Denmark is a peaceful and pleasant place. Its landscape is largely green, flat, and rural – with a host of half-timbered villages reminiscent of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. It is an easy country to visit – not only do the majority of Danes speak English, but they are friendly and extremely hospitable. Above all, the pace of life is not as frenetic as in some European mainland countries.
Most international flights arrive at Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, 5 miles from the city center. British Airways, easyJet, Norwegian, and SAS (Scandinavian Airline System) operate direct flights from Britain. SAS also offers direct flights from New York; most flights from North America, however, require a stopover.
If you are considering traveling to Denmark by sea, note that there is no longer a ferry service between southern England and Denmark. An alternative is to take the ferry, run by DFDS Seaways among others, from Newcastle to Amsterdam, which is then roughly 5.5 hours from the Danish border by car. Ferries also link all the Danish islands and range in size from the car- and bus-carrying catamarans and ferries of Mols-Linien, which travel between Zealand and Jutland, to tiny vessels serving small settlements off the mainland and major islands.
Buses are cheaper than trains, if not as comfortable. However, they are useful for traveling to remote areas not covered by the train network. Copenhagen’s Movia Kundecenter (customer services) has a bus information hotline. Most taxi drivers speak English, but cabs are often expensive, especially at night and all day at weekends. Cycling is an excellent way to enjoy Denmark’s mostly flat landscape since traffic is light on the country roads and most towns have cycle tracks. Bikes can be rented at most hotels, youth hostels, tourist offices, and bike stores, and at some train stations. In Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Cykelbørs is a reliable bike rental store. Contact the Dansk Cyklist Forbund (Danish Cycling Association) for more information.
Car rental in Denmark is expensive. To rent a vehicle you must be at least 20 years of age, and hold an international driver’s license. Driving in central Copenhagen is not advisable due to the traffic and lack of parking. The Danish authorities conduct random breath tests, and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are severe. The Forenede Danske Motorejere (FDM) offers a breakdown service to the Automobile Association (AA) members.
Like the rest of the public transportation system in Denmark, the trains are clean and reliable and are by far the best way to get around. Danish State Railways (DSB) operates an efficient network that covers most parts of the country, with the exception of south Funen and northeast Jutland. In Copenhagen, a local train service, the S-tog, provides transportation between the city center and the surrounding areas, and as far as Hillerød and Ishøj, while the underground Metro service runs from the Vanløse suburb in the west to the airport. The Copenhagen Cityringen is due to open in 2019. This rapid, driverless metro system will form a circular line with 17 stations around the city center.
Denmark still has a very small number of public phone booths, and phone cards can be bought from all post offices and kiosks. Most post offices are now located inside supermarkets, even in larger towns. They generally open from 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday, and 10 am to 1 pm on Saturday, although smaller branches may have restricted opening times. Wi-Fi Internet is available in almost all hotels and cafés, and on some trains. English-language newspapers are usually available the day after publication at train stations and many of the larger newsagents.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Denmark is a peaceful country and street crime is rare, although travelers are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance. Danish tourist offices and health offices have lists of doctors and local hospitals. For prescriptions (obtainable at a pharmacy or apothecary) or a doctor’s consultation, you will have to pay the full cost on the spot, but EU citizens can obtain a refund by taking their passport and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to a local health office.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Many tourist attractions close on Mondays, and a few have seasonal opening hours; several museums stay open late on Wednesdays. Stores are generally open 10 am–5:30 pm Monday to Thursday, 10 am–7 pm on Friday, and 9 am–4 pm on Saturday; Sunday openings are becoming more frequent, especially in Copenhagen. Office hours are 9 am–4 pm Monday to Friday.
The Danish unit of currency is the krone (DKr), which is divided into 100 øre. Danish banks usually open 9:30 am–4 pm Monday to Wednesday and Friday, and 9:30 am–6 pm on Thursday. For the most favorable exchange rates, change money, and traveler’s checks at a bank. Outside bank opening hours there are exchange booths at post offices, and most airports, main train stations, and ferry terminals. Major credit and charge cards are accepted in most places, and local currency can be obtained with credit or debit cards from cashpoint machines (ATMs).
Visitors who are not citizens of a Scandinavian country require a valid passport to enter Denmark. Citizens of the EU may use a national identity card in lieu of their passport. No visa is required for visitors from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
Comprehensive trip insurance is recommended for all vacations purchased through Vacays4U. Comprehensive policies typically cover trip cancellation and interruption, letting you cancel or cut your trip short because of illness, or, in some cases, acts of terrorism. Ask about insurance policies that cover evacuation and medical care. Some also cover you for trip delays because of bad weather or mechanical problems as well as for lost or delayed luggage.
Always read the fine print of your policy to make sure you’re covered for the risks that most concern you. Compare several policies to be sure you’re getting the best price and range of coverage available.