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Denmark Travel Guide

Like many Scandinavian countries, Denmark is a cosmopolitan and modern society with a proud history going back to the Viking Age, making it a fascinating holiday destination in Northern Europe. Although it is often sadly overlooked by tourists 'doing the continent', Denmark's rolling countryside and gleaming cities have much to offer holidaymakers.

Mainland Denmark is located on the Jutland Peninsula, with 482 islands including Zealand, Fyn, and Bornholm in the Baltic Sea making up the rest. The landscape is a patchwork of dairy farms, small towns, fishing villages, and verdant countryside, while gleaming cities like Copenhagen and Århus maintain an effortlessly chic style with Michelin-starred restaurants, buzzing nightlife, and world-class shopping.

Denmark's long history is evident in the 18th-century settlements, thousand-year-old churches, and Neolithic tombs scattered around the country; remnants of Viking settlements can be found in coastal towns like Roskilde.

Denmark is often cited as one of the happiest countries in the world according to contentment surveys, and it's easy to see why when you look at the clean streets, efficient public transport systems, and progressive social policies. For visitors, this relaxed, organised, and friendly attitude is just one aspect of a pleasant holiday in Denmark.

Best time to visit

The weather in Denmark has four distinct seasons, with a cold winter and warm summer. Spring tends to be unpredictable, with large temperature swings and unexpected rain showers. Autumn and winter tend to be very cold, and it gets dark fairly early. The best time to visit Denmark is in the warm period between May and August, when typical daytime temperatures are just about 69F (20C) and the days are very long. This is why most of the events in Denmark are held in July and August.

What to see in Denmark

-See the Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen.

-Tour the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.

-Visit the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen in Odense.

-See the elaborate Christiansborg Palace.

What to do in Denmark

-Ride the Ferris Wheel and catch a concert at Tivoli Gardens.

-Swim on the beaches in Bornholm.

-Treat the kids to a day at Legoland Billund.

-Wander the streets of Freetown Christiania.

Getting to Denmark

There are many direct cheap flights to Denmark from the UK, departing from a number of airports. There are also some convenient train connections to Denmark from London. Flights to Denmark from the US are also fairly easy to come by, with direct flights to Denmark from several major US cities.


Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg, and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.


Maskarade (Carl August Nielsen).


Beowulf (2007), Hans Christian Andersen (1952).


Locally-brewed Carlsberg and Tuborg beer.


Frikkadeller (Danish meatballs) and Smorrebrod (open sandwiches).

What to buy

Miniature Little Mermaid statues, Danish chocolate, Bevar Christiania merchandise.

What to pack

Denmark can get wet at any time of year so an umbrella is a good idea.

What's on in Denmark

Twinkling lights are everywhere at the December Tivoli Christmas Market. Held each summer, the Roskilde Festival is one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe. Dance, music, theatre, art, and sport come together for four frantic days at Copenhagen's Cultural Harbour Festival.

Did you know?

-Popular children's toymaker LEGO and internet phone service Skype were both invented in Denmark.

-There is not a single mountain in Denmark; the closest thing is a 560-foot (170m) hill called Mollehoj.

-Denmark became the first country to legalise same-sex marriages in 1989.

-The Dannebrog is the oldest national flag in the world.

-Denmark was the first European country to abolish slavery.

A final word

A cosmopolitan culture with roots going back to the Vikings, travelling to Denmark makes for a fascinating holiday.


Danish is the official language, but English is understood and widely used.


Danish currency is the Krone (DKK), made up of 100 ore. ATMs are easily found throughout the country, and all major credit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa. Most banks are not open on weekends but Copenhagen has several bureaux de change which stay open late at night, seven days a week.


Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round European-style, two-pin plugs are standard.


Those working in Denmark's service industry generally receive good wages. Service charges are usually included in bills so tipping isn't common. However, small tips are appreciated by bellhops, valets, maids, porters, or taxi drivers if one feels the service has been good. Usually rounding up to the nearest kroner is acceptable.


Most visits to Denmark are trouble free and crime levels are low. But during the tourist season, there are opportunistic muggers, pickpockets and bag snatchers, especially in crowded areas, train stations and bus stops. Visitors should take precautions to keep personal belongings safe.


The international country code for Denmark is +45.


There are no specific health risks in Denmark and medical facilities are first class. No vaccinations are required; free emergency treatment is available to all foreign visitors at public hospitals. After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance.

Public Holidays

Whit Sunday31 May23 May
New Year's Day1 Jan1 Jan
Good Friday10 Apr2 Apr
Maundy Thursday9 Apr1 Apr
Easter Sunday12 Apr4 Apr
Easter Monday13 Apr5 Apr
Great Prayer Day8 Mar30 Apr
Ascension Day21 May13 May
Christmas Day25 Dec25 Dec
Boxing Day26 Dec26 Dec
Whit Monday1 Jun24 May


Business in Denmark tends to be conducted in a straightforward manner, though somewhat less formally than in some other parts of Europe. Greetings are made with a handshake, introductions are usually made using one's first name and it's normal to greet women first.

Punctuality is vital and if running even five minutes late be sure to call and apologise. Danes tend to be open-minded and friendly, and one can expect some small talk at the start of a meeting on a range of topics. Business cards are exchanged before or after the meeting.

Dress should be smart and neat, without being ostentatious. English is widely spoken and understood. Business hours are usually 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In the summer months (June to August), some Danes are on vacation so check before arranging a business trip.

Passport & Visa

The borderless region known as the Schengen Area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option, and which allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all the aforementioned countries. Additionally, travellers to Denmark must hold proof of the following: (i) return or onward tickets, with confirmed reservations; (ii) the required documentation for the next destination; (iii) visible means of support (at least USD 60 or DKK 350) per day of stay in Denmark. It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. No documents issued more than 10 years priot to date of travel will be accepted. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.


Denmark is an egalitarian society. Women and men are treated equally.

Duty Free

Travellers arriving from an EU country with duty-paid goods purchased in an EU country are allowed 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1 kilogram of tobacco, and 10 litres of spirits. Residents of non-EU countries entering from outside the EU are allowed 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco, as well as 1 litre of spirits, 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer. They can also bring in other goods up to the value of KRR 3,250 for air travellers and KRR 2,250 for other travellers.


Danish Visitor Service, Copenhagen: +45 70 22 24 42 or

112 (General)

Entry Requirements

United States citizens must have a passport valid for at least three months beyond period of intended stay. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days within a six month period, extension of stay is possible.

British passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar, only need to be valid for period of intended stay in Denmark. All other endorsements require at least three months validity beyond the period of intended stay in Denmark. A visa is not required for passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar and an Identity Card issued by Gibraltar. They are exempt from visas for stays of up to 90 days in a half-year period for holders of British passports with any other endorsement.

Canadian citizens must have a passport valid for at least three months beyond period of intended stay. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days in a six-month period.

South African citizens must hold a passport, not a temporary passport, valid for at least three months beyond period of intended stay. A Schengen visa is required.

Irish nationals must have a passport valid for the duration of their stay. No visa is required.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport valid for at least three months beyond period of intended stay. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days in a six-month period.

Embassy Consulates

United States Embassy, Copenhagen: +45 3341 7100.

British Embassy, Copenhagen: +45 3544 5200.

Canadian Embassy, Copenhagen: +45 3348 3200.

South African Embassy, Copenhagen: +45 3918 0155.

Irish Embassy, Copenhagen: +45 35 47 3200.

New Zealand Consulate General, The Hague (also responsible for Denmark): +31 70 346 9324.

Embassy Consulates

Royal Danish Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 234 4300.

Royal Danish Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7333 0200.

Royal Danish Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 562 1811.

Royal Danish Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 430 9340.

Royal Danish Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 475 6404.

Royal Danish Consulate General, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 22 047 3500.


Denmark is a land of epic natural beauty and gorgeous sightseeing opportunities. The coastline is diverse, consisting of unspoilt beaches, ancient fjords and small coves, with a countryside of lake districts, rolling hills and gentle valleys dotted with windmills.

Most people are unaware of Denmark's amazing beaches, with some 200 Blue Flag shorelines providing excellent bases from which to fish, kayak, kitesurf and windsurf beneath the surprisingly warm Danish summer sun.

Visitors should jump aboard a ferry to explore more than 400 islands and marvel at the awesome bridges, such as the 10 mile (16km) Oresund link to Sweden. They can also take a week to cycle through beech woods, spend a day out in the Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen or explore sleepy medieval villages.

For the more culturally-inclined, there are many old castles, quaint traditional architecture and picturesque cobblestone villages and towns. Additionally, a visit to the Viking Ship Museum is devoted to honouring Denmark's bold ancient mariners.

With such a huge coastline and emphasis on fishing, sampling some of the fresh seafood in the country is an absolute must. The Danish food scene has exploded and is now considered the culinary capital of Scandinavia and a gastronomic destination of note.

Denmark is small and boasts excellent roads, railway systems and numerous ferry connections to the myriad offshore islands. Indeed, the charming and hospitable kingdom of Denmark offers visitors a varied, exciting and unforgettable experience.


Despite being situated in northern Europe, the weather in Denmark isn't extreme. However, its maritime location and influence of the Gulf Air Stream can make the climate unstable. Winter weather is usually cold and overcast, with potential snowfall between January and March.

Summers (June to August) are relatively warm and sunny. Average temperatures in Copenhagen range from 27°F (-3°C) in midwinter to 72°F (22°C) in midsummer. Rainy days are common all year round but the wettest months in Denmark are August, September, and October. It is worth noting that it can be wet and windy at any time of year.

There is not a great variation in temperatures between night and day in Denmark. But winter days get far fewer daylight hours than long summer days. Early summer is the best time to visit Denmark. The month of June is particularly lovely because that is when the days are longest and the weather at its most pleasant.

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