Denmark is a Scandinavian country which lies to the north of Germany (its only neighbouring land) and to the south of Norway. It consists of the Jutland peninsula, which protrudes into the Baltic and North Seas, along with over 400 islands – though only 70 or so of these (the “Danish Archipelago”) are inhabited. The capital city, Copenhagen, is found on the largest island, Zealand. Many of the low-lying islands are connected by bridges, and Zealand is also linked to Sweden by the Øresund Bridge. The Kingdom of Denmark also includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Denmark is famous for its Viking ancestors, who invaded and colonised Europe in the 8th-10th centuries. Nowadays, Danes are seen as a relatively reserved and civilised people, though they retain a rich historical heritage and lively sense of culture and identity.


The official language of Denmark is Danish, also spoken in some areas of northern Germany, Sweden, Greenland and Iceland. Danish is a Scandinavian language related to Swedish and Norwegian. Its idiosyncrasies mean that it is very difficult for foreigners to learn and understand. Fortunately, English is very widely spoken, and many Danes also know German. Near the border, a small population speak German as their first languag

Some basic Danish words/phrasesGoddag – HelloFarvel – GoodbyeTak – Thankyou Ja (“yah”) – YesNej (“ney”) – NoJeg (“yeg”) hedder... – My name is...Taler du engelsk? – Do you speak English?


Currency in Denmark is the Danish Krone. At the time of writing, US$1 is worth kr 5.87. UK£1 = kr 11.09, and €1 = kr 7.47. Banknotes are in denominations of kr 1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of kr 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50 and 25 øre.

Money can be withdrawn from ATMs if you have a “link” symbol on your card. Visitors to Denmark will not be able to use personal cheques.


Denmark's climate is fairly mild; winters are generally not too cold (average 0.5oC), and summers not too hot (average 16oC). Because the country is relatively far north, there is considerable variation in the hours of daylight throughout the year. At the height of summer, sunrise is at 4.25am, sunset at almost 10pm. In the winter, however, daylight hours may be as little as 8.30-3.30.

The weather is typically humid, windy and overcast. It can be rather wet, particularly in the summer months, when sudden and heavy showers are frequent.


Copenhagen is a very popular destination for travellers due to its wealth of entertainment and famous party atmosphere: it has come to be known as the “Little Paris of the North”. The biggest tourist attraction outside of the capital is the Legoland park in Billund, which boasts enormous models of famous locations. Kronborg Castle – the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet – can be found in Elsinore (Helsingør), on the east coast of Zealand. The Ribe Viking Centre, near Ribe, Denmark's oldest town, recreates Viking life in a full-scale settlement. At the northernmost tip of the country, where the Baltic Sea meets the Atlantic, the beautiful coastal town of Skagen offers stunning nature reserves and beaches.


Denmark is famous for its porcelain and glassware, as well as handmade woollens from the Faroe Islands. Prices in Denmark are generally high, though this is partly a reflection of quality. A heavy value added tax is included (called MOMS in Danish), though for purchases over kr 300 this is partially refundable to overseas visitors on leaving – make sure you collect a form at the checkout.


The Danes are big music fans, and live acts are regularly booked to play in bars and clubs. Drinking hours are unrestricted, and although nightlife does not really get going until late – at least midnight – closing time is at 5am (when many early-morning restaurants open to pick up the slack). Jazz and dance clubs are popular, with many of the best in Copenhagen. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the biggest nights for entertainment.


There are a number of important rules to remember for driving in Denmark:

  • Drive on the right hand side of the road.
  • All cars and motorcycles must use dipped headlights in the day (standard in Scandinavia), and headlights must be fitted with converters if your car is designed to drive on the left.
  • Visibility vest, warning triangle and Euro-plates/nationality sticker are compulsory.
  • The drink-drive limit is 0.5 mg per 100 ml – stricter than for the UK, though normal for most of the rest of Europe.
  • Speed limits (given in km/h) are strictly enforced by cameras, and on-the-spot fines for traffic offences may be levied.
  • You will need to carry your driving licence, registration and insurance documents with you.
Check out this site for useful information on driving in Denmark

Food and Drink

The Danes take their food very seriously. Danish cuisine is typically meat and dairy based, and traditionally quite heavy and fatty (a result of its long winters and agricultural past). Smoked and pickled products are popular. Pork is a particular favourite – the country has as many pigs as people. Unsurprisingly for a place with such a long coastline, fish is also widely eaten. Denmark is famous for its oysters, as well as pickled herring and gravad laks (cured salmon, served with dill and mustard). These are often found as part of a smørrebrød – the traditional Danish lunch buffet of buttered rye bread with various toppings. This will very likely be accompanied by snaps, a fiery, clear spirit made from potato or grain and flavoured with spices. For the more substantial evening meal, beer is the beverage of choice – almost always lager, Carlsberg and Tuborg being two of the most famous breweries.

Eating out is usually expensive. Tipping is not expected (also the case for taxi drivers), as wages for waiters are good and any service charge is included in the bill.

Tourist Information