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Denmark travel guide

About Denmark

Consistently ranked in the top three of the world's happiest nations, Denmark is a prosperous country with strong social benefits and low income inequality ratings.

Copenhagen, the capital, is a cool, cosmopolitan city whose debonair inhabitants foster an affable atmosphere more typical of a small town than capital city. Synonymous with bold architecture and cutting-edge design, Copenhagen is also a culinary pioneer. The city's cobbled streets and windswept squares harbour some of the best restaurants in the world, most notably Noma, the brilliant brainchild of Rene Redzepi.

The pedestrianised city centre of Copenhagen is a breeze to navigate – visitors can feel the pulse of the city in the Meatpacking District, rummage around the antique shops in the multicultural Nørrebro neighbourhood, embrace communal living in Freetown Christiania, and of course there is Nyhavn, best known for its quaint harbour, colourful merchants' houses and throbbing nightlife.

But there's more to Denmark than its cool capital. Zealand, the island on which Copenhagen sits, is also home to Roskilde – once the Viking capital of Denmark. Along with a soaring UNESCO-listed cathedral, there's a museum housing some of the best-preserved Viking ships ever uncovered and a smattering of pretty cafés, shops and galleries. Since 1971, the city also hosts the annual Roskilde Festival with all proceeds going directly to humanitarian and cultural causes.

Odense on the island of Funen is also a worthy diversion. The birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen (his yellow house on a cobbled street in the centre of Odense is now a poet museum), Odense is a cultural gem where you don’t have to wrestle with throngs of tourists.

To the north, the Jutland west coast stretches for more than 500km (311 miles) from the marshlands of South Jutland to drifting sand dunes and wide sandy beaches of North Jutland. Skagen, Denmark's northernmost town on the east coast of the Skagen Odde peninsula in the far north of Jutland, is a favourite holiday destination among Danish families who come to bask on golden beaches and watch scintillating Scandinavian sunsets. Life is blissful here, it is little wonder that Denmark is one of the world’s happiest countries.

Key facts

Area:

43,098 sq km (16,640 sq miles).

Population:

5,773,664 (estimate 2019).

Population density:

134 per sq km.

Capital:

Copenhagen.

Government:

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state:

Queen Margrethe II since 1972.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen since June 2019.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Denmark on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Denmark.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

If you test positive for COVID-19 in Denmark

  • you should immediately self-isolate and follow the Danish authorities guidance.
  • see the Coronasmitte website for more details.

Healthcare in Denmark

The Danish Authorities’ Coronavirus website has all the latest information in English on Coronavirus in Denmark.

For contact details of English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Denmark

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Crime levels are generally low, but pickpockets and bag-snatchers operate in crowded areas mainly around Copenhagen.

Be aware that thieves can use a variety of methods to distract you, particularly when getting on and off from crowded public transport. Thieves are also known to operate opportunistically around hotel lobby areas and in cafes and restaurants.

Keep your personal belongings, including passports and money secure. You should also keep an eye on luggage, including in the overhead baggage compartment when travelling on trains to and from the airport.

This kind of crime is more common at the central station, Nørreport Station and on the main shopping street called Strøget and other areas popular with tourists such as Christiania, Nyhavn and Kongens Nytorv. Pickpockets are also known to operate inside Kastrup airport.

You should take extra care in Christiania and Nørrebro, particularly late at night. There have been some instances of gang violence in these areas.

Local travel

Public transport is generally of a very high standard. You can buy bus, train and metro tickets at train station kiosks and some supermarkets. Downloading the DOT app lets you buy tickets online and get up-to-date travel information.

For intercity travel in Denmark, a seat reservation is required. All seat reservations are free at dsb.dk or ticket machines at stations.

There are outlets across many Danish cities that hire out quality bicycles for a reasonable fee.

Bicycles are widely used in Denmark and cycle lanes are commonplace. Many accidents occur when pedestrians don’t give the right of way to bicycles. Guides on cycling in Denmark have been published in English on the websites of Visit Copenhagen and Cyklistforbundet (Danish Cyclists’ Federation).

Electric scooters are available as a means of transport in and around Copenhagen and other locations in Denmark. Electric scooters are subject to road traffic rules; hiring and using these scooters under the influence of alcohol could result in a drink driver offence and a fine.

Ferries are available to transport you to Denmark’s many islands.

Road travel

If you are planning to drive in Denmark, see information on Driving Abroad.

Licences and documents

You can drive in Denmark with a UK driving licence.

If you’re living in Denmark, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.

Driving a British car abroad

You may need a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. From 28 September 2021 UK stickers have replaced GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK.

Driving standards

Road conditions in Denmark are good and driving standards are fairly high. In 2019 there were 199 road deaths in Denmark (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 3.40 road deaths per 100,000 of the population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.

Driving regulations

Always wear seatbelts.

You must drive with dipped headlights at all times and they should be masked with special European opaque material available from most garages in the UK and Ireland. It is now law in Denmark to indicate before changing lanes on a motorway. You should carry a warning triangle in case of breakdowns.

Sanctions for speeding have become tougher. Those caught driving 100km/h in a 50km/h zone or past road works with a 50km/h restriction may immediately lose their licence.

You must give due consideration to the many cyclists present in Danish cities. Cyclists often have the right of way. It is particularly important that you check cycle lanes before turning right. See the European Commission, AA and RAC guides on driving in Denmark.

Employment

You should check carefully whether any offers of employment for asphalting or seasonal work are genuine, as there have been examples of people being misled Information on working in Denmark is available at newtodenmark.dk.

Terrorist attacks in Denmark can’t be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners.

The authorities in Denmark have successfully disrupted a number of planned attacks and made a number of arrests.

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Don’t get involved with drugs of any kind. Although Denmark is generally a liberal society, drug use is illegal and laws are enforced. You will not be treated more leniently than residents. Drug dealers can receive heavy sentences. Anyone found in possession of illegal drugs deemed to be for personal consumption will often receive a police fine or a short prison sentence.

As of 1 August 2018, it’s illegal in Denmark to wear in a public place any clothing which conceals the face. There are exemptions allowed in Danish law, when concealing your face serves a ‘worthy purpose’, e.g. for health reasons. Failure to comply with this law is punishable by a fine of DKK1000 (around €135). The fine can increase for repeat offenders. The law applies to both residents and visitors.

Homosexuality is legal and Danish law allows same sex marriages.

Whale meat is available in The Faroe Islands and Greenland but importing it into the UK/EU is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Any importation of whale meat to the UK/EU will result in seizure of the goods, possibly a fine of up to £5,000 and a custodial sentence.

Taking food and drink into the EU

You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. There are some exceptions for medical reasons, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website.

This page has information on travelling to Denmark.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Denmark set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Denmark’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate

All travellers

Face masks at Danish airports

Passengers are not required to wear face masks. However, passengers must be aware that airlines may require passengers to wear masks on board.

Please contact your airline for further information.

COVID-19 entry restrictions

There are no COVID-19 related requirements regarding test or self-isolation when entering Denmark.

Entry to the Faroe Islands and Greenland

Travel to the Faroe Islands

There are no COVID-19 related requirements regarding test or self-isolation to enter the Faroe Islands. You can keep up to date at Visit Faroe Islands travel advice.

Travel to Greenland

There are no COVID-19 related requirements regarding test or self-isolation to enter Greenland. You can keep up to date at Visit Greenland’s travel advice.

If you’re transiting through Denmark

If you transit through Denmark, there is no requirement to be tested but you should ensure you meet the entry requirements for your final destination.

If you are transiting to Faroe Islands

You may transit Denmark to travel to Faroe Islands.

If you are transiting Denmark to Greenland

You may transit Denmark to travel to Greenland.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

If you are visiting Denmark, check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

If you are a resident in Denmark, you must travel with relevant documents - a valid passport, health insurance card, residence permit, residence card, EU registration certificate or personal identification document with proof of address.

Passport validity

If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.

Your passport must be:

  • Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.

Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

Visas

You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.

If you are travelling to Denmark and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.

To stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Danish government’s entry requirements. Check with the Danish Authorities what type of visa, if any, you will need.

If you are travelling to Denmark for work, read the guidance on visas and permits.

If you stay in Denmark with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Visas for Greenland and Faroe Islands

Greenland and the Faroe Islands are not members of the European Union. You don’t need a visa to enter for tourism, but you should get a work and residence permit before entry if you intend to live and work there.

Border controls

The Danish authorities have border controls at the land border with Germany. There are also border controls for travellers from Rønne, Helsingør, Frederikshavn, Grenaa and those using the Øresund Bridge, including all train traffic from Sweden.

If you’re arriving in Denmark using the land border, or by rail, road, or ferry you should carry your passport with you. Allow additional time for crossing the border, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Check with local media, your carrier, ferry operator or Danish State Railways (DSB) for more information.

ID for travel from Denmark to Sweden

If you’re travelling from Denmark to Sweden various forms of ID are accepted. These must include a photograph, the holder’s full name, social security number or date of birth, holders signature, a stated validity and information on the issuing authority. Children under 18 accompanied by an adult with the appropriate ID are not required to carry ID themselves.

Passport stamping

Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Denmark as a visitor. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.

You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.

You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

If you are resident in Denmark, read our Living in Denmark guide for passport stamping information.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

If you have lost your passport UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Denmark. Your ETD must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Healthcare

You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Danish nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

UK prescriptions are not recognised in Denmark. If you need medication while travelling you should speak to a local pharmacist, who will be able to tell you if you need a prescription from a local GP. These are found in all cities and major towns, and are called ‘Apotek’ in Danish. They can often be identified by an illuminated green cross.

A list of English-speaking doctors in Denmark is available here.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

If you’re living in Denmark, you can also find more information on healthcare for residents in our Living In Denmark guide.

If you are legally a resident in Denmark, you will be entitled to treatment on the same basis as Danish insured citizens.

When you register with your local civil registration office (Folkeregistret) you will receive a national health insurance card (Sygesikringsbevis), which gives you access to free medical treatment.

Faroe Islands

As non EEA members, the EHIC scheme is not directly applicable for use in the Faroe Islands. However, if you travel to the Faroe Islands, you should still take your EHIC with you. The UK has reciprocal agreements with the Faroe Islands under which British nationals can receive medical treatment equivalent to that which an EHIC would offer. You’ll need to provide proof of identity, including proof of nationality. Like the EHIC, this arrangement isn’t a substitute for travel insurance.

The currency in Denmark is the Danish Krone, not the Euro.

Large numbers of British nationals travel successfully and safely in and around the Arctic each year. The Arctic is, however, a vast region, comprising the northerly areas of Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Alaska (United States). In addition to reading the specific travel advice for each of these countries, prospective visitors to the Arctic should also consider carefully the potential remoteness of certain destinations from search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities. Independent travellers are particularly advised to develop contingency arrangements for emergency back-up.

The most popular way of visiting the Arctic is by ship. As some areas of the Arctic -specifically the more northerly and remote regions - can be uncharted and ice-covered, you should check the previous operational experience of cruise and other operators offering travel in the region. You should also consider the on-board medical facilities of cruise ships and talk to cruise operators as appropriate, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

The eight Arctic States take their international search and rescue obligations very seriously, and have recently signed a binding agreement on search and rescue co-operation in the Arctic. However, in the highest latitude regions of the Arctic, cruise ships may be operating in relative isolation from other vessels and/or inhabited areas. You should be aware that in these regions, search and rescue response will often need to be despatched from many hundreds of miles away, and assistance to stranded vessels may take several days to arrive, particularly in bad weather. Search and rescue assets are also likely to offer only basic transport and basic medical care, and are unlikely to be capable of advanced life-support. Responsible cruise operators should happily provide additional information relevant to the circumstances of the cruise they are offering, and address any concerns you may have.

Consular assistance and support to British nationals in the Arctic will be affected by the capacity of national and local authorities. You should make sure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment or potential repatriation.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry), or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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