Denmark travel guide
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.
43,098 sq km (16,640 sq miles).
5,773,664 (estimate 2019).
134 per sq km.
Queen Margrethe II since 1972.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen since June 2019.
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.
You must wear a face mask at the airport on arrival and before departure. Children under 6 years of age are exempt from this requirement. A factory-made CE-marked disposable face mask is recommended.
Everyone should comply with the measures put in place in Denmark to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK. You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You can find a local test centre in Denmark. You do not need an appointment for a rapid antigen test. For PCR tests, you can make an appointment but some centres are now drop in. You must create an account at Covidresults.dk before being tested and you will receive a certificate with the test result.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. 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.
If you test positive for COVID-19 in Demark, you should immediately self-isolate. The Danish authorities will contact you within 24 hours and help you trace your close contacts. You can also call the Danish authorities (Coronaopsporing) yourself on +45 32 32 05 11. See the Coronasmitte website for more details.
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
Travel in Denmark
The Danish Government regularly monitors the risks of COVID-19, and adjusts measures in line with the levels of infection to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Full details can be found on the Coronavirus in Denmark website.
Healthcare in Denmark
The Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) has opened a Coronavirus hotline on +45 70 20 02 33, operators speak English and Danish. There is also a Coronavirus website with all the latest information in English.
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
COVID-19 Vaccines if you live in Denmark
We will update this page when the Danish government announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Danish national vaccination programme started in December 2020 and uses the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. AstraZeneca and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) may also be available. British nationals resident in Denmark are eligible for the vaccine. The Danish authorities have issued guidance (in English) on how to get a vaccine in Denmark. Vaccination is voluntary and free of charge.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
If you’re a British national living in Denmark, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
If you receive your COVID-19 vaccination in Denmark, you can get an EU Digital COVID Certificate from the national authorities. The Certificate proves that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from COVID-19. It will help facilitate your travel within the EU and, in some countries, you can use it to demonstrate your COVID-19 status to businesses and other organisations. For further information visit the European Commission’s EU Digital COVID Certificate page.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
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.
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 including the latest coronavirus guidance for public transport. You should check before travelling.
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.
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 GB sticker or a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. From 28 September UK stickers will replace GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK before, on or after 28 September 2021.
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.
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.
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 reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Denmark set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact their embassy, high commission or consulate. You may also check with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are travelling to Denmark for work, read the guidance on visas and permits as the rules have changed since 1 January 2021.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Denmark is assessed by risk level of the particular country you are travelling from. This is categorised by green, yellow, orange and red ratings. Danish authorities will review the risk level weekly.
The whole of the UK has an orange rating. See below for full requirements.
If you are planning a trip to Denmark check the latest travel rules before you travel. You should check with your airline for any additional testing requirements.
If you are a resident of Denmark you can enter without a worthy purpose and without presenting a negative COVID-19 test. If you are a resident but not fully vaccinated, testing on arrival and self-isolation rules apply.
Entry to Denmark – not fully vaccinated
If you are resident in the UK, you will be able to enter Denmark if you have a worthy purpose. You can see the list of worthy purposes on the Danish coronavirus website. You will need to provide evidence of your worthy purpose.
The Danish authorities require UK travellers to present proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entry or an antigen test (maximum 48 hours old by time of entry).
You will also need:
- To take a test on arrival and self-isolate for 10 days
- If you arrive by air, you must obtain a test at the airport upon arrival
- If you enter Denmark via a sea or land border, you must take a rapid test (antigen test) or PCR test no later than 24 hours after your time of entry
- There is an option to test to release after 4 days with a PCR test
- There are some exemptions including those delivering goods and services in /out of Denmark.
Entry to Denmark - fully vaccinated
Fully vaccinated UK residents or those previously infected with COVID-19 can enter Denmark for all purposes, without the need to test or self-isolate.
- Two weeks must have passed since your second dose and the vaccine must be one approved by the European Medicines Agency.
- You must present proof that you have been fully vaccinated or previously infected.
Entry to Denmark – requirements for children
Children and young people under the age of 18 who enter Denmark together with a parent who is fully vaccinated are exempt from the requirement to have a worthy purpose or to self-isolate upon entry if the parent is exempt.
However, children and young people aged 16 or above who are resident in the UK and not fully vaccinated are still required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entry, irrespective of whether they are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or not.
UK Nationals resident in Denmark should 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.
You can check with the Danish authorities on their helpline (+45 7020 6044) for advice on the conditions of entry for foreign nationals.
For details of exemptions for eligible travellers, see the Danish authorities’ coronavirus website.
You can also keep up to date at the Danish coronavirus website.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
Denmark will accept evidence on the NHS app of vaccination record or proof of COVID-19 recovery. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.
Face masks at Danish airports
It is compulsory to wear a face mask on flights from Denmark. Passengers are responsible for providing their own face masks. It is compulsory to wear a mask throughout terminals in Danish airports. You should wear a medical mask from the moment you enter the terminals, on board the plane, and until you leave again upon arrival. Danish health authorities recommend changing the mask every 3 to 4 hours.
Travel to the Faroe Islands
All UK resident travellers to the Faroe Islands must have a worthy purpose to enter in line with the Danish government’s requirements.
- Have a negative COVID-19 test at least 48 hours before departure to the Faroe Islands
- Take a test two days after arrival to the Faroe Islands
- Avoid large crowds and be extra careful until the result of your second day test is available
- If you test positive for COVID-19, or have been in direct contact with an infected person, you are required to isolate for at least 10 days to avoid infecting others.
Details of test centres and opening hours are available online.
You should check the latest guidance on entry requirements for travel to the Faroe Islands before departure.
Travel to Greenland
You can only enter Greenland, if you are fully vaccinated or have previously been infected with COVID-19. Residents and children 17 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
There may currently be limited flight capacity.
All travellers must have a negative PCR test from a Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden), which must be a maximum of 72 hours old at check in. You also need to complete a Personal Location form before departing for Greenland.
If you are fully vaccinated or have been previously infected with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine on arrival.
Be aware that restrictions on entry to Greenland can be reinstated at any time depending on the national and global spread of COVID-19.
Regular entry requirements
The Danish authorities have border controls at the land border with Germany. Border controls are also in place for travellers from Rønne, Helsingør, Frederikshavn, Grenaa and those using the Øresund Bridge, including all train traffic from Sweden. These checks will be in place for an unspecified period of time.
If you’re travelling using the land border, or by rail, road, or ferry you should make sure you have your passport with you. Allow additional time, be vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities. Check with local media, your carrier, ferry operator or Danish State Railways (DSB) for more information.
When crossing from Denmark to Sweden various forms of ID are accepted, but 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.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands aren’t 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.
The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- 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 Embassy what type of visa, if any, you will need
- if you stay in Denmark with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit
Any time you spent in Denmark or other Schengen countries before 1 January 2021 does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
At Danish border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
There are separate requirements for those who are resident in Denmark. If you are resident in Denmark, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. For further information on these requirements, see our Living in Denmark guide.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.
Make sure your passport is:
- valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Denmark, or any other Schengen country
- less than 10 years old
The 3 months you need when leaving a country must be within 10 years of the passport issue date.
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
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.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Denmark on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Denmark.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.