VIEW: Danish Delight!

March 1, 2018 @ 7:00AM
By David Bowden

DENMARK is the southernmost part of Scandinavia with Germany on its lower border. It also includes the Faroe Islands (between Scotland and Iceland) and Greenland (the world’s largest island). It’s a flat country with the highest point being just 170m (KL’s Twin Towers are 370m) and includes the peninsula, Jutland and 443 islands (73 inhabited). The nation’s lands are arable and agriculture is important and it has sandy coastlines.


Copenhagen (1.3 million) is the capital where the Christiansborg (or ‘Borgen’) is the seat of parliament and it’s a city that really comes alive in summer. Tivoli Gardens, founded in 1843 are a major attraction and a place to relax, eat and drink as well as enjoy the rides (Walt Disney got the inspiration for Disneyland here). City Hall and Central Station are nearby.

The city centre is dominated by Main Square and the Hotel d’Angleterre is where visiting celebrities check in for grand Danish hospitality. It’s located a few steps from the Stroget, one of Europe’s oldest and longest pedestrian shopping precincts.

Nyhavn Harbour with its restaurants, renovated old houses, canal, cafes and bars is nearby too. The working harbour, tall ships and fishing boats make this the essential scene that captures the soul of Copenhagen. Take a canal tour past Amalienborg Palace, Opera House, Black Diamond Library and, the famous Little Mermaid statue. The Playhouse is the centre for Danish dramatic arts.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Margrethe II the head of state (sadly, her husband Prince Henrik just passed away). Royal Family members are popular leaders with Crown Prince Frederik and his wife Crown Princess Mary (from Tasmania) and her children capturing media attention. Royal palaces of Amalienborg and Fredensborg are national landmarks.

Danish poet and writer Hans Christian Andersen’s penned stories like The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling that continue to entertain children around the world. Known for its Viking heritage, Denmark’s Viking Museum in Roskilde has five original boats dating to the 11th century.

The Danish krone is the currency. Roads and public transport are good with trains operated by DSB and a metro in Copenhagen while ferries radiate across the North and Baltic Seas. Being so flat, Denmark is a great country to discover on a bicycle. The country is served by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). Denmark has a 25 per cent VAT, but the Copenhagen Card offers discounts. Contact VisitDenmark ( for details.


Funen is where the residents of Copenhagen escape from the stresses of the world. Mind you, there aren’t too many stresses in Denmark with the Danes having a high living standard and being constantly ranked highly on the world happiness index. But to really escape, they go to a small island just off Funen called Aero with its rolling hills, small villages, farms and the perfectly preserved heritage market town of Aeroskobing.

The world’s original Legoland is in Billund close to the country’s second busiest airport (closed November through March). Roskilde Festival (near Copenhagen) is the largest music festival in North Europe. Oresund (separates Denmark from Sweden) and the Danish ‘Riviera’ is home to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art with artworks by Picasso, Henry Moore and Alberto Giacometti.


Lunch in Denmark (and now around the world) is an open rye bread sandwich called smorrebrod (Restaurant Ida Davidsen in Copenhagen has almost 200 variations including pigeon with mushroom and, pureed smoked salmon). Meat, fish and potatoes dominate the diets of most Danes with specialty dishes of frikadeller (meat balls), polser hot dog with fried onions and, poached cod with mustard sauce being popular. Denmark gave the beer world Carlsberg and Tuborg brands (brewhouse visits are possible). Visit Papiroen to appreciate Copenhagen’s first and only genuine street food trucks.

New Danish cuisine has captured the imagination of global diners with three Copenhagen restaurants in the world’s top 50 — Noma (5th), Geranium (28th) and Relae (40th).


Country: Denmark

Population: 5.7 million

Capital: Copenhagen

Area: 24,931 km2 (Malaysia is 330,803 km2)

Language: Danish

The Competition: Denmark is in Group C of the World Cup against France, Australia and Peru.

Christiansborg, the seat of parliament, located in the heart of Copenhagen. Picture by Martin Heiberg
Copenhagen Street Food on Paper Island in Copenhagen is the city's first and only genuine street food market. In the small food trucks you can get delicious sustainable street food from all corners of the world - and enjoy it indoors in the raw halls or in the sun overlooking the city's waterfront. Picture by Ulf Svane
Fru Nimb is a classic Danish open sandwich restaurant, lavishly topped with love; a love of good ingredients and a love of good experiences. Picture by Anders Bøggild
There is something very Copenhagen-like and something very foreign about Copenhagen Street Food. There are scents of Corean and Mexican as well as Italian and Danish food from the small colourful food trucks, but the place - the raw halls in the maritime setting - has a destinct Copenhagen feel to it, that resembles that of Copenhagen's Meatpacking District. Pic by Ulf Svane