Five reasons to love Copenhagen in the fall

I don’t know about you, but I always get a little sad when summer ends. No more long, mild summer nights, no more swimming in the harbor bath or ocean (unless you’re a hardcore Danish “vinterbader”!), no more shorts and tops, no more fresh berries and ice cream, no more tans, no more iced coffees, … But let’s not forget that fall is pretty awesome, too! I can honestly get excited about any new season (except that horrible late-winter in February/ March, which is just one never-ending cold, dark, grey, rainy, muddy mess). Now that I’ve said goodbye to summer, I can fully embrace and look forward to everything that fall has to offer, and that is a lot. Copenhagen is especially nice during this time of year, so I’ve collected some of my favorite reasons to love Copenhagen in the fall!

1. Hygge

If you ask people about the most typically Danish thing they can think of, chances are they will say “hygge” (if they don’t say hot dogs). Many people have tried to explain what hygge means, but in short, it is the concept of coziness, warmth and comfort. Hygge means candles and a hot cup of tea, but it also means a dinner with your loved ones (for a more detailed explanation check here). While hygge has its high season during Christmas time, for me, fall is a great time to start “hygging”. When the days get shorter and there’s rain and wind, maybe even a full-blown autumn storm, outside, what better to do than cozying up with a warm blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and some candles? Skandinavisk makes amazing scented candles, one of which is even called “Hygge”!

Photo via Instagram

2. Halloween at Tivoli

Are you a fan of all things scary and pumpkin? Then you should check out the famous Tivoli gardens during the annual, three-week Halloween phase. The gardens are decorated with hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins, there are some funny installations as well as a haunted house and shows for kids. There are also little cards selling coffee, waffles and hot chocolate with marshmallows. I think it’s definitely worth a visit! (10th October to 2nd November, more info here)


3. Enjoying the outdoors

Copenhagen has many green spaces and parks, which make for a lovely autumn setting. Cozy up in a big sweater and a warm coat and take a walk through the abundance of colors. Soak in the autumn sun and let the wind mess up your hair, before heading to a cozy café for a warm cup of coffee or tea. Apart from the many parks in the city center, a trip up North to Dyrehaven is always a great idea. Why not enjoy a ride in one of the horse-drawn carriages? You will even be able to spot some deer! Carriage rides cost 500 DKK for an hour, for up to 5 people (more info here, in Danish).

4. Cultural activities during autumn break

Copenhagen is a mekka for culture lovers. The annual Night of Culture (“kulturnatten”) takes place on 10th October this year, with around 250 muesums, art galleries, churches, and many other places keep their doors open. With a pass for 90 DKK, you get access to all events and participating venues (more info and full program on the website).

Further, during fall break (“efterårsferie”), many museums have special events for families with kids, which often include free entrance. Check here for more information.

5. The weather

Now this might seem counterintuitive, as I’ve spoken about cold winds and rain before. But fall also graces the city with some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the entire year, and I am an absolute fan of those beautiful fall days with the sun blazing through the crisp, cold air. You only find that type of weather in the fall.

Sunrise at Sluseholmen in late September

Bonus reason: Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Now, I realize that this is a bit of a personal reason, which is why I didn’t count it! But it’s no secret that I am a coffee addict, and while I normally go with a simple latte, I am a sucker for Starbucks’ seasonal drinks. Every year, I’m looking forward to Gingerbread Lattes, and I was beyond ecstatic when I found out that Starbucks Denmark has added the legendary Pumpkin Spice Latte to their offer. Add to that the fact that there are now two Starbucks outside the airport (one at the Central Station and one near metro Fasanvej), and my pumpkin spice bliss knows no boundaries!

How about you? Do you enjoy fall? And what’s your favorite thing about fall in Copenhagen?

In search of Copenhagen’s best burger restaurant: Haché

You know what I like? Burgers! I really don’t know what it is about them, but they are just so delicious. I love the variety that you can get - beef patty, chicken, maybe a veggie option, topped with all sorts of salad, vegetables, sauces and condiments, wrapped in a crispy bun. I love making my own burgers, for example my chicken burger with guacamole, but I also love going out to grab a bite. I’ve had some pretty good burgers, for example at Vesterbro’s Originale Burgerrestaurant or Von Fressen (not to mention all-time classic Halifax, but that warrants a separate post).

So last night, I met some friends for dinner at Haché near Nørreport station, across the street from Torvehallerne. They run a second restaurant by the same name in Valby.


I’d heard great things about the place, and when I started to browse their menu online, it looked very promising (and hunger-inducing!). Compared to Halifax, for example, Haché’s selection is much more traditional and you will find many classics there, like the BBQ Burger or the Bacon & Cheese. They do have some more extravagant ones, like a Greek style burger with ground lamb, or one with tons of blue cheese. There is a chicken burger as well, and I assume you could probably ask to have chicken instead of the beef patty on any of the other burgers, too, though I didn’t try and therefore can’t be sure. For the vegetarians, there’s a burger with a zucchini patty, or a Portobello burger.

As for the side orders, you can choose between rustic fries, onion rings and chili beans, or just go for a salad (note: you can also get all burgers as a “low carb” version without the bun and with extra salad). But who wants to eat low-carb when it’s about burgers?! I, for one, was in a classic mode yesterday, so I went for the BBQ burger, which comes with a smoky barbecue sauce, a spicy salsa and cheese. On the side, we split some fries with a delicious chili mayo, which wasn’t too spicy, but with just the right kick.

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The BBQ Burger was served with some additional salsa on the side, which might have been the same one as on the burger, but I can’t tell for sure. What I can tell you for sure, though, is that the burger was fantastic! The ratio of bread-to-beef-to-other stuff was exactly right; I’m sure there are some people who would want extra beef, but for me it was perfect. The meat was nicely cooked, not dry at all and had a really good taste. The smoky barbecue sauce was really nicely complemented by the fresh, spicy salsa. The fries that came along were perfectly crispy on the outside and nice and potato-y on the inside. Not sure though why they are “rustic fries”, as they seemed pretty standard to me.

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When we had managed to (more or less) finish our burgers, we waited in excitement for dessert. The guys had been freaking out already when they saw the item on the menu: deep-fried Mars bar! I’m pretty sure this is the only place in all of Denmark where you can get one of those, and expectations were high. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed, as the fried batter and the hot, melted Mars bar mixed together to form a very strange, super-sticky consistency that I wasn’t really a fan of. The taste was… well, it tasted like Mars, so no huge surprise there. I went with an Affogato, a scoop of vanilla ice cream with espresso, which was very nice. Not sure whether the ice cream was homemade, but it was of good quality at the least, and tasted very nice.

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Overall, I will definitely come here again and try some other of their burgers. The atmosphere was very nice, too, though one of the waitresses was very eager to take our orders - she came to the table about four times before all guests had actually arrived. The price level is very fair, with 100 DKK for a burger and 35 DKK for the sides, it is on the same level as Halifax or Vesterbro’s. You absolutely receive quality for your money, so I think it’s well worth it. Recommended!

Typical Danish: Liquorice everything

You rarely find a food item that polarizes as clearly as liquorice. At least in my experience, people either love it or they completely dislike it. There’s rarely an in-between. And liquorice has the potential to drive a huge wedge between the Danes and the foreign population of Denmark, because Danes have a tendency to put liquorice (“lakrids” in Danish) on EVERYTHING, which us foreigners sometimes really can’t understand (or stomach!). Today, I’m sharing some facts about the Danes and their love for “lakrids”, and my list of top 5 things that really didn’t need liquorice in/ on them.

What is liquorice, and why is Danish liquorice special?

As you probably know, liquorice is a confectionery made from the extracts of liquorice plant roots. Usually, this extract is mixed with sugar to produce a soft, chewy and sweet candy. Now, Danish liquorice is salty, which is why it is quite off-putting to most foreigners, who are not used to the specific taste. The salty taste comes from ammonium chloride, with which the liquorice is flavored. Salty liquorice is also popular in other Nordic countries, like Sweden, and is often called “salmiak”. Apart from the chewy variety, you can also find hard candy bonbons called “Tyrkisk Peber” (Turkish pepper), which can have a certain spiciness.


Why do the Danes love liquorice?

Now that is a good question. Especially the salty variety is immensely popular. Brands like Haribo (although that’s German) or Pingvin have a wide selection of liquorice candy, bonbons, strings and the typical snails, which are sold at every 7Eleven, supermarket, movie theater and kiosk in the country. But the Danes also love getting creative with liquorice when they’re cooking. Danish flagship company Johan Bülow have actually published an entire cookbook for cooking with liquorice, and they also publish a lot of recipes on their website. And as if that wasn’t enough liquorice for ages, there’s even a liquorice festival which takes place each year in Copenhagen. Yeah, you read that right - a festival.

Top 5 things that could really do without liquorice

Don’t get me wrong. Personally, I don’t mind liquorice. During a movie night, I can totally snack on some Haribo snails or liquorice drops. I also really like the Johan Bülow chocolate-coated liquorices (in moderation). But in my opinion, the Danes tend to take it a bit too far sometimes. Here are my top 5 things that should keep a safe distance from the black root.

5) Ice cream

This summer, I’ve noticed it more and more, maybe because I was eating a ton of the stuff in my search for Copenhagen’s best ice cream, but the Danes love themselves some “lakrids is”! Not only can you get it at your local ice cream store, no, you can also pick up a package in your supermarket of choice. I don’t know about you, but I think ice cream and liquorice is a really strange combination!

4) Desserts

Like with ice cream, it has become a trend to incorporate liquorice flavors into other desserts as well. The internet is full of recipes for cakes with liquorice, flødeboller with liquorice, cookies with liquorice, cupcakes with liquorice, and if you run out of ideas for things you could potentially put liquorice IN, you can always just put it ON TOP (e.g. of “koldskål”), because that’s what “lakrids drys” was invented for!

3) Cocktails

I know that there are some alcohol varieties that taste naturally taste like liquorice (Sambuca or Ouzo, for example). But I’ve also seen cocktails on the menu of different bars (and even tasted one myself) that had liquorice powder stirred in or the aforementioned “lakrids drys” on top. Too much, people! Clearly too much.


2) Savory food

It has become a trend to expand the use of liquorice beyond the dessert universe and into the world of meat, fish and other savory dishes. For example, check out this recipe for chicken with liquorice marinade. Not even the Danish classic, Flæskesteg, is safe from being marinated in the stuff! Now, if you’re brave, try making one of these and let me know what you think!

1) Salt

Now, this one ABSOLUTELY takes the cake. Why in the name of all that is good and holy do I need salt that tastes like liquorice? Irma’s website suggests I put this in my tomato sauce - why on Earth could I possibly want to do that? It is completely mindblowing to me that people would actually buy this. And it definitely deserves first place on this list!

What’s your take? Do you like the Danish liquorice? And do you have any additions to my list?