DENMARK TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS
At a Glance
Looking for Denmark Travel tips? In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the best things to do, where to go, and more.
Jutting into the North and Baltic seas, Denmark is a beautiful land whose aquatic spirit is felt throughout its intricate geography. Never more than 50km from the sea, the water penetrates the heart of its capital city and splits the nation into a series of over 400 islands.
Colorful and cultural, even in the city centers, nature envelops you thanks to the Danes’ fondness for green areas and nature. Whether it’s exploring the miles of sprawling coast or trekking the beech forests of Jutland, you will find something to reconnect you to nature in this wonderful land, and when you need to get back to the bustle, just kick back with a Carlsberg and Smorrebrod on the banks of Nyhavn to watch the world go by.
Denmark Quick Information
Electricity Socket: 230V AC electricity. Power outlets are usually two-prong round sockets. To avoid the hassle of having to buy new adaptors for everywhere you go, we recommend picking up a Universal Travel Adaptor before you leave.
Visa: Denmark is a member of the European Union and a signatory of the Schengen convention permitting unlimited visa-free travel to EU nationals, currently including the UK. Many countries in the Americas plus Australia, New Zealand, and UAE also enjoy visa-free travel for 90 days within the Schengen zone. Other nationals must apply for a Schengen visa for legal travel to Denmark.
Whilst the Schengen zone abolished passport checks at common borders, due to the current migrant crisis affecting Europe in light of Syrian conflict, a passport is needed to enter Sweden from the Oresund Bridge in Copenhagen.
Safety: Denmark is regarded as the world’s safest place based on its incredibly low rate of violent crime, theft, terror and natural disasters. Its friendly and welcoming people are part of the country’s charm and travel here is as close to risk-free as you can possibly get. Keep your wits about you and you will be fine in Denmark.
Language: The primary language is Danish, although other Scandinavian languages like Swedish and Norwegian may be understood and spoken at a basic level. Like many Scandinavian countries, English is widely spoken (and to a high level). That said, learning some basic Danish phrases will go a long way to winning the locals over!
Denmark Trip Planning
Best Time to Go
While you can visit Denmark all-year round, it’s worth knowing what to expect in each season before booking your travels. The best time to go is in spring, from May to June.
Like much of Europe, the weather in Denmark corresponds with the seasons which can be broken down into three parts:
- Low Season (Oct-Apr) – Cool and wet weather with short daylight hours. Reduced hours for popular tourist sights and many outdoor attractions are closed. However, big cities have Christmas lights and ice-skating.
- Mid Seasons (May-mid-Jun, mid-Aug-Sep) – Mild weather. Fewer crowds make for an ideal time to travel.
- High Season (mid-Jun-mid-Aug) – Warmer weather with long daylight hours. All attractions and sights open so expect crowds and higher accommodation prices.
Traveling around Denmark can be expensive if you don’t budget for it, so make sure to be aware of what you’re spending and always go local where you can to keep costs down.
Based on our experience, the biggest expenses are accommodation and food. However, it is possible to budget for as low as 350-425 DKK per day ($55-90), that is if you are staying in hostels, eating local or cooking your own meals, and using local transportation only when necessary.
Here is a rough cost for basic commodities:
Budget: 150-300kr ($20-50) dorms / 500-700kr ($80-110) budget hotels
Mid-Range: 700-1500kr ($110-230)
Splurge: 1500+kr ($230+)
Food (Typical Meal For One)
Cheap lunch: 75-125kr ($12-20)
Dinner in a restaurant: 135-200kr ($21-31)
Main course in top restaurant: 250+kr ($40+)
Bike hire: 100kr ($16) per day
24-hour City Pass: 80kr ($13)
City Bus/Train: 24kr ($4) two-zone ticket
Long Bus: 300+kr ($47+)
Trains: ~500kr (~$80)
Car hire: 600kr ($94) per day
What to Pack for Traveling Denmark
For Denmark, you will need a variety of clothes to suit all weather conditions even if you are going in summer. Make sure to bring lots of things that you can layer if you’re cold but that would also be suitable to wear alone for the warmer days.
If you’re heading there during winter time and plan to spend some time in the mountains, you can check out our ski trip packing list. Alternatively, for a complete guide on what to pack for Europe, check out our full article which has tips on what to bring for both summer and winter.
Best Things to Do in Denmark
Wander Around Copenhagen
There’s something about Copenhagen that makes it one of our favorite cities, maybe because it offers everything you would want from a city and more without feeling like one at all.
Offering a rich variety of culture, beguiling architecture, amazing food, great nightlife and a buzzing yet chilled daily vibe, there is nothing not to like about this city and many a traveler leaves falling head over heels. Oh, and did we mention that it is one of the safest, happiest and friendliest places in the world? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s even better!
To get the most out of your time in this amazing city, check out our Copenhagen City Break Guide.
- Copenhagen City Card – Save money on attractions and transportation with this city card which has various validity times.
- Hop On-Hop Off Boat Tour – In my opinion, cruising down the waterways is a great way to see the city which is why we recommended this hop on-and-off boat tour.
- Food Tour – If you want an introduction into Danish food, consider going on this food tour featuring popular traditional dishes.
- Segway City Tour – I love zipping around cities on segways. Not only are you able to cover more ground but you’re also able to get personal recommendations from the guides.
Explore the Tivoli Gardens
Find your inner child and become a kid again in the Tivoli Gardens! Perfectly situated opposite Copenhagen Central Station, this 19th-century amusement park is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Check out the skip-the-line tickets here.
Absorb the atmosphere here in this second-oldest operating amusement park, go crazy on the ancient roller coaster and Ferris wheel, enjoy the live entertainment and treat yourself to a chilled beer from the beer garden. This beautiful place is open from April until September so don’t miss out!
Visit Kronborg Castle
This 16th century UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sight to behold!
Located along the coast in Helsingør, it is definitely worth the day trip from Copenhagen to visit this majestic place. Wander and explore the grounds of this impressive castle, visit the lavish banqueting hall and royal chambers, and get a feel for why this location was the inspiration for the setting of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.
Admire the Ancient City of Roskilde
If you want a glimpse into the Danish history, Roskilde is the perfect city to venture to. Plus it is just outside of Copenhagen, so it’s really not that much of a venture!
Holding the title of Denmark’s capital from 960 to 1536, Roskilde is full of old-school architecture, interesting religious buildings, and intriguing Viking-influenced museums.
Take a walk down its beautiful brick-lined streets and discover some iconic sights such as the Roskilde Cathedral – the most famous in the country! You could even go in June to enjoy one of Europe’s largest music festivals.
Feast Your Eyes on Nyhavn
Although busy and more expensive than other charming Danish streets, there is something about Nyhavn that still deserves a visit. A stunning 17th-century waterfront lined with colorful and slightly slanted 18th-century townhouses, this quirky destination is one of the most colorful cities in Europe and is worth the visit.
Whether you just wander through, sit alongside the wooden boats with a beer or eat at one of the restaurants, paying a visit to this entertainment district can’t be missed while in Denmark.
Meander Through Kastellet
If you’re a history buff (and even if you’re not), Kastellet is a place that will intrigue and satisfy. Located in Copenhagen, this star-shaped 17th-century fortress with ramparts is one of the best preserved in Northern Europe.
With a museum, a charming windmill, and bastions at its corners, this fortress is a great place to wander around for a few hours and enjoy some free events or concerts that may be taking place there. It is also not far from the iconic bronze Little Mermaid sculpture, so it’s worth a visit in this area of the city for many reasons.
Go Cycling or Hiking
The Danes love getting outdoors, so follow suit and get active!
There’s nothing like renting a bike for the day and cycling along the waterfront exploring the city, so make the most of what’s available to you. The country is also full of a variety of hiking trails, so get your boots on and explore the countryside.
What to Eat in Denmark
Denmark has been named the happiest country in the world, and we think it may have something to do with the amazing food! Although quite expensive, the food you will come across will be top quality and made with fresh and local ingredients.
Many a dish will be delicious wherever you go but we think these bad boys are the best and are not to be missed while you’re there:
A lunch-time necessity, these open-faced sandwiches are affordable, delicious and simply genius! Topped with things like raw herring or shrimp, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, meat or vegetables, you just need to be able to pick what you fancy which is a task in itself.
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried these Danish meatballs! Pan-fried dumplings of pork or beef, these minced meat pieces of heaven are mixed with onions, eggs, milk, and bread crumbs and served with potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. Although found in many regions of Europe, the Danes know how it should be cooked!
Readily available all over Denmark, this national dish is a must-try. With pieces of pork meat, such as bacon, seasoned with salt and pepper and fried until crispy, served with potatoes and a parsley sauce, can you possibly go wrong?
Not the most traditional Danish food but another of the most popular, you will find pølsevogn (hot dog stands) all over Copenhagen and other cities serving these delicious hot dogs. Usually eaten with a side of ketchup, mustard, fried onions, and pickles, this makes for the perfect on-the-go bite.
Places to Stay in Denmark
The accommodations in Denmark are expensive, from hostel dorms and budget hotels to mid-range hotels, so budgeting for your stay can be difficult.
Cheaper options are hotels outside of the cities or shared rooms on Airbnb, with the cheapest being camping. To camp at campsites, you will need a Camping Key Europe card which costs about 110 DKK ($17).
If you’re traveling during peak season or holidays, it is best to book your accommodations in advance. We recommend checking sites like Booking.com and Agoda. Let’s just say, there is no shortage of options here in Denmark and you’ll always find somewhere to stay!
Books to Read when Traveling Denmark
If you’re looking for more information (or inspiration) on how to plan your trip, check out some of our book recommendations below.
There are two guidebooks that we recommend when it comes to traveling Denmark. Rick Steve’s Denmark Guide or the Lonely Planet guide. Both have great suggestions for trip itineraries and tips on what to see during your trip.
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living: Considered the happiest people in the world, this book is a fun read on the Danish philosophy on happiness and how you can apply it more to your life.
The Danish Girl: Now a big motion picture, this novel walks you through a passionate love story and everything that comes with it.