Home to the oldest royal family in the world, Denmark has an incredibly rich history. From its Viking past to its mid-century modern designers, a visit to Denmark presents a myriad of sightseeing options for all varieties of travelers. Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, cannot be missed but equally a visit to Hamlet’s castle in Helsingborg or the northernmost tip of the country in Skagen where the two parts of the North Sea, the Kattegat and Skagerrak, literally meet provide a particularly diverse view of the Danish landscape.
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Facts about Denmark
Denmark is the smallest country in Scandinavia and home to five and a half million Danes. Danish is the country’s official language, but English and even German are commonly heard. Although Denmark joined the European Union in 1973, it has not participated in the currency union, which would make its sole official currency the euro. Instead the Danish krone (DKK) is used. Denmark is made up of the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland) along with many hundreds of islands, the largest of which are Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn) and Bornholm. Queen Margrethe II is the head of the constitutional monarchy, though formal executive power resides with the prime minister.
According to Reader's Digest, Denmark is the 10th greenest and most livable place on earth. Danes take great pride in the natural diversity of their country and are known for their focus on the environment. When visiting Denmark, you can enjoy true eco-friendly vacations. One program called Destination 21 (inspired by Agenda 21 from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit) provides sustainable destinations where tourists can enjoy the countryside and culture whilst reducing consumption of water, energy and chemicals—including being able to sightsee without the use of a car in places such as the island of Møn and in Odsherred, Zealand. Denmark also play hosted to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen in 2009.
Denmark is also a nation of design. Clean lines and high-quality craftsmanship have propelled Danish designers internationally since the mid-century. The design landscape would not be the same without the architectural, industrial and furniture contributions from icons such as Arne Jacobsen, Georg Jensen, Verner Panton and Jørn Utzon. The Danish government has had a design policy in place since the late 1990's and that can be clearly seen and felt with even the shortest of visits to the country. When in Copenhagen, be sure to visit the Danish Design Center and the Danish Museum of Art and Design to see for yourself.
Shopping in Denmark
Your trip wouldn't be complete without an opportunity to bring home a little piece of Denmark. From well-established department stores to specialty shops down the walking streets, enjoy shopping for contemporary and traditional types of clothing, home wares, furniture and arts and crafts. The best known Danish brands include Royal Copenhagen, Bang & Olufsen, ECCO and of course Lego.