Eight great places to visit during autumn in Denmark

Autumn is the most hyggelig season to be outside in Denmark, and the country's large beech and oak forests makes it a perfect place to see the autumn colours. We asked foreigners from Copenhagen for some of their favourite places to go.

Eight great places to visit during autumn in Denmark
A golden corridor of beaches in the Rold Forest in northern Jutland. Photo: Christian Faber/Visit Denmark

1. Bornholm

The sea surrounding Denmark's most easterly island shifts its summer a few weeks later than most other places in Denmark, with the waters retaining their heat well into September (not that you'll necessary want to go swimming, this is the Baltic after all!). But it's still possible to enjoy a visit to some of the stunning beeches which ring the island. 

That's not the only reason to make an autumn visit to this quaint Danish outpost, which closer to Poland than to Copenhagen. The Almindingen forest in the centre of the island is one of the largest in Denmark, and has huge expanses of beech forest, and patches of the original mixed oak forest. 

The ruins of Hammershus Castle on the north coast of Bornholm, as seen in late August. Photo: Semko Balcerski/Visit Denmark

There are four walking paths through the forest, all about 4km long. Walk one starts at the excellent but pricey Christianshøjkroen restaurant in Aakirkeby, and takes you out to Rokkestenen, seven tonnes of rock left by a retreating glaciers, which you are supposed to try and rock. Walk two takes you through Ekkodalen, Bornholm's longest rift valley. Walk three takes you through an arboretum, and walk five takes you around several lakes, to the ruin of a Viking-era castle, and to Lilleborg Castle.

A lovely autumn route through the Hareskoven Forest. Photo: Guillaume Baviere/Flickr


2. Enjoy the autumn colours in Hareskoven Forest 

Hareskoven, which skirts the northwestern fringes of Copenhagen, is the closest place to the capital with a decent stretch of beech forest, which turns satisfyingly golden in the autumn. There are also scattered oak, linden and maple trees, with some majestic examples of the former, such as 'The Tailor' or Skrædderen.

4.Visit the beautiful Rold forest near Aalborg. 

Rold forest near Aalborg in the north of Jutland is Denmark's second largest forest. It's known particularly for the Troldeskoven, or magic forest, filled with gnarled beeches many of which are as much as 300 years old, close to the maximum age for a beech tree. 

There's also the 'old growth forest' or Kyø Skov, which also has has 300-year-old trees, protected because they once belonged to the Kyø manor house southwest of Sebbersund. Other places worth a visit are the Store Økssø lake and the Hvass Sø lake. 

Rowing on one of the lakes at Frederiksberg Have. Photo: Visit Denmark

5. Frederiksberg Have 

Within Copenhagen, the Frederiksberg Have park is a great place for an autumn walk. with its lawns, beautiful trees, winding paths, lakes and canals. There's a café right by the entrance where you can either have coffee before or after your walk, or buy a take away to keep you company on your round. 

Artist Malik Mabe takes the Halloween Jack o' Lantern to a whole other level. Photo: Christoffer Anias Sandager/Tivoli

5. Halloween at Tivoli 

Another urban autumnal thing to do, Halloween at Tivoli, the unique funfair right by Copenhagen's central station, is quite special, with inventive decorations, over 20,000 pumpkins, and lots of people in scary costumes. 

6. Pick your apples, pears, plums (or pumpkins for that matter)

Pick-your-own is huge in Denmark, and on the Selvpluk website, you can search and find dozens of apple and pear orchards within a day trip of Copenhagen. It's a lovely way to spend a bit of time outside and come back with your own extremely fresh harvest. 

A man cycling in the the Store Dyrehave in northern Jutland. Photo: Tine Uffelmann/VisitNordsjælland


7. Enjoy the autumn colours in the Store Dyrehave

Store Dyrehave, meaning literally 'large animal park' was enclosed by stone walls in 1619–28 as a royal deer park for hunting, and is now comprises 1,230 of forest, mostly beech with some oak. It's just south of the North Zealand town of Hillerød, and takes less than an hour to get to by public transport from Copenhagen. The park is popular with mountain bikers, and joggers and has a series of marked out routes, making it easy to get around. The geometrical road system laid down by King Christian V for hunting is still in place. 

Stags preparing to rut at Jægersborg Dyrehave. Photo:Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

8. Watch rutting stags at Jægersborg Dyrehave

Jægersborg Dyrehave boasts impressive oak trees and red and fallow deer which have their rutting season in September, which means if you're lucky you can see the stags clattering their horns together in the hope of winning mates. It's also possible to go horse riding in Jægersborg Dyrehave. Book ponies at Fortunens Ponycenter



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Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany