Denmark is a great travel destination and place to live. Between the gorgeous architecture and rolling scenery, the cities overflowing with bicyclists, the quaint traditions, and the funny, sweet, impeccably dressed Danes themselves – I fell in love with this amazing country instantly.
Since that first visit, I have spent more than three years in Denmark, in both the capital of Copenhagen and in Aarhus. And, if my dreams come true, I’ll spend the rest of my life there as well!
I first flew to Denmark when I was sixteen. I knew nothing about the country or the language (other than how to say “I have to pee” – “Jeg skal tisse”). Regardless, I would spend the next year living in their second largest city, Aarhus as an exchange student.
Must go in Denmark
Must do in Denmark
Must eat in Denmark
Denmark is well known for their variety of delectable open faced sandwiches, which are typically served on a very dark rye bread called rugbrød.Try any number of their traditional combinations: crispy fish, remoulade and lemon; hardboiled egg and shrimp; or – if you’re brave – pickled herring! If you’re at a special gathering, this lunchtime meal could be accompanied by shots of snaps. Skål!
If you happen to be in Denmark near Christmas, try Danish æbleskiver –small, spherical pancake-like treats that are served with fresh jam and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.You can simultaneously sip on my favorite Christmas drink glögg – mulled red wine with almond slices and raisins. Then just smile and say “God Jul!” to people you pass in the street. You’ll fit in perfectly!
Cultural tips for Traveling in Denmark
Everyone speaks English
This may not be completely true, but I bet this will be one of the first things you notice in Denmark. Danish citizens begin learning English in school at a very young age, and are often excited to meet English-speaking travelers so they can practice their language skills.
Sometimes it takes a beer or two for people to gain their confidence, but then you’ll find they often speak English perfectly! Regardless, I would suggest learning a few simple Danish words to use, such as thanks – tak – and cheers – skål.
Since only about 5.5 million people speak Danish, many Danes will be honored and surprised that you took the time to learn some of their language.
Many people think that the Danes are rude or cold when you first meet them, but really they are just generally reserved. Once they open up you’ll be glad you took the time to get to know them – so don’t write them off immediately!
Simply take the time to talk with them – ask them questions about Denmark and their own travels, or buy them a round. You’ll quickly find that they are truly some of the nicest and most accommodating people you’ll ever meet.
Cheap travel tips for Denmark
Since food and drinks in restaurants and bars can be quite expensive in Denmark, many people drink and eat before going out – often not arriving at bars and clubs until around midnight (most places are open until 5 a.m.).
Buy food, beer and other drinks in supermarkets and you can save a lot of money. You can drink in public in Denmark too (in most places), so enjoy a pre-party picnic in the King’s Park or by the canal!
Of course, Airbnb is usually cheaper than a hotel and you’ll get a more “authentic” experience. If you’ve never used Airbnb before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking!
Thanks for sharing, Alexandra! Any other Denmark travel tips to share?