A low-lying peninsula surrounded by the North and Baltic seas, Denmark is very much a maritime nation with a strong shipping industry. Yet with few natural resources to exploit it has been forced to invest highly in infrastructure and develop a highly skills-based economy. The result is a nation with the highest per-capita GDP in Europe and one that frequently tops international indexes of quality of life. Denmark is in many ways a paradise with one major downside – the expense for the visitor.
Danish people are efficient, informal and not fond of ceremony. Business dealings are straightforward and can often be concluded relatively quickly. They are often fairly relaxed but expect a minimum standard of professionalism; while being good-humoured will often help with negotiations, being overly humorous will often backfire and lose you respect. Punctuality and good manners are also important as these are seen as marks of good character. Small talk during meetings is brief but you may be entertained after hours; if so, you are in for a treat.
Copenhagen, already renowned for design, fashion and architecture, is undergoing a culinary revolution, and the city has more Michelin stars than any other in Scandinavia. Aarhus and Aalborg are similarly well-equipped with fine dining and a cultured night-life. Visiting the islands that scatter the coast can be relaxing experience and the gentle terrain makes cycling an ideal way of enjoying the pleasant scenery and sea air. Denmark’s Viking heritage, among others, also makes for interesting exploration of its historical legacy.
Getting there Most international flights land at Copenhagen. Flights from the UK and Scandinavia are available to Arhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg & Billund. Ferry connections go to Scandinavian countries, Germany, Poland and Iceland. The European train and bus network provides links across the continent.
Getting around There is a reliable train network with frequent services and good coverage. Buses are slower and less comfortable, though often cheaper. There is an intricate ferry network linking the smaller islands.
Climate: Temperature. Warm summers, cold winters, medium rainfall throughout year. Temperature: Max 22°C (July), Min -3°C (February). Rainfall: Max 65mm (July), Min 24mm (April)
Currency: Danish Krone (DKK)
Business etiquette: Short, firm handshakes when arriving and leaving, women before men. Punctuality at meetings is important and agendas are strictly adhered to. Communication style is direct and many Danes will verbally admonish those who do not adhere to what they see as the correct protocol.
Tipping: 10 percent is standard but not mandatory.
Duty free: 1l spirits or 2l sparkling fortified wine (maximum 22 percent); 2l table wine; 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 500g coffee; 100g tea; 50g perfume; 250ml of eau de toilette
Safety: There is a low crime rate, though petty crime targeting tourists is common.
Laws: Drinking driving, possession of drugs and assault (even minor) are all dealt with severely and can result in considerable jail sentences.
Healthcare: Vaccination for tetanus required. Excellent medical facilities available, European citizens get free healthcare with an EHIC card. Non-EU may be charged and should have health insurance.
Socket type: Type C, Type K