Etiquette & Customs (in short)
The Danes have a very relaxed attitude to practices and attitudes.
Try to learn as much Danish you can before you arrive, or at least so many simple words you can, like “Hello”: Hallo (halo) or Hej (high), “Thank you”: Tak (Tahg), “Goodbye”: Farvel (favel) or Hej hej (high high)
This shows, that you are willing to learn their language. You can learn more here.
- Greetings are casual, with a firm handshake, direct eye contact and a smile
- Danes tend to introduce themselves with their first names
Gift Giving Etiquette:
- Danes give gifts to family and close friends for birthdays and Christmas
- If invited to a Danish home for dinner, bring flowers, good quality chocolates or good quality wine. A bouquet of mixed wildflowers make an excellent gift
- Gifts are opened when received
- Arrive on time. Danes are punctual in both business and social situations
- Check to see if you should remove your shoes before entering the house
- Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served
Should you leave a tip in restaurants or bars?
You can leave a tip, but you don’t have to.
As in many European countries, the bill includes a service charge. So make sure to check the bill itself; there is no need to leave any extra tip in addition to this amount. A service charge is not the same as a tip.
People sometimes give 5 or 10% of the bill as a tip or round up to an even number. It depends on how happy you were with the service.
Denmark is generally a peaceful country, but theft of mobile phones, cameras and other valuable things can always happen. Be aware of pickpockets around various tourist sights, especially at “The Little Mermaid”.
In the three largest cities (Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense), there are neighbourhoods, from where a tourist should stay away:
Places you should avoid in Copenhagen:
- Nørrebro – is known as the most ethnically diverse area of the city, with a particularly large number of Middle Eastern immigrants and descendants of Turkish guest workers. These groups form occasional demonstrations and riots, which may become violent. There is a gang culture and drug trafficking in the area. But Nørrebro is far from what you see in the neighbourhoods of Chicago, LA, London or Paris; crime is exceptionally quiet throughout the capitol, and Nørrebro is no exception.
Places you should avoid in Aarhus:
- Aarhus West – particularly Gellerup Park and Bispehaven. Well, not dangerous but bad areas. Tourists should not visit these ghetto areas. There is a gang culture and this may result in dangerous situations. Otherwise Aarhus is generally a safe place and you can move around without any problems as a tourist.
Places you should avoid in Odense:
- Vollsmose – is by now the most famous ghetto area in Denmark. And there is no reason for tourists to spend their precious time at this place. Vollsmose is located far from places like Hans Christian Andersen’s Museum and Hans Christian Andersen’s garden. Odense is generally a safe city for visitors, although criminal activities and violence can occur. Caution is recommended late at night.
Emergency numbers in Denmark (free call)
In case of any emergency call:
- 112 – National emergency number
- 1813 – Medical Helpline (Copenhagen only)
The caller must:
- State the location where assistance is needed
- State their name and telephone number
- State what happened and if it is still happening
- State how many people need help
- State, if there are weapons involved