Exploring Danish Culture

Denmark consists of a peninsula and 400+ islands in the North Sea. A bridge between Scandinavia and continental Europe, this friendly northern country is a confluence of modern, cosmopolitan cities; simple, historic architecture influenced by Nordic tradition, and fairytale villages with town markets, country churches, and castles. The flat country, with moors, lakes, farmlands, and woodlands, and traffic-free pedestrian streets are ideal for riding bicycles or chatting with friends at a cafe. In Danish culture, people value their personal space and love to be cozy and comfortable—following the concept of hygge.

Study abroad in Denmark Host a Danish student in the U.S.


Danish People and Community

Students going out in Denmark

The Danes are known for being cosmopolitan, well-educated, and openminded people. Equality is a keyword in Danish culture. The vast majority of people belong to the middle class, and the percentage of poor people is low. The idea that everyone should have equal opportunities is among other things reflected in the health care system as well as in the educational system. Students can study for free and receive financial support from the state. Health care is provided through their taxes and Danes have free access to health care.

Families in Denmark are close and most prefer to cook dinner at home together every night. Key values in a typical Danish family include punctuality, planning, and responsibility. They often trust and share their daily lives with each other. It is common for all family members to attend sports clubs or other local activities after work and school.

Typically, both parents in a Danish family work full time and are away from home during the day. They are quite involved in their children’s school lives and activities. Each family member contributes to household chores and is treated equally. Parents, teachers, and elders are usually referred to by their first name.

Language and Communication Style

The main language spoken is Danish, while Faroese, Greenlandic, and German are also recognized as official regionally. Danish people tend to be quite proficient in English.

Food in Denmark

Danish food is diverse and has a wide variety of fresh produce, grains, and meats. Danish lunch is a traditional open-faced sandwich called smorrebrod. Dinner is usually the main meal and typically a time for the whole family to gather and talk about their days. Occasionally, Danish families will go out to eat at a restaurant, but this is a rare treat. Other staples are roast pork, pickled herring, fish, beans, Brussels sprouts, rice pudding, potato soup, meatballs in curry sauce, salted black licorice, and pastries.

Explore the Programs Available in Denmark