I asked some locals what they wanted tourist to know before visiting their country!
1. “Most Danes are not good at small talk and we are usually not comfortable with strangers who decide to come up and chat with us. This can be perceived as cold or unfriendly, but the truth is that we are just not accustomed to this level of public interaction. If you want to chat with danes, this is best accomplished out on the town with a beer in hand – we are much more talkative and approachable after a drink!”
2. ”Denmark is a small country of just below 6 million inhabitants, so we need to have an international perspective. Almost everyone speaks english well enough to carry a conversation and many are well versed in german as well.”
3. ”You will probably notice that we are especially fond of our flag. We use our flag for many occasions, and almost none of them have to do with being a national symbol, but rather a symbol of celebration.”
4. ”We will decorate with flags when someone has a birthday – this is probably the main use of the danish national flag in everyday life – which is why it is also commonly referred to as “birthday flags.”
5. ”Stores will use flags as decoration when the store is having a “birthday sale” at the anniversary of a shop’s opening day.”
6. ”Danish waiters earn a fair salary so nobody expects you to leave a tip. Tipping is mostly used as a way of rewarding the restaurant staff for excellent service, but again if you are on a budget (and you probably will be, because vacationing in Denmark is expensive) no-one will think worse of you for not tipping. Again, if you spot a flag at someone’s table at a restaurant, that just means somebody is celebrating their birthday.”
7. ”Most restaurants and cafe’s will have waiters to help you get seated and take your orders.”
8. ”Danish people like to go out to eat, and we like to taste good from all over the world. Visitors might however have to make enquiries to find places that serve traditional Danish food we don’t usually go out to eat our own food. We have that at home.”
9. “The legal drinking age in Denmark is 16, though you have to be 18 to enter a bar or a nightclub.”
10. “You do not need to give tips in Denmark, yet it is sometimes done in order to show that you thought you were given a specially good service.”
11. “Denmark is famous for our food and cooking, and houses not only Noma, named world’s best restaurant several years in a row, but also tons of other Michelin starred places. However if you are not used to Scandinavia or Western European food it might be confusing, and I have several times seen people, specially from Asia, mix things which are definitely NOT supposed to be mixed. My advice would be that if you are ever in doubt, ask your waiter, this way you make sure to get the real experience from the food.”
12. “Denmark cares more about Christmas than any other holiday, and is known for having these huge and super amazing Christmas markets, an obvious thing to visit if ever in Denmark during December.”
13. “Inside Copenhagen we have a small independent state called Christiania, where the normal rules of our society doesn’t really count, and many, specially youngsters, goes there to buy weed.”
14. “Denmark gets super cold, especially during the winter months, so make sure to bring an extra sweater and a waterproof jacket!”
15. “In Denmark it is generally seen as being overly rude if you speak on the phone inside, so refrain from answering your phone inside restaurants, stores or even public transportation.”
16. “Denmark is also world famous for our bikes, which means that many tourists find renting a bike the most obvious way to experience the country. This is definitely true, but you have to keep in mind that for most Danes, the bike is our main transportation, and even though you might think you are an experienced biker, chances are that you have never biked anywhere with the same bike traffic as in Copenhagen.”
Drinking tip: You can drink at 16, 18
Map of Denmark
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this article! Please feel free to give me more suggestions down in the comments or email, and I can add you to the list!
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