We arrived in Denmark yesterday afternoon and took it easy our first evening, after a grueling 9 1/2 hour flight. I look forward to one day being able to fly first class on the regular; flying economy on long flights is the pits. Sleeping is more like a series of stiff, fitful and not quite satisfying naps.

Strøget in December, Copenhagen Denmark | The Girl Next Door is Black
Strøget, is one of Europe’s longest and oldest pedestrian streets. It’s lined with shops, eateries and bars.

For dinner, we dined on hand-crafted burgers at Halifax, a gastropub in Indre By.  I once belonged to a burger club, so I’ve tried my fair share of burgers – Halifax makes a respectable burger. We noticed the Danes around us lingered for awhile after their last bites, enrapt in conversation. The staff appeared nonplussed by this. Tipping isn’t a custom at restaurants.

Scandic Palace Hotel Copenhagen, Denmark | The Girl Next Door is Black

This afternoon, my friend and I took a free 3-hour walking tour of central Copenhagen. Our tour guide was Magnus, a true Dane with blonde hair, blue-eyes and a strong jawline (along with a slightly sarcastic sense of humor). He shared his knowledge of his home country and I learned the following:

1. For years Denmark has held the title “Happiest Country.” Magnus seemed pretty happy, I must say. Certainly proud of his country.

2. Interestingly, Denmark has one of the highest divorce rates in all of Europe.

Denmark is known for its Pølsevogn or sausage stands where they sell hot dogs and sausages with toppings like mustard, ketchup, diced onions, pickles and a remoulade.

3. It also has one of the highest individual tax rates in the world at an average of 55%.

4. Taxes pay for things like college education, which is free for all citizens up through the PhD level. In fact, you get PAID to attend college. The money can be used for rent (you get more if you don’t live with mom and dad), books, food or even beer if you like.

5. The Danish greatly value the concept of “hygge” (hew-ge), which loosely translates to a feeling of being relaxed, satisfied and unhurried.

6. There is no minimum wage. The average hourly rate is US $50.

7. The standard workweek is 37 hours.

Friends Selfie in Copenhagen | The Girl Next Door is Black
Copenhagen selfie!

8. Danes get minimum five weeks of paid vacation!

9. Copenhagen is one of the world’s most livable cities with biking a popular mode of transportation.

10. Life in prison in Denmark means 25 years. Prisoners get rooms with beds and are allowed TVs. Once released, the government helps reintegrate former inmates into society.

Baresso Hot Chocolate Copenhagen Denmark | The Girl Next Door is Black
Hot Chocolate with light, dark and white chocolate and cream from Baresso was perfect for the chilly, rainy day.

11. Denmark is also one of the safest countries in the world.

12. It’s legal to drink on the street in Copenhagen.

13. The Danish like being on time, but not early.

14. The Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister and Queen of Denmark are all female.

15. Denmark has a whole lotta pigs so pork is a very popular dish.

Frederik’s Church

I don’t know if it’s the air, the sense of chill or just being on vacation, but my friend and I both agreed that we are really happy today. We like Denmark so far!

Black girl in Copenhagen | The Girl Next Door is Black

 

 

 

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27 Comments
  • Linda Manns Linneman
    July 11, 2015

    It looks beautiful there. It sounds as though the people are friendly enough. I am surprised that their divorce rate is even higher that the US. Thank you so much for sharing this great article

    • Our tour guide joked that their one of the happiest countries in the world because of their high divorce rate.

  • Dr. Sarah David
    December 29, 2014

    Thanks for the share! Love that I get to visit this part of the world through your eyes. Keep up the great work!

  • jarretr
    December 24, 2014

    I’ll be moving to Denmark soon, thanks 😉

  • Kimberley Tobin
    December 23, 2014

    I LOVE Denmark and can’t wait to go back! I lived and went to university in Aarhus for a while 🙂 This brought back lots of awesome memories!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      December 24, 2014

      How cool! I wish we’d known about Aarhus. I’ve heard good things since we’ve been here. I can imagine how fun it was to go to uni here!

  • izzy82
    December 21, 2014

    Wow this kind of makes me want to move to Denmark! Sounds like they have an overall good quality of life!

  • claugary
    December 20, 2014

    I would also like to go to Denmark, now!!!! Congrats on your post.

    http://www.claugary.com

  • Michelle
    December 19, 2014

    I have never thought about visiting Denmark before, but after reading your post, sounds like a very interesting place to go.

  • Heidi
    December 19, 2014

    How long are you there? I have two friends in Copenhagen. If you’re interested in meeting some locals, let me know.
    Copenhagen was one of the first places I visted when I moved to Europe. I love it too! So relaxed.
    H

  • Vanessa Morgan
    December 19, 2014

    I was in Copenhagen a few years ago, but I can’t say I’m a fan. Too expensive, and I think there are prettier towns in Europe.

  • samdfb1
    December 19, 2014

    Sounds fab. After reading this I MUST visit Denmark. Enjoy your trip!

  • fischerwolf
    December 18, 2014

    So fun. I like being able to travel vicariously through you 😉

  • mojoshawn
    December 18, 2014

    Really interesting article. I enjoyed the pictures. Looks as though you two are settling in to “hygge” quite nicely! Have fun!

  • Shahidah
    December 18, 2014

    While I’m over here just watching Danish television on Netflix you are living my dream to visit!!!!