88 sq km
Danish is a difficult language for visitors, (except for those from Norway and Sweden), to understand, and to speak. Danes are excellent linguists, however, and almost everyone, except perhaps elderly people in rural areas, speaks English well.
Denmark operates on Central European Time–1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (+2 in summer) This translates to Copenhagen being 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. When it is noon in Copenhagen; it is 6am in New York City. Daylight Savings Time is observed from the end of March to the end of September.
Telephone area code
none; the country code is 45. This two-digit number should precede any call made to Denmark from another country. Danish phones are fully automatic. Dial the eight-digit number; there are no city area codes. At public telephone booths, use two 50-øre coins or a 1-krone or 5-krone coin only. Don’t insert any coins until your party answers. You can make more than one call on the same payment if your time hasn’t run out. Remember that it can be expensive to telephone from your hotel room. Emergency calls are free.
Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit)
|January – March||41F||28F|
|April – June||66F||36F|
|July – September||68F||50F|
|October – December||52F||32F|
When to Go
Most travelers visit Denmark during the warmest months, July and August, but there are advantages to going in May, June, or September, when the city is less crowded and many establishments offer off-season discounts. However, few places in Denmark are ever unpleasantly crowded, and when the Danes make their annual exodus to the beaches the cities have even more breathing space. Many visitors avoid the winter months, when days are short and dark and when important attractions, including Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, are closed for most of the season. It’s worth noting, however, that winter holidays are beautiful and Tivoli does re-open for a time with its special Christmas market.
It is wise to pack a folding umbrella and a lightweight raincoat, as unexpected showers are the norm year round. Pack casual clothes. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. If you have trouble sleeping when it is light or are sensitive to strong sun, bring an eye mask for sleeping and dark sunglasses for outdoors. Summer provides extra hours of light, extending into nighttime hours.
Passports & Visas
All U.S. citizens, even infants, need only a valid passport to enter any Scandinavian country for stays of up to three months.
New Year’s Day Jan. 1
March or April (varies) Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday
April 25 Common Prayer (Great Prayer Day)
May (date varies) Feast of the Ascension
May (date varies) Pentecost Monday
June 5 Constitution Day (shops close at noon)
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and St. Stephen’s Day Dec. 24, 25, 26.
Stores are usually open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 6pm, on Friday from 9am to 7 or 8pm, and on Saturday from 9am to 2pm; most are closed Sunday. Offices are open Monday to Friday from 9 or l0am to 4 or 5pm. Banks in Copenhagen are open weekdays 9:30 – 4 and Thursdays until 6. Several bureaux de change, including the ones at Copenhagen’s central station and airport, stay open until 10 PM. Outside Copenhagen, banking hours vary. Museums are usually open from 10 – 3 or 11 – 4 and closed Mondays. In winter, opening hours are shorter, and some museums close for the season. Check the local papers or ask at tourist offices. Small shops and boutiques are open weekdays 10 -5:30; most stay open Thursday and Friday until 7 or 8 and close on Saturday at 1 or 2. The first and last Saturday of every month, most shops stay open until 4 or 5. Grocery stores are usually open between 9 or 10 and 7 or 8 weekdays, between 9 and 2 or 4 Saturday, and are closed on Sunday. A handful of Irma grocery stores in Copenhagen are open on Sunday.
The monetary unit in Denmark is the krone (DKr), which is divided into 100 øre. The denominations of krone bills are 50,100,200, 500, and 1000. There are coins of 25 and 50 øre and 1,2,5,10 and 200Dkr. On January 1, 1999 the euro became the official currency of Denmark, and the krone became a denomination of the euro. Danish coins and bills continue to be legal tender during the period of transition. Euro bills and coins are scheduled to be introduced by January, 2002. Most major credit cards are accepted in Denmark, American Express less frequently than others, and Carte Blanche rarely. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged in banks and at many hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Almost all banks (including the Danske Bank at the airport) exchange money. Most hotels cash traveler’s checks and exchange major foreign currencies, but they charge a substantial fee and give a lower rate. After normal banking hours, Den Danske Bank exchange is open at the main railway station, daily June to August 7 am-10 pm, and daily September to May, 7 am-9 pm.
Internet access is provided at the following, as well as many others in the area:
Bragesgade 1, Norrebro
35 82 25 17
2pm-3am Mon-Thursday, Sunday; 2pm-7am Friday, Sat.
No credit cards accepted.
Cyber Space Net Café
35 83 11 45
No credit cards accepted.
Upon leaving Denmark, U.S. citizens who have been outside their home country for 48 hours or more are allowed to take home $400 worth of merchandise duty free, if they have claimed no similar exemption within the past 30 days. If you make purchases in Denmark, keep your receipts.
All hotel, restaurant, and departure taxes and VAT. In Denmark these taxes are known as MOMS (pronounced mumps). These are automatically included in prices. VAT is 25%; non-EU citizens can obtain a refund of roughly 20%. The more than 1,500 shops that participate in the tax-free plan have a white tax free sticker on their windows. Purchases must be at least DKr300 in purchases per store, but need not necessarily be purchased all at the same time. Items must be sealed and unused in Denmark. At the shop, you’ll be asked to fill out a form and to show your passport. The form can then be turned in at any airport or ferry customs desk, where you can choose a check or charge-card credit. Keep all your receipts and tags; occasionally, customs authorities do ask to see purchases, so pack them where they will be accessible.
A 25% MOMS is included in your hotel and restaurant bills, service charges, and entrance fees, as well as on repair of foreign-registered cars. No refunds are possible on these items.
During regular business hours, ask your hotel to call the nearest English-speaking dentist. For emergency dental treatment, go to Tandlægevagten, Oslo Plads 14 ( 35-38-02-51), near Østerport Station and the U.S. Embassy. It’ is open Monday to Friday from 8am -9:30pm and on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from l0am – noon. Be prepared to pay in cash.
To reach a doctor, dial 33-93-63-00 from 9am – 4pm, or 38-88-60-41 after hours. The doctor’s fee is payable in cash. Virtually every doctor speaks English.
There are severe penalties in Denmark for the possession, use, purchase, sale, or manufacturing of drugs.
To use your U.S.-purchased electric-powered equipment, bring a converter and an adapter. The electrical current in Scandinavia is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two round prongs.
All embassies are in Copenhagen. The embassy of the United States is located at Dag Hammarsjölds Allé 24, DK-2100 København ( 35-55-31-44
Dial 112 to report a fire or to call the police or an ambulance. State your phone number and address. Emergency calls from public telephones are free (no coins needed).
Hospital Emergency Rooms
Rigshospitalet (Blegdamsvej 9, tel. 35/45-35-45). Frederiksberg Hospital (Nordre Fasanvej 57, tel. 38/34-77-11).
Steno Apotek (Vesterbrogade 6C, tel. 33/14-82-66) and Sønderbro Apotek (Amangerbrogade 158, tel. 31/58-01-40) are open 24 hours a day.
The largest and oldest optical chain in Denmark is Synoptik, Købmagergade 22 ( 33-15-05-38), with 80 other branches throughout Denmark.
There are laundromats in all neighborhoods, some independent, others part of the Vascomat and Möntvask chains. Some of the most convenient ones are found at Borgergade 2, Nansensgade 39, and Istedgade 45. They are open daily from 8am to 10pm. Your clothes can be dry-cleaned at Dry Cleaning, Vester Farimagsgade 3 ( 33-12-45-45), a block from the Central Railroad Station. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm and on Saturday from 9:30am to 3pm.
Try the Københavns Bibliotek (Copenhagen Library), located at Krystalgade 15 ( 33-73-60-60). Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm, has a large collection of English-language publications.
The Lost and Found Property office at Slotsherrensvej 113, 2720 Vanløse ( 38-74-88-22), is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5:30pm and on Friday from 9am to 2pm. For property lost on buses, phone 36-45-45-45; on trains, 33-16-21-10. These numbers can only be called Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm (until 6pm on Thursday).
Luggage can be stored in rental lockers at the Central Railroad Station. Lockers are available daily from 4:30am to midnight. The cost is 10 to 20 DKK ($1.45 to $2.90) for 24 hours. For information, call 33-14-17-01.
Foreign newspapers, particularly the International Herald Tribune and USA Today, are available at the Central Railroad Station in front of the Palladium movie theater on Vesterbrogade, on Strøget, and at the newsstands of big hotels.
Film is expensive and is best brought from home. Film processing is also expensive, so he traveler may wish to wait to develop most of the pictures. It is always a good idea to develop some while in Copenhagen, in order to check for quality and accuracy in portraying the intended scenes. There are no special restrictions on taking photographs, except in certain museums (signs are generally posted). When in doubt, ask. The biggest photography shop and camera supply center in Denmark is Kontant Foto, Købmagergade 44 ( 33-12-00-29). It is open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5:30pm, on Friday from 9am to 7pm, and on Saturday from 10am to 2pm.
Radio & TV
There are no English-language radio or TV stations broadcasting from Denmark. Only radios and TVs with satellite reception can receive signals from countries such as Britain. News programs in English are broadcast Monday to Saturday at 8:30am on Radio Denmark, 93.85 MHz. Radio 1 (at 90.8 MHz VHF) features news and classical music. Channels 2 and 3 (96.5/93.9 MHz) broadcast some entertainment, light news items, and light music. Most TV stations transmit from 7:30am to 11:30pm. Most films (many of which are American) are shown in their original languages, with Danish subtitles.
Please telephone for hours of services:
St. Ansgar’s Roman Catholic Church
The English Church of St. Alban’s (Anglo-Episcopalian)
The American Church (Protestant and interdenominational)
at the U.S. Embassy, Dag Hammarskjølds Allé 24
The Synagogue at Krystalgade 12.
The International Church of Copenhagen
(affiliated with the American Lutheran church) holds services at
Across from the Town Hall.
Magasin, Kongens Nytorv 13 ( 33-11-44-33), a leading Danish department store, has a shoe-repair franchise in its basement, Mister Minit. This service is available Monday to Saturday 10am to 7pm.
Public toilets can be found at Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square), the Central Railroad Station, and at all terminals. Look for the markings TOILETTER, WC, DAMER (women), or HERRER (men). There is no charge. Restrooms are clean and well supplied.
Telephone exchanges throughout Denmark were changed over the past five years. If you hear a recorded message or three loud beeps, chances are the number you are trying to reach has been changed. KTAS information (tel. 118) can always find current numbers.
Phones accept 1-, 5-, 10-, and 20-kroner coins. Pick up the receiver, dial the number, always including the area code, and wait until the party answers; then deposit the coins. You have roughly a minute per krone, so you can make another call on the same payment if your time has not run out. When it does, you will hear a beep and your call will be disconnected unless you deposit another coin. Dial the eight-digit number for calls anywhere within the country. For calls to the Faroe Islands (tel. 298) and Greenland (tel. 299), dial 00, then the three-digit code, then the five-digit number.
Dial 00, then the country code (1 for the United States and Canada, 44 for Great Britain), the area code, and the number. It’s very expensive to telephone or fax from hotels, although the regional phone companies offer a discount after 7:30 PM. It’s more economical to make calls from either the Copenhagen main rail station or the airports.
For an international operator, dial 113; for a directory-assisted international call, dial 115. To reach an AT&T operator dial 80-01-0010; for MCI, 80-01-0022; for Sprint, 80-01-0877.
Tipping is not expected in Denmark. A service charge is included in bills for hotels, bars, and restaurants. Taxi drivers round up the fare to the next krone but expect no tip. The exception is hotel porters, who receive about DKr5 per bag.
Tap water is safe to drink throughout Denmark. Mineral water is readily available.
Arriving & Departing
Copenhagen (formerly Kastrup) Airport (32-54-17-01), is 7 1/4 miles from the center of Copenhagen. Air-rail trains link the airport with the Central Railway Station in the center of Copenhagen. The ride takes only 11 minutes, and is reasonably priced. Located underneath the airport’s arrivals and departure halls, the Air Rail Terminal is a short escalator ride from the gates. It is equipped with more than 30 check-in counters, ticketing offices, information desks, restaurants, and fast-food chains. You can also take an SAS bus to the city terminal. Even cheaper is a local bus, no. 250S, which leaves from the international arrivals terminal every 15 or 20 minutes for Town Hall Square in central Copenhagen. Taxis are also available.
From New York, flights to Copenhagen take 7 hours, 40 minutes.
From London to Copenhagen the flight takes 1 hour, 55 minutes.
The E-66 highway, via bridges and ferry routes, connects Fredericia (on Jylland) with Middelfart (on Fyn), a distance of 10 miles and farther on to Copenhagen, another 120 miles east. Farther north, from århus (in Jylland), there is direct ferry service to Kalundborg (on Sjælland). From there, Route 23 leads to Roskilde, about 45 miles east. Take Route 21 east and follow the signs to Copenhagen, another 25 miles. Make reservations for the ferry in advance through DSB (tel. 33/14-88-80).
From Sweden there are frequent ferry connections to Copenhagen, including several daily ships from Malmö, Limhamn, Landskrona, and Helsingborg. There is also a high-speed craft from Malmö.
Hovedbanegården (central station) is the hub of the DSB network and is connected to most major cities in Europe. Intercity trains leave every hour, usually on the hour, from 6am to 10 pm for principal towns in Fyn and Jylland. Find out more from DSB Information (tel. 33/14-17-01). You can make reservations at the central station and at most other stations.
Copenhagen is small, with most sights within its square-mile center. Wear comfortable shoes and explore it on foot. Or rent a bike. An efficient mass transit system is available
Bicycles are well suited to Copenhagen’s flat terrain and are popular among Danes as well as visitors.
Københavns Cyclebørs (Track 12, Copenhagen main train station, tel. 33/14-07-17),
Danwheel-Rent-a-Bike (Colbjørnsensgade 3, tel. 31/21-22-27), or
Urania Cykler (Gammel Kongevej 1, tel. 31/21-80-88).
A car is not the best means of transportation for enjoying the sights of central Copenhagen. Parking spaces are at a premium and, when available, are expensive. A maze of one-way streets, somewhat aggressive drivers, and bicycle lanes make it even more complicated. If you are going to drive, choose a small car that’s easy to parallel park, bring a lot of small change to feed the meters, and be very careful of the cyclists on your right-hand side: They always have the right-of-way.
Drivers need a valid driver’s license. If you are using your own car, it must have a certificate of registration and national plates. A triangular hazard-warning sign is compulsory in every car and is provided with rentals. No matter where you sit in a car, you must wear a seat belt, and cars must have low beams on at all times. Motorcyclists must wear helmets and use low-beam lights as well.
Drive on the right and give way to traffic-especially to cyclists-on the right. A red-and-white yield sign or a line of white triangles across the road means you must yield to traffic on the road you are entering. Do not turn right on red unless there is a green arrow indicating that this is allowed. Speeding and, especially, drinking and driving are treated severely, even if no damage is caused. Americans and foreign tourists must pay fines on the spot.
The Copenhagen Card offers unlimited travel on buses and suburban trains, admission to more than 40 museums and sights around Sjælland, and a reduction on the ferry crossing to Sweden. You can buy a card, valid for either 24 or 48 hours, at tourist offices and hotels.
Trains and buses operate from 5 am (Sunday 6 am) to midnight. After that, night buses run every half hour from 1 am to 4:30 am from the main bus station at Rådhus Pladsen to most areas of the city and surroundings. Trains and buses operate on the same ticket system and divide Copenhagen and surrounding areas into three zones. Tickets are validated on a time basis: On the basic ticket, you can travel anywhere in the zone in which you started. A discount klip kort, good for 10 rides, costs DKr75 and must be stamped in the automatic ticket machines on buses or at stations. Get zone details from the 24-hour information service (tel. 36/45-45-45 for buses, 33/14-17-01 for S trains).
The computer-metered Mercedes and Volvo cabs are available when they display the sign fri (free); Taxis can be hailed or picked up in front of the main train station or at taxi stands, or by calling tel. 31/35-35-35.
A joint zone fare system
includes Copenhagen Transport buses and State Railway and S-tog trains in Copenhagen and North Zealand, plus some private railway routes within a 25-mile radius of the capital, enabling you to transfer from train to bus and vice versa with the same ticket. Basic Fares–A grundbillet (basic ticket) works for both buses and You can buy 10 tickets for a reduced rate. Children 11 and under ride for half fare; those 4 and under go free on local trains; and those 6 and under go free on buses. You can alsopurchase a ticket allowing 24-hour bus and train travel through nearly half of Zealand; it’s half price for children 7 to 11, and free for children 6 and under.
The Copenhagen Card entitles you to free and unlimited travel by bus and rail throughout the metropolitan area (including North Zealand), 25% to 50% discounts on crossings to and from Sweden, and free admission to many sights and museums. The card is available for 1, 2, or 3 days. Children 11 and under are given a 50% discount. For more information, contact the Copenhagen Tourist Information Center.
(which must be purchased in the U.S.) and Nordturist Pass tickets (which can be purchased at any train station in Scandinavia) can be used on local trains in Copenhagen.
Students who have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) are entitled to a number of travel breaks in Copenhagen. A card can be purchased in the United States at any Council Travel office (for the office nearest you, call 1- 800/GET-AN-ID).
For information about low-cost train, ferry, and plane trips, go to Wasteels, Skoubogade 6 ( 33-14-46-33), in Copenhagen. Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm.
These amusement gardens were built on the site of former fortifications in the heart of Copenhagen, on the south side of Rådhuspladsen. Some 160,000 flowers and 110,000 electric lights set the scene. Built in 1843, Tivoli is made up of a collection of restaurants, dance halls, theaters, beer gardens, and lakes.
This pedestrians-only street begins at Rådhuspladsen. The most interesting parts are Gammeltorv and Nytorv, old and new squares, lying on either side of Strxget. They’re the sites of fruit and vegetable markets, as well as stalls selling bric-a-brac and handmade jewelry. The word Strxget doesn’t appear on any maps. Instead, Strøget encompasses five streets: Frederiksbrerggade, Nygade, Villelskaftet, Amagertorv, and Øtergade.
This is the harbor area, now one of the most elegant sections of the city. It is the site of the deluxe hotel d’Angleterre and many prestigious restaurants. The Royal Theater stands on Kongens Nytorv.
This is the name given to the Old Town, the heart of Copenhagen. Once filled with monasteries, it is a maze of old streets, alleyways, and squares. If you cross Gammeltorv and Nørregade, you’ll be in the university area, nicknamed the Latin Quarter, as in Paris. The Vor Frue Kirke (cathedral of Copenhagen) is found here, as is the Rundetern (Round Tower).
This island, site of Christiansborg Palace, was where Bishop Absalon built the first fortress in the city in 1167. Today it’s the seat of the Danish parliament and the site of Thorvaldsen’s Museum, among others. Slotsholmen is linked to Indre by bridges. You can also visit the Royal Library, the Theater Museum, and the Royal Stables. The 17th-century Børsen (stock exchange) is also here.
This was the new town ordered by master builder Christian IV in the early 1500s. The town was originally constructed to house workers in the shipbuilding industry. Visitors come here today mainly to see the Danish Film Museum on Store Søndervoldstræde, and Vors Frelsers Kirke, on the corner of Prinsessegade and Skt. Annfgade. Sightseers can climb the spire of this old church for a panoramic view.
An anarchists’ commune founded in 1971, when students occupied army barracks; it is now a peaceful community of nonconformists who run a number of businesses, including a bike shop, bakery, rock club, and communal bathhouse.
The main street of this district, Istedgade, runs west from the main rail depot in the center of town. It passes through various neighborhoods. At first, the blocks are lined with rather respectable hotels but they soon give way to Copenhagen’s red-light district.. In the 1990s, many immigrants to Copenhagen, especially those from Turkey and Pakistan, settled in the neighborhood, filling it with indigenous craft shops and ethnic restaurants.
Adjacent to Vesterbro , Nørrebro is also rich in artisan shops and ethnic restaurants, especially Turkish and Pakistani. This area has been a blue collar neighborhood since the middle of the 19th century. However, the original Danish settlers have long since departed, replaced by immigrants who are not always greeted with a friendly reception in Copenhagen. The area also abounds in artists, students, and musicians. There are many second-hand clothing stores in this area, especially around Sankt Hans Torv. Antique shops offering an often unidentified mix of authentic antiquities and reproductions also fill the area.. On Saturday mornings a popular flea market opens along the wall of Assistens Kirkegerd, to the west of Nxrrebrogade.
If you head west from the inner city along Vesterbrogade, you will reach the residential and business district of Frederiksberg. It grew up around Frederiksberg Palace, constructed in the Italianate style with an ocher façade. A park, Frederiksberg Have, surrounds the palace. To the west of the palace is the Zoologisk Have, one of the largest zoos in Europe.
Dragør is a fishing village south of the city that dates from the 16th century. Along with Tivoli, this seems to be everybody’s favorite spot. Walk its cobblestone streets and enjoy its 65 old red-roofed houses, which have been designated as national landmarks.
On July 1, 2000 Denmark and Sweden finally put centuries of rivalry, war and bad feeling behind them with the opening of the Øresund Fixed Link. The project consists of a 10 mile long bridge, tunnel and man made island connecting Copenhagen and Malmö, on the south coast of Sweden. The emerging Øresund Region can be viewed as a pilot project for the accelerating European integration process. The new Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden is set to generate further growth on both sides of the Øresund Straits. There has been discussion of a separate town, Ørestad, to be established in the area, but much more work remains before matters of governance, cost and responsibility for services, and taxation can be determined. However, the project will become a reality step by step, and will evolve as the third largest city development project in Europe.