Denmark

phone

Bring your own unlocked GSM phone to make calls. Prepaid SIM cards are available at most shops and international calling can be reasonably priced. Any prepaid credit generally only valid for calls made in Denmark, but can be purchased in small amounts to avoid waste when you leave. Data access on prepaid cards is very expensive as the 4 major Danish providershave locked out the monthly subscription market that include generous data allowances to Danish resident holders only; a rule enforced by local government.

International collect calls are not allowed from phone booths, which are all ran by the TDC company. You should be able to make international call with the prepaid SIM cards anyways.

Denmark's international phone country code is 45. The prefix for international dialing is "00" or '+' on a mobile phone.

When calling a Danish company expect to be connected directly to a Danish phone operator or digital system in Danish; if you wait till the end of the introduction and available options there's usually a separate English option, otherwise hit #.

Generally: Denmark is a country with almost no risk of natural disasters or animal attacks. Compared to most other European countries crime is average and common sense should keep you out of any trouble.

Animals
There is one relatively timid poisonous snake, the European viper Hugorm, whose bite very rarely is lethal. If you are walking in the woods or open areas with some ground cover during the summer, closed footwear is recommended. There is also a fish, the greater weever Fjæsing, with poisonous spines, that buries iself in the sand. The sting is painful, much worse than a sting from wasps or bees but is almost never lethal. The pain can be reduced by submersing the injury in hot water for at least 15 minutes. Once the pain has eased, the injury should be checked for any remaining spine fragments, and any such should be removed. If the pain does not mostly fade away within a few hours, you should seek medical attention. Medical attention should also be sought if the pain spreds to other areas than the original injury and if one experiences servere symtoms such as abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, shortness of breath, seizures, decreased blood pressure, gangrene, tissue degeneration and/or unconsciousness.
On foot
in cities 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. Also, take good notice of the dedicated bike lanes when crossing any street to avoid dangerous situations as bikers tend to ride fast and have right of way on these lanes.

On the beach: Don't bathe alone. Don't get too far away from land. Swim along the coast rather than away from it. In some areas undertow is a danger, and kills a number of tourists every year, but will mostly be signed at the beach. If you get caught by the undertow, do NOT fight the current. Instead use only as much energy as you need to stay afloat and let the current carry you out. Once the current dies out, swim parrallell to the beach for some time, before swimming back. On many beaches, flags inform of water quality. A blue flag means excellent water quality, green flag means good water quality, red flag means that bathing is not advised. A sign with the text "Badning forbudt" means that bathing is forbidden. Obey these signs, as it often means that the water is polluted with poisonous algae, bacteria, or chemicals, or that there is a dangerous undertow.

In the city: A few districts in major cities are probably best avoided at night by the unwary - but reverse of the trends in North America, it is often the ghettos in the suburbs that are unsafe, rather than the downtown areas.

In an emergency dial 112 medical help/fire brigade/police. This is toll free, and will work even from cell phones even if they have no SIM card. For the police in not-emergencies call 114.

Denmark is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty - the European Union except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country or you may have to clear immigration but not customs travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country.

Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.

Additionally, citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea are permitted to remain in Denmark for 90 days without a visa regardless of the amount of time spent in other Schengen countries except Nordic Passport Union countries. However, time spent in Denmark does count as time spent in the Schengen area. (http://www.nyidanmark.dk/...)

In July 2011, however, customs controls were increased along all Danish borders. While not all travelers are stopped, they should be prepared to show identification. Citizens from outside the EU should always carry a passport on them when using the German/Danish border crossing. Danish customs can be very strict and will always ask for identification documentation.

Citizens of the above countries are permitted to work in Denmark without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay. However, this ability to work visa-free does not necessarily extend to other Schengen countries.

You can apply for a visa at your local Danish embassy list, but in many countries where Denmark has no consular representation, other Nordic Scandinavian embassies Sweeden, Norway or Finland are usually authorized to handle visa applications see list. Further details are available at the Danish Immigration Services (http://www.nyidanmark.dk/...).

The other nations of the Danish commonwealth, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, are not Schengen or EU members. If you can visit the Schengen area without a visa, you can visit Greenland and the Faeroe Islands under the same rules 90 days in a half year, citizens of the EU/EEA have unlimited access. If you need a visa for the Schengen Zone, you'll need a separate visa for Greenland or the Faroe Islands - be sure to inform the Danish Embassy when you apply for your Schengen visa that you're also visiting these areas.

media

Apart from children's shows, nothing gets dubbed in Denmark although a sizeable portion of broadcasts in Denmark are American and British productions - so even with no English channels, there will usually be something on in a comprehensible language, same goes for cinemas - so you should be safe for a lazy rainy day. Nearly all hotels will have CNN and the BBC World Service available.

If you want updated with local news, the Copenhagen Post is the country's sole English newspaper, it is published weekly and available in many bars and Cafés in Copenhagen, while much harder to find in the rest of the country.

internet

While Internet cafés are present in most larger cities, they are usually not geared for tourists and hence they can be a bit tricky to find. Hotels usually provide both wireless internet and computers with internet access, but whether this service is provided for free, varies greatly - many cafés and bars also provide free wireless internet for paying customers, even when it is not signposted, so it is always a good idea to ask. The easiest way to get online is often the public library, as there is one in almost every town, they are usually centrally located, well signposted look for Bibliotek and always free - there can be a bit of waiting time to get a free computer though, but there will normally also be some sort of reservation system in place, so you can time it better.

If you are staying for more than a few weeks, you may also consider getting a mobilt broadband connection - most of the country has excellent coverage and speeds rivaling those of a fixed connection in the major cities and plenty for surfing the web, even in many of the more remote areas. Unfortunately the Danish ISPs generally don't have up to date English versions of their websites, so getting information about coverage and store location can be tricky. If you don't have a residents permit, a CPR and a local address you will not be able to buy a subscription, but Telia, TDC and Telenor offer prepaid packages you can buy as a foreigner. Telia's prepaid package starts at 50 DKK per GB while TDC's and Telenor's are quite expensive at 1000 DKK per GB. You can buy the Telia package in their stores located in the largest towns - if you have a modem that support UMTS/HSPA+/LTE you will most likely be able to use it, otherwise you can buy one for 500 DKK. (http://www.bredbaandsmatc...)

consular assistance

Nearly all developed nations have embassies in Copenhagen, and most other countries have embassies in either Stockholm or Copenhagen responsible for consular services to the whole Scandinavian region. EU member nations often maintain consulates in the provinces. At present, there are 71 foreign embassies in Copenhagen and more than 100 consulates in Copenhagen and larger cities, such as Aarhus, Aalborg, Odense, Vejle etc. (http://www.embassypages.c...). If you fall victim to serious criminal injuries while in Denmark, you might be eligible to financial compensation. If you wish to file a claim you must report the incident to police within 24 hours, and file a form obtainable from the police to Erstatningsnævnet; Gyldenløvesgade 11, 1600 Copenhagen V. Tel +45 33 92 33 34, Fax: +45 39 20 45 05, Email: erstatningsnaevnet@erstatningsnaevnet.dk. Claim processing time is a minimum of 3 months.

Health services in Denmark are of a high standard, although waiting times at emergency rooms can be quite long for non emergencies, since visitors are prioritized according to their situation. Except for surgical procedures there is no private healthcare system to speak of, all is taken care of by the public healthcare system and general practitioners. All visitors are provided with free emergency care, until you are deemed healthy enough to be transported back to your home country. Citizens from EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and certain British dependencies are all entitled to additional basic medical services during their stay, other nationalities should have a valid travel insurance for transportation home and any additional medical care needed after any emergency is dealt with, as this is not provided free of charge. As in the rest of the country, English speakers should not have any trouble communicating with staff in English.

One thing worth noting for several nationalities, is that Danish doctors don't strew out prescriptions or pills out at the rate common in North America, Japan and Southern Europe. There is a general trend of letting the body's own immune system take care of diseases, rather than using medicines. So if you show up at the local GP with minor illnesses like the common flu, expect to be send back to your bed to rest, rather than receiving any treatment, if you are otherwise of good health. Pharmacies Danish: Apotek are usually well stocked, but brand names may differ from those in your own country. Staff is highly trained, and major cities usually have one 24 hour pharmacy. Many drugs that are prescription-free in other countries, require prescription in Denmark, which is not trivial to get see above, and medicines available in supermarkets and drug stores are very limited; i.e. allergy drugs and light painkillers; Paracetamol based Panodil, Pamol & Pinex, acetylsalicylic based Treo, Kodimagnyl & Aspirin and Ibuprofen based Ipren

Dentists are only partly covered by the public healthcare system, and everyone, including Danes pay to visit their dentist. Danes and other Nordic citizens have some of the expenses covered by the public healthcare system, while non Scandinavian visitors, should generally be prepared to foot the entire bill themselves, or forward the expenses to their insurance company. Prices are notoriously high compared to the neighbouring countries, so unless it is urgent to see a dentist, it will probably be more economical to wait until you return home, or pass into Germany or Sweden.

Tap water is potable unless indicated. The regulations for tap water in Denmark even exceeds that of bottled water in general, so don't be offended if you notice a waiter filling a can of water at the sink. Restaurants and other places selling food are visited regularly by health inspectors and are awarded points on a 1-4 "smiley scale". (http://www.findsmiley.dk/...) 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 harbour recently opened for bathing read the Stay safe section.

mail

Most towns of any size have a post-office or a supermarket licensed to handle mail and parcels. Service is efficient, and you can expect mail posted in the postoffice, or in a mailbox before it is emptied hours are posted on the mailbox to arrive before 3PM the following day in Denmark and Southern Sweden. Mail to the rest of Europe, the United States and Canada needs one extra day, while delivery time to the rest of the world varies greatly, and mostly depends on the postal service in the receiving country. Most post offices in Denmark also handles Western Union money transfers, ticket sales for events, currency exchange and sell phone cards for international calls. Standard prices for postcards and standard letters are 5,50 DKK within Denmark, 8 DKK to Europe and 9 DKK for all other countries as of 2011, the rates are higher and likely to heighten, but as any current info as of the time of writing is likely to be outdated soon, do ask at the post office.

If you need to have parcels or mail sent to you in Denmark, you can receive it as Poste Restante at most major post offices General Delivery in the US. The post office will only hold such mail in one month, after which it will be returned to the sender. The address format is:

Major international parcel services like UPS or Fedex, while present in Denmark, do not offer any holding service.

customer service

By most standards the Danes have a great deal to learn about customer service, and many visitors may initially be appalled by the low standards present outside upmarket establishments, used to dealing with international expectations. Many attribute this to the high equality not only being present in practice, but also mentally - "you are not worth any more than me, so why should I treat you any different". By and large it is just one of those cultural differences you have deal with while visiting another country, and throwing a hissy fit or demanding to speak to the supervisor, is unlikely to get you anywhere. On the upside; tipping is neither expected - nor required, and when you do bump into good service, it tends to be truly genuine helpfulness, rather than an expectation for tips, or employee training courses - so savour such moments, remember to tip, and forget about the rest.

On a practical level, this means that you should only expect table service in restaurants. In café's and bars you usually order in the bar or counter and pay immediately when ordering, even if you intend for a 2nd order. It is also common that staff doing other duties than serving customers will happily keep the customer waiting, until he or she is finished with with whatever needs doing. Also don't expect any sir or madam's, verbal bromides seems awkward to most Danes, including those behind a counter.

respect

In a country which has no direct equivalent to please in their vernacular, where the local version of Mr. and Ms. has all but disappeared from common usage, and where the people can hardly muster a sorry if they bump into you on the streets, you could be forgiven to think they are the rudest people on earth, and you can get away with pretty much anything. You'd be wrong. Most of the behaviour many tourists consider appalling can be attributed to either the Danes' blatant - and when you get to understand it, quite sympathetic - disregard for formality, or their unfortunate shyness see drink section, and there are rules to the madness, way too complex to get into here, but some of the most important ones can be summed up as follows:

It is generally not considered impolite to omit verbal formalities common in other cultures, such as generic compliments or courteous bromides. Likewise, Danes almost never use Sir or Madame to address each other, as it is perceived as distancing oneself. On the contrary, addressing even a stranger by first name is considered a friendly gesture.

Be punctual
few things can make the Danes more annoyed than showing up later, even by a few minutes, than the agreed time, save social gatherings at people's homes, where the requirement for punctuality is much more relaxed.

If there are free seats on a bus or train, it's not customary to seat yourself next to strangers if you can avoid it. It is also a nice gesture to offer your seat for the elderly and the disabled. In many busses, the front seats are usually reserved for them.

Be aware that there are marked "quiet zones" on each train: one in the back of the back wagon and one in the front of the front wagon. Don´t talk on the phone there. In fact, don't talk at all. These are for people who want a quiet trip, usually people who need to go far, and may want to sleep, read, or work on their laptop or other things in peace.

Danes try to abridge differences between social classes. Modesty is a virtue - bragging, or showing off wealth, is considered rude, as is loud and passionate behaviour. Economic matters are private - don't ask Danes questions like how much they earn or what their car costs. As in Germany, Britain, and the rest of the Nordic countries, weather is a good conversation topic.

Greetings between people who know each other e.g. are good friends, close relatives, etc. are often in the form of a careful hug. It is rare to see a peck on the cheek as a form of greeting, and it might be taken as way too personal. A handshake is customary for everyone else, including people you aren't close to and people you are being introduced to.

When invited by a Dane - to visit their home, join them at their table or engage in an activity - don't hesitate to accept the invitation. Danes generally don't strew invitations out of politeness, and only say it if they mean it. The same goes for compliments. Bring a small gift; chocolate, flowers or wine are the most common, and remember despite their disregard for formality, to practice good table manners while at restaurants or in people's homes.

Even though 82% of the population is officially Lutheran, Denmark is by and large an agnostic country. Investigations into people's faith are largely unwelcome, and outside places of worship, displays of your faith should be kept private. Saying grace for example, is likely to be met with bewilderment and silence. Religious attire such as Muslim headscarfs, kippahs or even t-shirts with religious slogans, will - while tolerated - also make many Danes feel uncomfortable. If someone sneezes do not say "Bless you" under any circumstances, instead say "Prosit" or "Gesundheit" "Prosit" is higly recommended since it's the Danish way of saying it However, words like "Oh my god" are welcome. Going to church is highly unpopular, most parents dislike it as much as their offspring.

If in Denmark on business, it's important to note that family nearly without exception takes priority over work. So don't be surprised if Danes excuse themselves from even the most important of meetings by 4PM to pick up kids, a burden equally shared between the sexes.

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 Bokmål and also to Swedish, and is to some extent intelligible to speakers of those languages, especially in written form. However, it sounds different from Norwegian and Swedish. It is also more distantly related to Icelandic and Faroese, though spoken Danish is not mutually intelligible with these languages.

English is widely spoken in Denmark close to 90% of the population speaks it, making Denmark one of the most English proficient countries on the planet where English is not an official language, and many Danes have near native fluency. Danish school children start their English lessons in third grade when they're 8 years old, and regular English lessons continue until students finish high school, and many Danish university courses are fully or partially taught in English. In this regard, it is worth noting that Denmark is probably one of very few countries in the world, where you get no extra points for trying to speak the language, and Danes in general have very little patience with non-fluent speakers. So except for a few words like Tak thank you or Undskyld excuse me, English-speakers are much better off just speaking English than fighting their way through a phrasebook. If you do try, and the person you are talking to immediately switches to English, don't feel bad as it is not meant to condescend or belittle. Also of note, the Danish language has no equivalent to the English word "please" so at times it may seem as though Danes are rude when speaking English. This is not their intention.

Many Danes also speak German. Denmark is one of the top countries in Europe when it comes to knowledge of the German language, since more than 58% of the population has a good knowledge of the language. It is widely spoken in areas that attract many tourists from Germany, i.e. mainly the Jutland West Coast, the southern part of Funen and nearby islands e.g. Langeland and Ærø, and also especially in Southern Jutland Sønderjylland / Northern Schleswig, where it has status of a minority language. Elsewhere in the country, many people prefer to avoid speaking it, even when they do have some command of the language, and you will have a hard time convincing anyone to outside the tourist industry otherwise: this has nothing to do with history but is merely a result of the high fluency in English, making the locals less inclined to struggle through a language they are not entirely comfortable with. In a pinch or emergency though, people will probably step up, and do their best to help. There is a native or indigenous German speaking minority along the southern border to Germany Sønderjylland / Northern Schleswig and vice verse across the frontier there is a small community of Danish speakers to be found in Germany.

French is also spoken to some degree, as all Danish students have received at least three years of lessons in either German or French, but given the Danes' limited contact with the French language, fluency tends to be lagging.

Foreign television programmes and films are almost always shown in their original language with subtitles. Only children's programmes are dubbed into Danish.

smoking

As of 15 August 2007 it is not legal to smoke in any indoor public space in Denmark. This includes government buildings with public access hospitals, universities, etc, all restaurants and bars larger than 40 sq m and all public transport.Also be aware that you have to be at least 18 years old to buy cigarettes in Denmark.As of 1 July 2014, smoking is technically forbidden on all train platforms in Denmark; however, the regulation has not caught on, and both travelers and train personnel can regularly be seen having a smoke on the platform. However, it's important to remember that it's still forbidden - put out your cigarette if asked by personnel, unless you want to get kicked off the platform.