So you’re on the fence about planning a trip to Denmark, and you’re sitting there asking yourself” Wait, what is Denmark known for?”.
Well, more than you think! Most people know Denmark is famous for its fortunate people, high taxes, and dramatic landscape.
And while those are important, the country offers much more than that.
And if you didn’t know that, I don’t blame you. Denmark, the gateway to northern Europe, is a country that flies under many people’s radar.
I’m not sure why? Maybe because it’s small compared to the other Scandinavian countries? Maybe because it’s a country made mostly of small islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic sea?
Who knows for sure!? But let me tell you; Denmark is not only the gateway to Scandinavia, but it’s also one of the best places to visit in Europe.
And while it is tiny, there are a lot of famous reasons to visit the smallest country in Scandinavia.
In this fun post, we are going to explore 11 things that Denmark is famous for. And by the end, you’ll come away with this detailed knowledge and insight into some of Denmark’s biggest claims to fame. All of which is well deserved.
- What is Denmark Known For
- Denmark's The Happiest Country in the World
- Extremely High Taxes
- What is Denmark known For?… Lego
- The Most Friendly Biking Country in the World
- Tivoli garden – 2nd Oldest Theme Park in the World
- Outstanding Maternity Leave
- Denmark is Famous for Being Both One of the Smallest and Largest Countries in the World.
- Danish Food – Danish Cuisine Is Leading A Culinary Revolution
- Hot Dogs Are The Most Famous Street Food in Denmark
- Denmark is famous for Comfort aka "Hygge"
- Denmark – The Land of Vikings
- Jutland peninsula
- Danish Viking Ship Museum
- Møns Klint
- Freetown Christiania
- Danish Riviera
- Castles in Denmark
- Famous People From Denmark
- What is Denmark known for producing?
- What is Denmark Known for Food
- Famous Things to Buy in Denmark
What is Denmark Known For
Denmark’s The Happiest Country in the World
If you’ve already browsed through our facts about Denmark. Then you’ll know that the country is constantly ranked in the top three for the happiest country in the world via the world happiness report.
The survey takes in the happiness of everyday life to personal circumstances.
Why are the Danes always ranked as the top three?
Perhaps it’s because every gender, race, and sexual orientation is treated equally.
Or maybe it’s the free university tuition?
Could it be the very Danish concept of hygge ( Another thing that Denmark is famous for that we’ll talk about later)?
I think it is a combination of quality of living, equality, lack of corruption, and safety.
Extremely High Taxes
What is Denmark known for,” you say, ” High taxes”. Then how are Danes so happy?
True, Denmark has extremely high taxes – some of the highest in the world. For example, the Tax on new cars can be as high as 150%. Income tax for the average annual income can be as much as 45%. And the more you make, the higher the percentage you pay!
But the Danes are happy to pay taxes because it benefits the community. A recent Gallup poll showed that 9 out of 10 Danes are happy to pay such high taxes!
Why? Well, because it also gives them massive benefits and prime quality of life. For example, free health care. Childcare is subsidized. And older people get workers to help them at home. Maternity leave for both the dad and mom last between 32 – 52 weeks. University is free. But not only that, students get $900 a month to help them with why they are studying.
Danes are happy to pay taxes because they view it as an investment in their quality of life.
What is Denmark known For?… Lego
Yep, I but you didn’t know that Lego was born and raised in Denmark; before it started, its worldwide toy domination.
Without a doubt, Lego is one of the most popular children’s toys on the planet.
And these small plastic blocks have continued to invade pop-cultural. Nowadays there are Legos for everything from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars. They are countless Lego video games and even blockbuster movies.
Denmark in Lego’s hometown, Billund, Denmark, there’s the Lego Resort. An enormous park filled with massive Lego buildings. And amusement park rides, and Lego-themed restaurants.
The Most Friendly Biking Country in the World
Anyone who’s worked through the list of top things to do in Copenhagen knows the Danes are obsessed with biking. To that point, Denmark is the most bike-friendly country in the world.
Yep, biking is everywhere in Denmark. The country has its bike streets, bridges, and traffic lights.
Let’s just look at Copenhagen, where there are more bikes than people! Yes, you read that right!
Copenhagen has a population of around 520,000, and there are about 650,000 bikes…. that’s 120,000 extra bikes!
Heck, just walking out of the primary station, you’re greeted with thousands of bikes.
And it’s not seasonal! Whether you are visiting Denmark at the best time of the year, or the worst time, you will see a lot of locals biking.
Fun Biking Fact About Denmark: If you took all the miles biked in Copenhagen each year and wrapped it around the world. It would go around the earth 13,000 times!
Tivoli garden – 2nd Oldest Theme Park in the World
We know Denmark for its many attractions and natural beauty. One of the most popular places to visit in Denmark is Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest theme park in the world.
We know Danish for their love of nature and their respect for it. And we can see this in Tivoli Gardens, where there is an abundance of green space, water features, and flowers.
But there are also cool buildings, roller coasters, and other rides. Walt Disney visited Tivoli Garden to get inspiration before opening Disney Land.
Outstanding Maternity Leave
New moms and dads prepare to get jealous, as another thing that Denmark is famous for is maternity leave. Now, that might seem like a strange claim to fame, but just check out the details.
New parents get 32 to 52 weeks of paid (yep, an entire year) maternity leave.
Moms get the month off people’s birth and 3 months after birth. For 18 weeks. The parents get another 32 weeks of maternity leave to split between them! And more if the child gets sick.
By Danish law, parents get 52 weeks of paid maternity leave. (Although it might not always be full pay).
The government guarantees up to 52 weeks of paid leave. Where in some countries, like America, paid maternity leave isn’t guaranteed for every job.
Oh yeah, and there are no hospital bills. So if you want to have a baby… Denmark’s a good option.
Denmark is Famous for Being Both One of the Smallest and Largest Countries in the World.
How can Denmark be one of the world’s smallest and largest countries? Well, the devil is in the details.
You see, Denmark is known for owning Greenland. Which is the largest island in the world? So for landmass and geography, Denmark is the 12th largest country in the world.
But here’s the catch: while Denmark owns Greenland, they consider it an autonomous Danish-dependent country. A fancy way of saying that Greenland mostly governs itself, but relies on Denmark for some things like budget and defense.
So because Greenland rules itself, if you take it away from Denmark’s size it moves the country the 130th in size in the world.
Danish Food – Danish Cuisine Is Leading A Culinary Revolution
If you’re like me, before spending a lot of time in Denmark, I knew nothing about the country’s food scene. However, Denmark is a globally renowned culinary hotspot! Yep, Danish food and this new nordic cuisine are making a massive name for themselves.
Surprised? I know I was as well.
But it’s true. Denmark has some of the world’s top-rated restaurants. The most famous is Noma which is consistently voted as the number 1 restaurant in the world!
In fact, for fancy eaters, Denmark has 25 Michelin Star Restaurants and 33 Michelin Stars. That means you could eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant every month for over two years! Yum. Get ready to stuff yourself with Danish Cuisine!
But who can afford that? Let’s talk about food we all can afford.
For budget travelers, like myself, Denmark’s paving new ground. In open-air markets, casual dining, street food, and even how coffee is experienced.
Foodies simply can’t get enough of Denmark.
Hot Dogs Are The Most Famous Street Food in Denmark
Since we are discussing food, let’s talk about Denmark’s most well-known street food, the Posler, or Hot Dog.
Now, when you think hotdog, you might immediately wander to Germany or New York. But did you know these sausages are one of the most famous and popular foods in Denmark? All over the country, you’ll find polsevogn – or sausage wagons. There are a variety of different styles and toppings. Each one offers a unique take on classic food.
Hotdogs are so popular in Denmark that Copenhagen has been hailed as the Hot Dog capital of the world. Yep, who would have guessed that hot dogs are a traditional danish food?
Denmark is famous for Comfort aka “Hygge”
“Hygge” is a simple Danish design concept, but it is hard to explain as it has no direct translation. The best and the simplest translation is “comfort or coziness”. However, this only encapsulates part of it.
It’s a state of mind. Putting your mind and body in a state of warmth and relaxation.
Hygge differs from person to person. For example, reading a book by a fireplace is hygge. But for you, hygge might be a candlelight dinner with friends. Or sitting on a porch while it rains. Or lying on the beach.
Hygge differs for everyone. But it’s putting your mind and body in a state of relaxation. And while Hygge has become a worldwide phenomenon, it is a cornerstone of Danish life and culture. This concept has put Danish designers on the map.
Denmark – The Land of Vikings
We have to touch on at least one historical claim to fame for Denmark. And what’s more popular than the Vikings? And while they spread the Vikings all over Scandinavia, we associate them with Denmark. Because of the roots of these wild, seafaring people started in Denmark.
The age of the Vikings lasted for around 300 years, from 793 to 1066 CE.
The story of the Vikings is well known as they pillaged and ponder through the United Kingdom and parts of Europe.
And shows like history channels, Vikings have brought Danish Vikings. Like Ragnar Lodbrok, Rollo, and Björn Ironside into pop-cultural.
Throughout Denmark, in most museums, there are thousands of Viking relics to see. There are also Vikings open-air parks, and yearly celebrations. Denmark embraces its Vikings heritage, warts and all.
The Jutland peninsula is the largest of Denmark’s many peninsulas. It makes up the westernmost part of Denmark and it’s also one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe.
The peninsula is home to some of the most charming villages and towns, as well as a few major cities like Aalborg, Aarhus, and Odense. They dotted the countryside with windmills and farmhouses. Creating a unique landscape that has inspired many artists over the years.
You can visit Jutland on a day trip from Copenhagen or take a longer vacation by staying at one of our hotels near Jutland.
Danish Viking Ship Museum
The Viking Ship Museum is a museum in Roskilde, Denmark. It displays five Viking ships that were excavated from the Roskilde Fjord in 1962.
The Viking Ship Museum is a museum in Roskilde, Denmark. It displays five Viking ships that were excavated from the Roskilde Fjord in 1962. The museum was designed by architect Henning Larsen and opened on April 30, 2017.
The museum’s permanent exhibition tells the story of the five ships and their excavation. It also features a reconstruction of how they may have looked when they sailed into port over 1,000 years ago.
The exhibition is divided into three parts: “the excavation”, “the ships” and “the sea”. Visitors can explore each section on their own or take part in guided tours led by professional guides who are dressed as Vikings. And who speak Old Norse to give visitors an authentic experience of what it would have been like to live during the Viking Age.
Møns Klint is a coastal cliff on the island of Møn in Denmark. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Denmark, attracting nearly 1 million visitors annually.
Møns Klint is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of Europe’s first transnational World Heritage Site.
Møns Klint is on a large chalk platform that was created during the last Ice Age when glaciers eroded the mainland. The chalk was then blown by the wind over to Møn. Creating a large plateau that has been shaped by erosion into dramatic cliffs with many caves. And arches. Many caves have been formed by rainwater dissolving parts of the chalk layer over thousands of years.
The cliffs are famous for their fossils from long before humans lived in these areas. The oldest fossil ever found in Denmark was discovered in this region (in 1859), which dates back some 10 million years ago. That is just one of the interesting facts about Denmark.
Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The original meaning of “freetown” was “free land”. They have expanded the word Christiania to mean free town or free city.
They have developed the Autonomous Neighborhood of Christiania. With some residents paying rent to the Danish government and other residents living there illegally.
We know Christiania for its open cannabis trade, though it seems the government has cracked done on this harder in the last couple of years.
The Danish Riviera is the perfect destination for a family vacation. Whether you are looking for an active or relaxing holiday, the Danish Riviera offers activities for all ages.
The Danish Riviera is in the southern part of Denmark and stretches from Ringkøbing Fjord to Skagen Peninsula. The region offers a wide variety of attractions and activities. Including beaches, museums, golf courses, nature parks, and much more.
Castles in Denmark
Denmark is also famous for its castle. There are hundreds of castles and palaces across this tiny country. What’s better is that many of them are beautiful fairy table-esque castles. There’s scenic Kronborg Castle, iconic Egeskov Castle, and the famous Rosenborg Castle. Of course, don’t forget Helsingor Castle, which is the setting for Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet.
And there we go. Things that Denmark is famous for.
But wait, there’s more! As a bonus, let’s go over a few more famous things about Denmark.
Frederiksborg Castle is a palatial complex in Hillerød, Denmark. Built as a royal residence for King Christian IV, they built the castle over several periods. With the oldest part constructed between 1560 and 1580. It was expanded several times, notably from 1620 to 1630, when Lauritz de Thurah and his team added the north wing. Thereafter, it was continuously extended until 1672, when it reached its present size.
The Kronborg Castle (lit. The Crown Castle), known as Korgen (The Crow’s Nest) by locals, is a castle on the seacoast of Denmark. It is one of the best-known castles in Scandinavia. During the 19th century, they included it on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. As an outstanding example of Renaissance military architecture from the late 15th century. Kronborg has been in use as a fortification since 1387 and they extended its structure several times during its history.
The Amalienborg Palace is one of the most famous castles in Copenhagen. It is on the shores of the Øresund strait in the Frederiksberg district, overlooking Amalienborg Lake. King Frederick built the palace V in 1749-1750 as a summer residence for his family. Since then, many Danish monarchs have used it as their official residence in Copenhagen.
King Christian IV built Rosenborg Castle in 1606 as a royal residence for himself and his wife. It was named after his son-in-law, Count Johan Rosenkrantz. Who contributed financially to its construction? Royals were used as a residence in the castle until 1794 when it became a museum containing art collections from Europe’s finest artists such as Rembrandt van Rijn.
Christiansborg Palace is a palace and government building on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is the seat of the Danish Parliament, the Danish Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court of Denmark. Also, several parts of the palace are used by the Danish Monarch, including the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel and the Royal Stables.
Famous People From Denmark
Let’s look at some of the most famous people from Denmark throughout history.
hans christian andersen
By Far the most famous Dane. Andersen was a writer who wrote novels and plays. He is best known for his fairy tales like The Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling.
Born in New York to Danish parents, today the Lord of the Rings Star holds dual citizenship. He also speaks fluent Danish. (Make sure to check out our quotes about New York as well)
This marvel star was born in the USA. But her roots are danish. She was born to Danish architect Karsten Olof Johansson.
Perhaps the most well-known “Danish” actor. Mikkelsen is a master of his craft and has played everything from a Bond villain to a scientist in Star Wars.
Aka Jaime Lannister from HBO’s Game of Thrones. This talented actor is originally from Denmark.
What is Denmark known for producing?
As we talked about before, Lego is the biggest export of Denmark in the European Union and the world.
Over 60 percent of Denmark’s land is reserved for agricultural purposes. The country exports a lot of food around the world. Namely, meats, vegetables, organic products, and milk.
Denmark Pioneered Wind Turbines. The country is the world’s leading exporter of Wind Turbines. Not only that, but around 47% of the country’s electricity comes from wind energy.
What is Denmark Known for Food
Open-faced sandwich, that comprises a slice of rye bread and beautifully stacked cold cuts and ingredients.
Nordic roast pork is the national dish of Denmark.
Denmark is famous for food, but also pastry. Oh, and let my waistline express how tasty these bad boys are.
Fried pork belly, served with white sauce and potatoes. One of my favorite things to eat in Denmark.
These round snacks have a pancake texture. The most famous dessert in Denmark. This doughnut hole-type Danish dessert is worth every single bite.
Famous Things to Buy in Denmark
Ok, this is the third, and last time I will mention legos. But as they are one of the most famous things about Denmark, buying legos in the country is a given.
We can find some epic Viking jewelry replicas around the country. The simple, yet elegant style just might make the perfect gift for your other half,
Royal Copenhagen Porcelain
Not my style, but if you are into teapots or porcelain plates, mugs, or bowls. Royal Copenhagen is one of the world’s most recognized brands around the world.
Another thing Denmark is famous for is licorice. Namely salty licorice, which I don’t like. But as it is one of the most popular things about modern danish culture, it is a famous thing to buy in Denmark.
Hans Christian Andersen Tales
A good souvenir for people! Grab yourself a book on his famous tales to gift to someone, or display on your coffee table.
Denmark is one of the best countries in the world and has a lot of claims to fame. Here are some reasons to visit the country.
And there we go! You never again have to ask “What is Denmark known for?”. From the north sea, North America, to South America, Denmark is a great Nordic country worth visiting!