Things You Should Never Say To A Dane

| © Official / Unsplash
Aliki Seferou

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!

Snow, Copenhagen © Mikael Colville-Andersen / Flickr

Why do you hate the Swedes?

Sweden © Pedro Szekely / Flickr

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.

People walking © Kristoffer Trolle / Flickr

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.

Gymnasium festivities

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?’).

Smiling Girls

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!

Roskilde, Orange Stage © Are Sjøberg / Flickr

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.


Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

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.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article