Even though it’s difficult to find a topic that the Danes don’t like talking about or perhaps get offended by, there a few things that are better avoided when you’re trying to strike up a conversation with a local. Read our list below and get informed!
How do you survive the winter?
One of the things that foreigners visiting Denmark can’t get used to is the weather. No surprise there; during winter months temperatures are low and usually drop below zero, sometimes months pass by before the sun shines and even when the summer does arrive, it doesn’t necessarily mean high temperatures and sunny days. Locals are used to their weather, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by the cloudy, long dark days. So, if a foreigner visiting Denmark points out how depressing the weather is and wonders aloud how they manage to get through it, it isn’t going to make the local Danes particularly happy!
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Why do you hate the Swedes?
Danes, Swedes and Norwegians have an unofficial, friendly animosity among them which sometimes can be confusing for foreigners. If you listen to Danes talking about Swedes, you’ll probably think they really hate their close neighbours. But in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a cultural thing that people outside of Scandinavia can’t really understand and usually misjudge.
You Danes never smile!
It’s true that most Danes aren’t super-friendly with strangers, nor they will give them their greatest smile from the very first moment they meet them. That may seem weird, but it’s a fact you simply have to accept. Asking them why they’re so serious or ‘cold’ will only sound rude and put the Danes in an awkward position, making them feel apologetic for something they really don’t have to apologise for. Plus, there is a theory that Danes used to say that they don’t smile that often because low temperatures make their face muscles feel numb! That’s a pretty logical explanation.
Danes drink too much alcohol
On a Saturday night, foreigners may observe many drunk Danes in bars and in the streets. It’s true that Denmark has a high rate of alcohol consumption but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Danes have a drinking problem. They just enjoy starting their weekend with a six-pack of beer and partying until the wee hours. Most Danes won’t mind if you point out that it seems they drink a bit too much, but they won’t appreciate it if they feel they’re being criticised.
Are you really the happiest people in the world?
Everyone knows that Denmark has occupied the first place on the World’s Happiness Report three times and it has now become known as the happiest nation worldwide. This has raised many questions on how happiness is measured and if Denmark actually deserves the title. Therefore, foreigners often ask Danes their opinion on the matter, but the answer they can get can only be subjective. There’s nothing wrong with asking locals if they believe they live in the happiest nation, except that they’ll have heard the question dozens of times (more than ‘what is hygge?’).
Roskilde Festival isn’t that nice
If you’ve ever visited Roskilde Festival, you’ll know it is one of the best festivals in Europe. But even if you disagree with this opinion, it is highly recommended to keep your views to yourself. Danes are open-minded and can accept everyone’s opinions except when it comes to Roskilde Festival! Everyone in Denmark loves this festival and has memories to share about those five days in July, that makes it difficult for them to understand how someone might not think the same. So if you want to make a good impression and increase your chances of making new Danish friends, start a conversation about Roskilde Festival and make it clear how much you love it too!
Don’t brag about yourself
Even though in some cultures, talking about your accomplishments and showing off is generally accepted and can even be required in order to impress your new friends, in Denmark, it won’t make you look good. The Danes strongly believe that everyone is equal and should be treated the same; therefore, you’ll rarely see a Dane bragging about their job, income or other achievements. So, if you want to make a good first impression to a group of Danes, avoid telling them how special you are and let them figure it out for themselves.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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