Language: Danish
Currency: Danish krone (DKK)
Calling Code: 45


Description of Denmark

Denmark is a sovereign country member of the European Union located in northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries and also the smallest. Officially, the Kingdom of Denmark - in Danish: Kongeriget Danmark or Danmarks Rige - is a community made up of three autonomous parts, Denmark itself and its two overseas territories or dependent territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Its capital and most populous city is Copenhagen, which is located on the island of Selandia. Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world (2010) and, according to studies, the country where the inhabitants are happiest and one of the best in the world to live.

Denmark is part of Scandinavia and only has a land border with Germany, although since 1999 it has been linked to Sweden by road and rail, via the Øresund bridge. The Danish territory consists of the Jutland peninsula (Jylland) and 407 islands, of which 79 are inhabited (2009), Denmark has 7314 km of coastline and is completely surrounded by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, except for Jutland, which links it to the European continent. The main Danish islands are Zealand (Sjælland), Fyn (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolandia and Bornholm, the furthest from the Danish archipelago. This position has given Denmark, historically, control over access to the Baltic Sea.

Since 1849, the year in which the absolute monarchy that had ruled the country since 1660 was abolished, it became a parliamentary monarchy in 1901. In terms of permanence, the Danish monarchy can be considered the oldest monarchy in the world, having existed for at least one millennium. Denmark is part of the European Union (but does not use the euro). When the country joined the EEC in 1973 it did so without the Faroe Islands, while Greenland chose to separate from the EEC in 1985. It also became a founding member of NATO in 1949, ending the traditional policy of neutrality that I had held until then.

Due to its poor nature in geological resources, Denmark sustained its economy in agricultural activity, thanks to its farms, fishing exploitation and the naval industry. In the last century, the Danes have promoted the industrialization of their country and have favored the establishment of a welfare state, guaranteeing access to public services since the signing of the Kanslergade agreement in 1933. Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.


Travel Destinations in Denmark




Jægerspris Slot



East Jutland



Mols Bjerg National Park


North Jutland




Thy National Park
Voergård Castle


South Jutland




West Jutland

Hvide Sande



Hjerl Hede Frilandsmuseum


Funen (Fyn)




Sydfynske Øhav (South Funen Archipelago)






Zealand (Sjælland)

  North Zealand



Frederiksborg Castle


West Zealand




South Zealand


Store Heddinge









Nykøbing Falster










Hammershus Castle

Østerlars Church


Getting there

By plane
By far the largest airport in Denmark is the international airport Copenhagen-Kastrup (CPH), which is a hub of the Scandinavian airline SAS and has numerous direct connections from the German-speaking area. There is a second, much smaller airport near the capital: Copenhagen-Roskilde (RKE) is only used for short-haul flights within Denmark.

Other larger international airports are Billund (BLL) in South Jutland and Aalborg (AAL) in North Jutland.

There are smaller airports with only regional importance in Aarhus (AAR) in Central Jutland, Rønne (RNN) on Bornholm, Karup (KRP) in Central, Esbjerg (EBJ) and Sønderborg (SGD) in South Jutland - they are only from German-speaking countries accessible with transfer connections.

By train
There are two international rail lines from Germany to Denmark: every four hours an EC runs from Hamburg via Kolding and Odense to Copenhagen. The journey from Hamburg to Copenhagen takes 4:40 hours. An Intercity also runs every two hours from Flensburg to Fredericia (individual trains come directly from Hamburg or continue to Aarhus). Until 2019, the trains went to Copenhagen via Lübeck and were loaded between Puttgarden and Rødby via ferry across Fehmarnsund; Due to the construction work on the Fehmarnbelt tunnel, this type of loading is history after 56 years.

Regional trains run every 20 minutes across the Öresund Bridge between Malmö (Sweden) and Copenhagen, some from Kalmar or Växjö, some from Karlskrona and some from Mölndal near Göteborg. There is also the X2000 high-speed train, which runs every two hours, from Stockholm via Linköping to Copenhagen - the journey from Stockholm to Copenhagen takes just over five hours. An X2000 also drives every two hours from Varberg on the west coast of Sweden via Helsingborg to Copenhagen (total travel time 2:20 hours).

By bus
From Flensburg there are buses to Aarhus, Kolding and Vejle.

By street
The alcohol limit in Denmark is 0.5. The penalties for non-compliance are based on income and can be up to one month's earnings.

A mainland connection to Denmark is only available via Germany. There is a bridge from Sweden. Other countries are connected to the kingdom via ferry connections.

North Sea
The following connection is available to get to the Danish North Sea coast:
On the A7 E45 to Handewitt. Continue on the B199 and B5 to the Danish border. The P11 then continues along the southern coast.
If you want to go further north, for example near Esbjerg, follow the E 45 to Motorvejskryds Kolding Vest (Kolding Vest motorway junction; also Kolding V).


Baltic Sea
Travelers on the way to the Danish Baltic coast follow the A7 E45 motorway to the border near Flensburg, which then continues north as the E45.

Travelers in the direction of Sønderborg and Als follow the P8 and the signs from Motorvejskryds Kliplev near the border.
If you want to go a little further, for example to Odense or the state capital Copenhagen, follow the E20 and signs from Motorvejskryds Kolding.
Aalborg, Aarhus and Randers are on the E 45.
From Sweden you can get to Denmark on the E20, which crosses the Öresund Bridge (toll!) And connects Malmö with Copenhagen.

By boat
Scandlines operates ferries from Puttgarden to Rødby on Lolland and from Rostock-Warnemünde to Gedser on Falster. BornholmerFærgen operates the ferry routes from Sassnitz, from Køge on Zealand (near Copenhagen) and from Ystad in Sweden to Rønne on Bornholm.

There are also ferry connections to North Jutland from Norway and Sweden:

to Frederikshavn from Gothenburg and Oslo (Stenaline)
to Hirtshals from Kristiansand, Larvik (Colorline) and Bergen (Norway) (Fjordline), also from Iceland via the Faroe Islands (Smyrilline)
As a passenger on a freighter voyage, you can go ashore in Aalborg, Aarhus, Fredericia and Copenhagen.

By bicycle
Cyclists from Germany can cycle to Jutland on the North Sea Cycle Path or on the Ochsenweg from Hamburg via Flensburg, which is well signposted. The long-distance cycle route Berlin - Copenhagen, including the Rostock-Gedser ferry, leads cyclists across the islands of Falster and Zealand.


Around the country

By plane
There are domestic flights, especially between Copenhagen and Jutland (especially Aalborg) and from these two to the smaller and more remote islands (e.g. Bornholm). The most important providers are SAS, Danish Air Tranport (DAT) and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

By train
Long-distance rail transport is operated by the Danske Statsbaner (DSB). The highest and fastest train class in domestic traffic is the Lyntog (LYN; "Blitzzug"), followed by the InterCity (IC). Jutland and the larger islands of Funen, Zealand, Falster and Lolland are interconnected by bridges, so that you can travel from one to the other by train without any difficulties. On the most important route Copenhagen – Odense – Fredericia – Aarhus – Aalborg, the Lyntoge run every hour, supplemented by ICs that are also hourly. There is also an hourly IC connection between Copenhagen and South Jutland (Kolding, Esbjerg).

The regional traffic is partially outsourced to private railway companies. In Jutland z. B. Arriva Danmark local trains, which offer free wireless internet access in their carriages.

The DSB connection information takes into account both its own trains and those of private providers as well as buses.

By bus
Important providers on the long-distance bus market are Abildskou and Rødbillet. Both mainly offer connections between Copenhagen and different cities in Jutland, with Abildskou usually having more journeys while Rødbillet tends to have the lower prices.

In the street
A special feature of the country, which consists of many islands, are the numerous road bridges, especially the large bridges with which straits are bridged, such as the Storebæltsbron, the bridge over the Great Belt between Funen and Zealand, and the Øresundsbroen, the bridge over the Øresund between the Danish Zealand and the Swedish mainland near Malmö.

By bicycle
The bicycle is an everyday means of transport in Denmark, and the capital Copenhagen in particular is known for its bicycle-friendly policy. Denmark also offers good conditions for cyclists to be mobile with their own bikes. A total of 11 national cycle routes run through the country (the numbering is slightly misleading, number 11 is currently not assigned).

DK-1: The North Sea Cycle Route Denmark (Vestkystruten) (West Coast Route) as a national section of the North Sea Cycle Route leads around (almost) all of Jutland, from Rudbøl on the German-Danish border via Esbjerg, Søndervig, Thyborøn on the west coast to Hanstholm and finally on the north coast to Hirtshals and Skagen. The North Sea Cycle Route then continues over the DK-5.
DK-2: Hanstholm - Copenhagen
DK-3: Hærvejsruten (Heerwegroute) (Skiveren - Padborg)
DK-4: Søndervig - Aarhus - Copenhagen
DK-5: The North Sea Cycle Route Denmark (Østkystruten) (Baltic Sea Route) from Hulsig to Sønderborg forms the second national section of the North Sea Cycle Route. This begins in Hulsig, about halfway the Hirtshals - Skagen route, and leads along the east coast of Jutland via Frederikshavn to Grenaa, where the North Sea Cycle Route leaves Denmark for Sweden. We continue along the eastern and southern coastal areas to Sønderborg, which is back on Jutland.
DK-6: Esbjerg - Odense - Copenhagen
DK-7: Sjællands Odde - Rødby
DK-8: Sydhavsruten (South Sea Route) Rudbøl - ​​Møn
DK-9: Helsingør - Gedser
DK-10: The Bornholm Rundt leads once "Around Bornholm" in a little more than 100 km and offers a leisurely, but not always strenuous tour, which is particularly suitable for families.
DK-12: Limfjordsruten (Around the Limfjord)

By boat
Even if bridges are increasingly connecting the many islands with each other and with the mainland, ferries are still the main means of transport. Some islands can only be reached by ship, others can also be reached via bridges.

Bornholm, connections from Køge on Zealand, from Ystad in Sweden and seasonally from Sassnitz on Rügen
Fanø, connection from Esbjerg
Langeland, connection from Tårs on Lolland to Spodsbjerg, in addition to the bridge system to Fyn
Samsø, connection from Kalundborg on Zealand to Kolby Kås and from Hov (Hou) on Zealand to Sælvig
Ærø, connection from Fynshav to Als, which in turn can be reached via bridges from Sønderborg




In addition to the national language Danish, English is the main language spoken and understood. In the regions close to the border with Germany, especially in North Schleswig, German is also spoken, although the German language is no longer so widespread among the younger population. Norwegian and Swedish are also usually understood without any problems because they belong to the same language family.



Denmark has its own currency, the Danish Krone (1 Krone = 100 Ore). The exchange rate is 1 crown = €0.13, with slight fluctuations. Danish kroner can be withdrawn from domestic accounts at ATMs across the country. The smallest coin in circulation is the 50 öre coin, when paying in cash the amount is rounded up or down accordingly, but when paying by card the exact price is debited.

Not all shops in the country accept foreign debit and credit cards, and some shops add a transaction fee to the bill without warning if you pay with a foreign card. It is therefore generally better to always pay in cash in Denmark.

Denmark is considered an expensive travel destination. This is mainly due to the record-breaking VAT of 25 percent, which applies to all products, including groceries. It is not uncommon for Danes to be chauffeured across the border to Germany on organized bus trips and do a whole month's shopping there because groceries are so expensive in their own country.

Supermarkets are usually also open on Sundays, restrictions are possible outside the summer season. In the tourist centers, the opening times are often the same every day (often until 8/9 p.m.), but the supermarkets in smaller towns often close earlier on Saturdays and Sundays (5/6 p.m.). Campsites often also have a small "købmand" attached.


Food and cuisine

Eating out in restaurants is relatively expensive; however, in all regions of Denmark there is the opportunity to get something of the same quality at lower prices in cafeterias. Especially in the cafeterias of museums and other sights, local specialties are often offered (relatively) cheaply.

Outside of Denmark, traditional Danish cuisine is known almost exclusively for the dish "Smørrebrød" - a Vesper - and therefore has a rather bad reputation internationally. On the other hand, Denmark attracts with a fish cuisine based on different types of fish such as herring. In many coastal towns there are small smokehouses or fish snack bars at the port, where you can get a cheap range of various smoked fish specialties during the day, but now fried fish fillets are also common. In the upscale restaurants in particular, there are also hearty meat dishes such as "dansk bøf" or "stegt flæsk og persillesovs", thick slices of pork with a creamy sauce.

As in Germany, the Martin goose Mortensgås is traditionally eaten on Saint Martin's Day.

Beer is a very popular drink with meals, wine is drunk less often. Akvavit is often drunk at the end of a meal. In contrast, self-caterers receive e.g. B. to the neighboring country Norway in Denmark alcoholic beverages also problem-free in the supermarket.

The hot meal of the day is called midday and is eaten at 5 or 6 p.m. After 8 p.m. or at the latest 9 p.m. you will not get a hot meal in most Danish restaurants. Frokost, on the other hand, is eaten at lunchtime, while breakfast is called morgenmad.

The smørrebrød is considered the typical Danish dish. It literally means "bread with butter", but has nothing to do with a simple bread with butter, but is usually artfully arranged bread. The dessert "rød grød med fløde", red fruit jelly with cream, is also typical.

Pickled herring, with curry or other spices
Liver Paté Sandwich probably the most popular.
Stjerneskud, a fried and a boiled plaice fillet on toast, with shrimp, mayonnaise and salad.
Røget ål og røræg, smoked eel and scrambled eggs
Pariserbøf, boiled beef with capers, horseradish, raw onions and a raw egg yolk.
Dyrlægens natmad, the vet's dinner, bread with liver pâté or corned beef, with onion rings.
Beef tartar, raw lean beef served with raw egg yolk, onions, horseradish and capers.
Flæskesteg, slices of roast pork with pickled red cabbage.
Roast beef with tartar sauce, roasted onions and horseradish.
Potato, sliced potatoes with tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise.
Hakkebøf, meatballs with fried onions, fried eggs and pickles.
Shrimp, prawns with mayonnaise.
Ost, cheese, often aged cheese served with raw onions, egg yolks and rum.
In Danish cuisine there are a variety of desserts such as tarts and cakes kager, cinnamon buns Kanelsnegl, donuts Æbleskiver or the sweet bun Boller.



Going out less often in Denmark and festivals tend to be celebrated on a large scale at home.

Discos are considered to be something particularly noble and are not visited as often by young people as in other European countries, but they are dressed up. On the other hand, the Danes like to celebrate festivals - every region has its own music, culture, children's and harbor festivals, which are lined up over the summer period and are by no means only visited by locals.

In rural areas in particular, there is often also the local "kro", where you can eat and drink in the evening - but with the restriction that nightlife in Denmark and eating out in the evening are much earlier than in Germany is limited. If you don't want to drink your beer until 10 p.m., you should have bought it in the supermarket beforehand...



VAT on overnight stays is a record 25%, which inevitably drives up prices. A city tax may also apply.

Hotels and B&Bs
Simple hotels are rather rare, but the offer is normal in the higher-priced segment. In rural areas it is often the local inn, which also has a small hotel business. In addition, the B&B offers are also increasing in Denmark, if you are still spontaneously looking for a room in the afternoon or in the evening, pay attention to the "rom single" notices on the roadside.

The Danish campsites are usually characterized by a very high standard, especially the offers for families are often very well developed: Large playgrounds, the almost standard "hoppepude" (bouncy cushions), separate family washrooms. But the needs of those who are looking for peace and quiet are also taken into account, many campsites have different areas for the different target groups. It is characteristic of Danish campsites (mostly!) that after sunset it suddenly becomes quiet on the site, a loud hustle and bustle until well after midnight is completely untypical and is also rigorously prevented on most sites. Overall, the supply buildings are often spacious, self-catering kitchens - but at least good washing up facilities - of course, washing machines and dryers as well, and there is usually a small shop that sells at least dairy products and bread.

Overall, the capacities at Danish campsites are mostly above average, but in the Danish summer holiday season the offer in particularly popular regions can still be scarce. As the owner of a caravan and looking for a pitch for several days or weeks, it can make sense to pre-book it with your favorite campsite.

As a rule, special regulations apply to commercial campsites for all travelers who travel under their own steam (cyclists, hikers, canoeists). They get a pitch for one night at almost all campsites in Denmark, even if the space is officially fully booked.

Overnatning i det fri
Wild camping, especially standing somewhere with mobile homes, is not permitted, since the <vAllemannsretten,“ the right of public access, does not apply in the same way as in other Scandinavian countries. Instead, there are campgrounds for non-motorized travelers, often located on hiking and biking trails in quite lonely regions, but some are also available in the towns. A distinction is made between the Overnatning i det fri sites, simple camp or shelter sites that are usually privately owned and for which you pay a small fee to the owner, and the public camp sites, called lejrplads, teltplads or primitive camping, which are known under are managed by the department "Naturstyrelsen" of the Danish Ministry of the Environment and can be used free of charge. Some campsites do not offer any infrastructure, just a (mowed) place to pitch your own tent, others have one or more low shelters where you can spend the night with your own mat and sleeping bag, some only offer running water, others even have a shower Installed. You can research these places either in the printed directory "Overnatning i det fri" (link above) or on various websites, e.g. B.

Some rules apply to all shelter or camp sites:

maximum two nights
only for hikers or cyclists, also canoeists, sailors on shore places), some places also allow horse riders
Individual travelers or small groups, large groups are not allowed
Fire only when there is no risk of forest fire, only in prepared places
Rubbish usually has to be taken away

Overnight stays in hostels/youth hostels are completely normal in Denmark, even for adults. Especially in big cities or regions that are particularly popular with tourists, you should pre-book here during the holiday season to be on the safe side, if you are not flexible in terms of time and want more comfort than a dormitory bed. Characteristic of the Danish - like most of all Scandinavian hostels - is a good infrastructure for self-catering: self-catering kitchen, washing machine, etc. are usually a matter of course.

holiday homes
However, the most common type of accommodation for vacationers are the numerous holiday homes. These houses are mostly privately owned and rented through various agencies. The price depends on the location, equipment and season. Most of the houses are quite comfortably furnished, many also have extras such as a whirlpool, sauna, swimming pool (indoor) or winter garden. Almost all rental agencies have an internet presence, some operate nationally, others only rent out houses in a specific area. The latter are often not kom



The emergency call center is contacted via emergency call 112 (Danish: Alarm 112) for accidents, serious crimes or fire. Situations that pose a threat to life, health, property or the environment. Notruf 114 (Danish: Service 114) is for inquiries to the police (Politi) that are not urgent.

Entry with a pet
Denmark is one of the most dog-friendly countries in Europe. However, there are a few important rules to keep in mind. The following applies to the import of dogs, cats and ferrets: identifiability is important. The following requirements must be met:
chip or tattoo
EU pet passport
Valid rabies vaccination

When importing a dog, cat or ferret from an EU country to Denmark, it is very important that the animal is identifiable, either by a chip or a clearly legible tattoo (e.g. an ear tattoo). For animals that are marked for the first time from July 3, 2011, the microchip is mandatory. If the pet is not accompanied by the owner or by a person who has responsibility for the pet on behalf of the owner, the import will be considered a commercial import.

EU pet passport and rabies vaccination

In addition, the animal must also have an EU pet passport issued by a veterinarian, in which the veterinarian confirms that a vaccination or booster vaccination against rabies has been carried out. It is important that the last vaccination or booster vaccination is not older than the tattoo or the insertion of the chip. A new vaccination must have been carried out at least 3 weeks before entry. The duration of vaccination protection depends on the instructions of the vaccine manufacturer.

Dogs must be kept on a leash throughout Denmark. Exceptions are specially marked outdoor areas ("Hundeskov") and the beach in the winter months. Any fines are - as always in Denmark - in considerable amounts.

The law prohibits the keeping, breeding and import of the following 13 dog breeds in Denmark if the animals were acquired after March 17, 2010. Offenses are punished with a fine or imprisonment for the dog owner and the dog being put down. Mixed breeds of the 13 dog breeds mentioned above are also affected.

1) Pitbull Terrier 2) Tosa Inu 3) American Staffordshire Terrier 4) Fila Brasileiro 5) Dogo Argentino 6) American Bulldog 7) Boerboel 8) Kangal 9) Central Asian Ovtcharka 10) Caucasian Ovtcharka 11) South Russian Ovtcharka 12) Tornjak 13) Sarplaninac



The Danish healthcare system is considered excellent. There is only one state health insurance, with which almost all doctors in the country bill. Co-payments only apply for medication, but not for medical services. A referral from a general practitioner is required to visit a specialist. Dental treatment is not covered by state health insurance and must always be paid in full by yourself. The European Health Insurance Card is recognized in Denmark.


Practical advice

Rules and respect
The Danish rules of conduct largely correspond to ours, so as a traveler from German-speaking countries you can't do much wrong. Similar to other Scandinavian countries, polite phrases are largely avoided in personal conversations in Denmark and it is much faster to communicate with you than you are used to in Germany.

You should avoid the topic of politics and here in particular the topic of immigration/immigration. Denmark has one of the strictest immigration laws in the world, most Danes strictly reject any kind of immigration.

Tipping is not customary in Denmark and is not expected.

post and telecommunications
Anyone who traditionally sends postcards from vacation should think twice about doing so in Denmark, or reduce it considerably. The postcards cost about as much as in other countries (between 40 and 80 cents), but the postage! A postage stamp for a postcard from Denmark to Germany costs 27 crowns in 2018, i.e. around €3.60. If you still want to take the risk: stamps are available almost everywhere where you can also buy picture postcards.

Getting a SIM card is particularly difficult in Denmark because prepaid cards are no longer sold in Denmark and contracts are only made with Danish residents. The easiest way is to get a SIM card from another EU country and use it in Denmark for EU roaming.

If you don't have this option, you can resort to an "emergency nail": Lycamobile is also available in Denmark, in the same "difficult" areas where you would expect such an offer in this country. You can then make free calls to 50 countries, but the mobile Internet is terrible. You should therefore really only resort to this offer in absolute emergencies.



The national territory of Denmark, which is mostly attributed to Scandinavia for cultural reasons, covers (without the Faroe Islands and Greenland) an area of 43,094 km². It is larger than that of Switzerland or the Netherlands, but only about half the size of Austria. Denmark measures 368 km from north to south and 452 km from east to west. The northernmost point of the country is Grenen, the southernmost point is at Gedser in the south of the island of Falster (it is also considered the southernmost point in all of Scandinavia). The westernmost point is Blåvandshuk in Jutland, located in the former Ribe Amt, the easternmost point is at the Pea Islands (Danish Ertholmene), 18 km north-east of Bornholm. The highest natural elevation in the country is 170.86 m.o.h. meters of Møllehøj.

Because of its islands and rugged bays, the country has a relatively long coastline of 7314 km. Denmark's 67 km long southern border with Germany forms the only land border. Otherwise the country is bordered by the North Sea, Skagerrak, Kattegat and Baltic Sea. The Oresund Bridge has been a permanent route to Sweden since July 2000.


Landscape picture

With Jutland, the northern part of the Kimbrian Peninsula, and its islands, Denmark forms the transition from Central Europe to Scandinavia. In total there are 1419 islands with an area larger than 100 m² in Denmark. 394 islands have official names, of which only 74 were inhabited in 2016. The country's largest island is Zeeland with 7031 km², followed by Vendsyssel-Thy (North Jutland) with 4685 km² (but not perceived as an island) and Funen with a size of 2985 km². Zealand, on whose east coast lies the capital Copenhagen, is separated from the island of Funen by the Great Belt, which in turn is separated from Jutland by the Little Belt. A third major strait in the region is the Øresund between Zealand and the southern tip of Sweden.

The ice ages of the Pleistocene significantly shaped the landscapes of Denmark. While the Elster and Saale glaciations completely covered the Danish peninsula with deposits of ground moraine material, the Vistula glaciation around 20,000 years ago only extended to about the middle of Denmark. Today, this partial glaciation can still be traced using the main standstill line of the various stages of the Vistula glaciation. It divides Denmark into the distinctive East and West Jutland.

In West Jutland low-yield sandy areas dominate, in East Jutland there are mainly ground moraine and boulder clay. The standstill line runs roughly from the southern edge of the Limfjord to the middle of Jutland and from there southwards to Schleswig-Holstein. The country forms a continuation of the North German Plain, which also consists of deposits from the cold period.

The western part of Jutland in particular is very flat, to the east it becomes hilly, and moraines from the Ice Age characterize the landscape. Here is also the highest natural elevation in Denmark, the Møllehøj with 170.86 m above sea level.

The islands are also characterized by an interplay of hills and lowlands. The only exception is the island of Bornholm, far to the east, which does not consist of deposits but of granite, slate and sandstone.

The course of the North Sea coast of Jutland is relatively balanced. The coastline of the offshore islands is much shorter than that in the Baltic Sea. The lack of bays and large dune fields made it difficult to build a harbor and so it was not until the 19th century that Esbjerg, the only significant harbor on the west coast of Denmark, was built. The Limfjord to the north was a fjord until the storm surge of 1825; since then it has been an approximately 180 km long sound that connects the North Sea with the Kattegat and closes off the Jutland peninsula in the north.

The Baltic Sea coast of Jutland, on the other hand, is rich in forms. Sea bays, the fjords, reach far into the country. On them are some port cities that are among the oldest settlements in Denmark.



Despite Denmark's location on two seas, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the annual rainfall is moderate at 700 to 800 mm in the west and even low in the east at 500 to 600 mm by Central European standards. The temperatures are also balanced: an average of 16 °C is measured on the North Sea in July, and 18 °C in eastern Zealand. Temperatures are usually above 20 °C during the day and around 13 °C at night. In winter, the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream and its offshoot, the North Atlantic Current, is noticeable: temperatures around the freezing point prevail across the country (around 2 °C during the day and around −3 °C at night). The water temperatures on the coasts vary between 3 °C in winter and 17 °C in summer.

The highest temperature that Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut has ever recorded since recording weather data from 1874 was 36.4 °C on August 10, 1975 in Holstebro. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −31.2 °C and was measured on January 8, 1982 in Hørsted in Thy. Nationwide, the coldest year was 1874 with 5.9 °C, while 2007 with 9.5 °C was the highest annual average temperature measured so far. (Status: October 3, 2011).



Due to the large number of smaller islands and fjords, the small country has one of Europe's longest coastlines at 7,314 km. There are 368 kilometers from the northernmost point on Skagen's Nordstrand to the southernmost point on Gedser Odde and 452 kilometers from the easternmost point on Østerskær to the westernmost point on Blåvands Huk. A circle with the same total area as Denmark would have a circumference of 736 km with a diameter of 234 km (land area: 730 or 232.33 km). In some places there are many small lakes. The landscape is generally flat with plains, cliffs and dunes and Lammefjord as the lowest point on land at -7.5 m. The highest non-man-made point is Møllehøj at Skanderborg with 170.86 m, second highest Yding Skovhøj with 170.77 m and finally Ejer Bavnehøj with 170.35 m. These points are all located in the same area, called Ejer Bjerge, a few km southwest of Skanderborg.

The landscape varies in the different parts of the country: Eastern Denmark has a varied terrain. Among these, Bornholm has a special landscape with bedrock. West Jutland's landscape consists of arable fields, plantations and narrow meadows. Northern Jutland has sandy coasts with large dunes and low swampy plains.


Bodies of water

Due to extensive straightening, hardly any of Denmark's watercourses still follow their natural course. The longest river in the country is the Gudenå with 160 kilometers, which was created by the glacial currents during the last ice age. The Kongeå (German: Königsau) was the border river between 1864 and 1920 between the German Empire and Denmark.

The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes. The largest lake is Arresø with an area of about 40 km² - it lies east of Frederiksværk. The country's second largest lake is Stadil Fjord (19 km²) on Jutland and the third largest is Esromsee with an area of 17.36 km² - like Arresø, it is partly located in Hillerød municipality in the Hovedstaden region on the island of Zealand.


Flora and fauna

About 12 percent of Denmark is covered by trees. Old forest stands are rather rare. It is mostly deciduous forest, dominated by beech and oak. Elms, hazels, maples, pines, birches, aspens, lindens and chestnuts can also be found. Denmark's largest contiguous forest areas are in the south of Silkeborg and with the Rold Skov in Himmerland.

Isolated raised bogs have been preserved in the lowlands of western Jutland. There is also the vegetation of the dunes and heaths that is typical for Central Europe.

The largest terrestrial wild animal in Denmark is the red deer, which can weigh over 200 kg. You can also meet roe deer, fallow deer, rabbits, squirrels and hedgehogs. Land-dwelling predators include foxes, badgers, martens, raccoons and raccoon dogs. Since 2015, more and more wolves have been sighted in the wild, which have returned to Denmark, since individual animals have been immigrating from Germany more and more often. Before that, free wolves lived in Denmark for the last time in 1813. Since mid-2016 there have been wild mooses in Denmark again after five moose calves were released into the wild in a moor area in Jutland (Lille Vildmose). The last time there were wild elk populations in Denmark was about 5000 years ago. On Bornholm and in Lille Vildmose there are projects to reintroduce European bison, which became extinct in the country around 2500 years ago.

There are almost 400 bird species in Denmark, the most common of which are magpies, pigeons, coots, geese and ducks. Due to the long coastline, the aquatic bird life with seagulls, loons and terns is extremely diverse.

On the coasts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea live the harbor seal and – with up to 300 kg, the largest predator native to Denmark – the gray seal. Many marine fish live in the seas around Denmark; especially cod, salmon, herring and plaice form the basis of the fisheries.

In Denmark, hunting is tied to the ownership of land, so that according to Danish hunting law, one hectare of contiguous land is sufficient to be able to hunt. The most important hunted game in terms of the value of the venison and the game damage in the forest and open fields are red deer and roe deer. Concerned about the possible introduction of African swine fever via wild boar migrating from the south, Denmark erected a wildlife protection fence around 70 km long and 1.50 m high in 2019, which – apart from a few border crossings – stretches along the entire length of its land border with Germany extends (see Danish wild boar fence).



The country's environment has suffered severe damage after centuries of deforestation (see also wood shortage) and destruction of pastures. Overall, around 20 percent of farmland is at or just above sea level, and much of it in ecologically vulnerable wetlands that have been made arable by pumping water. A total of six national parks were set up to protect ecological diversity.



In 2020, 88 percent of Denmark's population lived in cities.

With Copenhagen, Zealand has the most densely populated area in Denmark. Around 40 percent of the population live on the 7000 km² island. 1.3 million people lived in the Greater Copenhagen region on Jan 1, 2022.

The cities (Danish: byer; sing.: by) are - since the municipal reform of April 1, 1970 and the reduction of the number of municipalities from 1098 to 277 and from 1974 to 275 municipalities - no administrative units, but only statistical or geographical units . Since the municipal reform of 2007, there are 98 municipalities in Denmark.



Population structure

Denmark had 5.8 million inhabitants in 2020. Annual population growth was +0.3%. A surplus of births (birth rate: 10.4 per 1000 inhabitants vs. death rate: 9.4 per 1000 inhabitants) contributed to population growth. The number of births per woman was statistically 1.7 in 2020. The life expectancy of residents of Denmark from birth was 81.6 years in 2020 (women: 83.6, men: 79.6). The median age of the population was 42.3 years in 2020, below the European value of 42.5.


Population Structure and Migration

The population of Denmark is very homogeneous, almost 90 percent of the population are Danes. In the south of Jutland there is a national minority with the German minority. In addition, there are members of other Scandinavian peoples and, especially since the end of the 20th century, people with a migration background, especially from Turkey and Eastern Europe. In 2017, 11.5% of the population was foreign-born.

Like the Danish minority in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, the German minority occupies a special position. Most of the approximately 15,000 to 20,000 who call themselves the “German ethnic group” live close to the border with Germany; their share of the population is around 6 to 10% in the area of North Schleswig (corresponding to the district of Sønderjylland until the area reform of 2007). In 1955, Germany and Denmark regulated the legal issues in two declarations of principle, the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations: the respective minority received, among other things, funding for their schools, libraries, parish offices, etc. as well as the recognition of their own school degrees and also political privileges.



The official language of Denmark is Danish. German is also recognized as the only minority language, according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages applicable to the German minority in North Schleswig (in the Danish part of Schleswig or South Jutland). In addition, dialects such as Sønderjysk and Bornholmsk are relatively well established in some parts of the country.

The Danish language belongs to the North Germanic branch of the Indo-European languages along with Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian and Swedish.

Up until the end of the Viking Age, the Scandinavian dialects differed only slightly from one another. The oldest common evidence are the 3rd century runic inscriptions found from Jutland to southern Sweden. It was not until the 12th century that Danish became clear. The most conspicuous phonetic feature was the impulse sound of stressed syllables. The air flow and thus the sound are interrupted for a moment by briefly closing the vocal folds. It is written with the Latin alphabet extended by three letters. The German umlauts ä and ö correspond to æ and ø in Danish; plus the letter å, which was written aa until the Danish spelling reform of 1948.

The Danish vocabulary contains many loanwords from Middle Low German. Middle Low German was the traditional lingua franca of the North and the Hanseatic League, at times also the language of the Danish kings and court, and the command language of the army. Today, English is the most important foreign language in Denmark, but German and French still have a not inconsiderable influence. About 90% of the students learn German as a second foreign language at least part of the time.



Freedom of religion is guaranteed by Denmark's constitution.

Although Danish society is highly secularized, nearly 74% of the population traditionally belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Danish People's Church (Folkekirken), which arose as part of Protestantism in the 16th century (see Reformation in Europe). The Danish People's Church is the only denomination that is closely linked to the state. Parliament and the Queen exercise joint leadership of the Church, the highest administrative authority is the Church Minister.

The Roman Catholic Church in Denmark (diocese of Copenhagen with the cathedral church of St. Ansgar) (0.6%) and Muslims (5.3%) mostly come from immigrant families. Christian religions also include Jehovah's Witnesses (0.3%), Serbian Orthodox and Baptists. Jews (~0.1%) have lived in Denmark since the second half of the 17th century. In Denmark there has been a ban on face coverings since 2018. Since then, nobody has been allowed to cover their face with a burqa or niqab, and masks or artificial beards are also prohibited.

A representative survey commissioned by the European Commission as part of the Eurobarometer in 2020 showed that religion is important to 18 percent of people in Denmark, it is neither important nor unimportant to 29 percent and unimportant to 53 percent.


Education System

In Denmark there are private and public schools. School education in Denmark begins after at least one year in kindergarten with the nine-year elementary school (Folkeskole), which ends with the final examination FSA (Folkeskolens Afgangsprøve). There is no separation of the students before the 9th grade, so there is a nine-year community school.

There is then the possibility of going to the Folkeskole for another year after the 9th grade and completing the extended final examination (the so-called FS10, formerly FSU). This roughly corresponds to the intermediate school leaving certificate. Since many Folkeskolen do not offer a 10th grade, many students complete a year at a so-called Efterskole. These are boarding schools in which the young people are supposed to further develop social, artistic, sporting or musical skills in addition to the subjects of the 10th class, whereby the emphasis is placed differently at each Efterskole.

Secondary schools after the Folkeskole are the Gymnasium (STX), the Handelsgymnasium (HHX) and the Technische Gymnasium (HTX). The Gymnasium is comparable to the German Gymnasium and ends with the Danish Abitur (general higher education entrance qualification), the so-called Studentereksamen. There are two streams at the Gymnasium, the linguistic sproglig linje and the more mathematically and scientifically oriented matematisk linje.

Attendance at the grammar school lasts three years, which corresponds to the upper level of the grammar school. Depending on whether you go to grammar school after the 9th or 10th grade, it takes 12 or 13 years to graduate from high school.

In addition to the Studentereksamen (STX) mentioned above, there are two other types of exams in Denmark, the commercial school exam HHX (Højere Handelseksamen) and the technical Abitur HTX. While the former is of particular interest to those who aspire to work in business, the HTX is of particular interest to students who later aspire to an engineering career. The HHX and HTX are subject-related university entrance qualifications that do not come close to the flexibility of the student eksamen.

There is also the option of completing an apprenticeship after the 9th grade instead of attending a secondary school. There are also vocational schools for this, where theory and practice are combined.

The Danish school system therefore does not differentiate at all until the end of the Folkeskole, but very strongly after that. There is a basic consensus that the policy of late differentiation should be maintained. An early separation of the students, as it takes place in Germany after elementary school, is rejected.

There are five types of colleges: universities, colleges of architecture and art, business schools, university colleges, maritime training institutions.

The oldest and best-known university is the University of Copenhagen, founded in 1479. It is spread over several locations like other Danish universities. Denmark's Technical University followed in 1829 in Kongens Lyngby. In the 20th century, the higher education sector expanded more and more:
Copenhagen Business School (1917) in Frederiksberg
Aarhus University (1928) in Aarhus
University of Roskilde (1972) in Roskilde
Aalborg University (1974) in Aalborg
Syddansk Universitet (1998) in Odense
IT University of Copenhagen (1999) in Copenhagen
Selandia - Center for Erhvervsrettet Uddannelse in Slagelse

There are also several colleges of art and music, e.g. B. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (1754), Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium (1861).

In tertiary education, university colleges also lead to a university degree. It can be compared to a degree from a German university of applied sciences.

All Danish courses are subject to a numerus clausus, a central office allocates study places according to the average grade (so-called Kvote-1 procedure). Furthermore, a certain percentage of the study places are allocated according to social criteria, whereby one can improve one's chances through social work (so-called Kvote-2 procedure). Similar to Germany, some subjects are very overcrowded, making it difficult to get a place (e.g. medicine, media studies, psychology, law), while other subjects require a very low average, so that every applicant is accepted.


Migration policy

From 2001 to 2011, a minority coalition of Venstre and the Conservative People's Party was in power. In exchange for support for the third largest far-right Danish People's Party, the government consistently tightened immigration laws.

Anti-immigration measures have significantly reduced the influx of certain categories of migrants to Denmark. In particular, in 2006, 4,198 entry permits for family reunification were issued, which is 70% less than in 2001, and political asylum was granted to 1,098 people (82.5% less). At the same time, over the period 2001-2006, the number of those who received a study visa increased from 10 to 28.4 thousand people (an increase of 2.8 times), and those who entered on a work visa - from 5.9 to 12.8 thousand people (an increase by 100%). In 2011, the measures were further tightened - in particular, a points system was introduced for the spouses of immigrants who wish to enter the country. These measures are criticized by European and international organizations as being inconsistent with European human rights law.

As of 2021, 86% of the total population of Denmark is ethnic Danes, while the remaining 14% or more of 817,438 people are immigrants and their descendants (199,668 people are second-generation immigrants born in Denmark).



Denmark (Denamearc) is mentioned in a manuscript that also contains the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, specifically The Abingdon Chronicle II. In the manuscript, which is believed to have been written down in the 11th century, Orosius is retold in Anglo-Saxon, and in the section in question, the Norwegian Ottar is told – the Anglo-Saxon retelling was traditionally attributed to Alfred the Great (849–899) in earlier times. The Latin compilation In marca vel regno Danorum appears in the East Franconian chronicler Regino of Prüm, who here depicts Otto I in the year 965 convening a meeting of bishops.

The word Denmark is also mentioned on the Jelling stones, which date to the year approx. 950.

The word Denmark consists of two parts. The prefix "Dan-" refers to the Danes or, according to Saxo, to the legendary king Dan. There are countless references to Danes in various places in Europe in both ancient Greek and Roman historians (such as Gregory of Tours, Jordanes and Procopius) and medieval ones (such as Adam of Bremen, Beowulf, Widsith and the Elder Edda)

In Norse, the majority of the people were called "danir", which can mean something like "flatland dwellers". "Daner" is probably a derivation of the Indo-European *dhen-, meaning "flat, flat board".

The word Denmark may therefore have meant "the borderland of the flatland dwellers" and was possibly initially limited to the forests of Schleswig, i.e. the borderland of the Danes with the Germans to the south.

"Mark" was used in Old High German and Anglo-Saxon in the sense of "borderland", and the political tone is also found in the word, and the office, margrave, just as the ending may also be connected to forest areas such as Finnmark or Telemark.

While "Danmark" in common parlance unambiguously refers to the kingdom and nation-state of Denmark, identical or similar place names also appear in Swedish geography: Danmark (sv), parish in Uppsala län; Denmark, an island in the archipelago off Gothenburg, a wooded area in Karlshamn, Blekinge; Denmark, Västra Götalands län, west of Vättern.



Prehistory from antiquity to the Viking Age (10500 BC – 1047 AD)

Danish prehistory before the Stone Age is mostly geological history, because there are no certain signs of humans. It has been speculated that Neanderthals lived in present-day Denmark 100,000 years ago or more, but there are no clear signs of this. About 15,000 years ago, the ice sheet began to recede northwards in connection with climate change. This was followed in the next millennia by three different waves of immigration to Denmark: For approx. 10,000 years ago (about 8,000 BC) some hunters and gatherers immigrated who, according to DNA analyses, were small and very dark-skinned with gray or blue eyes. Then followed for approx. 6,000 years ago (4,000 years BC) the people who brought arable farming to the country, and thus let the farming stone age replace the hunting stone age. And approx. 1,000 years later (around 3,000 BC) finally came a herding people (known as the Jamna culture) originating in Eastern Europe who most likely brought with them the Indo-European language from which Danish is descended.

About 1700 BC the Bronze Age began in Denmark, and approximately 500 BC followed the Iron Age. The latter was subdivided into Celtic Iron Age, Roman Iron Age and Germanic Iron Age. Already at the end of the Iron Age, i.e. in the 7th century, a strong Danish central power may have existed. This is evidenced by the colossal defense structure Dannevirke and the Kanhavekanalen Samsø.

Danish history begins in the 8th century, when the written sources begin to mention the conditions here. The prehistoric times of the Nordic region, as well as the subsequent Viking Age, are also referred to, even by historians, as ancient times. Here the Vikings coming from the north (Danish, Swedish and Norwegian) begin to ravage and trade in most of Europe. In this way, the Viking Age is a transitional phase between prehistory and the Danish Middle Ages. From this time originate the Jelling stones and Gorm the Old, who is the first king in the traditional Danish line of kings. In the Viking Age, Denmark was called Tanmaurk. Danish and Scandinavian Vikings played a major power role in Europe for most of the Viking Age, i.a. because of the strong navy. From the end of the 8th century, Danish settlements were founded in England, and in 1013 and again in 1016, Danish kings conquered all of England. After Canute the Great, the Viking empire weakened again and England was lost. When Svend Estridsen got the throne in 1047, Denmark's time as a Viking power was over.


Middle Ages (1047–1536)

After approx. 1050 begins a period in which a more peaceful contact with the rest of Europe became increasingly important, e.g. with the introduction of Christianity, cultural influences and new farming methods. Other three factors also gained more importance: the kings' attempts to increase their domestic power, their attempts to expand the foreign sphere of power, e.g. under the Valdemars, and the dispute with the Hanseatic League.

The domestic power struggle was first between the magnates on one side and the royal power and the church on the other. Later it turned into a dispute between the church and the royal power. In foreign policy, they tried to create and maintain an Austrian kingdom, culminating in the Kalmar Union of 1397. Cooperation with the Hanseatic League was a commercial necessity, but also a constant political problem. This urban association had a great influence on the country's conditions and was at times the real power in the country.


The Reformation and Lost Wars (1536–1660)

In 1534-36, Denmark experienced its last civil war in the form of the Count's Feud between citizens and peasants on one side and the nobility on the other. It led to the Reformation in 1536 with a transition to a Lutheran Protestantism and loss of the influence of the Pope and the church, which constituted a significant change in Denmark's history. The kings seized the church property and on that basis stood strongly against the nobility, however, much of the wealth was used for warfare. This is most clearly exemplified by the Renaissance king Christian IV, who probably had beautiful buildings erected in many places in the country, but who suffered serious defeats when he participated in the Thirty Years' War in Germany. The continued struggle against Sweden led to defeat after defeat with constant loss of territory, first the islands in the Baltic Sea, but later also core Danish provinces such as the Scania at the Peace of Roskilde in 1658.


Monopoly, loss of Norway and Golden Age (1660-1848)

Immediately after the Carl Gustav wars, the king carried out a coup d'état in 1660, where he abolished the old constitution and introduced absolute rule with the support of the bourgeoisie. A new official aristocracy grew out of the favor of the kings, and the citizens of the cities gradually gained more influence. The country was characterized by the cultural influence from France and by the kings' German-influenced administration. With the abolition of the stave band and later with other reforms in agriculture, the country prospered economically. This was interrupted by the wars with England, when the English bombarded Copenhagen in 1807 and took the Danish fleet. Denmark joined Napoleon, while Sweden allied with England. With the Peace of Vienna (1815), Denmark's union with Norway was dissolved. In 1813, Denmark experienced a state bankruptcy, but from the 1830s the so-called grain sales period started, a long-lasting boom for the country's most important industry, agriculture. Culturally, the period was a boom time for e.g. Danish philosophy, poetry and visual arts (the golden age) with authors such as H. C. Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard and N.F.S. Grundtvig.


Democracy, industrialization and occupation (1849-1945)

After the peace of Vienna, the Danish monarchy consisted of the kingdom and the duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenborg, as well as the colonies. Because Schleswig was a Danish fief with both Danish and German-speaking populations, whereas Holstein and Lauenborg were part of the German Confederation, disputes broke out between the supporters of the Helstats and Owners policy, each of whom had their own national point of view. This led to a rebellion against Denmark and the 1st Schleswig War, which Denmark won with the help of England. In connection with the revolutions in Europe in 1848, Denmark got a democratic form of government with the constitution in 1849.

The underlying fault lines in the Southern Jutland question had not been removed, however, and in 1864 the 2nd Schleswig War broke out. The previous support from abroad was no longer there, and the army suffered defeats, especially in the Battle of Dybbøl. The result was the loss of the duchies, including the Danish-speaking part of Schleswig.

Around 1870, industrialization began in Denmark, and it was promoted by the construction of a densely meshed railway network and by numerous ferry and cargo boat connections between the parts of the country.

At the same time, the upswing in agriculture (the cooperative movement), which began with the milk centrifuge in 1878, meant increased purchasing power for the rural population and led to a population surplus, which accelerated the influx from the countryside to the city, which had already begun ten years before – from 1870. Thus the urban industries got a welcome reserve of cheap labour.

Housing of these many immigrants was done very arbitrarily, which did not slow down the epidemics which ravaged Copenhagen and the larger provincial cities already 16 years before the co-operative movement started. Through sewerage, the creation of schools and the expansion of the health system, public health was eventually brought into order.

On the labor market front, it succeeded in allaying the unrest when the Danish labor market got its constitution during the Great Conflict in 1899, where the trade union movement recognized the employers' right to manage and distribute the work, and the workers were given the right to organize. The last decades of the 19th century were marked by a long constitutional struggle. The landlord-dominated party Højre held government power for over 30 years (1870–1901), although the opposition party Venstre had a majority in the Danish Parliament for most of the period. In 1901, the system finally changed, when the Liberal Ministry Government Deuntzer was formed. Since then, parliamentarism has been the main rule in Denmark.

Denmark stayed out of World War I, and supplies to the belligerent countries provided work and income for many. Gradually, women were also given the right to vote (1915), and the German defeat in 1918 led to a referendum, so North Schleswig was reunited with Denmark on 15 June 1920, but the referendum left a German minority in Denmark and a Danish one in Germany. The economic crisis of the 1930s meant mass unemployment, but also the improvement of society's support for the disadvantaged. Among other things. as a result of the rearmament of the European powers, production started again in Denmark. Germany occupied Denmark during World War II until 5 May 1945, and Bornholm was then occupied by Soviet troops until 5 April the following year. The Danish government continued to function during the German occupation until 1943, but a resistance movement gradually arose, which contributed to the country being counted among the allied countries that established the UN in 1945. Iceland, which in 1918 had become an independent country in personal union with Denmark, left the union in 1944 after a referendum and proclaimed a republic.


Post-war period (1945–1990)

In the years after World War II, Europe was divided ideologically and along national borders. The fear of the Soviet Union led to Norway and Denmark choosing to join NATO (1949). However, it also gave the country access to the Marshall Plan, which was intended as support for the reconstruction of the European countries. It created good times in the country, and communism gradually lost its grip on the general population. Politically, the situation was deadlocked, and this gave very few opportunities for maneuver in Danish foreign policy, but in the economic field there was still room for changes. Including the development of the welfare society, which governments of different political persuasions were actively involved in shaping. In the 1960s, a large influx of women into the labor market occurred alongside a strong expansion of the public sector. During the 1960s, the negotiations on Danish participation in the EC (the later EU) began, and in 1972 a referendum confirmed Denmark's admission to the community. In several later votes, the collaboration was gradually expanded. With the oil crisis in 1973, an economic recession started, just as the landslide election of the same year led to political instability. At the same time, Denmark had a chronic deficit in the balance of payments. From 1982, various governments led by Poul Schlüter pursued austere economic policies, culminating in the "potato cure". On this basis, the decade was termed the "poor eighties".


After the Cold War (1990–)

With the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the following years, completely new conditions were created for Danish foreign policy, which became far more active: Support for the Baltic countries, the expansion of NATO, increased integration into the EU and military participation in actions in the Balkans, in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 1990, the Schlüter governments' tight economic policy had created a surplus on the balance of payments for the first time since 1962. During the 90s, under Poul Nyrup Rasmussen's government, unemployment succeeded significantly. The so-called kickstart set in motion a boom, and labor market reforms with an emphasis on active labor market policy reduced structural unemployment. In several waves, the country received a strong influx of foreign nationals, especially from the third world, who came here partly as refugees and partly as family reunification. Gradually, it turned out that immigration created problems, and the discussion about which political line to take has been and still is a current theme.

In terms of foreign policy, the decade that started with the turn of the millennium was marked by the terrorist attack in the USA on 11 September 2001, which triggered the war in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, where the American-led coalition of willing countries with Danish participation attacked Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein's government.

In 2005, 12 Danes each drew a satirical drawing of Islam's prophet Muhammad to focus on the fact that freedom of expression was threatened, which led to reactions from Muslims in Denmark and abroad. After the drawings, there has been speculation as to whether Denmark would become a target for terror.

Domestically, the VK governments led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen pursued a contract policy with the tax freeze as the basis for economic policy. Fogh Rasmussen spent 8 years in the Prime Minister's Office until he resigned to take over the post of Secretary General of NATO.

The successor, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, took office in 2009 during the financial crisis, which i.a. led to increasing unemployment and a large deficit in the state finances. In 2011, he was replaced by an S-SF-R government under Helle Thorning-Schmidt, which largely continued the economic policy of its predecessor. In 2015, she was again replaced by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, first at the head of a pure Left-wing government and from November 2016 in a coalition government together with the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party.

One of the major economic questions in the years just after the turn of the millennium was whether Danish fiscal policy was sustainable in the long term in light of the expected future population changes with more elderly people. After several financial settlements that have improved the long-term public finances, both the government and the economic sages have assessed since 2012 that the fiscal policy is now sustainable in the long term. According to the sages, the fiscal policy is even considered to be sustainable, such that the future public expenditure will be less than the tax revenue.


State-political structure

Denmark has a constitutional monarchy, and the political system is based on the Constitution of 1849. The Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, is the head of government. Before the Basic Law of 1849, the Royal Act of 1665 constituted the central piece of legislation in the Danish constitution. Certain parts of the law still apply. Denmark has representative democracy, which in certain cases holds referendums on important decisions.


National Board

The monarch, Queen Margrethe, is head of state with ceremonial duties. She is barred from carrying out political duties, but has a formal role in appointing and dismissing governments and signing laws passed. There are, however, established (in practice unavoidable) procedures for these tasks.


Separation of powers

The board is divided between the three powers, the executive power, which rests with the government, the legislative power, which rests with the Folketinget, and the judicial power, which rests with the courts. The Constitution states that both the monarch and the Folketing constitute the legislative power, but in practice this means the government and the Folketing. Denmark has the Evangelical Lutheran Church as its state religion, but the Constitution ensures freedom of religion. However, the Danish regent must be of the Evangelical-Lutheran faith.

The Folketing is the country's parliament and legislative power, which consists of 179 members, two of whom are elected from the Faroe Islands and two from Greenland. The four mandates usually vote neither for nor against in connection with domestic political matters, but in crisis situations they usually support the party they feel most closely associated with. Members of Parliament are elected by the proportional representation method, but the candidates are nominated locally, with which the politicians retain a certain dependence on the local constituencies. Since 1961, the Danish Parliament has had a barring limit of 2%, but a constituency mandate can grant access. Elections are held every four years, but the Prime Minister can dissolve Parliament at any time and call a new election. The most recent general election was held on 1 November 2022. The government cannot have a majority against it in the Folketing; the government thus does not need to have a majority behind it and can thus consist of parties that together have less than half of the seats in the Folketing. Members of Parliament meet four times a week for debate.

Traditionally, most Danish governments have been minority governments with support from non-government parties, and cooperation across the middle has been most typical. The Social Democrats and Venstre have had the greatest influence as government-bearing parties since the system change in 1901. The Lars Løkke Rasmussen III government was a three-party government with 22 ministers. On 27 June 2019, it was replaced by the government of Mette Frederiksen, a social democratic minority government with three supporting parties. The ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister and do not have to sit in the Folketing or belong to any party.

The courts are independent of the government and parliament. The Supreme Court is the highest court and has the final say in disputes and doubtful matters in relation to the law. The Supreme Court thus has a certain political significance, as they can ultimately judge legislative proposals and political actions illegal in relation to the Constitution. The European Court of Justice has gradually also taken the form of supreme authority in many areas in the country, just as the Supreme Court has also aligned itself with the Human Rights Court, cf. Jens Olaf Jersild's Green Jacket case.

The Basic Law of 1953 ensures – together with the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into Danish law in 1992 – the human rights of Danish citizens. In 2017, Transparency International ranked Denmark as the second least corrupt country in the world after New Zealand. The American organization Freedom House ranks Denmark as "free" in terms of political rights and civil liberties.


Foreign Affairs

Denmark is a member of various associations such as The EU, the UN, NATO and the Nordic Council. As a co-founder of NATO, in the post-war period Denmark broke off a century and a half of neutrality and during the Cold War tried to link the Eastern European countries to the West, including the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Denmark has been a member of the EU (formerly EC) since 1973 and is one of the free trade-oriented EU countries. Support for membership is generally high in Denmark, while at the same time the population is skeptical about ceding additional sovereignty to the EU. In a referendum in 1992, a majority said no to the Maastricht Treaty. In a referendum from 2000, the Danes voted no to replace the Danish krone with the euro as currency, and in 2015, in another referendum, there was a majority against lifting the Danish reservation of rights within the EU. In five other referenda on EC/EU issues, there has been a reverse majority in favor of participation: In 1972 (membership of the EC), in 1986 (the EC package), in 1993 (the Edinburgh Agreement), in 1998 (the Treaty of Amsterdam ) and in 2014 (Patent Court).

After the crisis over the Muhammad cartoons, several Muslim countries boycotted Danish products in protest against the Danish government's refusal to condemn these cartoons. One of Denmark's embassies was exposed to arson for the same reason. Relations with most Muslim-ruled countries have since improved, while Islamists still in 2010 made threats against Danish interests.

Since the Arctic contains relatively large quantities of oil and natural gas, which Greenland borders along with Canada, the USA, Norway and Russia, a dispute has arisen between the individuals over the right to the area.

The Nordic region is an important ideological cooperation partner with which Denmark has close cultural ties. The countries trade a lot with each other, and their citizens can travel freely in each other's countries. In the past few years, the two members of the Commonwealth, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, have had greater say in foreign policy areas, such as geopolitical issues and the search for oil. Denmark has always supported the UN both politically and financially, but the Danish NGOs and private organizations also take care of a significant share of the bilateral aid. Denmark annually contributes 0.75% of the gross national income in overall development aid. and tries to support its 20 primary partner countries in the Third World in areas such as economic growth, social and environmental conditions.



After the liberation from German occupation in World War II in May 1945, the Danish defense had to start almost from scratch with the rebuilding of the armed forces. In 1950 the US began its arms assistance program, including to Denmark, and in the same year there was a reorganization of the military and political leadership of defence. Only then did the armed forces progressively reach troop levels and levels of preparedness that approached NATO's regularly scheduled target levels. During the Cold War, however, Denmark's troop strength was always at the lower limit of the Alliance's requirements. The defense agreements between the government and the opposition, which provide the financial and political basis for defense tasks, have traditionally been supported by a broad majority in the Folketing. As of 2021, up to 750 Danish soldiers were stationed in Afghanistan. Denmark also provides 35 soldiers for KFOR.

Denmark spent almost 1.2 percent of its economic output, or $3.8 billion, on its armed forces in 2017.



The army (Danish: Hæren) has a strength of about 15,000 men. Army operations are managed by the Army Command in Karup and in the logistical area by the Army Support Command in Hjørring. The army consists of 17 regiments of the various branches of service, which train the soldiers up to unit level (company, etc.). Combined arms combat training takes place in the superordinate large unit of the brigade or military region in which they are integrated. These are, among others, three armored infantry brigades of the Danish Division. A fourth armored infantry brigade was formed as the Danish International Brigade (DIB). The brigade consists of 4,500 active soldiers and reservists. About a third of these can be deployed abroad within the framework of the UN or OSCE. The number roughly corresponds to that which Denmark placed primarily in the service of the UN in mid-1995. The DIB is part of the NATO rapid reaction force.



The Navy (Danish Kongelige Danske Marine) has a strength of about 4500 men. Their operations are directed by the Fleet Command in Aarhus, the Greenland Command and the Faroe Islands Command, and in the overall logistic area by the Naval Support Command in Copenhagen. The main bases are the naval bases in Korsør and Frederikshavn. The main color of the Navy is gray (camouflage).

The day-to-day operations take place in the squadrons, which are basically made up of ships that have one and the same mission. Squadrons include patrol frigates, corvettes, missile boats, minelayers, and various smaller vessels. In addition, the Navy has mobile land-based anti-ship missile batteries. Most of the smaller vessels belong to the STANDARD FLEX 300 class, a type of vessel based on modular construction. Depending on the equipment and training of the crew, it can be used as a surveillance boat, submarine hunt boat and minelayer/minesweeper boat. In addition to their support functions, the tasks of the naval bases include the surveillance of Danish waters, divided between three naval section commands and training facilities on land. The Navy has permanently stationed units to monitor fisheries and to protect sovereignty rights off Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Navy has regularly delegated a corvette to NATO to participate in peacekeeping operations. Since the withdrawal of US troops from the island state of Iceland, the Danish Navy has taken over responsibility for Icelandic coastal defense together with the Icelandic Coast Guard.


Air force

The Air Force (Danish: Flyvevåbnet) has a strength of about 6000 men. Its operations are managed by the Air Force Command in Karup or, in the higher level of logistics, by the Air Force Support Command in Brabrand, western Aarhus and Karup. The aviation units are divided between the fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons with F-16 fighters based at Skrydstrup and Ålborg air bases, and the transport and rescue squadrons with C-130 Hercules and Gulfstream III aircraft at Aalborg and S-61 Sea helicopters King at Karup Air Force Base. The radar stations of the control and early warning group constantly monitor the airspace over Denmark and can use fighter planes for direct defense and air defense, and in the event of war, on the orders of the Air Force Command, additional anti-aircraft missiles.


Home Guard

The Home Guard (Dan.: Hjemmeværnet) consists of around 56,000 volunteers, whose leadership in peacetime is in the hands of the Home Guard Command. The force includes the Heeresheimwehr, which is organized into territorially defined Heimwehr companies that constantly monitor the entire country and, in the event of war, are assigned to the troops of the Army's military regions, the Naval Home Guard, which supports the Navy, and finally the Luftwaffe Home Guard, which controls and Luftwaffe Early Warning Group by monitoring airspace at low altitudes, assisted in guard duties.


Foreign policy

Denmark joined the European Community in 1973. According to the Danish constitution, any transfer of sovereignty rights must be decided by a referendum. Accordingly, the Danish people voted five times on EU issues. In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty was rejected in a referendum. A second attempt in 1993 then brought approval due to several "opt-outs" in economic and monetary union, security and defense policy, justice and home affairs and EU citizenship. Since then, the "opt-outs" have been repeatedly questioned because they stand in the way of further integration into the EU. With the entry into force of the EU reform treaty, they will even increase. It is planned to hold referendums on the individual policy areas again in the next few years. In April 2008, the Danish Parliament voted in favor of the EU Reform Treaty of Lisbon.




Reformers like to cite Denmark as an example of a deregulated labor market because the country does not have protection against dismissal comparable to that in Germany. However, the share of public employees with approx. 28% (800,000) (2006) of all employees (approx. 2,800,000) is about twice as high as in Germany. Converted to full-time employment, this public share increases to over 38% of a total of over 2.3 million full-time employees. Liberal employment regulations, a high level of social security and an active labor market policy are combined under the motto "flexicurity". Unemployed people receive significantly higher unemployment benefits than in Germany if they have paid into the unemployment fund (a-kasse) and are eligible to receive unemployment benefits. For example, people who have been outside the EU for more than one year (the last 7 years before applying for unemployment benefit) lose their right to unemployment benefit, regardless of whether they have paid into the unemployment fund or not. People who are entitled to unemployment benefits are fully qualified for new jobs.

Union density is extremely high (68% in 2015). Collective bargaining is centralized between employers and unions. Although Denmark does not have a statutory minimum wage, minimum wages are usually standardized by collective agreements and complied with by the companies. Unions have the right to call for a boycott of employers who do not abide by collective bargaining agreements. Although the Danish system demands high concessions from employers, it is generally accepted by all parties involved because it has proven to be very successful over the past 100 years.

In international comparisons, Denmark usually does very well. The employment rate, including among older workers, is the highest in the EU. Despite the extremely high tax and duty rate (the VAT rate is 25%, this also applies to books and groceries, the top rate of income tax is 59%), the country is considered to be very flexible and competitive. The standard of living of the Danes is one of the highest in the world, the national debt is comparatively low. In comparison with the EU's GDP expressed in purchasing power standards, Denmark has an index of 125 (EU-28:100) (2014). With budget surpluses of 4.9% and 4.2% of gross domestic product, Denmark was the EU leader in 2005 and 2006. In the Global Competitiveness Index, which measures a country's competitiveness, Denmark ranks 12th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). The country ranked 18th out of 180 countries in the 2017 Economic Freedom Index.

After years of high economic growth, the Danish economy was also in recession as a result of the global financial and economic crisis. Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 5.9 percent in 2009 and again by 1.7 percent in 2010. In the period from 2011 to 2014, GDP rose again slightly. In 2015, the Danish economy grew by 1.1 percent.



In the fourth quarter of 2014, the unemployment rate averaged 6.4%. That was a minimal drop of -0.1% compared to the third quarter, but a clear drop of -0.6% compared to the same period last year. Youth unemployment was well above this level at 11.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 13.3% in the corresponding quarter of 2013. During the course of the financial crisis from 2007 onwards, the number of unemployed had increased. From a European peak of just 3.4% unemployed in 2008, the rate rose to 7.6% in 2011. Since then, the employment situation has continuously improved. By June 2018, it had fallen to 5.0%.

industry and service
Denmark is a highly industrialized country, more than three quarters of its exports are industrial goods or machines. Industry and most service companies are mainly concentrated in the greater Copenhagen area, while Jutland is relatively unindustrialized. The country's industry contributed about 23% of GDP in 2017 and employed about 18.3% of all workers; the service sector contributed about 79% to GDP in 2016 and employed about 76% of workers in 2017.

The most important branches of the manufacturing industry in Denmark in terms of turnover are the food and metalworking industries, printing and publishing, mechanical engineering and the production of electronic goods and diesel engines (mainly for ships and locomotives). Danish furniture has been in demand in many countries since the beginning of the 20th century. Shipyards, brewing, the textile and clothing industry, as well as the production of cement, chemical products, medicines, ceramics/porcelain, stoves, bicycles and paper are also important. Until 1970 brown coal was mined at Søby in the municipality of Herning, in 1961 it was 2.3 million tons.



Agriculture in Denmark is a highly mechanized industry. It contributes about 2.3% of GDP and employs about 3% of all workers.

More than half of the country's area – not including Greenland and the Faroe Islands – is used for agriculture. By nature, the soils are relatively poor in nutrients; this is compensated for by intensive fertilization. The Danish government encourages small farms. The merger of small businesses to form large goods is made more difficult by law. Around 85 percent of Danish farms are family farms of less than 50 hectares.

Cereals are grown on 60 percent of the approximately 2.5 million hectares of cultivated land; the spectrum includes barley, oats, wheat and rye. The remaining area is planted with forage crops, flax, hemp, hops and tobacco. Over 50 percent of the total area is used as farmland. The predominantly export-oriented meat and dairy industry plays an important role. Denmark is one of the largest producers of pork products in the world. Livestock mainly includes pigs, cattle and horses.

A distinctive feature of Danish agriculture is the great influence of agricultural cooperatives. They dominate the production of dairy products and ham. A high percentage of agricultural produce is marketed through the cooperatives. Most cooperatives belong to national associations, which in turn are members of the agricultural committee. This central body of the cooperatives negotiates with the government, industry or foreign trading partners.

In 1805 the government declared all forests (which today make up around 12 percent of Denmark's total area) to be nature reserves. Denmark's large fishing fleet plays an important role in the country's economy. Most of the fish caught are marine fish, with herring, salmon and cod being the commercially most important species. Most of the fishing grounds are in the North Sea. Large export surpluses are achieved for fish.

Since August 1, 2000, Denmark has also been recognized as a wine-growing region by the EU. Since then, Danish wine has been allowed to be grown and sold for commercial purposes.



After the Second World War, Denmark relied heavily on oil as a primary energy supplier. In the early 1970s it was almost entirely dependent on imported petroleum. As a result of the oil crisis in 1973, which hit Denmark in particular as a largely oil-dependent country, there were considerations of building nuclear power plants in order to diversify the energy supply. After a long political struggle since the early 1970s, the country finally decided against the use of nuclear energy with a parliamentary resolution in 1985. The country is now an energy exporter. In 2008, 18 oil and gas fields, all in the North Sea, produced a total of 16.7 million m³ of oil and 9.9 million m³ i.N. gas promoted. The production volume has been declining since 2004. Along with Canada, Russia and Norway, Denmark is also very actively involved in the race for mineral resources in the deep sea under the Arctic, which is highly controversial from the point of view of environmental protection.

Energy transition
Denmark is the pioneer country of the energy transition. With the plan to convert the entire energy supply (electricity, heat and transport) to renewable energies by 2050, it is also the country with the most ambitious goal. This is to be achieved through the strong expansion of wind energy and the electrification of the heating and transport sectors. The main goal since 1972 has been to reduce dependency on oil imports, later other goals were energy self-sufficiency, the phasing out of the use of fossil energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Through measures such as energy savings, efficiency increases and combined heat and power generation, Denmark managed to keep the primary energy use more or less constant for 40 years (1972 to 2012), even though the gross domestic product grew by more than 100% during this period. At the same time, 25% of the primary energy was replaced by renewable energies. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production, which were still over 1000 g/kWh in 1990, fell to 135 g/kWh by 2019, around a seventh of the initial value

Of particular importance is the use of wind energy, which was systematically promoted in Denmark as one of the first countries in the world back in the 1980s. In 2011, the share of renewable energies was 40.7% of electricity consumption, of which 28.1 percentage points came from wind energy. In 2015 it was 56.0%. In 2015, wind power covered 42.1% of Denmark's electricity needs (2014: 39.1%), the highest value in the world. The then Danish government decided to achieve a 50% share of wind energy in electricity generation by 2020 while reducing carbon emissions by 40%. The Danish parliament approved the plan in March 2012 with a large majority. In 2019 and 2020, the wind share of electricity generation was 48%, in 2021 it was 44%. Despite a significant increase in wind power capacity in 2020 and 2021, the 50% target has not yet been reached, but in 2022 the wind energy share was 55%, with wind turbines with a cumulative nominal capacity of 7,282 MW installed in Denmark at the end of 2022. Denmark aims to reduce emissions by 70 percent by 2030.

In 2021, Denmark ranked 6th in the climate protection index, an annual analysis of the climate protection efforts of individual countries.


Natural resources

The country has few natural resources. Mineral raw materials are mined to a limited extent, primarily kaolin and granite. All mineral resources are publicly owned. There are deposits of kaolin on Bornholm, but these are of inferior quality and are mainly used for the production of pottery and bricks. The minerals limonite, cryolite, limestone, chalk and marl are also used commercially. Large deposits of salt have been discovered on Jutland. Oil and natural gas have been produced in the North Sea since the 1970s.

Currency and Banking
The country's currency is the Danish Krone to 100 Øre. Denmark is part of the ERM II, an exchange rate agreement that has existed since 1999 between various EU countries as part of the European Monetary System II. The Danish National Bank (founded in 1818) is the country's central bank and financial centre. Their head office is in Copenhagen. Some large commercial banks have branches throughout Denmark. There are also more than 90 savings banks. Since the 1970s, the number of banks has declined due to a series of mergers. Several mergers took place, especially in the early 1990s.

At the latest when the third stage of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) began in January 1999, there was a fierce political debate in Denmark as to whether the country should join EMU and adopt the euro as its single currency. In a referendum on September 28, 2000, 53.1 percent of the Danish population voted against the euro - 46.9 percent were in favor of abolishing the Danish krone. With this result, accession to EMU was also rejected. A new referendum on the introduction of the euro was announced in November 2007, but never took place.

The Danish krone has a fixed exchange rate policy to the euro; therefore 100 euros can be exchanged for 746 ± 2.25% crowns. In practice, the Danish National Bank has stabilized the exchange rate at a level very close to the central rate.

According to a 2017 study by Bank Credit Suisse, Denmark ranked 24th in the world in terms of total national wealth. Total property, stock and cash holdings totaled $1,245 billion. The average wealth per adult is $281,542 and the median is $87,231 (in Germany: $203,946 and $47,091 respectively). In terms of average wealth per inhabitant, Denmark is one of the top 10 countries in the world. Overall, 59.3% of Danes' total wealth was financial wealth and 40.7% non-financial wealth. The Gini coefficient for wealth distribution was 80.9 in 2017, indicating relatively high wealth inequality.


Foreign trade

In the mid-1960s, the Federal Republic of Germany ousted the United Kingdom as Denmark's most important trading partner. Nevertheless, Great Britain is still one of the largest buyers of Danish products. Sweden, Norway, France and the Netherlands are also important trading partners. Trade with countries in Eastern Europe has increased significantly in recent years, especially with Poland. Outside Europe, the USA, the People's Republic of China and Japan are the most important trading partners. The trade balance is positive, i. H. exports exceed imports.

Up until the early 1960s, meat and dairy products made up the majority of exports. Since then, exports of manufactured goods have increased steadily and, since 1961, have accounted for a larger share of total exports than agricultural products. The focus is on chemical and pharmaceutical products as well as vehicles. The most important Danish import goods are machinery, raw metals, metal goods, transport equipment, fuels and lubricants.



Tourism has been booming in Denmark for years: in 2015 more than ten million visitors came, most of them from Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden, as well as Germany. Swedish and Norwegian tourists often visit the capital Copenhagen due to the proximity. In addition to tourists from Scandinavia, Denmark is also very popular with German tourists. Around one million Germans visited the country in 1999. In 2016, tourism revenues were 6.9 billion US dollars.



Denmark has attempted to define its cultural heritage in an official Danish Cultural Canon issued by the Ministry of Culture. Another attempt to map the country's cultural heritage came with the website 1001 fortællinger om Danmark (1001 stories about Denmark), launched in 2010.

public holidays
The country's public holidays are New Year's Day (January 1), Easter (Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday), Store Bededag, Ascension Day, Whit Monday and Christmas (December 25). The Danish Constitution Day on 5 June is not a public holiday, but shops and public buildings are usually closed.

A Danish specialty is the Store Bededag. Instead of commemorating various saints with many holidays in spring, the Danes celebrate Store Bededag on the fourth Friday after Easter, with which they honor all saints and clergy. This holiday was introduced by Count Johann Friedrich von Struensee in the 18th century.



The best-known Danish contribution to the culinary field is probably the smørrebrød, richly topped wholemeal bread slices as a cold lunch dish. Also known is the hot dog, which is eaten with red sausages (rød pølser) - kogt (boiled) or ristet (fried); It is garnished with sweet tartar sauce, roasted onions and sweet and sour cucumber slices. Remoulade is not only eaten with French fries, but also with fish, salami or spring rolls.

The national dish is the classic slow-cooked roast pork with rind (flæskesteg) in the oven, served with potatoes and brown gravy. Danish Labskaus (Skipperlabskovs) is typically prepared with fresh pork instead of corned beef.

Almond milk rice (Ris à l'amande) is often served as a dessert at Christmas. It consists of cold vanilla rice pudding, whipped cream and chopped almonds, served with cherry sauce. A skinned almond hidden in the dessert gives a small gift (almond gave) to the person in whose portion it is found.

For several years now, there has been a renewal of Danish cuisine. Products from organic farming and locally available ingredients such as wild herbs have now gained particular importance. Restaurants are trying to reinterpret regional traditions and use a greater variety of recipes.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, beer and schnapps have a long tradition in Denmark. In addition to the well-known beer brands (Carlsberg, Tuborg, Faxe and Albani), a number of local microbreweries have recently emerged. A Danish specialty since 1953 is the Christmas brew (Julebryg) with a higher alcohol content, not to be confused with the Christmas beer (Juleøl or Nisseøl), a dark, sweet light beer.

The best-known aquavite and bitters (Aalborg Akvavit, Gammel Dansk) have only been produced in Norway since April 2015. Glögg, the Nordic variant of mulled wine, is also part of Christmas. The toast is “Skål”. In contrast to neighboring Scandinavian countries, the sale of alcohol is not subject to a state monopoly, but is free. There are also no night-time selling restrictions, as there are for Norwegian supermarkets. High Danish taxes on alcoholic beverages make them noticeably more expensive compared to Central Europe.



Danish architecture developed in the Middle Ages based on French and German models, as evidenced by the cathedral buildings in Ribe, Viborg, Århus, Ringsted, Roskilde and Kalundborg. Typical Brick Gothic buildings are St. Knud's Church in Odense, which was built in the 13th or 14th century, St. Peter's Church in Næstved or St. Olai's Church in Helsingør. Among the town churches, the hall church type predominates. Many valuable altars and pictures came from the Netherlands and Lübeck.

The redistribution of church property after the Reformation resulted in numerous manor houses, some of which were fortified (e.g. Hesselagergård near Gudme). Significant examples of Danish architecture from the Renaissance period were built during the reigns of King Frederick II and King Christian IV, Kronborg Palace in Helsingør, Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange.

Notable Baroque buildings include Amalienborg Palace (the residence of the Danish kings since 1794), Charlottenborg Palace and Christiansborg Palace. One of the most important architects of classicism is Christian Frederik Hansen, who built the courthouse and the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen. Historical buildings are by Theophil Edvard Freiherr von Hansen, Martin Nyrop and Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll. Hack Kampmann is an important representative of Danish national romanticism. designed the town hall in Copenhagen and the theater in Arhus.

Outstanding representatives of Danish architecture in the 20th century are Arne Jacobsen, who designed several town halls and the National Bank as well as the SAS Royal Hotel, Peder Vilhelm Jensen Klint, and Jørn Utzon, who designed the famous Sydney Opera House but did not take part in its realization , Erik Møller and Johan Otto von Spreckelsen.



Georg Arthur Jensen shaped the industrial design of the Scandinavian countries with his silversmith work in a functional style. Kay Bojesen was also a trained silversmith, but he became famous for his wooden toys, cutlery and crockery. Another well-known silversmith was Svend Weihrauch, who was one of the outstanding representatives of functionalism with his clear, ornament-free silversmith work. The lamps by Poul Henningsen and the furniture by Hans Jørgensen Wegner, Poul Kjærholm, Kaare Klint and Arne Jacobsen - his designs Egg, Swan and Series 7 are considered design classics - also received recognition. Jacob Jensen's work for the Danish consumer electronics group Bang & Olufsen is well known and was honored with a special exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in 1978.



In 2021, 98.9 percent of Denmark's residents used the internet.

The main television stations belong to the public service broadcasters Danmarks Radio and TV 2; the newspapers with the highest circulation include the Jyllands-Posten, Berlingske and Politiken alongside free newspapers. Big publishers like Gyldendal and Berlingske Media are based in Copenhagen.

Media freedom has a long tradition in Denmark. Article 77 of the 1849 constitution already guaranteed freedom of the press and freedom of expression and forbade any censorship; Reporters Without Borders ranks Denmark 4th in its 2021 Press Freedom Index. Public authorities are obliged to provide information to citizens and journalists. To ensure media diversity, most daily newspapers and online media are subsidized.


Danish literature

The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor's New Clothes or The Princess and the Pea, all these fairy tales were written by Hans Christian Andersen, who made one of the most important Danish contributions to world literature. In the port of Copenhagen, a sculpture commemorates the writer, a mermaid, the main character from his fairy tales The Little Mermaid. The theologian, philosopher and writer Søren Kierkegaard, one of the forerunners of existentialism, is also world-famous. Central to his work, which ranges from philosophical novels to theological polemics, are the concepts of existence and fear and the question of how people are able to deal with them. Also known worldwide is the poet Ludvig Holberg (born Norwegian), he wrote mainly comedies and a satirical novel, he also emerged as a historian.

In the 1937 autobiographical novel Out of Africa, the writer Karen Blixen (published in Germany under her pseudonym Tania Blixen) tells of her life as a coffee farmer in Kenya. In 1985, the novel was adapted into a film, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, and won seven Academy Awards at the 1985 Academy Awards.

Danish Nobel Prize winners for literature are Karl Gjellerup and Henrik Pontoppidan, who shared the prize in 1917, and Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, whose novel Kongens Fald (Eng.: The King's Fall) was voted (Danish) Book of the Century in 1999 by major Danish newspapers. Another important Danish writer is Herman Bang, who is considered the creator of Danish Impressionism.

In his novels, the contemporary author Peter Høeg writes about partially torn existences. His international bestseller Miss Smilla's Sense of Snow was filmed in 1997 by Danish director and Oscar winner Bille August, starring Julia Ormond.



The development of Danish music began under the influence of German, Italian and English music culture during the reign of King Christian IV in the second half of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century. Foreign composers such as John Dowland, Heinrich Schütz, who was royal music director in Copenhagen for a long time, and Dieterich Buxtehude, who spent several years as an organist in Elsinore, worked at the Danish court and came into contact with Danish composers there.

All of the first significant contributions to Danish music came from German-born composers: Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen with his opera Holger Danske (1787), Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse with his opera Ludams Hule (1816) and Friedrich Kuhlau, who contributed to the opera that is still popular today Piece Elverhøy (1828) which wrote the music. Danish representatives of Romanticism are Niels Wilhelm Gade, Johann Peter Emilius Hartmann and Peter Arnold Heise.

See also: Dania Sonans. Kilder til Musikkens Historie i Danmark and organ landscape Denmark
In the 20th century, Carl Nielsen, who is regarded as Denmark's most important composer and whose symphonies and operas were also able to establish themselves in the repertoire abroad, followed in the 20th century, followed by Poul Schierbeck, Knudåge Riisager, Jørgen Bentzon, Finn Høffding, Herman David Koppel, Vagn Holmboe and Niels Viggo Bentzon . Other important Danish composers include Louis Glass, Paul von Klenau, Ludolf Nielsen, Hakon Børresen, Rued Langgaard, Poul Ruders and Per Nørgård.

In the field of popular music in Germany, Gitte Hænning is particularly well known for her hits and the Olsen Brothers, the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2000. The band Aqua, which was part of the Eurodance area and existed from 1989 to 2001, is also well known. Lars Ulrich, the drummer of the band Metallica, is also from Denmark. Other well-known musicians and bands from Denmark are Aura Dione, Agnes Obel, Oh Land, Lukas Graham, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Carpark North, Saybia, Kashmir, Nephew, Medina, Outlandish, D-A-D, Pretty Maids, Thulla, Poul Krebs, Kim Larsen, Tina Dico, TV-2, Sorts Muld, Volbeat, Jakob Sveistrup, Sort Sol, King Diamond, Red Warszawa, Natasha Thomas, Laid Back, Hanne Boel, Anna David, Junior Senior, Under Byen, Raunchy, The Raveonettes and Trentemøller . Well-known Danish record companies are Cope Records and Kick Music.


Painting and sculpture

Stimulated by models from neighboring countries and the humanism of the Goethe era, contemplative and self-sufficient Danish painting received new impetus from artists such as Nicolai Abildgaard, Jens Juel and P. C. Skovgaard at the beginning of the 19th century, in the so-called “Golden Age” of Classicism and Biedermeier . These painters devoted themselves primarily to landscape painting. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, who had studied with Jacques-Louis David in Paris, and many of his students, such as Christen Købke, emerged as portrait painters. In addition, genre and history painting lived on in the works of Constantin Hansen, Vilhelm Marstrand, Jørgen Roed and Jørgen Sonne. Wilhelm Bendz combined portraiture with genre and history painting.

Around 1870, plein air painting developed in the artist colony of Skagen. Skagen painters influenced by the Barbizon School included Michael Ancher, Anna Ancher, although she preferred interior views, Viggo Johansen, Peder Severin Krøyer, Christian Krohg, Carl Locher, Theodor Philipsen, Frits Thaulow, Wilhelm von Gegerfelt and Holger Drachmann, while the legacy of the Golden Age was cultivated by the realistic-naturalistic genre and history painter Kristian Zahrtmann.

Vilhelm Kyhn's romantic landscape paintings stand on the threshold of modernity. In addition to the Danish National Gallery, the collection of the tobacco manufacturer Heinrich Hirschsprung, opened in Copenhagen in 1911, offers the best overview of Danish painting from around 1850 to 1910.

Danish Symbolists included Vilhelm Hammershøi, who was influenced by Whistler and preferred drab interiors,[129] Jens Ferdinand Villumsen, whose paintings are characterized by bold colors, and L. A. Ring, who, with his factual pictures of farm workers in subtle colors, also did became the pioneer of social realism in Denmark.

Around 1910, Bornholm developed into one of the artistic centers of northern Europe. This is where the "Bornholm School" came into being after the First World War, an association of artist friends. These included the Expressionist Oluf Høst, who painted his house more than 200 times since 1935 in different weather conditions and against the background of changing moods, as well as Karl Isakson and the Estonian-born Olaf Rude, who was inspired by Cézanne and classical modernism. Jais Nielsen also oriented himself to Cubism and Futurism; he also designed porcelain sculptures and church windows. The depictions of people by Vilhelm Lundstrøm, an early representative of Danish modernism, are characterized by clear colors and geometric shapes, but attest to a great deal of psychological empathy.

After the Second World War, abstract expressionism also dominated in Denmark, represented by Richard Mortensen, Else Alfelt, Ejler Bille, Asger Jorn, who founded the group CoBrA in 1948, and Per Kirkeby, who also works as a sculptor.

Two well-known sculptors working in Denmark were Bernt Notke, who created the altar in Århus Cathedral, and Claus Berg, who created the altar in St. Knud's Church in Odense. One of the most important Danish sculptors was Bertel Thorvaldsen, who is considered the most important sculptor of classicism alongside the Italian Antonio Canova. At the same time Hermann Vilhelm Bissen and Jens Adolf Jerichau worked. Well-known sculptors of the 20th century were Robert Jacobsen, Gunnar Westmann and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, whose sculptures are influenced by African sculptures.



During the silent film era, Denmark was the largest film producer after the USA, Germany and France.

The Danish actress Asta Nielsen made notable contributions to the art of cinema. She rose to become one of the first stars of silent films at the beginning of the 20th century, directed by Urban Gad, with films such as Afgrunden (1910). The director Carl Theodor Dreyer also set standards with his aesthetically demanding works such as La passion de Joan of Arc (1928; in German: The Passion of the Maid of Orleans) or Vampyr - The Dream of Allan Gray (1932). The comedy duo Pat & Patachon, who made about 50 films together between 1921 and 1940, were also internationally popular. Before the First World War, the Danish production company Nordisk Film was one of the largest and most productive film studios in the world. Although the country's position on the international film market collapsed with the advent of talkies, ambitious productions attracted worldwide attention.

In the 1990s, Lars von Trier caused international debates with his film aesthetic program Dogma 95, which was directed against commercial films, after he had already made a name for himself with ambitious films. It was within the framework of this controversial concept that von Trier's Idioterne (1998) and Thomas Vinterberg's Festen (1998) and Lone Scherfig's Italiensk for begyndere (2000) came into being. . Other well-known Danish directors include Erik Balling (The Olsen Gang), Lasse Spang Olsen (In China They Eat Dogs), Anders Thomas Jensen (Adam's Apples, Danish Delicatessen) and Susanne Bier (Brothers, After the Wedding).

Foreign films are not dubbed in Denmark, only subtitled. The only exception are children's films.


World Heritage

Denmark has five World Heritage Sites: Roskilde Cathedral, Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, Jelling rune stones, burial mounds and church, Christiansfeld, a settlement of the Moravian Church, and the North Sealand Par Force hunting landscape.

Roskilde Cathedral is Scandinavia's first brick Gothic cathedral and is now the largest church in the north. Roskilde was the royal residence from the 11th to the 15th century and is still the burial place of the monarchs today. The church contains the tombs of 20 Danish kings and 17 queens, including the important Margarethe I and Christian IV. The church has been a World Heritage Site since 1995.
Kronborg Castle is located in Helsingør by the Öresund. The fortress-like castle in the style of the Dutch Renaissance secured Denmark's important income from the Sound toll for centuries. William Shakespeare made the place world famous as the setting for his tragedy Hamlet. Kronborg Castle has been a World Heritage Site since 2000.
The Jelling rune stones are two of the few stones dedicated to Danish kings and their deeds. They emerged in the mid to late 10th century. Together with Jelling Burial Mound and Church, they have been listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site since 1994.



In Danish history, a distinction has been made between Idræt (=physical exercise of all kinds), gymnastics and sport, depending on tradition. Denmark's largest sports association and umbrella organization of 60 sports associations is now Danmarks Idrætsforbund with 1.7 million members. He is responsible for the regulation of Danish championships and the determination of participation in the Olympic Games. By September 2016, Denmark had won 195 medals at the Olympic Games, putting it in 25th place in the all-time medal table. The country won 45 gold, 75 silver and 75 bronze medals. All but one of these medals were won at Summer Olympics. The only medal at Winter Games was a silver medal in 1998 in Nagano in curling.



The most popular sport in Denmark is football, which takes place under the umbrella of Dansk Boldspil-Union. Overall, the Danish national football team has taken part in nine European Football Championships: in 1964 at the second European Football Championship, from 1984 to 2004, where they also celebrated their greatest success, winning the 1992 European Football Championship in Sweden by beating Germany 2-0 , as well as in 2012 at the European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine and in 2021 at the European Football Championship, where the semi-finals were reached.

The national team was able to qualify five times for a soccer World Cup, namely for the 13th Soccer World Cup in Mexico, for the 16th Soccer World Cup in France, for the 17th Soccer World Cup in South Korea and Japan, for the 19th Soccer World Cup in South Africa and for the 21st Soccer World Cup in Russia. The greatest success here was reaching the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup, where they lost 3-2 to Brazil. With the exception of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, they reached the round of 16 in the other World Cups. Another success for the Danes was winning the Confederations Cup in 1995. They have won four medals at the Olympic Games so far, three silver medals (1908, 1912 and 1960) and one bronze medal (1948).

The Denmark women's national football team has qualified four times at seven women's football World Cups, with the best result being two quarter-final appearances (1991 and 1995). In nine European Women's Football Championships, you could qualify eight times and twice reached third place.



Another popular sport is handball, which has been organized by the Dansk Håndbold Forbund since 1935. The Danish women's national handball team is considered one of the strongest women's national teams in handball. They have so far won a world championship (1997), three Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000 and 2004) and three European championships (1994, 1996, 2002). The Danish men's national handball team is also one of the world's best in handball. The Danish men's team achieved three first places (2019, 2021,2023) and three second places at World Championships (1967, 2011, 2013), the Olympic gold medal in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and a first place at the European Championships in 2008.


Other sports

In tennis, Denmark has Caroline Wozniacki, the current world number three in the WTA ranking (as of December 17, 2018). She achieved great success for her country at a very young age and is already considered the best and most successful Danish tennis player of all time. On October 11, 2010, she became the first Scandinavian ever - at the age of 20 - to top the world rankings, which she held non-stop (with a one-week break by Kim Clijsters) for 67 weeks. She also achieved the rarity of finishing two consecutive seasons as the world number one. Even if she has not yet won a Grand Slam tournament, she has already reached the final of the US Open twice (2009; 2014) and is one of the most successful active tennis players in the world with 23 WTA titles and 4 ITF titles. In November 2017 Wozniacki won the final of the WTA World Championships in Singapore and at the end of January 2018 in Melbourne with the Australian Open her first and only Grand Slam success against Romanian Simona Halep. After the Australian Open 2020, Wozniacki ended her career after suffering from health problems in 2019 due to rheumatoid arthritis in her right wrist, extending up to her shoulder. Wozniacki is married and lives in the United States with her husband, basketball player David Lee.

Danish athletes have also been able to celebrate success in badminton for a long time. One of the country's best-known players is Peter Gade, who topped the world rankings from 1998 to 2001 and won every major international tournament. Other well-known badminton players from Denmark are Jens Eriksen, Morten Frost, Pernille Harder, Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen, Martin Lundgaard Hansen, Camilla Martin and Mette Schjoldager.

The men's team won the gold medal at the 2005 European Table Tennis Championships in their own country.

In motorsport, Jan Magnussen and his son Kevin Magnussen were or are active in Formula 1, and the touring car and sports car racers Tom Kristensen and Kurt Thiim were also successful for Denmark. In motorcycling, the Danish speedway riders Ole Olsen, Erik Gundersen, Hans Nielsen (track athlete), Jan O. Pedersen and Nicki Pedersen have so far won 14 gold medals at the individual speedway world championships. Olsen and Gundersen also each won the long track world championships.


Special Olympics

Special Olympics Denmark was founded in 1985/1986 and took part in the Special Olympics World Games several times. The association has announced its participation in the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2023 in Berlin. The delegation will be looked after before the games as part of Hamm's Host Town Program.


The Commonwealth, regions and municipalities

In addition to Denmark proper, which is located in Scandinavia, the Danish state also includes the two self-governing areas of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. According to §1 of the constitution, the areas belong to the Kingdom of Denmark and are therefore subject to the Danish Parliament and the government. The two areas, however, both have their own popularly elected assembly and a national government led by a national government chairman (Greenland) and a layman (Faroe Islands), respectively. The Faroe Islands achieved home rule in 1948 and Greenland in 1979. However, the two areas are not fully independent, e.g. primary schools must teach Danish in addition to the local language. The state provides financial block grants to both areas, just as the state provides block grants to the regions and municipalities in Denmark. Foreign affairs are handled as a general rule by the government in Copenhagen, with the involvement of both Greenland and the Faroe Islands when it concerns them. Each area is also represented by two seats in the Folketing.

Denmark is divided into five regions and 98 municipalities. The regions were established on 1 January 2007, replacing the former 13 counties. At the same time, the municipalities were merged into larger units and their number was reduced from 270 to 98. The main responsibility of the new regions is to administer the health sector.

The regions are the Capital Region, Region Zealand, Region Southern Denmark, Region Central Jutland and Region North Jutland.

Ertholmene is not part of a municipality, but belongs to the Ministry of Defence.