From Hans Christian Andersen to hygge (the art of Scandinavian cosiness), Denmark isn’t short on bragging rights. Throw in delicious Danish pastries, a nationally adored royal family and a seriously cosmopolitan capital and Denmark quickly emerges as one of Europe’s most enchanting destinations.
Got Denmark on your mind? We’ve got you sorted with a definitive guide to holidaying in Denmark.
How long can I stay without a visa?
The good news is Kiwis do not need a visa to enter Denmark, but like other countries in the Schengen area there’s a maximum stay of three months.
What’s the local currency?
Kroner is the currency of choice so be sure to stock up before you go.
Do I need to tip?
A service charge is usually included in hotel and restaurant bills so tipping is not expected. However if you enjoyed exceptional service leaving a few kroner will always be appreciated.
Transport to and from the airport
For most visitors Copenhagen is the first point of call, touching down in either Kastrup Airport or Copenhagen Central Station. Of course, after a long flight or train ride you may not feel like navigating public transport, so why not chat to your House of Travel consultant about pre-booking transfers?
Weather: When Denmark is at its best
Denmark is beautiful throughout the year, though if you want to make the most of the scenery summer is your best choice. Winter sees the country transform into a snowy wonderland, and there’s no denying that Denmark throws magical Christmas markets. For thinner crowds and plenty of sunshine you can never go wrong with autumn.
Top 10 phrases
With its tongue twisting pronunciation and quirky accents, Danish isn’t exactly the easiest language to pick up. But as always, it’s incredibly rewarding to give it a go and locals will definitely appreciate your efforts. Below are a few phrases to keep in your pocket:
Hello = Hej
Goodbye = Farvel
Yes = Ja
No = Nej
Do you speak English? = Taler du engelsk?
Excuse me = Undskyld mig
Sorry = Undskyld!
Please – Hvis du vil vaere sa venlig at (If you’ll be so kind, as to)
Thank you = Tak
Where’s the toilet? = Hvor er toilettet?
Rules and customs
Denmark is a famously forward-thinking country, with an overall liberal attitude and tolerant culture. This means that as long as you practice good manners you’ll fit in just fine.
Whether you want to wander around the grounds of its lavish palaces, touch base with the iconic Little Mermaid statue, chat to fishermen at colourful Nyhavn harbour or get lost in lovely Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen is guaranteed to delight. When it comes to accommodation we love the Latin Quarter, a charming pocket lined with 14th century facades housing boutiques, patisseries and coffee shops.
A spell in enchanting Odense
With its cobbled streets and pretty half-timbered houses, it’s no wonder the medieval town of Odense inspired Hans Christian Andersen to dream up a slew of world famous fairy tales.
Must try Danish eats
To us eating your way through a country is all part of the fun. So, to help you get a true taste for what Denmark is all about we’ve put together this list of ‘must try’ foods.
• Continental breakfasts
No one does breakfast quite like the Danes. Whether you stay in a luxury hotel or a cosy B&B, you’ll always wake up to a sumptuous spread of local cheeses, cold meats, fresh baked bread, flaky pastries, fruit jams and a host of other goodies.
No trip to Denmark would be complete without devouring your fair share of danishes, aka multilayered, glazed sweet pastries filled with a dollop of fruit jam. If you want to elevate yours to the next level try wienerbrød, a flaky ‘blow-your-mind delicious’ version laced with spirals of cinnamon, butter and iced sugar.
A Danish classic, these open-faced sandwiches feature a thin slice of buttered rugbrød (Denmark’s ubiquitous dense rye bread) topped with trimmings. We love the simple yet delicious kartoffelmad (boiled potato with mayo and chives) and the wonderfully crispy fiskefilet (pan-fried fish with remoulade and lettuce). If you’re in Copenhagen make a beeline for the iconic, century-old eatery Ida Davidsen which whips up some 250 varieties.
A jaunt into Sweden
It’s quite the experience to cruise four kilometres across the Oresund Bridge, drive another four through a Baltic Sea tunnel and emerge in the Swedish city of Malmo. If you want to get into the mood check out Nordic Noir crime drama The Bridge which was inspired by Oresund. Warning, it’s addictive.
European Heritage Days
If you’re a history buff don’t miss the chance to take part in Denmark’s European Heritage Days. Held by all 50 European countries, they offer a unique opportunity to visit buildings and other historical places of interest that are not usually open to the public.