STYLISH SCANDINAVIA – STOCKHOLM, GOTHENBURG & COPENHAGEN
Tour at a Glance
|STOCKHOLM||1 - 4|
|GOTHENBURG||4 - 6|
|COPENHAGEN||6 - 8|
|Transfer||Stockholm Arlanda International Airport [ARN]||Hotel At Six|
|Transfer||Hotel At Six||Stockholm Central Station|
|Transfer||Gothenburg Central Station||Clarion Collection Hotel Odin|
|Transfer||Clarion Collection Hotel Odin||Gothenburg Central Station|
|Transfer||Copenhagen Railway Station||71 Nyhavn Hotel|
|Transfer||Stockholm Central Station||Gothenburg Central Station|
|Train||Gothenburg Central Station||Copenhagen Railway Station|
Denmark forms the bridge between Germany and Sweden in Europe, dividing the North and Baltic Seas, and is famous for its happiness: it can be found in the top five of just about every international quality-of-life index. Along with this, the country is synonymous with some of the world’s most progressive ideas regarding politics, sustainability, and egalitarianism. And yet, the Danes have managed to retain a sense of their old-world charm: wonderfully preserved old town centres remain strewn with half-timbered houses and medieval castles, side by side with some of the world’s most forward-thinking design. Even Copenhagen, the country’s ‘ubercool’ cosmopolitan capital, fosters the kind of friendly know-your-neighbour atmosphere one would typically associate with a small village rather than a metropolis. The surrounds are equally charming, with gorgeous rolling hills scattered with traditional farmhouses and churches.
BANKING AND CURRENCY
Danish Krone (DKK; symbol kr) = 100 øre. Notes are in denominations of kr1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of kr20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 and 50 øre.
The 25 øre coin was removed from circulation in October 2008 but will be accepted by banks until 1 October 2011.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding €10,000 or equivalent must be declared if travelling from or to a country outside the European Union.
Some banks may refuse to exchange large foreign bank notes.
Banking hours: Mon to Wed and Fri 0930-1700, Thurs 0930-1800. Some banks in Copenhagen are open Mon-Fri 0930-1700. Some bureaux de change are open until 2400.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are widely accepted. There are plenty of ATMs across Denmark, especially in the major towns and cities.
Travellers cheques can be cashed by banks and hotels, and can be used at most restaurants and shops. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars.
TRAVEL, TRANSPORT AND GETTING AROUND
Internal flights in Denmark are served by a network of scheduled services from Copenhagen (Kastrup). Other airports well-served by domestic airlines include Ålborg, Århus, Billund, Bornholm, Karup and Sønderborg. Domestic airports are generally situated between two or more cities that are within easy reach of each other. Internal flights are usually of no more than 30 minutes’ duration. Domestic airlines include SAS (SK) (www.flysas.com) and Sterling Airlines (SA) (www.sterlingticket.com). Discounts are available on certain tickets bought inside Denmark. Family, children and young-person’s discounts are also available.
Car hire facilities are available to drivers over the age of 20, and can be reserved through travel agents or airlines. However, many firms will only hire vehicles out to drivers over 25 years of age. A national driving licence is acceptable. EU nationals taking their own cars to Denmark are strongly advised to obtain a Green Card. Without it, insurance cover is limited to the minimum legal cover in Denmark; the Green Card tops this up to the level of cover provided by the car owner’s domestic policy.Most major international firms are represented. Speed limits are 110kph (68mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on other roads and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas (signified by white plates with town silhouettes). Speed laws are strictly enforced, and heavy fines are levied on the spot; the car is impounded if payment is not made. The wearing of seatbelts is compulsory. Motorcyclists must wear helmets and drive with dipped headlights at all times. Children under 12 years old need to travel in the rear of the car. Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
The road system in the Danish archipelago makes frequent use of ferries.
There are cycle lanes along many roads and, in the countryside, many miles of scenic cycle track. Bikes can easily be taken on ferries, trains, buses and domestic air services.
Copenhagen has an integrated bus and urban train network, known as S-tog (www.dsb.dk/s-tog), as well as a metro (www.m.dk). Taxi fares include a tip.
The main cities on all islands are connected to the rail network: Ålborg, Copenhagen, Esbjerg, Herning, Horsens, Odense and Randers. Danish State Railways (DSB) (tel: 7013 1418; www.dsb.dk) operates a number of express trains called Lyntogs which provide long-distance, non-stop travel. Intercity IC3 trains are faster and more direct. Seat reservations are compulsory. Children under 10 years old travel free. There are also price reductions for passengers over 65 and groups of eight people or more.
The Englænderen boat-train runs between Esbjerg and Copenhagen and connects with ferries from the UK. DSB passenger fares are based on a zonal system. The cost depends on the distance travelled; the cost per kilometre is reduced the longer the journey.
There are frequent ferry sailings from Kalundborg to Århus, Ebeltoft to Sjællands Odde and Rønne to Copenhagen. The larger ferries usually have restaurants or cafés and may have TV, video and cinema lounges, shops, play areas for children and sleeping rooms. Local car ferries link most islands to the road network. The principal domestic ferry operator is Scandlines (tel: 3315 1515; www.scandlines.dk). Ferries to Bornholm island are operated by Bornholmstrafikken (tel: 5695 1866;www.bornholmstrafikken.dk).
FOOD, DRINK AND CUISINE ADVICE
There’s nothing to mark out Danish food as particularly risky to general health, in fact food hygiene standards are very high across the country. The tap water is also safe to drink. However, resist the temptation to drink from streams or lakes, no matter how clean they look, as they may contain pollutants.
Given its geographical position, it is not surprising that fish forms an important part of Danish cuisine. Around a dozen restaurants in Denmark, the majority in the capital, boast Michelin star or ‘rising star’ status. Most towns have fast food outlets, and sausage (pølser) stalls also offering soft drinks and beer. There are no licensing hours.
Hotels and restaurants quote fully inclusive prices and tipping is not necessary.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Summer extends from June to August, which are also the best months to visit. Winter is from December to March, and tends to be wet with long periods of frost and dark days. Spring and autumn are generally mild.
The Faroe Islands are under the influence of the warm current of the Gulf Stream, and they enjoy a very mild climate for the latitude. Winters are warm, but the islands are cloudy, windy and wet throughout the year. Summers are cool, but with little sunshine.
CLOTHING AND DRESS RECOMMENDATIONS
Lightweight clothing made usual natural fabrics is recommended for summer. Warmer, heavyweight for clothing is advised for winter snows.
ELECTRICITY AND PLUG STANDARDS
For the most part, electrical sockets (outlets) in Denmark are their own standard, the “Type K” Danish SRAF 1962/DB. Also reported to be in use is the “Type C” European CEE 7/16 Europlug. If your appliance’s plug doesn’t match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance’s plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it’s crucial to be able to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all three types.
Electrical sockets (outlets) in Denmark usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.
But travel plug adapters do not change the voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 220-240 volts the socket is supplying. If your appliances are not compatible with 220-240 volt electrical output, a voltage converter will be necessary.