American Express -- Amex is represented throughout Denmark by Nyman & Schultz, Nørregade 7A (tel. 33-13-11-81; bus: 34 or 35), with a branch in Terminal 3 of the Copenhagen Airport. Fulfilling all the functions of American Express, except for foreign exchange services, the main office is open Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 4:30pm, and Friday 8:30am to 4pm. The airport office remains open until 8:30pm Monday to Friday. On weekends and overnight on weekdays, a recorded message, in English, will deliver the phone number of a 24-hour Amex service in Stockholm. This is useful for anyone who has lost a card or travelers checks.
Area Code -- The international country code for Denmark is 45. For international calls, dial 00, then the country code (44 for Britain, 1 for the United States or Canada).
Business Hours -- Most banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 4pm (Thurs to 6pm), but outside Copenhagen, banking hours vary. Stores are generally open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5:30pm, Friday 9am to 7 or 8pm, and Saturday noon to 2pm; most are closed Sunday.
Drinking Laws -- To consume alcohol in Danish bars, restaurants, or cafes, customers must be 18 or older. There are no restrictions on children 17 and under who drink at home or, for example, from a bottle in a public park. Danish police tend to be lenient unless drinkers become raucous or uncontrollable. There is no leniency, however, in the matter of driving while intoxicated. It's illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.8 or more, which could be produced by two drinks. If the level is 1.5, motorists pay a serious fine. If it's more than 1.5, drivers can lose their license. If the level is 2.0 or more (usually produced by six or seven drinks), a prison term of at least 14 days might follow. Liquor stores in Denmark are closed on Sunday.
Drug Laws -- Penalties for the possession, use, purchase, sale, or manufacturing of drugs are severe. The quantity of the controlled substance is more important than the type of substance. Danish police are particularly strict with cases involving the sale of drugs to children.
Drugstores -- They're known as apoteker in Danish and are open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5:30pm, Friday 9am to 7pm, and Saturday 9am to 1pm.
Electricity -- Voltage is generally 220 volts AC, 50 to 60 cycles. In many camping sites, 110-volt power plugs are also available. Adapters and transformers may be purchased in Denmark. It's always best to check at your hotel desk before using an electrical outlet.
Embassies -- All embassies are in Copenhagen. The embassy of the United States is at Dag Hammärskjölds Allé 24, DK-2100 Copenhagen (tel. 33-41-71-00). Other embassies are the United Kingdom, Kastelsvej 40, DK-2100 Copenhagen (tel. 35-44-52-00); Canada, Kristen Berniskows Gade 1, DK-1105 Copenhagen K (tel. 33-48-32-00); Australia, Dampfærgevej 26, DK-2100 Copenhagen (tel. 70-26-36-76); and Ireland, Østbanegade 21, DK-2100 Copenhagen (tel. 35-42-32-33).
Emergencies -- Dial tel. 112 for the fire department, the police, or an ambulance, or to report a sea or air accident. Emergency calls from public telephone kiosks are free (no coins needed).
Holidays -- Danish public holidays are New Year's Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Labor Day (May 1), Common Prayers Day (fourth Fri after Easter), Ascension Day (mid-May), Whitsunday (late May), Whitmonday, Constitution Day (June 5), Christmas Day, and Boxing Day (Dec 26).
Language -- Danish is the national tongue. English is commonly spoken, especially among young people. You should have few, if any, language barriers. The best phrase book is Danish for Travellers (Berlitz).
Lost & Found -- Be sure to tell all of your credit card companies the minute you discover your wallet has been lost or stolen and file a report at the nearest police precinct. Your credit card company or insurer may require a police report number or record of the loss. Most credit card companies have an emergency toll-free number to call if your card is lost or stolen; they may be able to wire you a cash advance immediately or deliver an emergency credit card in a day or two. Visa's emergency number outside the U.S. is tel. 410/581-3836; call collect. American Express cardholders should call collect tel. 336/393-1111. MasterCard holders should call collect tel. 314/542-7111. If you need emergency cash over the weekend when all banks and American Express offices are closed, you can have money wired to you via Western Union (tel. 800/325-6000; www.westernunion.com).
Mail -- Most post offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 or 10am to 5 or 6pm and Saturday from 9am to noon; they're closed Sunday. All mail to North America is sent airmail without extra charge. Mailboxes are painted red and display the embossed crown and trumpet of the Danish Postal Society.
Newspapers & Magazines -- English-language newspapers are sold at all major news kiosks in Copenhagen but are much harder to find in the provinces. London papers are flown in for early-morning delivery, but you may find the International Herald Tribune or USA Today more interesting. Pick up a copy of Copenhagen This Week, printed in English, which contains useful information.
Police -- Dial tel. 112 nationwide.
Safety -- Denmark is one of the safest European countries for travelers. Copenhagen, the major population center, naturally experiences the most crime. Muggings have been reported in the vicinity of the railway station, especially late at night, but crimes of extreme violence are exceedingly rare. Exercise the usual precautions you would when traveling anywhere.
Smoking -- August 15, 2007, was D-day for Danish smokers. A smoking ban took effect, against cigarettes, cigars, and pipes, which can no longer be enjoyed in any public buildings or private businesses. The ordinance covers restaurants, shops, schools, bars, public transport, entertainment establishments, and places of employment. The World Health Organization estimates that 30% of all Danes smoke.
Taxes -- The 25% VAT (value-added tax) on goods and services is known in Denmark as moms (pronounced "mumps"). Special tax-free exports are possible, and many stores will mail goods home to you, circumventing moms. If you want to take your purchases with you, look for shops displaying Danish tax-free shopping notices. Such shops offer tourists tax refunds for personal export. This refund applies to purchases of at least DKK300 ($51/£30) for U.S. visitors. Danish Customs must stamp your tax-free invoice when you leave the country. You can receive your refund at Copenhagen's Kastrup International Airport when you depart. If you go by land or sea, you can receive your refund by mail. Mail requests for refunds to Danish Tax-Free Shopping A/S, H. J. Holstvej 5A, DK-2605 Brøndby, Denmark. You'll be reimbursed by check, cash, or credit- or charge-card credit in the currency you want.
For the refund to apply, the DKK 300 ($51/£30) must be spent in one store, but not necessarily at the same time. Some major department stores allow purchases to be made over several days or even weeks, at the end of which receipts will be tallied. Service and handling fees are deducted from the total, so actual refunds come up to about 19%. Information on this program is available from the Danish Tourist Board.
A 25% moms is included in hotel and restaurant bills, service charges, entrance fees, and repair bills for foreign-registered cars. No refunds are possible on these items.
Time -- Denmark operates on Central European Time -- 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight saving time is from the end of March to the end of September.
Tipping -- Tips are seldom expected. Porters charge fixed prices, and tipping is not customary for hairdressers or barbers. Service is built into the system, and hotels, restaurants, and even taxis include a 15% service charge in their rates. Because of the service charge, plus the 25% moms, you'll probably have to pay an additional 40% for some services!
Consider tipping only for special services; some Danes would feel insulted if you offered them a tip.
Toilets -- All big plazas, such as Town Hall Square in Copenhagen, have public lavatories. In small towns and villages, head for the marketplace. Hygienic standards are usually adequate. Sometimes men and women patronize the same toilets (signs read TOILETTER or WC). Otherwise, men's rooms are marked HERRER or H, and women's rooms are marked DAMER or D.
Useful Phone Numbers -- U.S. Deptartment of State Travel Advisory tel. 202/647-5225 (manned 24 hrs.)
U.S. Passport Agency tel. 202/647-0518, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control International Traveler's Hotline tel. 404/332-4559.
Water -- Tap water is safe to drink throughout Denmark.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.