In Denmark (world’s happiest country) the expression, Fairy Tale is used generously given its lasting belletristic legacy of palaces; and ‘Hygge’ the original Danish trait denoting warmth and fellowship is said to affect the citizen’s invaluable happiness. Denmark is a country where old-world charm enfolds the most futuristic advancements, and where lifestyle wins a regular spot on earth’s best liveable nations list. In this egalitarian country, you will find compact cities overlaid with modern infrastructure, the best of arts, architecture, dining and entertainment options. Travelling through Denmark is a breeze! The subtle immaculate landscapes of Denmark are imbued, with empyreal Nordic illuminations and mirror, Danish outlook towards art, architecture, cuisine, chattels and style.
In between, you will encounter flashes of long sandy beaches, middle-age fortresses, or candlelit cafes that have mastered the Hygge state of mind. Denmark was found a thousand years back, at the time when Vikings steered along the seas to destroy European expanses. A journey that concluded with modern Danes winning global representation of a cultured and gracious society, that dwells upon reformist governments, city cycling culture, sustainability and quality of life.
The Fairy Tale Kingdom
Visiting Denmark is like stepping into the land of sea merchants, Vikings, fairies, and royals from several eras. If you spent your childhood reading fairytales, then you must be accustomed to Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen is an 18th-century Danish writer who once said, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” He has authored several works including The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina and so on. Occasionally as you walk around, you will come across residents dressed in traditional costumes. These costumes, worn to celebrate, special events and traditions hugely entice you into discovering the fairy tale landmarks and the roots of Norse Mythology.
Andersen’s tales depict nautical history uncovering episodes, folkways and expressions unique to Denmark’s culture. His characters often hinge upon Norse goddesses and gods and carry fine writings on rituals within a different Christian framework. He portrayed a precise observation of the religious dynamics that Denmark underwent. Even though Danish folklore was passed down, through generations, the folk tales were only collected and written in the 19th-century in an attempt to conserve cultural history.
Food in Denmark
I got introduced to authentic Danish food at the time I was sailing from Oslo to Copenhagen on the DFDS cruise. Danish pastry (or just Danish) became my instant favourite, and I could barely resist eating too many. Well, when it comes to Danish pastry – never say never! This multilayered, flaky, sugary pastry from the viennoiserie tradition melts in your mouth instantly, given the generous amounts of butter (or margarine) that goes into its preparation. Although only after spending a few days in Copenhagen, I realised that Danish pastries are not quite so Danish. In fact, in Denmark, these popular delights are called Wienerbrød, meaning Vienna Bread. That’s because Danish pastries were first baked in Denmark in the early 18th-century by a few Austrian bakers.
During my stay in Copenhagen, I also chanced upon savouring a few traditional Danish dishes such as Pølser (gourmet hot dog), Kartofler (caramelised potatoes), Flæskesteg (roasted pork), Karbonader (pork patties), and Smørrebrød open-face sandwich. Baking and brewing in Denmark are inspired, by the use of global spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, barley and black pepper. The origin of Danish cuisine, however, can be traced back to the Viking age. By and by, I relished every bite and was left impressed by Danish chefs who employ unconventional methods of cooking to high-quality local produce and present the best gourmet you will ever eat. While here, also try Denmark’s world-class oysters with a glass of champagne or Frikadeller (Danish meatballs) with a glass of wine.
I have put together a list of all the best places I visited in Denmark, and I plan on updating this, as soon as, I take another trip.
- Copenhagen (København) Scandinavia’s most fabulous city
- Add Danish Copenhagen to your Travel bucket list
- DFDS Pearl Seaways, Magic on the move from Norway to Denmark
- Renaissance Stock Exchange, the most Beautiful building of Copenhagen
- Folketinget, The Danish Parliament represents utmost Democracy
- Christiansborg Palace houses all 3 Supreme Powers of the country
- Tivoli Gardens, The 2nd Oldest Theme Park in the World
- The Original Little Mermaid from Copenhagen
- The Heart-rending story of The Danish Little Mermaid