Denmark Adventure Overview

Living in Germany certainly has its perks. It is a very central country with opportunities for adventure in every direction. Germany shares its boarders with France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark. The options were many but I only had 10 days to plan an action packed adventure, so we decided that a tour of Denmark would be the smart move.

Denmark, or as it is officially known “the Kingdom of Denmark” is the most southern of all the Scandinavian countries which is located north of Germany, West of Sweden and South of Norway. It is made up of more than 400 islands and is essentially one large archipelago (island chain or grouping) which has been connected to the main land via an extensive network of bridges, tunnels and ferries.

We broke the trip up into 3 cities and the areas surrounding these cities namely Aarhus (Århus) located on the island of Jutland, Odense on the island of Funen and lastly the magnificent city of Copenhagen (København) on the islands of Zealand and Amager. I have divided this post into 3 with the cities and surrounding areas being covered each on a separate post. In addition to this, I have included the google review links that I have written for a number of the sights that we visited.

The border crossing between Germany and Denmark is located just north of Flensburg and does not feature a passport control. While Denmark maintains its own currency (Danish Krone or DKK), it is still part of the European Union. It is always advisable to keep identity documents on you to show that you are legally in the union and dogs require the blue EU Canine Passport to prove that they are in good health and have all the requirements such as micro chipping.

Read More: Århus

Read More: Odense

Read More: Copenhagen

Money Talk

 

Denmark being part of the European Union has the benefit that its economy appears to enjoy the use of a dual currency Eurossystem mostly seen in the larger cities. One can often go into coffee houses or normal shops and request the prices in Euros if that is your currency of choice.

Visa and master cards are widely accepted however we did experience some issues with our master card, so if you have both, plan to use the Visa where possible. There are a number of money exchanges in the main centres however, should you spend Euros, you will always receive Krone back.

It is easy to withdraw from the many ATMs located throughout the country where one can often specify either Krone or Euros as the cash payout option. It must be noted though that some banks charge a surcharge for withdrawals from foreign banks whereas others do not. That being said, do not be too eager to withdraw from the first bank should there be additional charges as it is not the case with all banks. Shop around.

 

Danish Culture

 

Contrary to what one might expect, the Danes are incredibly friendly, they are not all the humourless grim people I personally have heard about and I that was a pleasant surprise. We travelled with our Ozzie and I cannot count how many times people stopped us on the street to talk to us about her or to pet her. This is a really welcome change when living in Germany as the Germans stay well away from dogs and very rarely stop to chat to you.

CoffeeCoffee culture is one of the major cornerstones of the Danish way of life. Denmark ranks 4th in the world for coffee consumption behind Finland, Norway and Iceland with an average of 4 cups/day per person being consumed. That being said, we found there we in fact 2 things in abundance, one being coffee outlets and secondly hairdressers. So when visiting Denmark, one can expect to find well groomed coffee junkies everywhere.

Denmark is characterized as one of the most economically and socially developed countries in the world where citizens command a very high standard of living. This is largely due to the country having relatively low income disparity which contributes to it having one of the highest social mobility ratings in the world. Unfortunately, this also comes with a high price tag with the Danes having to shoulder one of the highest personal tax burdens in the world.

The Danes take great pride in their cities which are culturally rich, clean and safe. As with any place where humans are, there are bad elements however the overall impression is that the cities are well maintained and tourist friendly.

 

Getting Around

 

The Danes are on the forefront of green energy with cycling being the main form of transport in the major cities. There are approx. 5 bicycles for every 4 people in Denmark with Copenhagen competing for the top spot against the likes of Amsterdam in the Netherlands as the most bike friendly city in the world.

There are a number of bicycle rental companies that will rent bicycles to tourists with some of these having on board computers assisting with navigation. The bicycles are accessed using mobile phone apps that are available for both IOS and Android systems. Some of the companies offering bicycle rentals include Bar50, Donkey Republic and Bycyklen to name but a few. There are shops that offer rentals as well however these are brick and mortar shops that will need to be personally visited to contract a rental.

Public transport is well laid out with both buses and underground systems being available. Tickets can be bought on the DSBbuses or at the stations using the electronic automates or tourist information centres. Dogs are allowed on the trains but are not allowed universally on all buses. We found this inconsistently applied in Copenhagen where some buses allowed us to travel with our dog whereas others refused entrance. Buses also only take cash and only in the form of Krone, so make sure you have enough with you. If you are unsure, people using the public transport systems are really friendly and will be more than willing to assist you should you feel unsure of your route or bus number.

The DSB App (abbreviation for Danske Statsbaner) also available on both Android and IOS systems is the Danish public transport app where one can plan your journey, purchase tickets and check for the nearest stations. I found this most helpful in getting around and with only a short amount of time needed to register, I was able to use this app without any major issues.

If you are planning of driving around Denmark, as we did, the road network is really world-class with enormous investment being poured into constructing and maintaining the road network throughout the island nation. The bridges are really spectacular however, be aware that the toll to cross these bridges is expensive even for European standards.

 

Cuisine

Danish SmørrebrødNo real surprises here where the main dishes native to the Danish archipelago having strong similarities to those of its neighbours Sweden, Norway and Germany with dishes consisting of mainly meat, fish and potatoes. Open sandwiches on rye bread, known as smørrebrød, is a traditional staple of Danish lunch menus and should definitely be sampled on your visit to Denmark.

As with any world-class cities, you will find all sorts of foods from around the world such as Turkish, Italian, French etc should the Danish food not be to your liking – there will always be other alternatives on offer.

Eating out is very expensive, so we opted for street food and markets as a more cost effective alternative. This does not mean that we compromised on taste or quality. The standards of the street food markets are incredibly high and you will not be disappointed by it nor will you miss out on the authentic Danish experience should you decide to go this route.

 

Wrap Up

 

Denmark was definitely not the cheapest of the destinations we have travelled to but I must say it was worth it. The overall experience was great, people were super and the country stunningly beautiful. The weather was cold but dry which we were very fortunate to have in November.

We will be returning to Copenhagen in the summer as the city will look completely different as compared to the winter setting. Europe in winter has its own special charm with its Christmas markets and Denmark is no exception. The lights and markets create a special atmosphere that is unlike any other time of year. That being said, both summer and winter have both positive and negative points and one cannot go wrong with either time of year.

This is but a brief overview of the Kingdom of Denmark and the links below give better in depth reviews of the cities of Århus, Odense and Copenhagen. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and should you have any questions about Denmark then leave me a comment below and I will assist you with your query.

Should you have any questions regarding out journey through Denmark, leave it in the comments section and I will gladly get back to you.

Read More: Århus

Read More: Odense

Read More: Copenhagen

 

 

 

 

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14 Responses

  1. ecpags74 says:

    I love Denmark and have some friends who are from there, and I would agree that the Danes are a warm and wonderful people.  I don’t think that Shakespeare got them right with Hamlet.   I would love to know about the bicycle rentals and how you managed with your dog.  If it is a larger dog, I imagine that she would run along beside you, but if smaller, is there a way to carry her on the bike.  Do they list the requirements on their transport app?  You make me eager to visit.

    • Richard says:

      Hi,

      Traveling with smaller dogs on bicycles can be a challenge. Ours was a shepherd so running with us is not unusual. There are baskets on the front of the rental bikes that one could carry a small dog in. There is nothing that we found in the transport app regarding this. 

      Rich

  2. Dianne says:

    wow loving the sound of visiting Denmark. The coffee culture sounds to be right up my street and also the people sound to be lovely and friendly. Thanks for sharing your adventure, Denmark certainly has a place on my ‘places to visit’list. Possibly around Xmas time, love the sound on the Xmas markets.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Dianne,

      This time of year really is spectacular to see. Hope you enjoyed the series.

      Rich

  3. Sondra M says:

    Reading about your account, took me on a trip down memory lane.   I lived in Germany a number of years ago and was able to visit Denmark once for three or four days.   Our destination was Copenhagen.   As with most of Europe, the architecture was beautiful.  It was easy to get around.     

    This makes me think that I should pull out my old photographs and maybe consider another visit Denmark.  I would like to take my kids there sometime.  

    • Richard says:

      Hello Sondra,

      Denmark is a great destination whether it be in summer or winter. Grabbing those old photos will no doubt provide the inspiration for a return visit.

      Rich

  4. Diane says:

    Hi Richard – thanks for sharing this inspiring article. I am well-travelled throughout Europe, but Denmark is one place I am yet to tick off my list. It’s great to hear that the locals are friendly, as that can often be a concern when visiting different countries. Did you go in any bars? I like to look out for any regional beers that might be available. I am looking forward to reading more of your adventures. All the best, Diane (in the UK)

    • Richard says:

      Hello Diane,

      We went to an Irish Pub opposite to Tivoli and that was a great experience. They had all the local and international brews there and a number from micro breweries. Our dog was allowed in there however having her with us did limit us to which bars we could frequent. 

      If you are looking to read my review and see some photos, this is the link for the google review: https://goo.gl/maps/fg7njJLf3g

      Rich

  5. Anita says:

    This is a good review, I have not heard much about Denmark as a tourist destination. This is a first but I have some questions to ask before I can consider it in my list. What are the main tourist attractions? You have mentioned that dining is expensive, how about accommodation? Are there affordable hotels or vacation rentals in Denmark? Are there any tour packages one can consider?

    • Richard says:

      Hello Anita,

      I have linked our adventure in this post which details a number of the worth while tourist attractions in the cities we visited. The accommodation is very expensive in Copenhagen but less so in the other cities. It is related to location, size and requirements. Tour packages are available from a number of vendors however we preferred to explore ourselves rather than be held to a fixed route. 

      Rich

  6. Maureen says:

    Very informative article.  I had no idea that Denmark was made up of more than 400 islands.  No wonder you broke up your visit to just three destinations. You mentioned that you traveled with your dog so I am wondering was there no quarantine period when going to a different country?  Also did you need to show proof of vaccinations? Another thing I am curious about is what language is spoken in Denmark?  Many places that are tourist destinations do speak English but if you want to go outside the tourist area will that be a problem?  The information in this article makes me think this is not a one time destination. 

    • Richard says:

      Hi Maureen,

      Denmark is part of the EU so there is no quarantine between member states. We took the blue canine passport with in the event of being checked by nobody did. The official language is Danish with English being taught at schools so most people are bilingual. Even in the smaller towns, this was no problem.

      Hope you enjoyed the series.

      Rich

  7. Henry says:

    Hi! This is a super useful post! I’ll share on social media with all my friends because I want them to benefit from this as I have also done.

    I have wanted to visit Denmark for a while. And I know there is quite a group of us that have this same idea. So your experience has come very handy! Thank you very much!

    • Richard says:

      Hi Henry,

      Thanks for leaving a comment and sharing the post. I have written google reviews of the places we have visited in the articles in addition to the main cities we visited. 

      Hope you enjoyed the series.

      Rich

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