New to Denmark: Complete English Guide (2024)

Kristian Ole Rørbye


Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian is from Denmark but now lives in Thailand. As a foreigner in another country, he knows the need to get a good start, especially in finance, such as taking out loans, buying a car, and finding the best internet at a reasonable price.

This guide aims to arm you with all the vital information you'll need to navigate life if you're new to Denmark. From understanding the cultural nuances and work ethics to practicalities like banking, accommodation, and shopping - we've got you covered.

Don't worry if Danish seems like a difficult language to you, many Danes are proficient in English, and our guide is designed to help you in English every step of the way.

Key Takeaways

  • Changing your address within five days of moving is a legal requirement in Denmark.
  • You can change your address online via the 'Life in Denmark' portal using your NemID.
  • Alongside Folkeregisteret, remember to notify your employer, bank, PostNord, and other subscription services of your move.
  • When moving, update your driving license, vehicle registration, and health services with your new address.
  • Extra tasks such as updating utilities, insurance, and voting registration are essential when changing addresses.

Basic Overview of Denmark

Let's begin our journey with a quick peek into the heart of Denmark - a nation steeped in history and rich with unique cultural flavors. This Scandinavian country is renowned for its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and design. Denmark's cities beautifully blend modern architecture with timeless medieval structures, epitomizing its harmonious fusion of the past, present, and future.

Danish society thrives on the concept of 'hygge', an untranslatable word that loosely means a warm, cozy atmosphere, encouraging a sense of comfort and togetherness. The people of Denmark are known for their friendliness, openness, and high proficiency in English, making it easier for foreigners to feel at home here.

It's essential to remember that Denmark values equality, respect, and personal freedom highly. The country's strong welfare state, gender equality, and emphasis on work-life balance reflect these core values. Whether you're savoring a Danish pastry or biking through the city streets, the Danish way of life invites you to embrace these principles and enjoy every moment in this captivating country.

Living in Denmark

Living in Denmark

Living in Denmark is a unique experience marked by a strong sense of community, a well-functioning public infrastructure, and a high quality of life. Upon your arrival, the first thing to remember is to register as a new resident. This includes obtaining a CPR number - a vital key to accessing many services such as healthcare and banking.

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Housing in Denmark offers a range of accommodations to suit different needs and budgets. The choice from modern apartments in bustling cities to quaint houses in serene suburbs is yours. Don't forget to familiarize yourself with the rental terms and conditions - they can differ from those in other countries.

The Danish healthcare system is renowned for its efficiency and high standards. Once you've registered, you'll be eligible for free public healthcare. Also, public holidays in Denmark are often associated with fascinating cultural events, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the vibrant Danish traditions.

Related: What you need to know about the Yellow Card (Sygesikringskort)

Living in Denmark is not just about the practicalities; it's about embracing the Danish way of life. So whether you're taking a leisurely bike ride, enjoying a cozy 'hygge' moment at home, or exploring the country's rich history, every day in Denmark is an adventure waiting to unfold. Welcome to your new Danish life!

Understanding the Danish Education System

Stepping into the realm of education, Denmark boasts a high-quality, inclusive educational system. If you're moving with children, you'll find that the Danish education system encourages creativity, critical thinking, and social development from a young age. Schools foster a supportive environment where students feel valued and motivated.

For those of you embarking on this journey as a student, Denmark's higher education institutions are world-class, offering a broad spectrum of programs, many of which are taught in English. As an international student, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a stimulating academic culture that emphasizes learning through discussions, group work, and practical case studies.

Education in Denmark isn't limited to classrooms. It's reflected in the respect for nature, the progressive societal values, and the quest for innovation. So whether you're a parent, a student, or a lifelong learner, in Denmark, every day brings a new opportunity to learn and grow. Welcome to your academic home away from home!

Related: Primary School Education in Denmark

Navigating Danish Work Culture

Navigating Danish Work Culture

As you embark on your professional journey in Denmark, you'll discover a work culture that values balance, respect, and collaboration. Danish workplaces are often characterized by flat hierarchies, meaning everyone's opinion is valued, fostering an environment of mutual respect and teamwork.

In Denmark, work-life balance is not just a concept, but a way of life. Flexible working hours, parental leave, and a minimum of five weeks of vacation are the norm, allowing you to enjoy quality time outside work. Danish law also ensures a safe and healthy work environment, where your rights as an employee are protected.

Navigating the job market can be daunting, but numerous resources are available to help you find a suitable job. English job listings are common, and networking is often beneficial for employment opportunities.

Danish workplaces appreciate sincerity, punctuality, and a good sense of humor. So, whether you're going for your first job interview or settling into your new Danish office, bring along your skills, optimism, and your smile. Here's to your success in the vibrant Danish professional world!

Practical Information

Navigating daily life in Denmark is an adventure that's both fun and rewarding. Danish Kroner (DKK) is the local currency, and cards are widely accepted, so don't worry if you're not used to carrying cash around.

In Denmark, you'll find an efficient banking system that's easy to navigate, even as a foreigner. Opening a bank account can be done relatively quickly, especially once you have your CPR number. Danish banks offer excellent digital solutions, allowing you to manage your finances from anywhere, anytime.

Getting around in Denmark is a breeze. The public transportation system is efficient, and cycling is a popular way to commute in cities. The country is compact and well-connected, making exploring all its beautiful nooks and crannies easy.

Shopping in Denmark ranges from charming local boutiques to well-stocked supermarkets. Note that most stores include VAT in their prices, so what you see is what you pay. Denmark is also a pioneer in sustainability, so don't forget to bring your reusable shopping bags!

Daily life in Denmark is all about embracing simplicity, efficiency, and sustainability. So as you start exploring your local supermarket, commuting to work, or banking, remember to enjoy these little moments of daily Danish life. It's these everyday adventures that add up to your wonderful Danish journey.

Language Barrier

Language can be a hurdle, but it's far from a stumbling block in Denmark. While Danish is the official language, you'll find that a vast majority of Danes are fluent in English, especially in urban areas and among younger generations. This means that despite being in a new country, you'll have no trouble understanding yourself in day-to-day interactions.

Nevertheless, learning a few Danish phrases can be a delightful and enriching experience. It helps you connect more deeply with the local culture and shows your effort and respect towards your new community. Various language schools are offering Danish courses, often at no or low cost, and plenty of online resources available too.

Making mistakes while learning a new language is perfectly okay. Danes are usually patient and helpful, and appreciate your efforts to learn Danish. So go ahead, try saying "Hej" (Hi) or "Tak" (Thank you) next time, and experience the joy of speaking Danish in Denmark!

Related: Our recommended books to learn Danish

Socializing and Making Connections

Socializing and Making Connections in Denmark

Socializing and making connections in your new home can be an exhilarating part of the expat experience. The Danes are known for their friendliness and openness, making it relatively easy to build a social circle here. A great way to meet new people is through hobbies, sports clubs, or volunteering opportunities.

Understanding Danish social etiquette can be helpful. Danes appreciate honesty, punctuality, and directness in communication. Don't be surprised if your Danish friends invite you to their homes instead of going out, as home gatherings are an integral part of Danish social culture, reflecting the cozy concept of 'hygge'.

Keep in mind that forging deep friendships may take some time. Initially, Danes may seem reserved, but once you get to know them, you'll find warm, loyal, and genuine friends.

Overcoming Culture Shock

Adjusting to a new culture can bring about a whirlwind of emotions, and it's perfectly natural to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. Culture shock is a common experience, but guess what? You're not alone. We all go through it, and it's a normal part of adapting to a new environment.

Denmark offers a unique blend of traditions and modern lifestyle, and it might take a little while to get the hang of things like the Danish sense of humor, the love for cycling, or even the concept of 'hygge.' If you find yourself overwhelmed, taking a step back and breathing is okay.

Every expat in Denmark has walked your path, and many have found great happiness and fulfillment here. So, when you're feeling out of sorts, give yourself the grace to acclimatize. Reaching out to new friends, joining expat communities, or simply taking a quiet stroll through one of Denmark's beautiful parks can offer solace and a fresh perspective.


How hard is it for an American to move to Denmark?

Moving to Denmark from the U.S. involves several steps, such as obtaining the appropriate visa, registering for a CPR number, and possibly meeting specific work or study requirements. It's manageable with good planning.

Is it easy to move to Denmark?

The ease of moving to Denmark varies depending on your circumstances, like employment and nationality. However, the country has a well-organized system for expats and students, making the process generally straightforward.

Can you move to Denmark without a job?

It's possible but challenging. Most visas require a job offer or enrollment in a study program. However, some specific visas or permits may allow you to search for a job within Denmark after arrival.

Is Denmark friendly to foreigners?

Yes, Denmark is generally friendly to foreigners. The country has a high proficiency in English and a welcoming culture, making it easier for non-Danes to integrate and feel at home.

Additional Resources

Kristian Ole Rørbye

ABOUT Kristian Ole Rørbye

Kristian is from Denmark but now lives in Thailand. As a foreigner in another country, he knows the need to get a good start, especially in finance, such as taking out loans, buying a car, and finding the best internet at a reasonable price.

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