Denmark, a Scandinavian nation in northern Europe, is largely bordered by the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. It is divided into 5 major regions, with Copenhagen as their capital. Danish is the official language of Denmark, and Danish krone (DKK) is the currency.
Once the birthplace of the Vikings and later a major power in Northern Europe, Denmark is a modern, stable country participating in Europe’s overall political and economic integration. In 1949 it joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and in 1960 signed the Convention creating the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Living in Denmark has some particular pros and cons to consider. When living in this nation, you’ll have an impressive exposure to art and culture, with plenty of opportunities to travel across Europe. There are also cost considerations to think about, especially if you’re moving from a low monetary-value country.
Pros of Living in Denmark
1. Less Working Hour
In Denmark, the official workweek lasts 37.5 hours. There is an expectation that you will spend some time with your family and friends pursuing the things you love or making time to be with them. Most offices here in this country are empty by 5 PM. It’s not uncommon for small children’s parents to leave their jobs by 3:30 to pick them up from their daycare centres – which the government subsidizes.
It would be misleading to say that the healthcare services you get while living in Denmark are free, but if you choose to meet with the doctor, you will not be paying anything at the point of service. The co-payments come as a tax deduction from the paycheck, similar to the way an employer takes back a part of your pay for the obligation to fund Medicare in the United States.
When you arrive in Denmark, you’ll receive a small, yellow plastic card that can be used for almost everything in the public sector. If you have a health condition, it will help you to check into the hospital. You will also be able to check out a book from the library. As a part of your appointment, your doctor will scan the card. There won’t be any financial forms to fill, bills to worry about, or hassles to handle.
Living in Denmark is safe, in almost every sense of the word. Even if you’re having extraordinarily bad luck, a response is available to help you manage your circumstances.
Crime rates are fairly small here, excellent healthcare is available and you have access to various educational opportunities throughout your stay. Though learning the language after your move is helpful, there are still plenty of job opportunities to pursue in your chosen profession.
4. Schengen Agreement
The fact that the country is part of the Schengen Agreement is one of the benefits that you have when living in Denmark. It means that after following the government’s conditions of residency, you will become a nationalized citizen, and then travel freely to other countries in Europe without the need for a visa or passport.
This is one of the easiest ways to discover, even without much intervention, a large region of space on our planet. The only equivalent alternative to this advantage applies to Americans who are eligible to fly to various states without any paperwork.
Once you begin living in Denmark, then you can find that most people feel you deserve the respect you get. Unless you happen to come from a particular rank or point of view there are no formalities required.
It doesn’t matter what happens to be your gender identity, how much money you have or what your educational background is while you’re here. It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious, or not. If you remain true to who you are and give back to society, then you matter.
Cons of Living in Denmark
Whenever you want to start living in Denmark, then finally you’ll want to learn Danish. Whereas this may not be important if your stay is less than a year, anything longer would demand that you make this effort so you can connect effectively with your group. The education system does teach English at age six but most people tend to use their first language while interacting with their families or friends.
When you decide not to learn this language, you may find that you are the odd person at work or at a social event. Around half of the available positions are with the government here, and almost all of them need you to speak the national language for applying.
If you’ve ever lived in or near the U.S. Seattle area, then you have an idea of what the climate in Denmark is like. By about October till March, you should expect the sky to be cloudy, cold and dark. And during spring’s first weeks, there can be blustery days that will make you want to lay indoors.
There are about eight weeks of a hot summer to remember during July and August as well – or it may just stay cold and grey during the year too. Unless you’re used to seeing plenty of sunshine all year round, then living in Denmark can be difficult.
You may find that when you start living in Denmark there are plenty of chances to make friends, but there’s also an excellent chance you’ll step away from your relationship network.
Making friends here isn’t always easy, particularly if you are already a college graduate. Most of the citizens in this country formed friendships during their childhood and as an adult, they don’t always seek to establish new relationships.
4. Housing Situation
When you are coming from outside to Denmark, then it’s important to know what the concept of an unfurnished apartment is before you move here. In the U.S., rentals usually have all the appliances you need.
The style here is a little different, sometimes they don’t even send you kitchen cabinets. If you move in, you’ll want to look for a furnished apartment unless you’ve got the money to purchase the things you need for your first few days.
5. Ineffective Legal System
Denmark’s crime rates are quite low but the legal system is not as effective as it should be. Recently, tax authorities have discovered a loss of €1.6 billion and there is no way to recover the losses at this moment.
You will find that corporate crime in Denmark tends to be higher, even if the levels of personal crime are much lower. The people in Denmark have a reputation for self-police, and someone with bad intentions can take advantage of the system and you under the right set of conditions.
Cost of Living
Denmark is one of the world’s most expensive countries to live in and has even higher living costs compared to most European countries. From eating out, to consumables, and the petrol price, the price of all is valuable. The good thing is, wages in Denmark are also higher than in other countries of the world, which balances the country’s expensive cost of living.
Copenhagen is Denmark’s most expensive city and it has a wide array of rooms at all price ranges – from inexpensive hostel dorms to a suite at the fancy pants Hotel d’Angleterre, which arrives at a wallet-wrenching rate of around 18,000 DKK (€2,400) a night.
Between the two extremes, fortunately, you will find plenty of budget-friendly and mid-range hotels in the other major cities of Copenhagen and Denmark. Just be aware that out of Copenhagen very cheap backpacker-style hostels aren’t common.
Camping in Denmark can be an opportunity to save money, whether you’re bringing your own campervan or tent, or booking accommodation on site. There are high standards on Danish campsites, but if you’ve camped elsewhere in Europe you might find them fairly costly.
A monthly public transport card costs 462 DKK, while a single trip ticket is usually 22 DKK. If you are planning on driving, you would expect gas to cost around 11 DKK a litre. Buying a car in Denmark would probably cost you even more. A new, or similar, the Volkswagen Golf costs 266,800 DKK.
Depending on your spending habits, average food expenses in Denmark will be between 200 – 270 EUR / month. If you do your weekly shopping at discount supermarkets like Bilka, Lidl, Netto, Fakta or Aldi you can save a lot on food. The average cost of dining out in the city is 25 EUR / person, and a beer or soft drink at a bar is about 5 EUR.
A trip to the cinema or a bowling game isn’t something that most Danes do weekly. It’s expensive and many Danes are already spending a chunk of their ‘entertainment budget’ on gym and sports club membership.
However, you can save money on sports, if you make use of the outdoor training facilities that can be found in the major cities’ parks and green areas. Want a night out? Copenhagen has plenty of night clubs to check out, with admission fees ranging from free to around 150 DKK.
You are a citizen of any EU country, so the educational cost wouldn’t be too much for you as the tuition is absolutely free. Keep in mind that it will allow foreign students to pay for study materials such as their textbooks and other things not specified here. If a child is not from an EU country, you would find out that the cost of education for such individuals in Denmark is quite high, and even more so for international schools.
The cost of textbooks ranging from €200 to € 300 each semester contributes to the high costs, but when the child reaches a higher class, school materials can be purchased at less expensive prices or you can borrow and scan library books. Keep in mind that Denmark’s government has made schooling completely tuition-free for EU students.
The state healthcare system is free for all Danish residents, so you wouldn’t need to have healthcare-related expenses. You’d still have to pay for the medication. This could be around 56 DKK for regular pain relievers or 78 DKK for antibiotics. This will cost you around 1,700 DKK if you wish to visit a private doctor.