contentment and quality of life, blockbuster dining and design, and a cheerful
emphasis on hygge – explore is what makes Denmark tick.
have the stop-you-in-your-tracks natural grandeur of its neighbors, but its
landscapes are understated – pure and simple, often infused with an ethereal
Nordic light. Such landscapes are reflected in the Danish design philosophy
towards fashion, food, architecture, furniture, and art. The simplicity of form
and function come first but not at the expense of beauty. And so you’ll find
moments of quintessential Danish loveliness on a long sandy beach, beside a
lake, admiring a Renaissance castle, on the bike lanes of Bornholm or in a
candlelit cafe that has perfected the art of hygge.
Culture & History
The world first
took notice of Denmark more than a millennium ago, when Danish Vikings took to
the seas and ravaged vast tracts of Europe. How things have changed. These days
Denmark captures global imagination as the epitome of a civilized society, and
it punches above its weight on many fronts: progressive politics, urban
planning, sustainability, work-life balance, design, and architecture. Recent
global crushes, freshly exported from Copenhagen, include a city cycling
culture, the New Nordic culinary movement, and brilliantly addictive TV drama
countries are noticeable for the ever-increasing gap between the ‘haves’ and
‘have-nots’, Denmark seems to be populated by the ‘have enough’, and the obviously
rich and obviously poor are few and far between. This egalitarian spirit allows
the best of the arts, architecture, eating, and entertainment to be within easy
reach of everyone. Indeed, the best catchword for Denmark might be ‘inclusive’
– everyone is welcome and everyone is catered to, be they young, old, gay,
straight, and whether they travel with kids, pets, or bikes in tow. Cities are
compact and user-friendly, infrastructure is modern, and travel is a breeze.
to know there’s still a country where the term ‘fairy tale’ can be used freely
– from its most enduring literary legacy to its textbook castles. In a
nutshell, Denmark gets it right: old-fashioned charm embraces the most avowedly
forward-looking design and social developments. The country wins a regular
place on lists of both the most liveable and the happiest nations on earth. You
won’t have to search hard to find much-prized hygge, a uniquely Danish trait
that has a profound influence on the locals’ inestimable happiness. Hygge is
social nirvana in Denmark: a sense of coziness, camaraderie, and contentment.
Critics might have
looked at Danish food with disdain 30 years ago, but now, thanks to the New
Nordic culinary movement, the country’s food scene is seen as one of the best
in the world.
culture and culinary heritage has been cultivated and improved for many
generations and is mainly originated from the old Danish country kitchen, with
roots way back to the Viking Era, leaving loads of ancient food recipes from
all over the Danish Kingdom created first and foremost as a shield to protect
the Danes against the cold weather conditions in Denmark. That’s why the Danes
for centuries have eaten a lot of meat, especially loads of pork and beef
together with plenty of potatoes and vegetables.
Poultry and fish
products are the Danes second choice. The cold and often wet climate in Denmark
requires a lot of food with high nutritional values that contains many
vitamins, minerals, and proteins to mobilise a great potion of energy; which is
a vital source needed for work, learning, sports, and other forms of daily
luncheon and dinner habits and traditions vary from region to region. In the
rural areas luncheon often is a hot meal and cold cuts with rye bread
"Smørrebrød" in the evening, while eating customs in the metropolitan
and city areas are opposite.
The nightclubs and
bars stay open until 5 or 6 in the morning, some even longer. Denmark has a
very liberal alcohol culture and a strong tradition for beer breweries,
although binge drinking is frowned upon and the Danish Police take driving
under the influence very seriously. Inner-city areas such as Istedgade and
EnghavePlads in Vesterbro, Sankt Hans Torv in Nørrebro and certain places in
Frederiksberg are especially noted for their nightlife. Copenhagen has one of
the highest numbers of restaurants and bars per capita in the world.
The Danish capital
is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, with bicycles
outnumbering its inhabitants. In 2012 some 36% of all working or studying
city-dwellers cycled to work, school, or university. With 1.27 million Km
covered every working day by Copenhagen’s cyclists (including both residents
and commuters), and 75% of Copenhageners cycling throughout the year. The
city’s bicycle paths are extensive and well used, boasting 400 kilometers (250
miles) of cycle lanes not shared with cars or pedestrians, and sometimes have
their signal systems – giving the cyclists a lead of a couple of seconds to
Futuristic in its
visage, the Copenhagen Opera House is a true icon of the Danish capital and
somewhere that should be visited by anyone who loves opera and theatre in
general. The Opera House’s main stage is able to accommodate up to 1,400
people, and together with its second stage, the Opera House hosts an always
impressive variety of top-rated performances. In addition to the excellent
shows you can catch at the Opera House, the Restaurant Kost& Mask, which
sits at the top of the Opera House’s 14 stories, serves up an ever-changing
selection of mouthwatering dishes, with the fare equally focused on vitality as
Outdoors & Adventure
Denmark has some
of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. With over 7,400km of coastline,
choosing the best of Denmark's fine white sand, family friendly and crowd-free
beaches is tough!
In late summer and
autumn, visitors to Jaegerborg Dyrehave can witness the ferocious strutting and
bellowing of stags as they compete for mates and territory. You don't have to
go far from an urban center to enjoy fresh air and a chance to spot
wildlife--Copenhagen Zoo offers plenty of both. Outdoor Denmark is also an
ideal playground for a number of vigorous activities, including kayaking,
biking, and rock climbing.
campsites are not your thing and you crave the serenity of a night camping in
the wild, Denmark is the country for you. With over 1,000 areas for wild
camping, there are a multitude of natural camping experiences waiting for you.
No caravans or motorised vehicles are allowed in these places. They are pure,
unspoiled spots where you must leave nothing but your own footprints behind.
Wild camping sites
are often equipped with running water and toilets and around a third have
shelters you can sleep in. You may only sleep a maximum of one night at each
location. Be sure to read the Danish Nature Agency’s guidelines for wild
camping prior to your trip.