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Her Scandinavian Secrets -- 50 Travel Tips

 

Denmark

Did you know...
1) 1.5 million Americans have at least one Danish ancestor.
2) Denmark is the happiest country in the world. In May 21009 The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development released a report showing that happiness levels are highest in northern European countries -- with Denmark as the number one country followed by Finland and the Netherlands.

 

Great deals in Denmark...
1) Most state-run museums are free all the time. Some are free on select days (often Wednesdays).

2) If you are 65+ you get 50% discount on train tickets (Danish State Railway) and 25% off on Friday, Sunday and some holidays.

3) Check with www.visitdenmark.com for information about buying a Copenhagen Card that offers unlimited free travel on all buses and trains in the metropolitain area plus free or discounted entrance to many major sights in and around the city.
(Source: Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures that You absolutely Can't Get Unless You're Over 50)

 

Have dinner with a Danish family...
This is a helpful tip especially for women travelling solo. When in Copenhagen, Denmark, don't miss your chance to 'Meet the Danes.' This is a service that arranges home-dinners with a Danish family or, in our case, a single woman and her friend. Our home-dinner was timed just right, at the end of our visit to Denmark. By that time we were filled with questions and the conversation never lagged -- we talked till quite late. The food (a traditional Danish meal which we toasted with Danish 'aquavit' schnapps), was really delicious, as well. The cost is DKK395 for adults, and children 10-14 yrs. DKK 150. Under 10 kiddies are free. Meet the Danes requires at least a week's notice in order to arrange for a home-dinner host. Check their website: http://www.meetthedanes.dk, E-mail: info@meetthedanes.dk Have fun, everybody!
Virginia, Atlanta, USA

 

Two women say this Copenhagen buffet is a great deal...
One great place to eat in downtown Copenhagen is Riz Raz. There are several Riz Raz restaurants within the downtown area - they are marked on the free tourist map of Copenhagen. Riz Raz has a large vegetarian buffet for a very decent price (especially for Denmark!) and the food is delicious - especially the falafel balls which are a popular item. There are also a la carte choices available and it is licensed for alcohol. Frommer calls it the best food deal in town.
Karen, Victoria, Canada

Since I don't understand Danish, when traveling in Copenhagen I found the restaurant menus somewhat intimidating. Then I discovered a wonderful restaurant named Riz Raz (two locations in the city). They open at 11:30 for lunch and it's a terrific Mediterranean buffet. You can see all the food possibilities and help yourself to luscious salads, fresh baked breads, desserts, etc. without having to decipher the menu. Outside seating was available so you can people watch while you eat. I ended up eating lunch at this restaurant several times, and then having only a light snack for dinner.
Linda, Tualatin, USA

 

The small island of Bornholm...
My favorite place in the world is the small Danish island of Bornholm located about 100 miles from Copenhagen (off the SE coast of Sweden). It's accessible via plane, boat from Germany, Ystad, Sweden, and Copenhagen. Undiscovered by tourists for the most part, unless they're from Denmark, Sweden, or Germany, it's a peaceful, very scenic, historic escape with lots of handicrafts sold in small stores and workshops all over the island. Multiple 'summer homes' are available for rent.

Besides the little country roads through the farmland in the interior, there are only a few main roads (still only 2 lanes wide) one that encircles the island, one that crosses the island North to South (45-60 min.) and another East to West (30 min.). Added treat -- all have bike paths next to them for those who care to tour by bike. The northern part of the island has a rocky coast, the southern part has beaches, including Duoedde with it's high sand dunes, long boardwalk to the sea, and extremely fine white sand that has been used for hundreds of years in hourglasses all over Europe.

Four white Round Churches are unique and worth visiting. In addition, there are castle ruins, bird sanctuaries, prehistoric or Viking artifacts and rock carvings, geological features, tiny fishing harbors in little villages all around the coast, herring smokehouses, and two tiny islands off the coast for day trips. I've been to Bornholm at least nine times and am available and very happy to answer any questions other JourneyWomen may have about visiting the island.
Anne, Glendale, USA

 

Visa credit cards not accepted everywhere...
When travelling in Denmark, Sweden and Norway I was surprised to find that some establishments in Denmark did not accept credit cards from outside of their own country. Be prepared and make sure you have some Danish Krona in your pocket.

I also brought along some pre-paid international calling cards so that I could make calls from Scandinavia to the US. I had lots of problems using the cards in Swedish hotels. Of the three I brought with me, I was able to get at least one of them to work at any time. In Stockholm none of them would work, however I did not try using them from a pay phone. My suggestion would be to buy at least three different brands of pre-paid calling cards at $10 each in case you find one or more do not work.
Deb, Eagan, USA

 

Wonderful open air museum...
Just north of Copenhagen, just north of the small suburb of Lyngby (accessible by bus) is a wonderful Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet). Over 100 farmhouses, of all types, from all over Denmark have been carefully transported and recreated here with similar gardens and fields as from where they came. Each rock and plank has been put in place as it was before. Furniture is from the era of the house. Allow yourselves several hours here and bring a picnic. Both adults and children find it fascinating. I suggest buying the book in the giftstore that explains the histories of the farmhouses. In the summer they have people demonstrating crafts and baking. My great great uncle Kai Uldall was a director there for many years and donated some of the land the museum is built on. http://www.nationalmuseet.dk/sw20384.asp

P.S. Lyngby (mentioned above) is also a pleasant place to spend a day shopping, wandering and stopping for lunch. The train stops right in downtown Lyngby.
Karen, Victoria, Canada

 

Things to know when visiting Denmark...
I'm a Danish expat living in Canada. You should know that Denmark has the most expensive sales tax (VAT) in the world -- a whopping 25 % -- but the price you see is the price you pay. Sales tax is already included in any posted prices.

No need to tip in restaurants. They add 15% to your bill automatically. Eating in restaurants is expensive. Try cafeterias where you can find open Danish Sandwiches. They're great!

Don't exchange travellers checks in banks. You'll probably pay $6 US dollars per transaction.

Take the train To Hillerod. Approximately twenty minutes from town there is the most beautiful 16th Century castle. Make a day of it. Walk down the mainstreet called Slotsgaden to the castle and (after you've explored it inside and out) have a little lunch by the castle. It's an exquisite experience.

If they have ballet performances on The Old Stage of the The Royal Theatre get tickets. You won't regret it.
Bodil, Vancouver Island, Canada

 

My best Copenhagen travel tip...
This is my advice for JourneyWomen coming to my part of the world. Buy some open sandwiches at a smorrebrod shop for lunch, and eat them on a bench in the Botanical Gardens (near the National Art Museum). In the gardens is a huge greenhouse, Palmehuset, which is also well worth a visit. Another Copenhagen travel tip is to take a train trip across the bridge (one of the longest in Europe) to Malmö, Sweden.
Tyra, Lund, Sweden

 

Copenhagen bits and pieces...
If you like design, visit the store 'Illums Bolighus' (not to be confused with Illums department store nearby) on the Walking Street (Stroget) in downtown Copenhagen. There are three large floors of the latest Scandinavian, and modern design in housewares, furniture, lighting and clothing. It is easy to spend a couple of hours there.

The store also has an open link to the Royal Copenhagen Porcelain store next door. On part of the top floor of Royal Copenhagen is their discount section. Discounted items have a scratch through the 3 blue waves on the bottom of the piece. If you spend over 300 Kroners at one time in one store you can ask the store for a form for applying for a tax rebate at the airport. The rebate is not as high as one hopes but you do get at least half the tax (the tax is 25% in Denmark) back. It usually arrives weeks later.

My sister says there is a great roof cafe at the top of the Post Office Museum downtown. The opening hours of the café are the same as of the museum except Sundays where the café opens at 11.00 a.m. The kitchen opens at 11 o'clock Thursday-Saturday and closes one hour before the café. Table reservation is recommended. Tel.: +45 33 41 09 86. Travelling with little ones? Strollers are not allowed in the café, but must be placed in the cloakroom on the ground floor.

Our Danish friends all strongly recommended the canal boat tour out of Nyhavn downtown. We didn't have time on our last visit but will definitely do it next time we go.

For a great view of downtown Copenhagen walk up to the top the Round Tower (Rundetaarn). The cost is 25 Kroner. One of the kings used to ride his horses up the inside wide winding ramp to the top. There is a glimpse into an old church interior attached to the tower and there is an art gallery halfway up. At the top there is a short narrow winding staircase to the incredible circular view of Copenhagen.
Karen, Victoria, Canada

 

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