We can’t speak for all of Denmark, since we only visited the one city, but here were 7 things that surprised us about Copenhagen:
- Everyone speaks English. Seriously: everyone. Some of the people, especially those in the tourism industry, have better English pronunciation and grammar than many of the Americans I know.
- Everyone bikes. Women who are 9 months pregnant bike, as do older men and teens. And locking your bike to anything is seen as unnecessary: at most, people lock the tire in place and then leave their bikes all over. There are dozens of them along the side of any building or road, as if abandoned by energetic, fearless cyclists.
- Copenhagen is built around canals. I knew that about Venice, but not about Copenhagen. There are cafes on the water and cheesy tourist cruises and some rowers. No gondolas though.
- The bus drivers give change for pretty big bills (like a $50). And you can even get reimbursed for cab fare if your bus is >20 minutes late. Not something we experienced, since our buses were all on time.
- It’s expensive – especially eating out. The cheapest street food I saw – and I include hot dogs, meat-on-a-stick, pitas, etc. – was $4.50! Cooking at home is the way to go.
- Their native foods include: skyr (a type of yogurt, that almost tastes like it’s been mixed with sour cream), smørrebrød (rye bread open-faced sandwiches, often made with fish, though artisinal places are broadening the toppings), fiskedeller (fish cakes/balls), laks (salmon, of any sort), spandauer (what we call a ‘danish’ pastry, usually with preserves and not cheese).
- Not all bathrooms have a shower, and some just have a hose that you use over a tile floor or while sitting atop the toilet. Fun times.