Live like a local in Denmark
While our sense of national pride is understandable, we can’t help but envy the lifestyle of our Danish neighbours. With high taxes leading to an excellent welfare system, and an excellent welfare system leading to a strong sense of society and a positive feeling all-round, there’s much to be said for the Danish way of doing things.
For travellers who find themselves in one of Denmark’s tourist-friendly cities – Copenhagen is the big draw but Aarhus and Odense are also worth a visit – doing as the locals do provides an interesting experiment as to why they’re one of the happiest countries in the world. Here are five ingredients that the Flexicover team think makes a difference.
We can’t mention Danish living without mentioning Hygge: the art of being as cosy and happy as possible. During their long, dark winter nights, Danes decided to make the best of their situation and embrace cosy, warm nights in with family and friends. There’s no literal translation, but it’s the mood of keeping annoying and cold things at the door, only allowing happy, warm thoughts into the house – along with a bit of red wine or comforting cake. Of course, the house has to look just right for this feeling, with fleecy blankets, open fires and candlelight. You’ll see it in action during a winter time visit to Denmark – blend right in by embracing the season and positive energy.
Surround yourself with beautiful things
Perhaps the concept of Hygge is borne from the importance that Danish people put on their environment. Understanding that what we experience affects how we feel, you’ll notice that the Danes are stylish people in all situations. So while neighbouring Sweden is most famous for IKEA, the Danes are big spenders when it comes to design. They dress fantastic, their interior design is impeccable, their architecture is world-leading and their houses are like showrooms. When packing, think twice about wearing the beat-up Converses, comfy hoodie and mangled backpack – it’s a place to look good and feel good.
Becoming trusting...and trustworthy
A core element in Danish society is the value placed in trusting each other. In fact, eight in ten Danes say they trust most people which is steadfastly different from the fear factor that’s prevalent in the rest of Europe. It seems their mutual trust becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – it’s also known as the least corrupt country, where politicians, neighbours, the police and fellow civilians are all highly respected.
Respect the rules
As suggested by the lower amount of crime in the country, part of the reason it works so efficiently is because of the Danes’ natural appreciation of rules. Far from feeling like they’re being told what to do, Danes see laws and etiquette as a way to manage their way through a life that might otherwise be complicated – leaving them time to enjoy its content rather than boundaries, and giving a sense of security and belonging. So when you’re visiting, remember that bending the rules won’t go down well, even for simple acts such as swiping an extra pastry at breakfast for later, or crossing the road when the lights are red.
The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive into Denmark’s major cities is that there are cyclists everywhere. Half of the city population favour cycling, which means that international pedestrians and drivers need to be aware when out and about. The good news is that it’s easy to join them. Bike rentals are widely available in Denmark, and the country’s excellent facilities like bike parking, cycle superhighways and bike-biased traffic lights are there to be enjoyed. Plus as cycle thieves are few and far between, only a quick lock is needed to go off and enjoy Denmark on foot.
Wherever you plan to head to on your travels it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of cover to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.