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The lowdown on all things Denmark. This is your definitive guide to holidaying in Denmark.
Denmark's bragging rights include ARoS Museum in Aarhus, with its contemporary exhibits and rainbow-coloured skywalk, and The Latin Quarter, featuring 14th century architecture and pretty pockets of coffee shops and cobblestone streets. For X-rated platters of Danish food, try the classic ‘smørrebrød’ (open-faced sandwich) and find picture-perfect towns fronting rivers and with endless cafés spilling onto sun-drenched pavements. For something more flash, stay at one of Denmark's dazzling harbour townships and savour the freshest just-caught seafood straight out of the sea.
1. How long can I stay without a visa
Kiwis do not need a visa to enter Denmark but like other countries in the Schengen area, you can only start for holiday purposes for a period of less than 3 months and will likely be asked for proof of return flights out of the Schengen area.
2. What’s the local currency?
Kroner. Everywhere will take card payments but don’t let that fool you - if you are using a credit card then they won’t accept it. You either need a debit card with a pin or keep your pockets stuffed with kroner.
3. Do I need to tip?
A service charge is included in hotel and restaurant bills so tipping is not expected, however if you had some exceptional service - leaving a few kroner will be appreciated.
4. Transport to and from the airport
Most visitors will have their first port of call in Copenhagen - either the Kastrup Airport or the City’s Central station which are both connected to train/metro systems to take you into the main city or bus systems depending on where you are heading to.
The trains run every 10 minutes during the day but 1-3 times an hour at night so make sure you look up times to jump on before any evening departures. The metro eyba every 4-6 minutes during the day and 15-20 minutes at night.
5. Getting around. Can I Uber?
Denmark is home to a great public transport system. The rail network is your fastest way around and isn’t much different in price to a bus fare but the two timetables compliment each other nicely to make sure you get from A to B when and how you want. For more information and bookings click here.
As of April 2017, Uber has pulled out of Denmark due to law changes regarding seat occupancy sensors and fare meters. This could be remedied in future as Uber is trying to find a way to continue their service but at this point stick to a taxi.
6. Weather: What can you expect when you go?
Denmark is beautiful no matter what time of year you decide to go but to make the most of the temperatures and the scenery - the summer months between June and August are your best choice, if you do decide you want cooler temperatures or smaller crowds, you can never go wrong with autumn leaves or a cold but not too harsh winter (although it can be a bit dark).
7. Top 10 phrases
While it’s always smart to have a few phrases under your belt - be aware that most Danes are fluent in English - to the standard your English teacher would be proud! Below are a few phrases we think you should keep in your back pocket though:
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?
8. Rules and customs
Denmark is a very tolerant country, with an overall culture of valuing quality time with friends and family and overall very liberal. A quirk to be aware of though is that the Danes will not cross at the lights until they get the little green man - no matter if there isn’t a car in sight. So if you jaywalk, expect some looks.
9. Where to have fun
Once upon a time in Denmark, there were beautiful museums dedicated to Hans Christian Anderson that have beautiful artwork and insights into the father of the fairytale. If that’s not quite your cup of tea, check out some of the beautiful castles such as the Koldinghus on Jutland or take a walk down to one of their beaches. When in Copenhagen, the kids (or the kid in you) will love a trip to the world’s oldest amusement park - with amazing rides, entertainment and gardens - it’s an experience for the whole family.
10. What to do in an emergency
Denmark is one of the safest countries that you can visit, but like any tourist destination there is always a risk of petty crime so keep your wits about you and your valuables in sight.
We recommend safely and securely storing three important travel documents (your passport, credit card and driver's license) on your phone. Use an app such as Traveler ID which will store a series of documents in one place. Of course, you might lose your phone, so also store them in the Cloud, or your saved emails.
11. HOT’s Danish eats
Click here for 10 Nordic foods you never knew existed.
12. Is the water safe to drink?
With the water being checked daily Denmark has some of the safest drinking water in the world and is much cheaper than bottled water at the supermarket.
13. HOT’s top insider tips
Take a family outing to Legoland: Got the kids? Head straight for Legoland in Billund, Denmark. The park is literally made up of millions of pieces of Lego and comes complete with roller coasters. Most of the park is outdoors, so keep an eye on the weather when planning your visit.
Visit Aarhus in summer: At its very peak, the sun rises at 4.30am and doesn’t even set until 10pm. That’ll do wonders for your Vitamin D levels.
Cross into Sweden via Oresund Bridge: It starts with a massive four kilometre bridge connecting Copenhagen with the artificial island of Peberholm. From Peberholm, you seamlessly swap the bridge for a tunnel which stretches a further four kilometres under the Baltic Sea to Malmo, Sweden.
14. Denmark for kids
Denmark is a great place for kids, wherever you end up, there are amusement parks, zoos, medieval villages and of course beaches. Depending on where you go there are more options though - Central Jutland is a must with a water park, safari park and of course legoland.
European Heritage Days
These are annual national events, currently set up by more than fifty countries whereby the public are permitted to visit buildings and other historical places of interest which are not usually open to the public, or museums whose access then becomes free, or reduced in price.
These heritage days are launched every year on the third weekend of September. Also known as Doors Open Days and Open Doors Days. For more information click here.
15. What adapter do I need?
The power voltage in Denmark is between 220-240V and you will require an adaptor to use any NZ appliances over there to fit their three pin sockets.
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