A Guide to Denmark for Americans

More about Denmark

When the Danish summer arrives, it beckons everyone to the beach, and American visitors often dream of sunbathing without bikini tan lines or the anxiety of feeling exposed. If you're a man from the United States, you might have fantasized about a day at the beach in Denmark, where you can witness numerous women comfortably enjoying the sun. This is a common sight on many major Danish beaches, especially during the first week of August. If you're strolling the streets of Copenhagen, a visit to Nyhavn, which translates to "New Harbor," is inevitable for most tourists. Situated near Kongens Nytorv, "The King's New Square," Nyhavn is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque spots in the city and a favorite among photographers. Historically known for its dubious reputation with pubs and brothels, it's now adorned with upscale restaurants and bars. Denmark allows open beer consumption in public, so instead of sitting at a cafe table and spending 30-50 kroner (5-9 dollars) for a pint of Carlsberg or Tuborg, you can grab some beers at a kiosk and relax on the "pedestrian" side of Nyhavn. However, this advice may not apply in the winter; during the colder months, you might want to savor some glogg and æbleskiver, a delightful Danish pastry, in one of the nearby establishments. Dining in Denmark For Americans dining in Copenhagen, there are a few noteworthy points to consider. First and foremost, be prepared for the higher cost of dining out, as Copenhagen is known for its relatively expensive food. Additionally, you may notice that ethnic restaurants in Denmark offer cuisine that varies significantly from what you might expect in the United States. Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, and South American food, if you can find them, often have distinct Danish interpretations. However, European cuisine is widely available, and you'll come across numerous Thai restaurants. Don't hesitate to try Danish sausages from the popular "Sausage Wagons." Denmark excels in perfecting the art of crafting delectable hot dogs, which you're sure to enjoy if you're a fan of this genre. High-Cost Shopping Copenhagen is renowned as one of the world's most expensive cities, and a weak exchange rate can make your stay even pricier. With a 25% sales tax, it's not uncommon for visitors to feel the pinch of their wallets. While you may be eligible for a tax refund when departing the country, it's unlikely to fully offset the high costs of the city. Nevertheless, Copenhagen is not primarily a shopping destination. Instead, it's a place to relish culinary experiences, savor beverages, and immerse yourself in the city's charm. Units of Measurement During your stay in Denmark, you'll need to adapt to the metric system. To assist with this transition, consider using a conversion calculator to switch between American and metric measurements. A kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds, a liter is slightly less than a quart, and temperatures are expressed in Celsius. In Denmark, temperatures below 10°C are considered cold, 11-15°C are cool, 16-20°C are warm, 21-25°C are indicative of summer, and temperatures above 26°C imply that you've ventured beyond Denmark's climate norms. Keep in mind that a kilometer is roughly equivalent to 2/3 of a mile. Electrical Considerations If you're moving to Denmark, it's essential to understand the electrical standards. It's advisable to leave most of your American appliances behind to prevent electrical hazards and complications. Many computers come with built-in power converters, allowing them to function with both American and European electricity. However, you will need to purchase new power cables and adjust the voltage settings on your computer before plugging it into a European outlet. For safety reasons, using the incorrect converter can lead to damaged components. To ease your transition, stores like Brinck Electronik offer adapters and converters, although it might be more practical and cost-effective to purchase new appliances once you arrive in Denmark. Internet, Electronics, and More Internet access is readily available in Copenhagen, with numerous internet cafes where you can surf the web for a reasonable fee. Public libraries also offer free computer access, though you may need a library card to book a computer in advance. In terms of DVDs and video games, please be aware that Europe and the United States have different standards. American DVDs may not work on European DVD players, and the same applies to video games. While you can find code-free DVD players that accommodate both American and European DVDs, this is not the case with video games. Consider bringing your own gaming console if you intend to play your American games in Denmark, but remember to address any necessary electrical concerns. Medications and Health Before your trip to Denmark, bring along cold and flu medications, as these might not be as readily available as in the United States. Danish doctors often recommend chamomile tea for cold and flu symptoms, which might differ from American expectations. For antacids, pack your preferred brands, such as Tums or Rolaids, as they may not be as accessible in Denmark. Danish pharmacies offer antacids called "Link," which do not require a prescription but are only available from the pharmacy. Notably, over-the-counter medications in Denmark are often kept behind glass cases in supermarkets and 7-Eleven stores. You can purchase only one type of medication at a time at these locations. To buy more, you'll need to visit a pharmacy or "apotek." Keep in mind that pharmacies have limited operating hours, and there's a 24-hour apotek near the downtown area, across from the train station. Mailing Services Postal rates in Denmark tend to change frequently, and sending mail, especially international packages, can be relatively expensive. Check the Post website for the most up-to-date information on rates and services. You'll encounter terms like "Brev" (letter) and "Pakke" (package), with "Indland" referring to domestic and "Udland" indicating foreign. These basic terms should help you navigate the postal service, even without knowing Danish, as other details primarily pertain to package sizes and prices. Transportation and Cars If you plan to rent a car in Denmark, be prepared for the high cost of gasoline, which is considerably more expensive than what you might be accustomed to in the United States. The price of fuel could potentially exceed your rental car expenses, so think carefully about your driving plans. Additionally, if you're considering purchasing a car in Denmark, keep in mind that there's a hefty 180% luxury tax on new vehicles, making it a costly investment. Public transportation in Denmark is a convenient and affordable alternative to driving, and bicycles are a popular mode of transport in Copenhagen. Currency and Money Matters The currency used in Denmark is the "krone," and its exchange rate with the US dollar typically falls within the range of five to eight kroner for one dollar. You'll find coins in denominations of 25 and 50 øre, which have minimal value. The 1-, 2-, and 5-kroner coins are silver and increase in size with value. The 10- and