Copenhagen Rocks

what is Denmark famous for? 11 Denmark Claims to Fame

So you’re on the fence about planning a trip to Denmark, and you’re sitting there asking yourself ”Wait, what is Denmark famous for?”.

Well, more than you think! Most people know that Denmark is famous for its happy people, high taxes, and dramatic landscape.

And while those are important the country offers much more than that. 

For example, did you know that Denmark’s famed around the world for food, castles, and comfort?

And if you didn’t know, I don’t blame you. Denmark is a country that flies under many people’s radar.

I’m not sure why? Perhaps it’s the size. After all, Denmark is small compared to the other Scandinavian countries? Or maybe because it’s a country made mostly of small islands?

Who knows for sure!? But let me tell you; Denmark is not only the gateway to Scandinavia, but it’s also one of the best places to visit in Europe.

And while it is tiny, there are a lot of famous reasons to visit the smallest country in Scandinavia.

In this fun post, we are going to explore 11 things that Denmark’s famous for.

And by the end you’ll come away with from this detailed knowledge and insight to some Denmark’s biggest claims to fame. All of which are all well deserved.

What is Denmark Famous for?

Castles in Copenhagen

Denmark’s The Happiest Country in the World

Have you’ve already browsed through our facts about Denmark?

Then you’ll know that the country is consistently ranked – via the world happiness report – in the top three as one of the happiest country in the world.

The survey takes into account everything from the happiness of everyday life. But also everyday factors like how people feel about their personal circumstances.

And Danes are always at the top of the happiness list! But why are Danes always ranked in the top three?

Perhaps, it’s because every gender, race, and sexual orientation is treated equally?

And let’s be honest free university tuition?

Something tell me that it could be related to the very Danish concept of hygge. (Another famous Danish thing; and one that we’ll talk about later).

Personally, I think it’s a stirred up, combo of the quality of living, equality, lack of corruption, and safety.

Extremely High Taxes

“What is Denmark famous for”, you say, “High taxes”. Then how are Danes so happy?

And I get why you would think that! Most of us are raised to view view high taxes as a negative.

And it’s true, taxes in Denmark are extremely high – some of the highest in the world. For example, want a new car? Be prepared to pay tax on it as high as 150%.

Tax for the average annual income can be as much as 45%.

And the more you make, the higher percentage you pay!

But yet the Danes are some of the happiest people on Earth. They are even happy to pay these high taxes! A recent Gallup poll showed that 9 out of 10 Danes are happy to pay such high taxes!

Why? Because they view these high taxes as an investment in the country, community, and quality of life.

And it works! Denmark has one of the best qualities of life in the world.

Danes have access to free health care.

Childcare is subsidized.

And older people get workers to help them at home for free. Maternity leave for both the dad and mom last between 32 – 52 weeks.

University is free. But not only that, students get $900 a month to help them why they are studying.

Danes are happy to pay taxes because the money directly makes their lives better.

What is Denmark For?… Lego

Yep, I but you didn’t know that Lego was born and raised in Denmark; before it started, its world-wide toy domination.

Without a doubt, Lego is one of the most popular children’s toys on the planet.

And these small plastic blocks have continued to invade pop-cultural. Nowadays There are Legos for everything from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars.

They are countless Lego video games and even blockbuster movies.

In fact, Denmark in Lego’s home town, Billund, Denmark, there’s the Lego Resort.

An enormous park filled with massive Lego buildings, amusement park rides, and Lego-themed restaurants.

The Most Friendly Biking Country in the World

Anyone who’s worked through the list of top things to do in Copenhagen knows that the Danes are obsessed with biking.

To that point, Denmark is the most bike-friendly country in the world.

Yep, biking is everywhere in Denmark. The country has its own bike streets, bridges, and traffic lights.

Let’s just look at Copenhagen where there are more bikes than people! Yes, you read that right!

Copenhagen has a population of around 520,000, and there are an estimated 650,000 bikes. that’s 120,000 extra bikes!

Heck, just walking out of the main station you’re greeted with thousands of bikes.

And it’s not seasonal! Whether you are visiting Copenhagen at the best time of the year, or the worst time, you will see a lot of locals biking.

Fun Biking Fact About Denmark: If you took all the miles biked in Copenhagen each year and wrapped it around the world. It would go around the earth 13,000 times!

Outstanding Maternity Leave

New moms and dads prepare to get jealous as another thing that Denmark is famous for is maternity leave. 

Now, that might seem like a strange claim to fame, but just check out the details.

New parents get a total of 32 to 52 weeks of paid (yep, an entire year) of maternity leave.

Moms get the month off people birth and 3 months after birth. For a total of 18 weeks. Furthermore, the parents get another 32 weeks of maternity leave too split between them! And more if the child gets sick.

By Danish law, parents get a total of 52 weeks of paid maternity leave. (Although it might not always be full pay).

Up to 52 weeks of paid leave is guaranteed by the government. Where in some countries, like America, paid maternity leave isn’t guaranteed for every job.

Oh yeah, and there’s no hospital bills. So if you want to have a baby… Denmark’s a good option.

Denmark’s Famous As Being Both One of the Smallest and Largest Countries in the World

How can Denmark be both one of the world’s smallest and largest countries? Well, the devil is in the details.

You see, Denmark is famous for owning Greenland. Which is the largest island in the world? So when it comes to landmass, and sheer geographical size, then Denmark is the 12th largest country in the world.

But here’s the catch, while Denmark owns Greenland, it is considered an autonomous Danish dependent country.

Basically, a fancy way of saying that Greenland mostly governs itself, but relies on Denmark for some things like budget and defense.

So because Greenland rules itself, if you take it away from Denmark’s size it moves the country the 130th in size in the world.

This is a cool fact about Denmark! 

And it’s the only country in the world – that I know of – that can claim to be one of the biggest and smallest.

Denmark’s Leading A Culinary Revolution

If you’re like me, I knew nothing about the country’s food scene. Well, that’s before spending a lot of time in Denmark. However, Denmark is a globally renowned culinary hotspot!

Surprised? I know, I was as well.

But it’s true. Denmark has some of the world’s top-rated restaurants. The most famous is Noma which is consistently voted as the number 1 restaurant in the world!

In fact, for fancy eaters, Denmark has 25 Michelin Star Restaurants and a total of 33 Michelin Stars. That means you could eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant every month for over two years! Yum.

But who can afford that! Let’s talk about food a little more in our price range.

For budget travelers, like myself, Denmark’s paving new ground on open-air markets, casual dining, street food, and even how coffee is experienced.

Foodies simply can’t get enough of Denmark.

Denmark’s Leading A Culinary Revolution

If you’re like me, I knew nothing about the country’s food scene. Well, that’s before spending a lot of time in Denmark. However, Denmark is a globally renowned culinary hotspot!

Surprised? I know, I was as well.

But it’s true. Denmark has some of the world’s top-rated restaurants. The most famous is Noma which is consistently voted as the number 1 restaurant in the world!

In fact, for fancy eaters, Denmark has 25 Michelin Star Restaurants and a total of 33 Michelin Stars. That means you could eat at a Michelin Star Restaurant every month for over two years! Yum.

But who can afford that! Let’s talk about food a little more in our price range.

For budget travelers, like myself, Denmark’s paving new ground on open-air markets, casual dining, street food, and even how coffee is experienced.

Foodies simply can’t get enough of Denmark you can even plan 3 day in Copenhagen solely around food!.

Hot Dogs Are the Most Famous Street Food in Denmark

Since we are discussing food let’s talk about Denmark’s most famous street food… the Posler, or Hot Dog – as you might know them.

Now, when you think hotdog you might immediately wander to Germany or New York. But did you know that these sausages are one of the most famous, and popular foods in Denmark?

All over the country, you’ll find polsevogn – or sausage wagons. Here you can indulge yourself with the dog of your choice. Many come with a a variety of different styles and toppings.

Each one offers a unique take on classic food.

Hotdogs are so popular in Denmark, that Copenhagen has been hailed as the Hot Dog capital of the world.

Hot Dogs Are the Most Famous Street Food in Denmark

Since we are discussing food let’s talk about Denmark’s most famous street food… the Posler, or Hot Dog – as you might know them.

Now, when you think hotdog you might immediately wander to Germany or New York. But did you know that these sausages are one of the most famous, and popular foods in Denmark?

All over the country, you’ll find polsevogn – or sausage wagons. Here you can indulge yourself with the dog of your choice. Many come with a a variety of different styles and toppings.

Each one offers a unique take on classic food.

Hotdogs are so popular in Denmark, that Copenhagen has been hailed as the Hot Dog capital of the world.

Denmark is famous for Comfort aka “Hygge”

“Hygge” is a simple concept, but one hard to explain as it has no direct translation. The best and the simplest translation is “comfort or coziness”. However, this only encapsulates part of it.

Hygge is a state of mind.

Putting your mind and body in a state of warmth and relaxation.

Hygge differs from person to person.

For example, for me reading a book by a fireplace is hygge. But for you, hygge might be a candlelight dinner with friends. Or enjoying the sound of rainfall as you sitting on your porch.

Hygge can also be soaking in the sun on the beach.

Hygge differs for everyone. But it’s putting your mind and body in a state of relaxation.

And while Hygge has become a worldwide phenomenon, it is a cornerstone of Danish life and culture.

Denmark is the Land of the Vikings

We have to touch on at least one historical claim to fame for Denmark. And what’s more popular than the Vikings. And while the Vikings were spread all over Scandinavia we associate them with Denmark. Because of the roots of these wild, seafaring people started in Denmark.

The age of the Vikings lasted for around 300 years from 793 to 1066 CE.

The story of the Vikings is well known as they pillaged and ponder through the United Kingdom and parts of Europe.

And shows like history channels Vikings have brought the Danish Vikings like Ragnar Lodbrok, Rollo, and Björn Ironside into pop-cultural.

Through Denmark, in most museums, there are thousands of Viking relics to see. There’s also Vikings open-air parks, and yearly celebrations. Denmark embraces its Vikings heritage, warts and all.

Denmark is Famous for Fairy Tale Castles

Denmark is also famous for its castle. There are literally hundreds of castles and palaces peppered around this tiny country.

What’s even better is that many of them are beautiful fairy tale-esque castles.

There’s scenic Kronborg Castle, iconic Egeskov Castle, and famous Rosenborg Castle. Of course, don’t forget Helsingor Castle, which is the setting for Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet.

And there we go. 11 Things that Denmark is famous for.

But wait, there’s more! As a bonus lets go over a few more famous things about Denmark.

Famous People From Denmark

Let’s look at some of the most famous people from Denmark throughout history.

Hans Christian Andersen – By Far the most famous Dane. Andersen was a writer who wrote novels and play. He is best known for his fairy tales like The Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling.

Viggo Mortensen – Born in New York to Danish parents, today the Lord of the Rings Star holds dual citizenship. He also speaks fluent Danish.

Scarlett Johansson – This marvel star was born in the USA. But her roots are danish. She was born to Danish architect Karsten Olof Johansson.

Mads Mikkelsen – Perhaps the most well known “Danish” actor. Mikkelsen is a master of his craft and has played everything from a Bond villain to a scientist in Star Wars.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Aka Jaime Lannister from HBO’s Game of Thrones. This talented actor is originally from Denmark.

What is Denmark Known for Producing

Denmark is the world leading producer in a few different areas. Here are three things that Denmark is famous for producing.

Lego – As we talked about before, Lego is the biggest export of Denmark.

Agriculture – More than 60 percent of Denmark’s land is reserved for agricultural purposes. The country exports a lot of food around the world. Namely meats, vegetables, organic products, and milk.

Wind Energy – Denmark Pioneered Wind Turbines. The country is the worlds leading exporter on Wind Turbines. Not only that but around 47% of the country’s electricity comes from wind energy.

What is Denmark Famous for Food

Smørrebrød – Open-faced sandwich, that consists of a slice of rye bread and beautiful stacked cold cuts, and ingredients.

Flæskesteg – Nordic roast pork, is it the national dish of Denmark.

Danish pastry – Denmark famous for food, but also for pastry. Oh, and let my waistline express how tasty these bad boys are.

Stegt flæsk – Fried pork belly, served with white sauce and potatoes. One of my favorite things to eat in Denmark.

Æbleskiver – These round snacks have a pancake texture. The most famous dessert in Denmark. These doughnut hole type Danish dessert is worth every single bite.

Famous Things to Buy in Denmark

Legos – Ok, this is the third, and last time I will mention legos. But as they are one of the most famous things about Denmark, buying legos in the country is a given.

Viking Jewelry – Some epic Viking jewelry replicas can be found around the country. The simple, yet elegant style just might make the perfect gift for your other half,

Royal Copenhagen – Not my style, but if you are into teapots or porcelain plates, mugs, or bowls then Royal Copenhagen is one of the world’s most recognized brands around the world.

Licorice – Another thing Denmark is famous for is licorice. Namely salty licorice, which I don’t like. But as it is one of the most popular things about modern danish culture it is a famous thing to buy in Denmark.

Han Christian Andersen Tales – Definitely a good souvenir for people! Grab yourself a book on his famous tales to gift to someone, or display on your coffee table.

Denmark is one of the best countries in the world and has a lot of claims to fame. Here are some reasons to visit the country.

And there we go! You never again have to ask “What is Denmark famous for?”.