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Quick Facts
CapitalCopenhagen
Areatotal: 43,094 sq km
water: 700 sq km
land: 42,394 sq km
note: excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland
Population5,411,405 (Fourth quarter, 2004)
ReligionEvangelical Lutheran 95%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, Muslim 2%
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
CurrencyDanish krone (DKK)
Time ZoneUTC+1
Country Calling Code+45
Internet TLD.dk

Denmark is a country in Northern Europe. Part of it, Jutland, lies on a peninsula north of Germany while a number of islands, including two major ones, Zealand and Sweden.

Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. However, the country has opted out of European Union's Maastricht Treaty, the European monetary system (EMU), and issues concerning certain internal affairs.

Regions

Denmark is made up of the following regions:

  • Zealand (Sj�lland)
  • Jutland (Jylland)
  • Bornholm


Smaller islands:

  • Anholt in Kattegat.
  • Fan� west of Esbjerg
  • R�m�
  • Mand�
  • Fej�
  • Fem�
  • Ask�
  • Bog�
  • Om�
  • En�
  • Langeland near Faroe Islands
  • Greenland

Cities

These are the four major cities in Denmark:

  • Copenhagen (K�benhavn)
  • Aarhus (�rhus)
  • Odense
  • Aalborg

Other destinations

  • Legoland - Lego Brick theme park, everything is made by Lego's bricks. A must for children. Just 1 Km from Billund Airport in Jylland.
  • Ribe - Denmark's oldest town
  • Roskilde - Viking ship museum and cathedral. Also home of the famous Roskilde Festival (http://www.roskilde-festival.dk/index.php?code=1/).
  • Hornb�k, Gilleleje, Tisvildeleje, and Liseleje - Popular beach towns in north Zealand
  • Skagen - On the top of Jutland
  • Elsinore (Helsing�r) - famous for Kronborg Castle, the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet, located north of Copenhagen. Within the castle there's a museum about Shakespeare.
  • Fan� - cosy holiday island located in Vadehavet near Esbjerg.
  • Bornholm - famous sites include Hammershus, one of Denmarks best-kept castle ruins.

Remarkable Bridges

There are several remarkable bridges interconnecting Danish islands.

Understand

Terrain — Denmark is home to the 'lowest-highest' point in Europe; but what that exactly entails is somewhat uncertain. Ejer Baunehoj, in the Lake District region south-west of Aarhus (�rhus), seems to be the highest natural point (171m with a large tower built on top to commemorate the fact), although Yding Skouhoj, some 3km away stands 2m higher owing to an ancient burial mound. Either way, the tops of the towers of the Scandinavia. The airport is located at the town Kastrup on the island Amager, 8 km from central Copenhagen. The airport is connected by train to Copenhagen Central Station and beyond as well as Malmo and other towns in Sweden. Buses and taxis are also available.

  • Sterling (http://www.sterlingticket.com/), SAS Scandinavian (http://www.scandinavian.net/), and others connect Copenhagen with many cities in Europe and beyond.
  • EasyJet (http://www.easyjet.com/) serve Copenhagen from London Stansted and Berlin Schoenefeld.
  • Aarhus, 50 km from Randers, 90 km from Silkeborg, 99 km fra Horsens, 98 km from Viborg and 138 km from Aalborg. An airport shuttlebus connects the airport to Aarhus Central Station from where you can reach the rest of Jutland by Train.
    • London Oslo, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
  • Esbjerg, 104 km from Odense, 100 km from Aarhus, 210 km from Aalborg, and 262 km from Copenhagen. The airport is connected by buses to major cities and towns in the region. Taxis are also available.
    • Sterling (http://www.sterlingticket.com/) and others connect the region with several cities in Europe.
  • Malm�-Sturup Airport (http://www.sturup.com) is located 61 km from Copenhagen and offers low-fares flights with Hamburg to Copenhagen, approximately every two to three hours. These trains are loaded onto a ferry for the sea passage from Puttgarten to R�dby, and the total journey time is around 4.5 hours.

    There are also two train lines to Jutland from Hamburg, one via Padborg and the other via T�nder.

    From Sweden

    Trains run every twenty minutes from Malmo to Copenhagen. The total journey time is 35 minutes.

    By Bus

    Berlin DKK 200 (7 hours).

    By boat

    From Germany
    • Rostock to Gedser on Falster, as well as a ferry from Sassnitz to R�nne on Bornholm.
    From Iceland, Faroe Islands and Shetland Islands
    • Oslo and Kristiansand to Hirtshals and from Larvik to Fredrikshavn in Northern Jutland.
    • Oslo via Helsingborg (Sweden) to Copenhagen on Zealand.
    • Bergen via Haugesund and Egersund to Hanstholm in Northern Jutland.
    • Oslo to Frederikshavn.
    From Sweden
    • Helsingborg to Elsinore (Helsing�r) on Eastern Zealand.
    • Harwich to Esbjerg in South-Western Jutland.

    Get Around


    For public transportation (trains, buses and ferries) use the online travel planner Zealand and Copenhagen and Malmo (DKK 235 one way).

    Margueritruten is one 3500 Km long connected route of small scenic roads passing 100 important Danish attractions. It is marked by brown signs with the white Marguerite Daisy flower. It is marked on most roadmaps.

    By thumb

    It's quite easy to hitchhike in Denmark. People who pick up hitchhikers usually speak English. Destination boards are recommended. It's illegal to hitchhike on the highways, so it is better to use highway-entrances and gas stations. See also FAQ about hitch-hiking in Denmark (http://www.autostop.lt/faq/FAQ_DK.html).

    By air

    Bornholm where air travel is often both fast and inexpensive.

    Talk

    Denmark's national language is Danish, a member of the Germanic branch of the group of Indo-European languages, and within that family, part of the North Germanic, East Norse group. It is, in theory, very similar to Norwegian Bokm�l and Swedish, and is to some extent intelligible to speakers of those languages, especially in written form. Its sound, however, is more influenced by the guttural German language, though, rather than the lilting languages found to the north and understanding spoken Danish may be a trace more difficult to those who only speak Swedish or Norwegian.

    English is widely spoken in Denmark, especially in the larger cities. German is spoken in areas that attract tourists from Germany, i.e. mainly the Jutland West Coast, the southern part of Funen and nearby islands (e.g. Langeland and �r�), and also in Southern Jutland (S�nderjylland / Northern Schleswig).

    Buy

    The national currency is the Danish krone (DKK, plural "kroner"). In the more "touristy" shops in Copenhagen, and at the traditional beach resorts along the Jutland West Coast and Bornholm Island it will often be possible to pay in Euro. The Danish krone is pegged to the Euro to an accuracy of 2.25%. The exchange rate is around 1 EUR = 7.45 DKK.

    Automatic teller machines are widely available.

    You should note that almost everything in Denmark is expensive; particularly if you're not from Northern Europe. All consumer sales include a 25% sales tax but displayed prices are legally required to include this, so they are always exact. If you are from outside the EU/Scandinavia you can have some of your sales tax refunded (http://www.woco.dk/composite-294.htm) when leaving the country.

    Eat

    Apart from the kebab shops and pizza stands, dining in Denmark can be fairly expensive, but a worthwhile cost. Traditional Danish fare includes items as pickled herring, fried sanddab, and other assorted seafood items. Hearty meats are also prevalent, as seen in items such as frikadeller (pork only or pork and beef meat balls topped by a brown sauce) and "stegt fl�sk og persillesovs" (thick pork bacon slices topped by a parsley cream sauce). Many meals are also accompanied by a beer, and shots of aquavit or schnaps, though these are mainly enjoyed when guests are over. Drinking along with meals is encouraged as the foods are enhanced by the drinks, and vice versa. For dessert, try either "ris a la mande" (rice pudding with almonds with cherries) or �bleskiver. For candy try a bag of "Superpiratos" (hot licorice candy).


    Sm�rrebr�d

    The traditional Danish lunch is sm�rrebr�d, open sandwiches usually on rye bread - fish are served on white bread, and many restaurants give you a choice of bread. Sm�rrebr�d served on special occasions, in lunch restaurants, or bought in lunch takeaway stores, are piled higher than the daily fare.

    Some of the most popular and traditional choices are:

    • Pickled herring, plain, curry, or with red spices.
    • Liver Pat� Sandwich, probably the most popular
    • Stjerneskud, salad, plaice, shrimp, etc.
    • R�get �l og r�r�g, smoked eel and scrambled eggs
    • Pariserb�f, beef patty cooked rare with capers, horseradish, raw onions, and a raw egg yolk on top.
    • Dyrl�gens Natmad, liver pate, slices of salty meat, onion rings, jellied meat sauce.
    • Beef tartar
    • Fl�skesteg, Slices of pork roast with pickled red cabbage.
    • Roastbeef, with remoulade, fried onion, horseradish.
    • Kartoffel, sliced potatoes, tomatoes, and mayonnaise.
    • Hakkeb�f, beef patty with soft fried onions, a fried egg, pickles.
    • Shrimps, you get a generous portion of just shrimp with a little mayonnaise.
    • Ost, Cheese. Try a very old cheese served with raw onions, eggyolks, and rum.

    Drink

    Danish beer is a treat for a beer enthusiast. The largest brewery, Carlsberg (which also owns the Tuborg brand), offers a few choices, as well as a delicious "Christmas beer" in the 6 weeks leading up to the holidays. Other tasty beverages include the aforementioned aquavit, gl�gg, a hot wine drink popular in December. Danish beer is mostly limited to pilseners which are good, but not very diverse. However in the last few years Danes have become interested in a wider range of beers. During the Christmas season, Gl�gg, a hot spiced red wine with raisens and almonds is popular fare for warming up from the cold with a group of friends.

    The Danish Beer Enthusiasts (http://www.ale.dk/intro_uk.asp) maintain a list of bars and restaurants with a good selection of beers (http://www.ale.dk/ibyen.asp) as well as a list of stores with a good selection (http://www.ale.dk/indkob.asp#Danmark)

    Sleep

    Budget

    • Danhostel [1] (http://www.danhostel.dk) Hostels
    • CAB INN [2] (http://www.cab-inn.dk/UK/index.htm) Chain of budget hotels
    • Zleep hotels [3] (http://www.zleep.dk/english/index.php) Unmanned budget hotels

    Medium

    • Best Western [4] (http://www.bestwestern.dk/) 15 hotels in Denmark including hotels in smaller towns.
    • Scandic-Hilton [5] (http://www.scandic-hotels.dk/) All rooms have free wireless internet. Great discounts when booking early.
    • Radisson-SAS [6] (http://www.radissonsas.com/) Most hotels have wireless internet (http://www.freebroadband.radissonsas.com/|Free). Found in all major Danish cities.

    Do

    • Billetnet[7] (http://www.billetnet.dk/?ver=uk) books larger concerts, theater plays, sporting events etc. You can book online or in any post office. If you book online you can have the tickets mailed to you or you can print out a confirmation and exchange it for a ticket at a BilletNet office or at the scene.

    Stay Safe

    • Generally: Denmark is very safe. No risk of natural disaster or animal attack. Crime and traffic are only minor risks.
    • In the traffic: Danes generally drive by the rules (except for the bicycles) but may not be very helpful to other drivers in ceding right of way, etc. Watch out for the bicycles in the cities, especially when turning across bicycle lanes; they have right of way. On highways, make sure that you only pass on the left, and be aware that Danes like to drive fast.
    • On foot in cities: As mentioned above, Danes drive by the rules, and they have every expectation that pedestrians do the same. Therefore, it is important to obey Walk/Don't Walk signals and avoid jaywalking in cities, simply because cars will not slow down since you're not supposed to be there.
    • On the beach: Don't bathe alone. Don't get too far away from land. Don't jump head first in shallow water. Swim along the coast rather than away from it.
    • In the city: A few districts in major cities should be avoided at night by the unwary, or by lone women.

    In an emergency dial 112 (police/medical help/fire brigade). This is toll free, and will work even from cell phones with no SIM card.

    Stay Healthy

    Tap water is potable unless indicated. Restaurants and other places selling food are visited regularly by health inspectors and are awarded points on a 1-4 "smiley scale". The ratings must be prominently displayed, so look out for the happy face when in doubt. While pollution in the major cities can be annoying it doesn't pose any risk to non-residents. Nearly all beaches are fine for bathing - even parts of the Copenhagen harbor recently opened for bathing.

    Smoking

    Smoking is not allowed in government buildings with public access (hospitals, universities, etc). It is allowed in restaurants and bars, but they have to use an official sign to tell if the place is smoking, non-smoking, or non-smoking in a separate area. There have been made propositions in the parliament for a complete smoking ban in all public areas; including restaurants and bars. The majority of politicians and Danes are for a ban. the Danish Lung Association maintains a list of smoke free restaurants, bars etc (http://www.lungeforening.dk/roegfriguide).

    Respect

    • When it comes to conversing with Danes, most do not have the patience to decipher a foreigner's halting Danish and would much prefer to speak English, so there is no necessary 'Taler du engelsk?' before addressing most people in the cities. This holds especially true with young people. However, it is polite to ask when further out in the smaller towns or when speaking to older Danes.
    • No respectful titles are necessary when addressing someone. The titles 'Hr' and 'Fru' have mostly disappeared from use in Denmark, and people are generally addressed by their first name regardless of the situation.
    • Despite their disregard for formality, Danes are very polite and well mannered while in public. Be sure to practice good table manners while at restaurants, and make sure to learn the dozens of ways to say 'thank you' in Danish.
    • Drinking alcoholic beverages in public is considered socially acceptable in Denmark, and having a beer out in a public square is a common warm weather activity there. But be sure to do so in moderation, especially during the daytime.

    Contact

    Embassies and Consulates

    This is a list of embassies and consular posts in Denmark, as of February 2005. The list is far from all-extensive, it includes only the big countries. The embassy addresses themselves are limited to only the main cities, and other places of interest for the particular nation. Full list can be viewed stub and needs your attention. Plunge forward and help it grow!