15 Things I Learned About Denmark On A Walking Tour

Today’s guest post is by a blogger whos work I love a bunch. Keisha writes at The Girl Next Door Is Black and allows us to live vicariously through her amazing adventures (like eating tarantulas in Cambodia and whatnot)… Her post today reminded me of my trip to Copenhagen…and now I’d like to go back.

Strøget in December, Copenhagen Denmark | The Girl Next Door is Black


We arrived in Denmark yesterday afternoon and took it easy our first evening, after a grueling 9 1/2 hour flight. I look forward to one day being able to fly first class on the regular; flying economy on long flights is the pits. Sleeping is more like a series of stiff, fitful and not quite satisfying naps.

For dinner, we dined on hand-crafted burgers at Halifax, a gastropub in Indre By.  I once belonged to a burger club, so I’ve tried my fair share of burgers – Halifax makes a respectable burger. We noticed the Danes around us lingered for awhile after their last bites, enrapt in conversation. The staff appeared nonplussed by this. Tipping isn’t a custom at restaurants.

Scandic Palace Hotel Copenhagen, Denmark | The Girl Next Door is Black

This afternoon, my friend and I took a free 3-hour walking tour of central Copenhagen. Our tour guide was Magnus, a true Dane with blonde hair, blue-eyes and a strong jawline (along with a slightly sarcastic sense of humor). He shared his knowledge of his home country and I learned the following:

1. For years Denmark has held the title “Happiest Country.” Magnus seemed pretty happy, I must say. Certainly proud of his country.

2. Interestingly, Denmark has one of the highest divorce rates in all of Europe.

Denmark is known for its Pølsevogn or sausage stands where they sell hot dogs and sausages with toppings like mustard, ketchup, diced onions, pickles and a remoulade.

3. It also has one of the highest individual tax rates in the world at an average of 55%.
4. Taxes pay for things like college education, which is free for all citizens up through the PhD level. In fact, you get PAID to attend college. The money can be used for rent (you get more if you don’t live with mom and dad), books, food or even beer if you like.

5. The Danish greatly value the concept of “hygge” (hew-ge), which loosely translates to a feeling of being relaxed, satisfied and unhurried.

6. There is no minimum wage. The average hourly rate is US $50.

7. The standard workweek is 37 hours.

Friends Selfie in Copenhagen | The Girl Next Door is Black
Copenhagen selfie!

8. Danes get minimum five weeks of paid vacation!

9. Copenhagen is one of the world’s most livable cities with biking a popular mode of transportation.

10. Life in prison in Denmark means 25 years. Prisoners get rooms with beds and are allowed TVs. Once released, the government helps reintegrate former inmates into society.

Baresso Hot Chocolate Copenhagen Denmark | The Girl Next Door is Black
Hot Chocolate with light, dark and white chocolate and cream from Baresso was perfect for the chilly, rainy day.

11. Denmark is also one of the safest countries in the world.

12. It’s legal to drink on the street in Copenhagen.

13. The Danish like being on time, but not early.

14. The Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister and Queen of Denmark are all female.

15. Denmark has a whole lotta pigs so pork is a very popular dish.

Frederik’s Church

I don’t know if it’s the air, the sense of chill or just being on vacation, but my friend and I both agreed that we are really happy today. We like Denmark so far!

Black girl in Copenhagen | The Girl Next Door is Black


Keisha is a millennial/Gen-X cusper, non-wife, non-mommy, ace Sour Patch Kids eater, and the creator of The Girl Next Door is Black where she writes about culture, race, and travel. She recently relocated to New York after living in “the land of no black people”, otherwise known as San Francisco, for several years and looks forward to starting over in a new city. Read up on her adventures here and follow her on Twitter.


  1. says

    My daughter did a study abroad in Denmark. She said that the danish pastries were as big as her head and she had one everyday. She also mentioned hyggelit – which means cozy time. Her host family did this every night.
    What strikes me the most from this list is the fact about the prison system – you don’t spend the rest of your natural life in prison and there’s a focus on reintegration and rehabilitation. I read a story this morning about a man who was sentenced to 7yrs to life, and it’s going on 40! years and he has no idea when he will get out.

    Anyhow enjoyed your list and your tagline.

    • Dani says

      The best chocolate croissant I’ve EVER eaten was in Copenhagen. Like…I remember it SOOOO clearly. I Can kinda taste it right now… lmao I agree about that prison system. Love knowing how other places do things.

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