall visit to Copenhagen – a must not miss and motivation to come at this time of year is most definitely Halloween at Tivoli. Tivoli amusement park is really charming at any time of year, but they have an amazing display for Halloween. Truly. We didn’t attend on the holiday, but if you do brave the crowds, you will be rewarded with pumpkin carving and costumery, which we missed on our Wednesday night advanced holiday viewing. The Halloween displays only last three weeks, so plan accordingly.
Halloween at Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park | 2018
12 October – 4 November
Sun – Thu | 11:00 -23:00
Fri – Sat | 11:00 – 24:00
RELATED: ALWAYS TIME FOR TIVOLI
5 | THE COLOR | FALL FOLIAGE
Denmark is a perfect purveyor for those who prefer their seasons to change. Bring on the decay I say. Did I tell you I love fall? With more deciduous trees than evergreens adorning most of Sjælland (the island where Copenhagen sits) fall comes in a mash-up of color. I am collecting that color like a squirrel, filling the memory banks to hopefully tide me over in February as a reminder that I do like the changing of the seasons. Remind me. Ok?
The change to daylight savings (which happens October 31st, 2018) and the quick creep of the dark back into our corner of the world has me worried! But fall turns to Christmas and sparkle and candles and pepparkakkor and gløgg and hygge – which starts tonight apparently. With no other special days or holidays in November – why not? I’ll try to keep it fall for my American readers for a few more weeks. It will be hard, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to try!
READ MORE: WHERE TO FIND FALL COLOR IN COPENHAGEN
Want to see more of Copenhagen and our explorations along the way? Let’s connect – come say hej and like Oregon Girl on Facebook. Check out my Instagram @oregongirl_aroundtheworld or tweet me on Twitter @oregongirlworld. Need local tips and reviews – come friend me on Yelp – I’m Erin G. Feeling pinny? Come over to Pinterest and see more beautiful travel inspiration for Denmark and beyond.
Hope I’ve offered some reasons to chin up and look forward to fall. It’s a great time to visit Copenhagen and the rest of Denmark. Did I miss some of your favorite things to do here in Fall? Please share – I love learning new things. Cheers from Denmark! – Erin