The Scandinavian region saw its first settlers moving in as early as 11,000 BC, when the last ice-age ended and the ices retreated revealing the land. It was a land where agriculture and fishing were mainly practiced and, as the ages passed by, the practice of metallurgy established more modern cultures.
The strategic location of Denmark, perfectly in between Norway, Sweden and Germany, with wide access to the Baltic Sea, made the country relevant since its origins for political and economical matters. The country was split in several tribes: the Angles, the Jutes, the Saxons and the Dani. The harsh Scandinavian conditions brought the Viking to raid further out their regions. When settlers began to follow the raiders, large areas outside of Denmark were taken in the Danelaw in England, Normandy in Northern France, Nederlands and towns in Ireland. In Denmark we assist to a consolidation of power with a first recognized ruler in 936: Gorm the Old, and his son Harald Bluetooth. Denmark’s peak of power in Scandinavia was reached with the Kalmar Union, which saw a united personal kingdom under Queen Margrethe in 1397, governed from Copenhagen. Most of the subsequent history saw severe clashes with Sweden, which rose to prominence and was challenging Denmark’s dominion in the Region. Torstenson War (1643-1645), Second Northern War (1655-1660), Scanian Wars (1675-1679) and Great Northern War (1700-1721) saw waves of fights that ultimately saw the loss of the Skåne region to the Swedes and the end of the hegemony over the Baltic Sea and the stabilization of a new order. Also dude to the consequence of this, Denmark turned outwards: King Christian IV promoted the establishment of overseas colonies (starting with Tranquebar, India in 1620) to foster trade through the formation of the Danish East India Company (1616) and Danish Africa Company (1659).
A period of modernization of the agriculture took place in the 18th century, promoting higher quality output and land reforms. Together with an increased demand of Danish products, Danish merchants benefited from these favorable conditions, supporting the formation of colonies. During the second half of the 19th century, this developed trade system supplied the resources to an industrializing Denmark, whose scarcity of natural resources was a limiting factor.
During WWII, Nazi Germany occupied the country from 1940 till 1945. Together with the Soviet occupation of Bornholm, Denmark abandoned its neutrality policy, becoming a founding member of NATO in 1949.
In 1973 Denmark joined the European Union, yet it did not join the Euro.
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, with 777,218 inhabitants, it forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen (1,627,705 inhabitants) and the Copenhagen metropolitan area (2,057,737 inhabitants). The city is located on the Eastern side of the island Zealand, and expands on the small island of Amager. It is separated from Malmø via the Øresund strait, though daily connections exist via the Øresund bridge. Copenhagen is capital of Denmark since the 15th century, thus its charm and beauty stems from centuries of public development projects, visible through different styles inspiring different districts. After World War II, Copenhagen developed around the Finger plan, five urban railways around which businesses and residential areas developed. Being the Danish cultural and business center for centuries, Copenhagen is a city that provides entertainment, culture, education, a place where to express yourself or begin / conduct your business, in a human sized city. With its bike lane you can easily roam and cross the city from one side to another, reaching countless initiatives and gathering hot spots such as Kødbyen or Nørrebro. Tivoli Gardens is Europe’s second oldest amusement park (1843), the place where to begin exploring the many promenades and parks within the city,
There is not a real old town as two devastating fires destroyed much of the oldest buildings, which it gave impulse to the reconstruction with different styles and architectures.
Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark, founded as a fortified Viking settlement in the 8th century. It developed then as a market town and, as the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest in the country by the 20th century.
Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark. There has been human settlement in the Odense area for over 4,000 years, although it was not mentioned in writing until 988, and by 1070. The University of Southern Denmark was established in 1966 and has the Danish Robotic district located here. Odense is the commercial hub of Funen.
Aalborg is the fourth biggest Danish city. Its position at the narrowest point on the Limfjord made it an important harbour during the Middle Ages, and later a large industrial centre. A major exporter of grain, cement, and spirits, Odense has a thriving business that have become global producers of wind turbine rotors, marine boilers and cement.. With its theatres, symphony orchestra, opera company, performance venues, and museums such as Aalborg Historical Museum and the Aalborg Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg is an important cultural hub.
Despite Denmark is nowadays a relatively small sized country, it produced a relevant number of entrepreneurs, artists and scientists that contributed to Europe’s and world’s progress.
An example of popular big corporations are LEGO or Carlsberg, yet there are other big companies which are global leaders such as MAERSK, Novo Nordisk, ISS, Danske Bank, Arla Foods, Vestas and Danfos. Their presence in Denmark contributes also to support the Tech Startup ecosystem which, despite rather recent, began producing some successful Unicorns. Few examples are Skype (Janus Friis is the Danish co-founder), Zendesk and … . Despite these recent successes, big Danish entrepreneurs that bring pride to the Danes are Carl Jacobsen (Carlsberg), Moller Maersk (MAERSK) and Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen (LEGO).
Denmark is not as prominent in music as Sweden, though it has few international artists are Lucas Graham, Aqua or Martin Jensen. More prominent is the contribution with actors such as Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones), Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) and Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman).
Other important names are writer H.C.Andersen, scientist Niels Bohr, Formula 1 pilot racer Frederik Rasmussen, Sydney Opera House Jørn Utzon and designer Arne Jacobsen.
As many other Scandinavian major cities, to find a place to live in can be difficult. Copenhagen is one of the most expensive countries in the world, thus it can be challenging to find a close to the center location at an affordable price. With a continuous . The best is to start searching in advance.
It can be that if you move for work, the organization has an accommodation available. The best way is to ask to your personal network. If you are alone, there are rooms available around the city which are rented out to students or single workers. If you are coming with your family, it may be more comfortable for them to arrive after you have found suitable accommodation.
Useful accommodation links:
Facebook groups is the go-to tool for single individuals moving to Denmark, where you can post your needs and reach out to people leaving out rooms or check posts from landlords and then private message them.
The biggest English speaking groups in Stockholm are:
Copenhagen's mobility is excellent thanks to its planning. Bicycle is the go-to Danish choice, though if you do not fancy to roam around the city in December, do not worry. S-tog, buses, (expanding) metro lines and Regional Trains connect frequently the inner city with its urban area. Thanks to the Øresundstog crossing the bridge frequently, some chose to live in Malmø due to cheaper prices for housing and living, though commute time and house shortage could be a trouble to some. It is recommended not to be too obsessed with living in the "city" as this will increase dramatically your chances of finding a nice and affordable apartment.
Be aware of scammers, despite the Facebook community is quite wary of them and are quick at signaling them, there are still some risks to come across them. It's quite easy to spot them and avoid troubles, just following these tips:
The monetary unit in Denmark is the Danish krone (plural “kronor”) and equals 100 öre. Bank notes are printed in values of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kronor, coins 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 kronor.
Despite being a part of the EU, Denmark rejected the Euro due to a referendum held in 2000. However it joined ERM II mechanism (European Exchange Rate Mechanism), a mechanism introduced in 1979 to reduce variability in European currencies (with the aim to join the Euro). Thus, the Danish Krone’s exchange rate to Euro is tied within a range of 2,25% around 1€ = 7,46 DKK.
It’s still quite common to see price labels that include öre (for example, 7,95 DKK) but because the öre part is worth so little, it’s always ignored when it actually comes to paying the bill.
Mobile Pay enables private individuals to quickly, simply and securely send money to other users in real time by connecting mobile phone numbers to bank accounts. A transfer is instant and free of charge. To use the service, one needs a smartphone, the safety solution mobile NemID, a Danish bank account and the Mobile Pay app. Only works in DKK. A user only needs someone else phone number to transfer money.
Denmark widely use . Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; many shops, museums and restaurants now only accept plastic or mobile payments
Major credit cards (some restriction may apply to American Express) are widely accepted throughout Denmark at banks, hotels, stores, restaurants, taxis, car rental companies, and for air, ship and rail tickets.
Cycling is iconic in Copenhagen due to its bike lanes all over the city. People are cycling every day and everywhere, even if the weather is not helping at all you will see people on the streets riding their bicycles, because as you will hear often in the Nordics "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing".
Public transportation is essential in Copenhagen's organization, as the city grew around its 5 major S-tog.
Copenhagen has an extensive network of pendeltog (S-tog), metro and buses. Currently the metro line is being expanded and in the upcoming year there will be further addition to the service. All the lines are run by DSB, though more information for the Metro can be found at DOT.
In Odense, public buses are run by Fynbus, though there are a pink and green mini-buses lines touring the city center.
It is good to know that the cheapest way to purchase public transport tickets in Denmark is to use Rejsekort, a check-in / check-out ticket system which allows you to purchase public transport rides at a more convenient fare than from apps or ticketing machines. The card is accepted all over Denmark.
If travelling between cities by railway (DSB), there are Orange tickets which allow you to purchase train tickets at more than half the price. More information at Orange Ticket section of DSB website.
Moving to Denmark requires you to register for a CPR number, a Health Insurance Card and a Tax Card. Depending whether you are Nordic, EU, EEA, Swiss, or extra-EU, different rules apply on how you access them, as below shown.
Citizens from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden may enter Denmark without any restriction to reside, study or work. You do neither need a residence permit nor a registration certificate. But you must register your address the Civil Registration System (Danish: Folkeregister) and get a Civil Registration number (CPR-number), health insurance card and a tax card.
All the authorities you typically need to contact are represented at International Citizen Service. So in most cases, you'll only need to visit an ICS office in Copenhagen, Aarhus Odense or Aalborg to take care of paperwork and find answers to your questions. Otherwise, you have to contact the individual authorities.
A registration certificate is your documentation that you are entitled to live and work in Denmark. You must apply for a registration certificate within 3 months from your arrival to Denmark, if you are planning to stay in Denmark for more than 3 months and you either:
You can start working/studying in Denmark during the application period.
It is recommended that you apply for the EU residence certificate as soon as you come to Denmark.
If you are a jobseeker, you are entitled to stay in Denmark for up to six months without applying for a registration certificate. After the 6 months period, you can apply for a registration certificate based on possessing sufficient funds and stay in Denmark as a job seeker, as long as you can prove that you are still looking for work and have a genuine chance of being hired.
To apply for a registration certificate, you should make a personal appearance at International Citizen Service or the State Administration. You need:
Other documents you need to apply for a registration certificate vary depending on the purpose/basis of your stay. Please check latest information at the State Administration's website.
Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens need to obtain a residence and work permit before arriving in Denmark.
Before you arrive in Denmark, you need to apply for a residence and work permit for your stay. There are a number of schemes such as "The Positive List", "The Pay Limit scheme", Researchers and guest researchers", "The Start-up Denmark". You can find more information about different schemes and rules on the website Newtodenmark.dk.
Be aware that the rules will also apply when conducting voluntary or unpaid work. The application process for a residence and work permit in Denmark is usually 1-3 months.
Applications for work and residence permits must typically be submitted to a Danish diplomatic mission, e.g. an embassy or consulate general in your home country. The application form and guidelines may be found www.newtodenmark.dk. If you do not submit your application in person, you must appear in person to have your biometric features (facial image and fingerprints) recorded no later than 14 days from the day you submitted your application. If your application is submitted in a Norwegian diplomatic mission with which Denmark has a representation agreement, you must instead submit your facial photos in person no later than 14 days from the submission of the application.
If you already legally reside in Denmark, you can submit your application for a residence and work permit on newtodenmark.dk, at a Danish police station or in the Citizen Centre of the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration.
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant - 16.08 €
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course - 80.42 €
McMeal at McDonalds - 10.5 €
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) - 6.03 €
Cappuccino (regular) - 4.69 €
Lunch menu - 10,55 €
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) - 3.22 €
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) - 53.62 €
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) - 5.36 €
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) - 2.08 €
Gasoline (1 liter) - 1.35 €
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment - 160.32 €
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) - 31.99 €
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult - 31.50 €
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) - 28.15 €
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat - 13.40 €
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre - 1,303.59 €
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre - 940.33 €
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre - 2,299.45 €
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre - 1654.82 €
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre - 5,995.21 €
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre - 3,799.76 €
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) - 2,884.01 €
Danish is the official language of Denmark, alongside to Greenlandic and Faroese (respectively in Greenland and Faroe Islands). Nearly the entire population of Denmark speak Danish. German is recognized as a minority language in the Region of Southern Denmark. The Danish language is a North Germanic language descendent of Old Norse, spoke during the Viking Era. Both Danish and Swedish are descendants of the East Norse Dialectal group, while Middle Norwegian (before Danish influence Norwegian Bokmål) belongs to West Norse Dialectal group (together with Icelandic and Faroese). It is intelligible with Norwegian and Swedish, though spoken Danish is not as understandable from Swedish and Norwegian speakers. Danish is a difficult language to acquire due to its large vowel inventory, which involves laryngeal phonation types hard to acquire in short time.
Denmark shares many values with its Scandinavian neighbors. Flat hierarchy, flexible working hours, work-life balance, team work, responsibility and proactivity are few of the main values you will encounter in a Danish workplace. For some, this is quite a change when moving to Denmark and this can lead to misunderstandings and misplaced expectations. Do not fear, though. Be open talk about it.
Some of the most common work-search platforms:
More can be found here.
Denmark has a highly educated population and a highly skilled workforce. Schools and Universities are tuition free as everyone has to have the opportunity to educate themselves. By the age of 3, 98% of children are attending public kindergarten.
Despite classical teachings of letters and numbers, there is an overall focus on teaching problem-solving and social skills (e.g. working in teams).
Denmark has eight Universities, nine arts and performance institutions (including the Royal Academy of Fine Arts), and eight University colleges that award professional bachelor degrees in areas like nursing.
Though, in Denmark, education never ends. Between the age of 25 to 64, people enroll themselves in upgrading courses so to keep their skillset sharp. Overall, Denmark's public and private spending in the development of new qualifications is one of the highest in Europe.
According to the Human Capital Report 2017, Denmark ranks 5th in the "Global Human Capital Report" of the World Economic Forum. Overall the Nordic countries have an outstanding focus on developing people's skills, the attention in developing their human capital.
Swedish policy provides support for parents of children of all ages. Generous paid parental leave, reduced working hours for parents with young children are followed-up with the access to regulated, subsidized day care facilities that stay open from 6:30 in the morning until 6:30 at night.
Before a baby is born, expectant mothers in Sweden get prenatal care through free or subsidised courses that help them prepare for the delivery.
In Denmark, parents are entitled to 365 days of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted.
Denmark is home to latte moms, with an increasing number of latte dads.
Aside from paid leave, the government provides an additional monthly child allowance (barnbidrag) until the child reaches the age of 18.
School for children aged 6 to 19 (preschool class through upper secondary school) is free of charge. The free education is also for students with EU citizenship.
Healthcare is free in Denmark, while dental care is free until you are 18.
Parents pushing infants and toddlers in prams and pushchairs can ride for free on public buses, and can board using the large doors in the middle of the bus.
Sweden has a strong literary culture geared towards children. There are child-specific libraries around the country.
Most Danish companies are flexible regarding parental duties, and employees still get most of their pay when they have to stay home with sick children or dependents. (Børneomsorgsdag - parents can take off days to spend with their child)
The Danes like to go partying and hangout with friends the weekend. They enjoy very much going to bars and pubs as well as explore cultural events such as theaters, go to movies. Danes are one of the most travelling people in the world and they enjoy weekend escapes around the Region or Europe. Danes love taking care of themselves and this can is reflected also by their main transportation vehicle: the bike.
Copenhagen is rising in the Nordic tech ecosystem scenery, joining the club of Scandinavian tech ecosystems. attracts the most innovative people from all corners of the world. Denmark’s developed economy, skilled workers, culture and developed infrastructure allowed the birth of a tech startup ecosystem around five years ago.
The Danish government was receptive to the demands of Danish tech entrepreneurs which began populating the scene. Being one of the most receptive and easiest countries where to do business in the world, Denmark quickly rose up in the rankings of international tech ecosystems. The presence of numerous Universities and Academies within the major cities of Denmark, and the connection between business and Academic world, fosters a virtuous cycle that brought the establishment of few districts.
With 6 million people, startup investment per capital is 2x higher in Denmark versus the European average. Copenhagen is the second largest Tech Hub by number of venture rounds since 2012, and in Denmark 2018 is on track to match / surpass 2015 (our previous record). Denmark is strong in Saas, Gaming, Biotech, Marketing, Food Tech, Bio Tech and Pharmaceutical. Denmark ranks 3rd by ease of doing business and it highlights the existence of good infrastructure and a great base on which a healthy tech ecosystem is growing by the day.
Between the several popular Unicorns from Denmark, an interesting success story is Unity Technologies. Founded by David Helgason, Unity is a platform for interactive 3D with a particular focus on games and a development tool associated with it. It allows to produce games and game like content which can be deployed anywhere across mobile, TV, console, VR, AR and online. Over 15 years Two guys developing two different game technologies, they decided to join forces and merge. David joined as third developer and spent a couple of years in the basement. And instead of selling it to few big clients, to democratize it. The beginning was hard, made out of struggles and small loans made from friends and family. The motivation to go on was mostly placed by the beauty of what they were building. Through this passion and trying to live cheaply in Copenhagen, they slowly built their product also thanks to those first people that bought into the platform early on: they saw the dedication and effort put in by David and his partners in developing the now industry leading platform. This trust generated a growing fan base for the company that allowed Unity to grow. The first version of the product was launched in 2005, and it goes on since then.
The major co-working spaces in Copenhagen are: