Tips for Visiting Denmark if You Don’t Speak Danish

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Photo credit: Kim Orlando / SheBuysTravel Founder
Tips for Visiting Denmark Even if You Don’t Speak Danish
Navigating Denmark is easy, even if you don’t know the language – Photo credit: Kim Orlando

Visiting Denmark Without Speaking Danish

Taking a vacation in Denmark without knowing the native language isn’t a problem. That’s because it so easy to find a Dane who speaks English and is happy to help. English is taught in schools beginning in 2nd grade so most everyone under the age of 30 speaks fluently.

However “fluent” doesn’t mean perfect so be prepared that some challenges may arise. For us, that often resulted in rights meaning lefts and lack of necessary detail. For example, we were given written directions to a restaurant that listed the streets and timing but not where to turn. Another time, we asked at the information booth at Central Station for the track we needed, and she said you have to go outside, up a level, then down a level. No problem. What she left out was that it was a 15 minute walk! We almost missed our train.

Danish Trains Decoded

Driving is an option, but it’s not necessary in Copenhagen. We took public transportation 100% of the time and were not inconvenienced in the least. I think finding parking would have been much more challenging.

Tips for Visiting Denmark Even if You Don’t Speak Danish
Public transportation is the way to go in Denmark – Photo credit: Kim Orlando

Central Station or Hovedbanegård (sounds like hoe-ban-gourd) is the hub for all trains and buses. We used 3 types of trains:

  • S Train. The S Train is similar to a New York subway, except that in bike-friendly Denmark, the trains have special cars for bikes and strollers.
  • Metro, a driverless shuttle that goes to the airport or Lufthavn trains
  • The regional train, which includes the high-speed Swedish SJ train
  • SJ Train: Regional train that starts in Denmark and goes to Sweden, offering high speed and other options.

The information booth at Central Station is your friend. Workers there have all the answers. Unfortunately, the booth is not open 24/7 so if you are getting an early start, you have to decipher the screens, which can be a challenge. For example, if you are going to a small station between two larger stations, your stop may not be listed in an obvious place. Or, if you are like us, you may not know which destination you need to head towards to find your stop. Best bet: just ask someone; every person we asked was helpful.

Tips for Visiting Denmark Even if You Don’t Speak Danish
Don’t be afraid to ask locals for help in Denmark – Photo credit: Kim Orlando

Getting Around on Foot

Before deciding on which area of Denmark to stay in, consider the accessibility to public transportation or being able to simply set out on foot. We stayed in both central Copenhagen and Nørreport. I preferred Nørreport because it is close to the main street, Fredriksborggade. Fredriksborggade
is thriving with shops, markets, a major train artery and it’s also a short walk to the center of the city.

All of the neighborhoods in the Copenhagen area are accessible by train from the airport, making it easy to get around.

Kim Orlando, founder of SheBuysTravel, is a lifelong traveler, an entrepreneur and a sought-after social media and marketing consultant. She has made hundreds of appearances on TV and in digital and print media, sharing advice and tips built on decades of travel experiences. Hailing from the hills of Kentucky and taking her story to New York, Los Angeles, and beyond, Kim built an online platform, the original TravelingMom, that has reached millions of moms and empowered them to explore the world with their families. Today, TravelingMom has evolved into SheBuysTravel. Kim has been featured on “News Nation,” “Today,” “Good Morning America” and on numerous satellite media tours. She has contributed travel guidance to outlets including The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and more. (Read more about Kim’s media appearances here) Her travel mantra is simple: All travel counts. “You don’t have to go far. Leaving your home is travel,” Kim says. “Wherever you go, even just to the next town over, you can learn something new, see someone and something you haven’t seen before. “It’s good for the brain and good for the soul.” An epiphany in early parenthood started Kim on the journey that led to SheBuysTravel. She’d been a fan of a newsletter for women travelers, and she saw an opportunity. “I thought something like that for moms could be extraordinarily helpful,” she said. “I was traveling for work, traveling for fun, and I was looking for support.” That seed grew into the award-winning website TravelingMom, created as a resource for traveling families of all stripes. Today, TravelingMom has evolved into SheBuysTravel, with an expanded mission to serve women travelers at any stage of life. Millions of readers have visited the site for trip planning help, travel secrets, destination information and gear recommendations. What sets SheBuysTravel’s content apart, Kim says, is its foundation in real-world experience. “Our writers and editors have actually gone out there and done this stuff,” she says. “They’ve booked the flights, tried the tour, tested travel clothing, visited that new hot spot to see if it’s worth the hype. It’s all real.” Memorable Adventures A 2022 tour Kim guided to Bhutan was a particularly standout experience. “Bhutan sounds so exotic, of course,” she said. “But the part where my heart just glows and warms is thinking of the people we met – amazing women doing amazing things in Bhutan.” Their ranks included a former police officer whose ventures into food science helped mitigate food insecurity for residents of Bhutan’s highlands. Top Tips Planning for travel can be daunting, Kim acknowledges. “I always say: Go anyway. No trip is going to be perfect. There’s always going to be something you didn’t expect, something that doesn’t go the way you pictured or planned it. And that something is what’s going to make it a great trip.” And on a practical note: “Go early! Getting to the airport or hitting the road just an hour earlier relieves so much stress.” Kim’s Background Kim, a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, holds degrees in finance and entrepreneurship and has deep experience in developing and running businesses. Her previous work includes developing and running communications workshops and overseeing document management for corporations. SheBuysTravel hits a sweet spot where Kim’s two loves of travel and entrepreneurship meet. “The longer I work in this field, I only want to do more,” she says. “I find the travel world so exciting – not just the trips, but the whole online world of travel. There are still so many opportunities.” The World Awaits “The ‘best trip ever’ probably won’t be the same for an empty-nester or mom of three versus a single woman celebrating a bachelorette party with her friends,” Kim says. “We want to keep it real for traveling women, no matter what their age, life stage, where they came from or where they’re going. “We want to inspire women to travel in any shape or form.” In her free time, Kim enjoys visiting her adult kids, creating trips and traveling with her BFFs to explore the world. Her most recent adventures can be found on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.
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