|Preface Last Updated: 1/12/2004
When you are assigned to Denmark you will be coming to the oldest
kingdom still in existence in the world, with kings and queens who
have reigned over a thousand years. It is located in northern
Europe, bordering Germany, Sweden, and Norway. It is the only
Scandinavian country connected to the European mainland (the
southern border of the Jutland Peninsula meets with Germany). The
Kingdom of Denmark also includes the north Atlantic autonomous
territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Most of the country
is a peninsula, and the rest consists of about 400 islands. Of
these, only 60 are inhabited and accessible by car, via bridges or
ferries. One of the world’s longest bridges opened in 2000, linking
Denmark and Sweden over the Oresund Sound. The bridge has
consolidated Denmark’s strategic role as a gateway for access to
Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Baltic Region.
Denmark is rich in historic architecture. Old houses,
thatched-roof cottages, and red-brick churches evoke memories of
days gone by. There are more than 800 castles and manor houses, many
of which are now museums and a few of which have been converted to
hotels. The capital city, Copenhagen, was founded in the 12th
century (when Sweden and Norway were part of Denmark) and today
houses a quarter of the country’s 5 million inhabitants. Yet, it
still retains the closeness and intimacy of olden days and the
timeless charm that only a long history can create. In the heart of
Copenhagen lies Tivoli, which is not only a world-renowned amusement
park, but a center for music, singing, dance, theater,
entertainment, attractions, food and drink, and much more.
Copenhagen is known as Europe’s big jazz metropolis and hosts
internationally famous musicians and festivals.
The Danes love their country and their high quality of life and
will tell you it is free and peaceful, fresh and wonderful, happy —
and most of all, cozy, a cherished Danish concept that permeates
family and work, and is obvious in famous Danish design. While they
have their own language, Danish — which is considered one of the
hardest European languages to pronounce correctly, though not
difficult grammatically — most inhabitants speak excellent English.
The Danish people have a strong sense of family and love to share a
sense of togetherness. They seize every chance of celebrating
Although Denmark is the only country in northeastern Europe that
is both a member of NATO and a member of the European Union, its
people resist giving up the symbols of Danishness. Their commitment
to the Atlantic Alliance is unswerving, but they recently voted to
keep their currency, the Kroner (Crown), in lieu of adopting the
Euro. Queen Margrethe II governs the country and is universally
beloved as the country flourishes economically and culturally.
Copenhagen’s International Airport Kastrup is just 2 hours flying
time from most European destinations. The opportunities and
challenges are exciting and wonderful as the partnership between the
U.S. and Denmark continues to flourish.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:09 AM
Denmark lies directly north of Germany and south of Norway.
Sweden is directly to the east. The European part of the country is
slightly smaller than Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Denmark
proper consists of the Jutland Peninsula and 406 islands, of which
79 are inhabited. The straits between these islands connect the
Baltic and the North Seas.
Greenland and the Faroe Islands, although self‑governing, are
parts of Denmark. Greenland, the largest island in the world, is
geographically part of North America.
For many years, Denmark has been regarded traditionally as an
agricultural country. However, dramatic changes have occurred in
recent years, and today only about 3% of the population is employed
in agriculture and fishing.
The coastline is irregular and dotted with inlets, breaks, gently
sloping fjords, and impressive cliffs. About 10% of the country is
covered by woodland, including commercial forests. The public has
access, as a right, to all the beaches in the country, including
right of passage along privately owned shore.
Because Denmark is almost entirely surrounded by the sea, it has
a moderate, maritime climate. This, however, produces changeable
weather, which makes forecasting an imperfect art. The average
temperatures range from 32°F in February to 61°F in July.
Temperatures vary slightly from day to night. Average rainfall is
24 inches. August and October are the wettest months. Days are short
in winter, with about 6 hours of daylight in December and January.
Daylight in summer lasts 18–20 hours.
Population Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:11 AM
Denmark’s population is about 5.3 million. About 40% of the
population is located on the island of Zealand, the largest island
in Denmark proper. Here, the capital, Copenhagen, which has a
population of one‑half million, can be found, with about 1.8 million
in the greater Copenhagen region.
The Danes, a homogenous Gothic‑Germanic people, have inhabited
Denmark since prehistoric times. Danish, the principal language, is
one of the more difficult European languages to pronounce or speak;
a reading knowledge is more easily acquired. Most Danes speak
English. A small German‑speaking minority live in southern Jutland;
a mostly Inuit population inhabits Greenland; and the Faroe Islands
have a Nordic population with its own Scandinavian language.
Education is compulsory from ages 7 to 16 and is free through the
university level on the basis of competitive exams.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church is state supported and accounts
for about 97% of Denmark’s religious affiliation. However, Denmark
has religious freedom and many other religions are practiced,
including other Protestant denominations, Catholicism and the Muslim
Public Institutions Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:27 AM
Denmark is the oldest kingdom in Europe. During the Viking period
(8th–11th centuries), Denmark was a great sea power, based on the
Jutland Peninsula, the island of Zealand, and the southern part of
Sweden. It became a constitutional monarchy with the adoption of the
Constitution of 1849, which removed the King’s absolute power and
provided for separate administrative, legislative, and judicial
agencies. This system was retained in the Constitution of 1953,
which is still in force.
The Danish royal family is the oldest dynasty in Europe. The
present Queen ascended to the throne in 1972. The Queen, as head of
the government, holds formal executive power, but her authority is
mostly symbolic. Her most significant power lies in her right to
appoint the Prime Minister and cabinet members, who are responsible
for administration of the government. However, she must consult with
parliamentary leaders to determine the public’s will, since the
cabinet may be dismissed by a vote of no confidence in the
The 1953 constitution established a unicameral Parliament, or
Folketing. The Folketing has no more than 179 members, of whom two
are elected from the Faroe Islands, and two from Greenland.
Elections are held at least every 4 years, but the Prime Minister
can dissolve the Folketing at any time and call for new elections.
Nine parties are represented in Parliament, but none has enough
seats to form a majority government alone.
The judicial branch of government consists of about 100 local
courts, two high courts, several special courts, and a Supreme Court
of 15 judges.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:29 AM
Denmark’s rich intellectual heritage contributes to the cultural
achievements of the modern world. The astronomical discoveries of
Tycho Brahe and the brilliant contributions to atomic physics of
Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr indicate the range of Danish
The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, the philosophical
essays of Sören Kierkegaard, and the short stories of Karen Blixen
(pen name Isak Dinesen), have earned international recognition, as
have the symphonies of Carl Nielsen.
Danish design — applied art and industrial design and
architecture — have won awards for excellence. The name Georg Jensen
is known worldwide for outstanding modern design in silver, and
“Royal Copenhagen” is among the best of fine porcelains. Arne
Jacobsen’s buildings and furniture are renowned.
Visitors to Denmark will discover a wealth of cultural activity.
The Royal Danish Ballet specializes in the work of the great Danish
choreographer August Bournonville. Danes have distinguished
themselves as jazz musicians, and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has
acquired an international reputation.
International collections of modern art enjoy unusually
attractive settings at the Louisiana Museum, north of Copenhagen,
and at the North Jutland Museum of Art in Ålborg. The State Museum
of Art and the Glyptotek, both in Copenhagen, contain treasures of
Danish and international art. The Museum of Applied Art and
Industrial Design in Copenhagen holds exhibits, featuring the best
in Danish design.
Among today’s Danish writers, probably the most well known to
American readers is Peter Hoeg, who wrote Smilla’s Sense of Snow.
Other poets and writers translated into English include Benny
Andersen, Kirsten Thorup, and Anders Bodelsen.
In music, Hans Abrahamsen and Per Norgaard are the two most
famous living composers. Hans Abrahamsen’s works have been performed
by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.
Drawing upon a rich architectural heritage, dating back to the
Middle Ages, Danish architects have been responsible for a number of
prestigious buildings abroad, in addition to their domestic
production. Johan Otto von Spreckelsen’s Parisian Cube, 1989, Jörn
Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, and Henning Larsen’s Foreign Ministry in
Riyadh, are the best known examples of Danish architecture in Europe
Danish education follows the traditional European system. School
attendance is mandatory through age 16, when most students either
continue their education or enter an apprenticeship program. Danes
take great pride in achieving the status of skilled workers. Great
emphasis is placed on adult education. Many evening courses are
offered at Copenhagen University and in high schools.
Higher education is offered at commercial and technical colleges
and universities. Denmark’s universities are at Copenhagen, Århus,
Odense, Roskilde, and Ålborg. The University of Copenhagen, the
oldest and largest, has five faculties: theology, law and economics,
medicine, arts, and science. Other seats of higher learning include
the Danish Technical University, Academy of Engineers, Dental
Colleges, and School of Pharmacy. In addition to academic
requirements, foreign students must be fluent in the Danish
Universities and special foundations such as the Carlsberg
Foundation and the New Carlsberg Foundation promote interest in
science and the arts. Other research is financed by the State. One
of Denmark’s best-known institutes is the Niels Bohr Institute of
Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:33 AM
An agricultural economy until World War II, Denmark has developed
into a modern industrialized value‑added and services society with
extensive foreign trade and free capital movements. Denmark offers
modern air, rail, and road infrastructure. Its central location
makes it a gateway to the other Scandinavian, northern European and
Baltic markets. Agriculture and fishing today account for 3% of the
economy, services 44%, manufacturing 17%, the public sector 23%, and
building/construction/utilities 7%. Manufacturing counts about
30,000 companies, most of them small- and medium-size. Food
processing and production of machinery, electronics, chemicals, and
furniture are the most important industries.
Denmark’s natural resources are farmland, fish, and oil and
natural gas in the North Sea. Denmark is a net exporter of food and
energy. Its living standard is one of the highest in the world.
Denmark has a highly unionized, well‑paid, and skilled labor force.
Denmark’s foreign trade equals 70% of the economy. About 73% of
total commodity exports are manufactured products, 23% agricultural
and fish products, and 4% energy products.
The Danish economy is strong, with comfortable public budget and
balance of payments surpluses. The government pursues a carefully
monitored economic policy including a fiscal policy of small public
expenditure increases and a tight monetary and exchange rate policy
linked closely to the EU’s common currency, the Euro. Although
Denmark meets the established criteria for joining the Euro, a
referendum in September 2000 to accept the Euro currency failed.
With one of the highest tax burdens in the world, the government
provides an extensive social security safety net and free education.
The U.S. is Denmark’s largest trading partner outside the
European Union (EU) and has a share of roughly 5% of Denmark’s
foreign trade. Major U.S. exports to Denmark are machinery and
capital equipment, especially computer hardware and software,
aircraft, and scientific instruments. Other important U.S. exports
to Denmark are military equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wine,
forest products, foodstuff, fresh vegetables, tobacco, and nuts.
Major Danish exports to the U.S. are industrial machinery, chemical
products, furniture, pharmaceuticals, canned ham and pork, and toys
(Legos). In addition, Denmark has a significant services trade with
the U.S., a major share of it stemming from Danish‑controlled ships
engaged in container traffic to and from U.S. ports (most notably by
Denmark welcomes foreign investment, and is home to more than 250
subsidiaries of U.S. companies. The market value of U.S. direct
investment, concentrated in telecommunications, information
technology, pharmaceuticals and the petroleum sector, at the end of
1999 totaled more than $11 billion, an almost five‑fold increase
over 1997, according to Danish statistics. U.S. companies are by far
the largest foreign investors in Denmark, accounting for more than
one‑third of the value of foreign direct investment in Denmark. The
American Chamber of Commerce in Denmark was established in 1999 to
promote the interests of U.S. businesses. A number of leading Danish
and American firms are members of the Danish‑American Business
Forum, which aims to promote direct investment and technical
Automobiles Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:34 AM
Before buying or importing a vehicle, personnel assigned to
Copenhagen are strongly encouraged to contact the General Services
Office (GSO) for advice on local regulations and conditions
regarding vehicles. Personnel on the diplomatic list may import and
register cars in Denmark at any time during their assignment without
paying tax or duty. In some cases, non‑diplomatic personnel may be
subject to a customs charge equal to 11% of the import value of the
car and 25% value added tax (MOMS), both of which are refundable.
The Danish authorities require a pre‑registration inspection
before a vehicle is imported. The vehicle must meet normal safety
standards for tires, brakes, steering, glass, and other systems,
although a car that meets American safety standards may not
necessarily pass inspection in Denmark. The frame or other
structural components must not be rusted through. Parking lights and
turn signals must meet Danish standards or be modified. Dark window
tinting, especially non‑factory installed tinting, may be
unacceptable. Total inspection and registration costs total DKr
2,000 (about $275).
Registration papers must be presented for the automobile to
Danish authorities at the time of registration.
To drive a vehicle here, you must have third‑party‑liability
insurance valid in Denmark. The Danish Government recognizes no
American third‑party liability insurance policies. However, some
foreign insurance companies have reciprocal agreements with Danish
firms. If you wish to keep your present firm, ask your agent to
check this possibility. If you have driven for at least 3 years
without an accident, bring a letter from your insurance company
stating the length of your accident‑free period; this may result in
significant premium savings.
All personnel selling cars must obtain the administrative
officer’s prior approval. The Danish tax on buyers without
diplomatic privileges makes it hard to sell a car at a reasonable
price unless it has been registered in Denmark for at least two
Most types of European and Japanese cars and some American cars
are sold here. Repair facilities are expensive. Some spare parts are
available for American cars. Tax-free gasoline costs are similar to
U.S. prices for regular unleaded. You must obtain a Danish driver’s
license, which costs DKr 220 ($32) and is typically valid until you
are 70. If you have a valid U.S. license, no test is required.
Persons less than 18 years old are not authorized to drive a car in
Denmark. Danish license plates are the property of the Danish
Government, and must be returned at the end of your tour.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:34 AM
Traffic moves on the right. Copenhagen’s public transportation
system is excellent. It includes bus and train service that is
inexpensive, quick, clean, safe, and convenient. Monthly passes are
available at reduced rates. Trains provide quick service to the
suburbs, but little between midnight and 5 a.m. Taxis are usually
plentiful and have meters for calculating fares.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:36 AM
Many Danes use bicycles, not only for recreation, but as a
primary means of transportation. Designated bicycle lanes exist on
most major thoroughfares. Bicycles are required to have reflectors
and, at night, display a white light in front and a red light in the
rear. Bicycles have the right‑of‑way and cars must yield to them.
The only time a bicycle must yield to a pedestrian or a motor
vehicle is when a pedestrian exits a city bus or when a motor
vehicle is turning with a protected turn green light. Pedestrians
and motorists must not walk or turn into a bicycle lane. Pedestrians
and motorists alike must be especially aware of opening car doors or
standing in a bike lane to avoid collisions with quiet, fast‑moving
Kastrup Airport, located 20 minutes outside Copenhagen city
center, provides international service to many major cities,
including direct flights to the U.S. A regional train is located at
the airport and departs on a regular schedule, taking passengers
into the city, including the main train station. Copenhagen is
connected to all major European centers by road and rail as well.
Daily rail service is available to most European capitals.
Ferries travel to Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and England.
There is now a bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden if one wishes to
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:36
Local and long distance telephone services are excellent.
International telephone and telegraph service is available from
Copenhagen to all parts of the world. U.S. and local service
providers are available for calls to the U.S. and result in
significant savings. Applications are available at post. Local
telephone bills are received quarterly. All phone lines are leased
through Tele Danmark, which bills quarterly. If a long‑distance
service provider other than Tele Danmark is used, they will also
send a monthly or quarterly invoice. There are charges for all local
calls and for incomplete or misdialed calls. Itemized billings
listing time, date, and number called can be requested for an
Internet Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:37 AM
The Internet is widely used in Denmark, and Copenhagen has a
number of Internet service providers listed in the Yellow Pages.
Most charge a flat subscription fee plus per‑minute costs, but a few
ISPs offer flat fees without additional charges. ISDN and ADSL lines
are available in most areas. Some U.S. Internet service providers,
such as CompuServe, have local phone numbers but there is usually an
additional per hour fee.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:37 AM
Personnel use both APO and international mail facilities. APO
service from the U.S. is very reliable and takes 5–7 days for
first-class or priority mail. Registered mail is not available.
International and Danish domestic postal services are also
excellent, though more expensive. Mission personnel are not
authorized pouch facilities for incoming or outgoing personal mail.
The APO address is:
APO AE 09716
The international address is:
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24
2100 Copenhagen Denmark
Radio and TV Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:38 AM
Denmark has several national TV channels and many radio stations,
and some Swedish television can be received in Copenhagen. As a
rule, foreign programs and films are broadcast in the original
version with subtitles. As with most of Europe, Denmark uses the PAL
standard for television broadcasting. Cable TV is available
throughout Denmark. Both CNN International and BBC are available on
cable, as well as French, German, Swedish and Norwegian stations.
Where cable is not available, satellite reception is possible. Good
European sets are available for purchase at the PXs in Germany or
through Peter Justesen’s duty‑free catalogue. Personnel desiring to
rent local tapes (Blockbuster, along with other Video outlets, carry
many English‑language films), record local programs, and watch U.S.
tapes will require a multisystem television and VCR.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
1/12/2004 10:38 AM
Time, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the
International Herald Tribune are sold locally. These and other
English‑language newspapers are sold at main train station, lobbies
of large hotels, and many kiosks. Danish libraries are good, and
many have English sections. Some Copenhagen bookstores sell the
latest American and British books at about double U.S. prices. APO
or international mail may receive subscriptions to U.S. periodicals,
with a delivery time of 2–4 weeks after publication.
Health and Medicine Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:39 AM
Danish medical care is very good and comparable to the medical
care one finds throughout Western Europe. However, the system for
providing care in Denmark is different from that in the U.S. Waiting
periods are common for routine, non‑emergency surgery. Diagnostic
tests take longer to schedule than in the U.S. When necessary, the
Embassy will intervene to facilitate more timely treatment. However,
employees should take an active role in managing their own health
care by ensuring that they establish a patient/physician
relationship with a Danish doctor shortly after arriving at Post. A
list of physicians is available from the Embassy.
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:39 AM
Diagnostic laboratories and specialists in all fields of medicine
are available in Denmark. Hospitals are well equipped and reasonably
priced. Maternity hospitals and many clinics are available. Most
doctors and dentists speak English.
Embassy Copenhagen does not provide any in‑house medical care.
However, the regional medical officer, based in Berlin, Germany,
makes quarterly visits. He is also available for phone consultations
and can provide prescriptions to be used with U.S. mail‑order
Community Health Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:40 AM
Sanitary conditions in Denmark are excellent. Danish law is
strict about commercial processing, cooking, handling, and service
of foods. All dairies in the city supply pasteurized milk.
Copenhagen is cleaner than many U.S. cities of comparable size.
Denmark has had no serious epidemics in years. Colds, influenza,
and throat infections may be aggravated in winter by dampness and
lack of sunshine. Persons with arthritis, rheumatism, and sinus
troubles may find winter uncomfortable.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:40 AM
No special health risks occur in Denmark, and no special
inoculations are required. Any needed immunization is available in
Copenhagen. Most medicines are available locally. They may not,
however, be the same brand names as those in the U.S. Prices are
higher than in the U.S. You may not use a prescription written by an
American doctor, so be sure to bring a supply of your prescription
medicines until you can make arrangements through mail order or with
a doctor here. Many of the items we consider to be over‑the‑counter
medications are available in Denmark by prescription only, and vice
versa in some cases. Post recommends that you bring a supply of the
basic medications that you most often use.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 1/12/2004
A bilateral work agreement between the U.S. and Denmark came into
force in May 1983. This agreement authorizes dependents of U.S.
Government employees assigned to official duty in Denmark to be
employed here. Except for those employed by diplomatic missions and
international organizations, all foreigners in Denmark must have a
work permit and tax card before they may be employed. One of the
prerequisites for obtaining a work permit is a firm offer of
employment and a specified salary. Once an offer of employment has
been made, permits are obtained through the Embassy’s Human
Resources Office. Dependents are liable for income and social
security taxes on any remuneration received as a result of
employment. Employment outside the Mission is elusive even with the
bilateral work agreement. The necessity of having to pay the Danish
taxes does not make working outside the Mission very lucrative or,
in some cases, even practical.
Under the Dependent Employment Program, the Embassy hires
dependents in part‑time, intermittent, and temporary PIT/FMA and PSC
positions. All dependent employment opportunities are published in a
staff announcement. There are several jobs for family members in the
Administrative and Consular Sections.
American Embassy - Copenhagen
Post City Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:42 AM
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, lies on the eastern coast of
the Island of Zealand on the straits connecting the Baltic Sea to
the North Sea. Between Zealand and mainland Denmark lie the Island
of Fyn and two channels — the Great Belt and the Little Belt.
Copenhagen’s strategic location on a main trade route between the
Baltic and northern countries has made it one of the great transit
ports of northern Europe.
With nearly 1.8 million people, Copenhagen is Denmark’s largest
city. Starting as a small fishing village more than 1,000 years ago,
the city has grown into a major European commercial and cultural
center. Its name (Kobenhavn, or Merchant’s Harbor) reflects its
historical association with shipping and international trade.
Copenhagen’s busy harbor and shipyards confirm the significant role
these activities continue to play in the city’s economic life.
Despite the modern pace of its commercial activity, Copenhagen
maintains its Old World charm.
Many buildings in the city’s center date back hundreds of years,
some as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries. The old houses that
line the canals and cobblestone streets provide a sharp contrast to
modern, high‑rise apartment complexes that dominate the fast‑growing
suburbs and new parts of the city.
The high standard of living of its citizens is reflected in the
clean, well‑maintained appearance of the city. Despite its size,
many wooded parks and small lakes give Copenhagen an almost
provincial quality. Copenhagen is a favorite of tourists, and
thousands of Americans visit the city each year.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:43 AM
The Chancery, near the center of town at Dag Hammarskjolds Alle
24 (tel. 35 55 31 44), is a three‑story government‑owned structure
built in 1954. It houses all State Department sections, the Defense
Attach‚ Office (DAO), Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), Foreign
Agricultural Service (FAS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), LEGAT Office (FBI),
U.S. Air Force Space Command Detachment 1 (Det 1), U.S. Armed Forces
Europe Finance Office (USAFE) and the APO, and the Commissary. The
Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) is located at Henriksholms Alle,
2950 Vedbæk, about a 20‑minute drive from the Chancery. U.S. Marine
Security Guards are on duty at the Chancery 24 hours daily.
The workday is 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with 30 minutes for lunch,
Monday through Friday. The Chancery has a restaurant that serves
continental breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and lunch from
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Salaries are paid via electronic funds transfer biweekly through
the Regional Finance Center in Charleston. Military personnel are
paid by military finance offices according to the regulations of the
Well before your arrival, write the administrative officer giving
arrival date, mode of travel, names and ages of dependents, and any
special requirements. You will be met at the airport or train
station if you inform the Embassy of your arrival time.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:43 AM
Most employees move directly into government assigned quarters.
Families are generally housed in an apartment/ hotel complex nearby.
Once in permanent housing, the post provides a Welcome Kit (dishes,
cutlery, pots and pans, linens and towels) to new arrivals waiting
for their household goods to arrive. Nonetheless, personnel should
ship a supply of such items in airfreight, as the number of Welcome
Kits is limited.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:44 AM
All employees are assigned to government‑owned or
government‑leased quarters by the Interagency Housing Board (IAHB).
Leased quarters are in compliance with the space standards contained
in 6 FAM 720. State Department and certain other agencies’ quarters
are furnished with government‑owned furnishings. Employees should
check with their own agency to determine whether their quarters are
furnished. All housing comes equipped with standard appliances,
consisting of washer, dryer, refrigerator, and stove, either from
U.S. Government stocks or from the property’s lessor. The General
Services Office provides complete maintenance support to all
government‑owned properties and limited support to leased
properties. Personnel whose agencies do not supply furniture will be
authorized a full shipment of effects. Upon receipt of an assignment
announcement cable from your agency, you will be sent a welcome
packet, including the Embassy Housing Handbook. The housing
questionnaire contained therein should be completed and returned to
the GSO as soon as possible so that suitable housing can be assigned
Furnishings Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:45 AM
The State Department and the Defense Attache’s Office provides
furnished quarters, including major appliances, to all personnel
assigned to their agencies in Denmark. Other agencies working in
Denmark do not supply furniture, but may offer some appliances.
Employees should check with their individual office to confirm what
will be provided and what they should plan on bringing to post.
Furniture suitable for the U.S. is also appropriate here. The
quality of Danish furniture is renowned. Most furniture is ash, oak,
rosewood, or teak, and of modern Danish design. You can buy restored
or antique furniture at many of the city’s antique shops. The sizes
and shapes of rooms and windows vary widely. Carpets and most other
furnishings are more expensive than in the U.S. Few houses and
apartments in Denmark have built‑in closets, and bedrooms are
generally smaller than typical American rooms. Many houses, and most
apartments have very limited storage space, often only a small
walk‑in closet. Employees often convert a bedroom into a storage
area. Post, thus, cautions employees to be modest when packing and
shipping items to post.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:46 AM
Most houses have oil or gas furnaces. Many apartments in downtown
Copenhagen are heated from municipal heating plants. Heat is needed
much of the year, and it can be cold and damp even in summer.
Electric current is 220v, AC, single‑phase, 50 cycles. Contact the
General Services Office with questions about using U.S. appliances
or electrical equipment in Denmark. Transformers are not supplied by
GSO, and are more expensive to purchase in Denmark than in the U.S.
or at military bases in Germany. Equipment with electric motors
should be 50/60 cycles. Electric sockets here are the round pin,
2‑pole type, similar to German outlets. Danish telephone jacks
differ from those in the U.S., but adapters are available.
Food Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:46 AM
Most types of food are available on the local market year round.
A small cooperative commissary is operated for American Embassy
personnel. The commissary carries some staples, frozen and canned
foods, cigarettes, some drugstore items, wines, and spirits. The
commissary also places special orders on a quarterly basis. The
restaurant in the Chancery serves breakfast and lunch at prices
lower than those in nearby restaurants. A wide variety of
restaurants are available in Copenhagen, ranging from the usual fast
food chains (at about twice U.S. prices) to five‑star
Clothing Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:46 AM
Warm clothing is needed most of the year. Even in summer, a light
wrap or sweater is used late in the afternoon and after sundown.
Rainwear is recommended. Clothing for men, women, and children is
available at prices often higher than those in the U.S. Shoes for
men, women, and children are imported from all over Europe, but
narrow widths may not be readily available. All officers need
business dress, and those with representational responsibilities may
need more formal dress, which can be rented.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:47 AM
Many major brands of toilet articles and cosmetics are available,
but it is cost effective to bring a supply of your favorites with
you. Few American patented medicines are available in Danish
drugstores, since most medicines are sold only by prescription.
Bring a supply of prescription medicines to post and then you can
make arrangements for getting them refilled.
Basic Services Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:47 AM
Tailors and dressmakers are available, but increasingly rare.
Laundries, dry cleaners, and shoe repair shops do work comparable to
that in the U.S. Adequate electronics repair is available, but parts
for U.S. makes may be difficult to find. Denmark has many good
barbershops and hair salons. Most basic services are more costly
than in the U.S.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:48 AM
Some Embassy employees choose to have domestic help. Good,
full‑time maids are hard to find and expensive. It is possible to
hire occasional help for representational functions. A few families
have engaged full‑time maid/housekeepers from non‑EU countries. Such
employment is firmly controlled by Danish law. Work permits are
limited to the stay of the current employer, must be applied for
from Danish consular authorities in the applicant’s homeland, and
are only granted after submission of a written contract from the
prospective employer. It is also possible to obtain a visa and work
permit for a domestic employee who is already working for the
employer prior to arrival in Denmark. The visa and work permit,
however, must be obtained prior to the arrival of the employee in
Denmark. A lead time of 6 months is required to ensure that the
domestic employee will have the necessary papers to travel with the
Religious Activities Last Updated: 12/15/2003 5:53 AM
The Lutheran Church is the state church of Denmark. Roman
Catholic, Reformist, Unitarian, Methodist, Baptist, Seventh‑day
Adventist, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints also
hold services here. A minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of
America holds services for the International Church of Copenhagen.
Services in English are also held at the Anglican Episcopal Church
of St. Albans and the International Baptist Church. Catholic
services in English are held at two churches in greater Copenhagen.
Orthodox Jewish services are held at the Synagogue weekday mornings,
Saturday morning, and every evening at sunset.
At Post Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:49 AM
At post there are the two English‑language schools that have been
approved for attendance by children of U.S. Government employees.
Due to a potential lack of vacancies in classes, it is important to
request admittance as soon as possible. The school year runs from
mid‑August to June. Use the following addresses:
Copenhagen International School
Telephone: (45) 39 46 33 00
Website: HYPERLINK http://www.cis-edu.dk
E-mail: HYPERLINK mailto:email@example.com
Telephone: (45) 39 62 10 53
Website: HYPERLINK http://www.rygaardsskole.dk
E-mail: HYPERLINK mail to:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Copenhagen International School was founded in 1963 to
provide education to the international community of Denmark. There
are currently 520 students enrolled from 50 countries. A founding
member of the International Baccalaureate, it provides a complete
educational program from age 3 to 19, prekindergarten to the
International Baccalaureate Diploma. A director and two principals
who report to an 11‑member school board run the school. CIS is rated
as “adequate” through Grade 12.
The school is accredited by the European Council of International
Schools (ECIS) and the New England Association of Schools and
Colleges (NEASC). It is a private nonprofit‑making organization
recognized by the Danish Ministry of Education, from which it
receives a subsidy. CIS is located very close to the Hellerup train
and bus station.
Rygaards School is also located in Hellerup and is accessible by
train or bus. Founded in 1909 by a Catholic order, the Sisters of
the Assumption, it is a coeducational day school amalgamated within
the Danish school system. It is a private state‑subsidized school
directed by a school board. Children of all faiths are accepted.
There are currently 277 students from over 60 different
nationalities enrolled at Rygaards. Education is given a Christian
spirit with particular emphasis on mutual understanding.
The school serves children from age 4 to 16. Beginning in the 7th
year French or German is introduced and in the 10th and 11th year
students follow courses leading to the British GCE O level or GCSE
Copenhagen has many nursery schools and kindergartens, both
public and private. They are operated independently of the
elementary schools and completion of kindergarten is not a
prerequisite for entrance to elementary school. There are a limited
number of international preschool options available in Copenhagen.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:50 AM
Musical instruction is readily available for adults and children.
Excellent contemporary and abstract art and dancing instruction are
Many municipalities (Kommune) in the greater Copenhagen area
offer extensive and inexpensive adult education programs with a wide
variety of subjects, some taught in English. Danish language courses
are offered. Pamphlets listing the courses are widely distributed in
the Copenhagen area.
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:50 AM
Facilities are available for many popular sports: soccer, tennis
and badminton are popular, and several clubs have both indoor and
outdoor courts. Ice skating and hockey are also available, but only
in winter months. Squash clubs are also available. A number of
18‑hole, private golf courses are located near Copenhagen. Bowling,
flying, gliding, and hang gliding are also available. Sports
equipment is more expensive than in the U.S., but readily available.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:52 AM
Summer sports are popular during the short, warm season. Yacht
clubs and marinas are located along the coast, and sailing is
enjoyed from May to October. Many people swim in the sea in the
summer, despite the chilly water temperature. Fishing on small,
private, lakes is available. There are many forested areas with
trails for hiking.
Bicycling is both a sport and a form of transportation in
Denmark. Almost every road has a separate bicycle lane and there are
numerous marked local and national cycling routes, most of which are
completely separated from vehicular traffic. Horseback riding is
widespread. There are riding schools in almost every town and many
have indoor rings for winter riding.
Excellent pheasant and duck shooting and some deer hunting is
possible, but a game license is required. To obtain a license, you
must pass a test or hold a U.S. hunting license (refer to the
section on firearms).
Winter sports are limited to ice skating and occasionally some
cross-country skiing north of Copenhagen. Serious skiers must travel
north to Sweden or Norway, or south to the Alps; France, Germany,
Austria, Italy, or Switzerland. Oslo is 8 hours away by train or you
can take the overnight boat, with sleep cabins, from Copenhagen. The
Bavarian and Swiss Alps are 18–24 hours away by train.
Many guided tours of Copenhagen are available. One popular tour
takes you by boat through the canals of Copenhagen into the harbor
and past the famous statue of the Little Mermaid.
Travel agencies in Copenhagen provide offers of inexpensive
vacation packages to all parts of Europe and many points abroad.
There is also a travel agent located in the Chancery.
Entertainment Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:54 AM
Copenhagen has wonderful movie theaters which show the latest
American and European films. Most feature films are shown in their
original language, with Danish subtitles. Seats to the theater may
be reserved in advance, but tickets must be picked up one hour prior
to the showing of the movie. You may rent tapes for the VCR in
English from outlets such as Blockbuster, but Danish tapes are a
different format than tapes from the U.S. Therefore, your VCR and TV
must be capable of replaying the PAL system.
This Week in Copenhagen is published monthly and lists a wide
variety of events of interest. The publication is available at the
Embassy, as well as all around Copenhagen.
Copenhagen has two symphony orchestras, a renowned ballet (one of
the finest in the world), and a national opera company. The most
famous orchestra is the Radio Denmark Symphony, which gives weekly
concerts in winter and often features leading American and European
artists. The ballet and opera each offer several performances a week
from September through May. Ticket prices are reasonable and you can
often get half-price tickets after 5:00 p.m. on the day of the
Many fine museums are located in or near Copenhagen, including
the National Museum of Art and the Carlsberg Glyptotek which has an
excellent impressionist collection.
The world‑famous Tivoli amusement park is in the heart of the
city. Open from May 1 to late September, Tivoli features arcades,
rides, restaurants, and light and serious music in an atmosphere for
children. Tivoli is also open for a short time during the Christmas
Copenhagen has many fine restaurants serving Danish as well as
international cuisine. The open‑faced sandwiches known as smorre
brod, buttered bread are a typical lunch. Modern Danish cuisine is
modeled on that of France. Hard liquor and wine are expensive in
restaurants. Most Danes choose beer, wine, or schnapps (essentially
vodka flavored with a variety of herbs, a Danish drink made from
potatoes and flavored with caraway) with their meals.
The American Club of Copenhagen, founded in 1920, holds monthly
luncheon meetings with guest speakers talking on topics of interest
to the membership. The club is made up of American and Danish
business and professional men and women. Embassy staff are entitled
to a reduced cost membership.
The American Women’s Club in Denmark, founded in 1934, is a
philanthropic and social organization. While many of the members are
American, it also includes women of all nationalities, including
Danes. They also accept men. This is an active social club with both
daytime and evening groups for bridge, handicrafts, sports, and
cultural/educational activities. The club is actively engaged in
projects to raise money for scholarships, art awards, and charities.
The club meets monthly on the second Tuesday.
The International Women’s Club of Copenhagen (IWC) is a nonprofit
organization founded in 1977. Its purpose is to welcome and assist
newcomers and their families to Denmark, to further goodwill and
friendship, and to give financial and material support to
philanthropic projects. The club holds monthly meetings, various
regularly scheduled events and fundraising activities that generally
take place during the daytime hours. Most members have older or
The Ladies’ International Network Kobenhavn (LINK) was founded in
1975 as the International Housewives Organization. The majority of
its members have school‑age children. This is strictly a social
group, founded to enable women to increase their social circle while
living abroad. There are regular monthly activities, including
tennis, bridge, museum trips, mother and toddler playgroups, ladies’
evenings, couples’ evenings and more. There are no regularly
scheduled monthly meetings.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:55 AM
Only the Ambassador and senior officers have heavy
representational requirements. Most Embassy officers occasionally
give receptions and informal dinners for colleagues, Danish
Government contacts, and members of the Danish and American
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 1/12/2004 10:55 AM
Standards of social conduct are like those in the U.S., but more
formal. Senior Embassy officers usually call on their Danish
Special Information Last Updated: 1/12/2004 11:08 AM
Defense Attaché‚ Office (DAO) and Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC)
Personnel assigned to the Defense Attaché‚ Office (DAO) and to the
Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) Denmark may obtain information
from Army, Navy, and Air Force Officers in the Chancery building at:
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24
(Tel.(45) 35553144, x384)
and the ODC office at:
Henriksholm Alle Bldg. 1,
Tel.(45) 35553144, x272.
The APO address is:
APO AE 09716.
Uniforms. U.S. military personnel in Denmark wear civilian
clothes at all times, with the following exceptions: official
military visits, official military ceremonies, certain social
functions, and participation in military exercises. Personnel on
temporary duty and on leave in Denmark should follow this policy.
Official Calls. Defense attaché‚’s, ODC officers, and their
spouses should be prepared to make calls when they arrive at post.
All new arrivals are met at the airport or train station. Notify
the Defense Attaché‚ or ODC of your estimated time of arrival as
soon as your travel itinerary is firm.
Temporary Lodging Allowances. Military personnel are entitled to
temporary lodging allowances (TLA‑not to exceed 60 days) while
occupying hotel accommodations. The TLA rate is based on family size
and authorized per diem rate. Civilian personnel are entitled to
TLA’s (not to exceed 90 days) while occupying hotel accommodations.
Finance Facilities. All military personnel are paid by their
respective U.S. branches. DAO civilians are paid by their
headquarters. ODC civilians are paid from facilities located at
Shipment of Household Goods. Because all personnel are assigned
to government leased or government-owned housing, DAO personnel are
entitled to ship only 35% of their authorized weight allowance per
JFTR. Consumables shipments are not authorized. Transit time for
household goods from the U.S. east coast ranges from 30 to 90 days.
Customs Clearance of Shipments. The fiscal section of the
executive agency arranges customs clearances for household
Addressing Shipments. Shipments of household goods or other
personal effects should be consigned to one of these three
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24
2100 Copenhagen O
Grade, Name, Serial Number
ODC, Building 1
APO Grade, Name, Serial Number
American Embassy PSC 73
APO AE 09716
Marine Security Guard. The detachment commander of the Marine
Security Guard provides a separate post report for the Marines.
Post Orientation Program
A new arrival to post is assigned both social and section
sponsors to assist in the orientation process. New personnel also
receive briefings on Mission operations and security from various
members of the country team.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/12/2004 11:09 AM
Travel to Copenhagen involves no special problems. Danish weather
is variable, so bring clothing for cold and rain, whatever the
season. Airfreight shipments usually arrive 10 days after delivery
to the carrier in the U.S. Surface freight usually takes 6–8 weeks
from the U.S.
Shipments of household goods and unaccompanied baggage should be
consigned as follows:
American Embassy (employee’s initials)
Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24
22100 Copenhagen O
All official travel should be arranged through your agency’s
official travel management office. U.S. regulations require you to
use these TMOs. Failure to do so could result in the traveler being
responsible for the entire cost of the journey, even if it is less
expensive than the Government rate. Unless you are prepared to incur
some personal expense, pay special attention to your choice of air
routes when traveling to Copenhagen to ensure compliance with Fly
America regulations. Contract City Pair Fares are available.
Bring five photographs of family members more than 11 years old
to post for Foreign Ministry documentation and drivers license
processing. The photographs must be at least 1”x1”. Photographs can
also be obtained at post.
Salaries and allowances are deposited directly into your American
bank account. The cashier is available to cash American dollar
checks for post personnel.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 1/12/2004 11:10 AM
All officers attached to the Embassy who are on the diplomatic
list are extended free entry privileges for the length of their
tour. Other non‑diplomatic personnel may import personal and
household effects up to six months after their first arrival,
without paying duty.
For information on automobiles, see Transportation‑Automobiles.
Passage Last Updated: 1/12/2004 11:11 AM
A valid passport is the only document needed for entry into
Denmark. Neither a visa nor a vaccination certificate is required
for entry. Immediately after arrival, passports should be deposited
with the Human Resources Office for transmission to the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to obtain required residence permission and ID
U.S. visitors to Greenland and the Faroe Islands require visas.
Pets Last Updated: 1/12/2004 11:36 AM
Cats and dogs imported from Australia, Faroe Islands, Finland,
Iceland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K.
require no veterinary certificates. No stay is allowed outside these
countries during travel to Denmark. The animals must be accompanied
by their owner or other person. Cats and dogs imported from other
countries and Greenland require a special form, stating all relevant
information and certifying that the animal has been vaccinated
against rabies, which must be presented to customs. The certificate
must further state that vaccination has taken place within the time
limit of not less than one, nor more than 12 months from the date of
presentation. The pets must be accompanied by their owner or other
Import of other animals is subject to a special permit from the
Danish Veterinary Authorities (contact Danish Consul).
The key to avoiding problems on arrival is to have the
vaccination certificate, the health certificate, and the pet(s)
accompany the traveler.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 1/12/2004 11:38 AM
The Chief of Mission is the ultimate authority in determining who
may possess and carry firearms and under what conditions in
accordance with 22 USC 3927. Any employee who wishes to import or
locally purchase any firearm must forward a written request to the
Chief of Mission through the Regional Security Office (RSO).
Permission must be secured prior to the employee’s arrival at post
or local purchase.
Generally, only two (2) shotgun(s) and one (1) rifle per
household will be approved. No personal handguns are permitted.
Justifications considered acceptable by the Chief of Mission for the
importation or acquisition of firearms include (1) use in the
performance of official duties, and (2) sporting purposes such as
hunting or target shooting. If using the firearm for hunting
purposes, in addition to getting Chief of Mission approval, you must
apply for and obtain a Danish hunting license, which is based upon a
valid American hunting license.
You may ship, but not mail, the above‑listed firearms in your
household effects. The employee is responsible for obtaining any
customs declarations and export forms that may be required by U.S.
or local law. Personal firearms brought into the country cannot be
sold, presented as gifts, or traded to host or third country
nationals. Advise the RSO of any intention of shipping any firearms.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 1/12/2004
The Danish monetary units are kroner and ore, with 100 ore
equaling one kroner. Coins are issued in 25 and 50 ore pieces, and
1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 kroner pieces. Notes are issued in 50, 100, 200,
500, and 1,000 kroner denominations. The exchange rate has varied
over the past year between 6.2 and 7.3 to $1. The daily exchange
rate is posted outside the Embassy cashier's office.
All banks in Copenhagen handle exchange transactions and welcome
kroner checking accounts. A Dankort or debit card, is the most
common and convenient way to pay local expenses. It is also used as
an ATM card. You can also have a VISA debit card combined with your
The metric system of weights and measures is used in Denmark.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 1/12/2004 12:27
Danes pay high rates of income taxes (with a top rate of 68%),
and the value‑added tax (MOMS) is currently 25%. Holders of
diplomatic or official passports are eligible for a refund on this
MOMS tax. You will receive details on these refunds during check‑in.
No restrictions are placed on sales of personal property, except
that it may not be sold at a profit. For information on sale of
automobiles, see Transportation—Automobiles.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 1/12/2004 12:28 AM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Anderson, Ulla. We Live in Denmark. Watts, Franklin, Inc.: 1984.
Birch, John H. Denmark in History. Gordon Press: 1976.
Borish, Steven M. The Land of the Living: Denmark’s Non-Violent
Path to Modernization. Blue Dolphin Publishing: 1991.
Flender, Harold. Rescue in Denmark. Repr. Paper. Anti-Defamation
League of B”nai B’rith.
Gronlund, J. The Denmark Book. Vanous Arthur Company: 1988
Hansen, Judity E. We are a Little Land: Cultural Assumptions in
Danish Everyday Life. Ayer Company Publishers, Inc.: 1981
Hartling, Poul., ed. The Danish Church. Repr. Of 1964 ed. Nordic
Johansen, Hans C. The Danish Economy in the Twentieth Century.
St. Martin’s Press: 1986.
Jones, W. Glyn. Denmark: A Modern History, 2nd Edition. Chapman &
Hall, Inc.: 1986.
Lye, Keith. Take a Trip to Denmark. Watts, Franklin, Inc.: 1986.
MacHaffie, Ingewborg S. & Nielsen, Margaret A. Of Danish Ways.
Harper Collins Publishers, Repr. Of 1976 ed.: 1984.
Miller, Kenneth E. Denmark: A Troubled Welfare State. Westview
Lerner, Georgraphy Dept. Staff. Denmark in Pictures. Lerner
Publications Company: 1991.
P’alsoon, Herman & Edwards, Paul. Kyntlinga Saga: History of the
Kings of Denmark. Coronet Books: 1986.
Tansill, Charles C. Purchase of the Danish West Indies. Repr. of
1932 ed. Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc: 1968.
Danish embassies have an excellent selection of Government and
tourist organization publications on Denmark.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 1/12/2004 12:29 AM
The Following holidays are observed by the Embassy:
New Year’s Day Jan. 1
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday Variable
President’s Day Variable
Maundy Thursday Variable
Good Friday Variable
Easter Monday Variable
Payer Day Variable
Ascension Day Variable
Whit Monday Variable
Memorial Day Variable
Constitution Day June 5
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day Variable
Columbus Day Variable
Veterans Day November 11
Christmas Eve December 24
Christmas Day December 25
Second Christmas Day December 26
New Year’s Eve (one-half day) December 31
American holidays that fall on Saturday are observed on the
preceding Friday; American holidays that fall on Sunday are observed
on the following Monday.
There is no alternate day off for Danish holidays that fall on a