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Visiting Denmark

In contrast to its Viking past of conquest and plunder, Denmark today is perhaps as close as any country has come to the European ideal: a liberal, well educated population; an industrialised export-oriented economy; a stable constitutional monarchy - and some of the world's finest beer, Carlsberg, as well as some of its finest children's products, Lego!
Denmark is also a delightful place to visit: to take in its lovely countryside, its superb beaches, and its great nightlife.


Despite its northern latitude, Denmark's climate is rather mild - though the cold, short days in the winter months are by far the least hospitable.

Denmark's tourist life tends to come alive in April, when the weather begins to warm up and the daylight hours increase. May and June are marvellous months to visit the country, with the weather comfortable, the landscape a rich green and the fields abounding in flowers - this period also allows a visitor to beat the tourist rush. Depending on your taste autumn - as in much of Europe - is also a lovely season, with the rural landscape turning to a rich yellow, red and brown.

Denmark's high tourist season is in July and August, when there are lots of open-air concerts, lots of street activity, and a lot of relaxing on the beach! Other bonuses for travellers in mid-summer are longer opening-hours at museums and other tourist sites. Still, the last half of August is probably one of the most attractive times to travel, as the summer is still in full force, but there are far fewer crowds.


What to do

Denmark incorporates more than 7,300 kilometres of coastline and hundreds of islands, offering numerous swimming, yachting and windsurfing opportunities. In relation to the latter two, the country has both open sea to the west, as well as lots of calm water fjords and protected seas, such as Smålandshavet (nestled between Zealand and Lolland) and the island-dotted waters south of Funen. Denmark also has rich fishing tradition, with numerous streams and lakes stocked with pike, perch and trout. Saltwater fishing possibilities are almost boundless, with the most common saltwater fish being cod, mackerel, plaice and trout.


Getting around

Domestic air travel is convenient between main cities and it's possible to pick up heavily discounted fares on specified flights. Most places are serviced by regional buses, many of which are timed to connect with trains. Denmark has a good, reliable train system with reasonable fares and a frequent service. In Denmark you drive on the right-hand side of the road, seat belt use is mandatory and all drivers are required to carry a warning triangle. A series of bike paths link the country, so cycling is a practical way to get around Denmark, both within towns and also from town to town. Ferry networks link all of Denmark's populated islands, although the more adventurous might like to charter a yacht and travel around at their leisure.


General information

The local currency is the Danish Krone (DKK). Most western nationals, including Americans, EU citizens, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Malaysians, Singaporeans and most South Americans do not require a visa. By Scandinavian standards, Denmark is also an inexpensive country. Budget travellers can take advantage of Denmark's extensive network of camping grounds and hostels, and if they prepare their own meals, can get by on USD 60 a day.

All standard travellers' cheques are accepted at major banks in Denmark, but bank fees for changing money tend to be steep, so it's best to change a few at a time. Post offices will change foreign cash and they are open on Saturday mornings, which can be handy. Most major banks have ATMs that give cash advances on credit cards. There are also 24-hour cash exchange machines in Copenhagen. Restaurant bills and taxi fares include service charges in the quoted prices. Further tipping is unnecessary, although rounding up the bill is not uncommon when the service has been good.


Getting to and from Denmark

The vast majority of overseas flights to Denmark arrive at Copenhagen International Airport. A few international flights, mostly coming from other Scandinavian countries or the UK, land at small regional airports in Arhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Billund. There are daily bus and rail services between Germany and Denmark's Jutland peninsula. These rail services wind their way east to Funen and then over a significant bridge to the island of Zealand and ultimately Copenhagen. The completion in July 2000 of the Øresundsforbindelsen (Øresund Fixed Link), a road-rail system comprising 12km (7.5mi) of bridges and tunnels between Malmö in southern Sweden and Copenhagen, has given the Danish capital a welcome land link with the rest of Scandinavia.

It's also possible to arrive from Norway and Sweden by ferry. Other boat options are the daily (high season) and weekly (berg bashing) ferries running from Germany (Kiel and the island of Sylt), Iceland (Seynisfjornur), Norway (Oslo and Larvik), Sweden (Helsingborg, Limhamn and Malmö), Poland (Swinoujscie) and the UK (Harwich and Newcastle). There are no departure taxes when leaving Denmark.