Jutland and its 400 surrounding islands form one of Europe’s smallest countries. Denmark has an abundance of picturesque villages and towns, historic castles and monuments, and a coastline that varies from broad sandy beaches to small coves and gentle fjords.
Throughout the country, low rolling hills provide a constant succession of attractive views; there are cool and shady forests of beech trees, extensive areas of heathland, a beautiful lake district, sand dunes and white cliffs resembling those of Dover; nor should one forget the Danish islands, each of which has its own unique attractions.
Full country name: Kingdom of Denmark
Area: 42,930sq Km
Population: 5,5 million
People: 95% Danish; 5% foreign nationals
Language: Danish; English & German are widely spoken
Government: Constitutional monarchy
GDP: US$161 billion
Major industries: Agricultural products, grains, meat and dairy, fish, beer, oil and gas, home electronics and furniture
Major trading partners: EU (esp. Germany, Sweden, UK, Netherlands, France and Italy), USA
Visas: Most Western nationals, including Americans, citizens of EU countries, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Malaysians, Singaporeans and most South Americans do not need a visa.
Health risks: No Health risks.
Time: GMT/UTC +1(+2 in summer)
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
When to go
Late June, July and August are high season, with open-air concerts including the big ones such as Roskilde, street activity and basking on the beach. Other bonuses: longer hours at museums and other attractions, and potential savings on accommodation (some hotels drop their rates). Downsides: lots of other travellers celebrating midsummer with gusto. Mitigating factor: in late August, Danish kids are back in school – summer weather but fewer crowds.
May and early June can also be delightful for a visit. The land is a rich green, accented with fields of yellow rapeseed flowers; the weather is generally warm and comfortable; and you’ll beat the rush of tourists. Although autumn can also be pleasant, it’s not nearly as scenic, as the rural landscape has by then largely turned brown. Winter, with its cold weather and long nights, is pretty inhospitable to tourism. Many destinations close up in October and don’t open again until late April.
Denmark has excellent facilities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Sea fishing tours can be arranged with local fishermen at many Danish harbors (for instance in Copenhagen, Elsinore or Frederikshavn); large groups may charter a boat for themselves.
Denmark has around 130 golf courses. Foreign visitors are welcome, on presentation of a valid membership card from their home club.
Many local tourist offices offer all-inclusive cycling trips, with everything (including bicycle rental, detailed route descriptions, maps, ferry tickets and accommodation) arranged in advance. Prices are lower for those bringing their own bicycles.
Attractions - Copenhagen
Copenhagen's world-renowned Tivoli Gardens are ever so much more than just a central city park. The relatively small area in the heart of the city is actually one of the world's most thrilling entertainment complexes, drawing about three million visitors during its five-month summer open season each year. Tivoli dates back to 1843 when Copenhagen was still a fortified city surrounded by tall ramparts and a deep moat. Today the Tivoli Lake is all that remains of the moat, which now reflects the incredible tradmark fireworks display that light the sky over the gardens twice a week. Tivoli is split in two, one section housing the beautiful miniature gardens where more than 100,000 flowers bloom, and the other the theme park with game arcades and thrill rides. Tivoli also boasts a concert hall and open-air stages where dozens of concerts, pantomimes and circus shows, many of them free, are offered during the season.
The rich history of Denmark, from Viking days through to the Second World War resistance movement, is encapsulated in fascinating collections of artifacts housed in a series of museums in and around Copenhagen. The Prince's Palace in the city center houses the National Museum (www.natmus.dk) covering Danish history in general and a collection of international antiquities.
The attractive Dutch Renaissance style Rosenborg Castle was designed by King Christian IV and served as his home until he died in 1648. Today the Castle is an important cultural institution, acting as a public museum detailing the history of Denmark's royal family as well as acting as repository for the Crown Jewels and royal regalia, which are kept in the castle cellars and can be viewed by the public. The magnificent castle gardens are a welcome retreat from the city hustle and bustle.
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid, basking on a rock at the Langelinie harbor, is one of Denmark's biggest tourist attractions. The sculpture was put up in 1913, and over a million people visit the mermaid every year. At only about 4 feet (1.25m) high, she is very small, with naked breasts and a fish tail; she seems to be in her true element when the waves crash against her rock. The sculptor, Edvard Eriksen, modeled the mermaid's head after ballerina Ellen Price. When the ballerina wouldn't model in the nude for the body, the sculptor's wife posed for him. There are some similarities between the Little Mermaid and the 'Pania of the Reef' statue on the Napier beachfront in New Zealand, and with Vancouver's 'Girl in a Wetsuit' sculpture.