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Denmark

If you’re travelling to Denmark, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. In addition to Denmark itself, this travel advice also applies to the Kingdom of Denmark, which incorporates the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available by contacting the Health Service Executive, and that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise you to take normal precautions.

In addition to Denmark itself, this travel advice also applies to Greenland.

Latest Travel Alert

Given recent terrorist attacks in European cities, Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.

The Swedish government is continuing to mandate that all rail, bus and ferry operators carry out ID checks on all passengers travelling to Sweden. Any Irish citizens intending to travel to Sweden, including by train from Copenhagen via the Öresund Bridge, should ensure that they are carrying their passport or passport card in order to ensure that they will be allowed to enter Sweden.

In addition Denmark has imposed temporary border controls at the Danish/German border in Jutland and at the ferry landings in Gedser, Rødby and Rønne. These measures take the form of random checks.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, start by talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.  

You can contact the emergency services in Denmark by dialling 112.

Consider downloading the AkutDanmark mobile app, which displays emergency information in Denmark in Danish, English or German. The app automatically matches the language settings of your mobile phone. It costs DKK 6 (approximately €0.80) and can be downloaded via the App store and Google Play.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and security

Political Stability/unrest

The political situation in Denmark is reasonably stable but there can be occasional outbreaks of social unrest, including, for example isolated incidents of civil disturbance, particularly in the area of Christiania, in Copenhagen.

Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.  

Terrorism

There is a threat from terrorism in Denmark, in addition to the ongoing global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Denmark but you should take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Although Denmark’s crime rate is relatively low, there has been a slight rise in non-violent crimes in the past few years. Pickpockets are attracted to crowded, public areas during tourist season so be extra careful to keep your personal belongings such as passports, money and credit cards secure.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Denmark, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Copenhagen if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Denmark, you should take the same precautions as when in Ireland:

  • Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
  • Be aware of Denmark’s traffic laws; dimmed headlights are mandatory at all times, parking violations carry heavy fines, and urban speed limits tend to be lower than in Ireland.
  • Road conditions in winter can be icy. Main roads are normally well salted in central Copenhagen but may not be salted outside of the metropolitan area.

Vehicle hire

  • If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
  • Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged)

Cyclists

Cyclists are commonplace on Danish roads so be careful, especially when turning right, as cyclists have the right of way. It is vital to check your blind spot for a cyclist before turning.

If you’re using public transport, take care when getting on and off buses, as designated bike paths are usually located between the road and the footpath. Never walk on bike paths.

If you want to hire a bike while in Denmark, make sure it has working front and rear lights, reflectors on tyres and a bell – if it doesn’t, you risk paying a hefty fine.

Local laws and customs

The annual “Grindadráp” whaling season in the Faroe Islands generally takes place in the summer months between June and September. This event has attracted protesters and there will be an increased security presence during this period. Anyone engaging in potentially dangerous acts, including to life and/or property, could be arrested.

Practical advice

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it’s your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. 

Personal identification

You should carry personal identification at all times, for example either a passport or driving licence

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Denmark.

Health

The healthcare system in Denmark is of a very high standard, and in the case of serious injury emergency, medical treatment is free of charge, although you will be charged for follow-up care. 

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

Currency

The currency of Denmark is the Danish krone. Cash is not used for payment as frequently as in Ireland, although ATMs are easy to find. Credit and debit cards are commonly used for payments, although foreign cards often attract a surcharge. 

Greenland

Travellers to Greenland should be conscious of the additional risks implicit in the severe climate of Greenland, and the vast distances involved in travelling to and around the area. Travelling by cruise ship in the north may mean that search and rescue assistance will take a considerable time to arrive, possibly days. Travelling by land also imposes hazards, and anyone contemplating doing so should satisfy themselves that they have hired an experienced local guide.

The main hospital in Greenland, the Queen Ingrid's Hospital in Nuuk, is a modern, well equipped facility. However, serious medical issues may require evacuation to Iceland or further afield. Flights such as these can prove to be extremely expensive.

Given all of this, it is strongly recommended that travellers to the Greenland area acquire sufficient travel insurance to cover the cost of any medical treatment or potential evacuation.