While some people will always find things to complain about during their stay in Denmark, everyone can agree that this Scandinavian country has some characteristics that are hard to find elsewhere around the world. It’s inevitable that you’ll miss the following 11 things that make life in Denmark so special.
In Denmark everyone rides a bike. Even expats that didn’t use their bikes in their hometowns jump on the bandwagon and take up this environmentally-friendly habit while staying in the country, as it has great cycle routes. Even if during the first few days in Scandinavia you’ll find yourself struggling to get used to this new means of transportation, by the end of your time in Denmark you’ll never want to take the bus again.
One of the first thing travelers realise upon first arriving in Denmark is that everyone is dressed in a fashionable manner, and it’s no wonder, considering the capital is filled with elegant clothing stores, vintage and secondhand shops and famous designers’ boutiques. Of course, this small Scandinavian country isn’t the cheapest destination for shopping so you definitely won’t miss the prices, but you can resort to the flea markets and more affordable shops to find what you’re looking for.
Denmark is quite a small country and that makes it easy to travel around easily; one-day trips are more than feasible whenever you feel you need a change. All its cities, including Copenhagen, are quite compact, making commuting a shorter affair. When you finally leave Denmark, you’ll miss having a journey home that’s maximum 30 minutes long.
Danes love Christmas and they make sure to always celebrate in style. They even have a special Christmas-beer day. Every year, from early November, the city is decorated with red hearts and colorful lights, the supermarket shelves are filled with Christmas cookies, and from mid-November, the first Christmas markets start popping up. Those who love this time of the year will miss that special atmosphere.
Denmark boasts many lakes, canals, parks and forests. After the long and dark winter, Danes don’t waste any time and head outdoors in order to soak up some sun while barbecuing with friends. However, sunny periods don’t always last that long, and it’s common for even the summer months to have rain-filled days. As you may have guessed, one thing that no one misses when they leave Denmark is the weather.
Not many countries offer 24-hour metro and bus services seven days a week, but Denmark does. So if you don’t want or know how to ride a bicycle, you can always use these forms of public transport in the wee hours to move around without breaking the bank by taking a taxi.
Everyone misses Freetown Christiania when they leave Denmark, but not for the reason you may think. The autonomous car-free hippie district has more to it than just the marijuana trade for which it’s famous for. The underground music venues, organic restaurants and cozy cafés create an atmosphere that’s rarely found in other neighborhoods around the world.
Foreigners find it hard to understand what the Danish term hygge means, but if you live in Denmark you’ve probably at least once been invited by a Danish friend to drink a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate in a cozy cafe, perhaps surrounded by dozens of books and a warm fire, where you can eat delicious pastries and catch up about what’s going on in your life. The feeling of coziness and warmth is what truly makes for a hyggelig night.
Even though Denmark has a vivid nightlife scene, a proper night out for Danes doesn’t end unless they’ve drunk a few beers in one of the local smoky bodegas. Outside of Denmark, we bet you won’t find many places where you can still put a coin in a Jukebox and choose your favorite song.
Danes seem to live a slow-paced life; you’ll never hear car horns or see traffic jam—okay, there is bike-traffic in Copenhagen but that doesn’t really count. The buses and trains are rarely packed and you’ll even find a ‘quiet zone’ in some of them, ideal for those who want to read their book or just relax after work.
In Denmark—and especially in Copenhagen—cultural events take place throughout the whole year. Danes have found the way to fight the winter blues, and that includes numerous festivals and public events. From Copenhagen film festival CPH:PIX in September and Culture night in October to the Winter Jazz festival in February and Roskilde Festival in July, there is always something on Denmark’s cultural agenda.