Hope you’re all having a good weekend dear readers! I’m (Will) chilling in my home town in the Cotswolds and reading about all the cool things everybody else is doing around the world.
Today I’m excited to be chatting to my friend Becky, who with her husband Gray runs GlobalGrasshopper.com, about a country I’ve always wanted to visit, Denmark.
So while they might crash straight out of the European football championships “Group of Death” there’s no need to have any other low expectations about this Scandinavian pearl, as Becky well explains!
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your experience travelling in Denmark
I’m Becky I run the multi-author travel blog GlobalGrasshopper.com with my husband Gray. We set up the site mostly to showcase Gray’s travel photography and then we expanded it after finding quite a few of our friends were budding travel writers. A large part of our blog is dedicated to finding unusual places that are often overlooked when travelling. From a recent trip to Copenhagen we decided to write an ‘anti-tourist’ guide for people looking to experience a different side of the Danish captial. We also have another Denmark expert on our team, travel writer Lee Hubbard and he’s also helped answer these questions.
2. How does Denmark compare to the rest of Europe in terms of things to see and do, its food and its culture? Is it very similar to other countries or very different?
Denmark is very small and easy to get around. It definitely looks and feels Scandinavian, but the sense of humour of the locals is often similar to the British. The food ranges from simple-but-effective (like smorrebrod, their national dish, which translates literally as “buttered bread” but is really any open sandwich with a range of toppings) to places like Rene Redzepi’s Noma – voted the best restaurant in the world 2 years running. Sourcing, indeed “foraging” for local ingredients, has become the buzz word. Their Viking culture is also fascinating.
3. How much money can someone travel around Denmark for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap?
There are hostels around the country so it is possible to travel on a budget. It should be possible to buy a train pass (I used a ScanRail pass, but this was a number of years ago) and distances are small compared to many European countries. I’d say it was roughly on a par with London (and maybe even higher in certain places) – but to save money on groceries you need to go to Netto! Eat your main meal at lunch to take advantage of meal offers, and have a drink or two before you leave for a night out – bars and club prices can be high, though you might also find “all you can drink” clubs in Copenhagen.
4. What are your favourite destinations in Denmark and why?
I love Copenhagen for it’s atmosphere, architecture, nightlife and attractions. I’d say that a visit to the original Legoland in Billund is essential for kids and adults alike. I used to love Christiania, warts and all, but on the last visit it seemed like a shadow of its former self. Hopefully it’s improved since. The sand dunes in northern Jutland were a complete surprise, and as wonderful as those in a more typical desert country like Egypt. I’d also recommend younger visitors going to Aalborg – the street Jomfru Annie Gade is literally an entire street of bars and pubs where the locals do a pub crawl all the way down it! The universtiy city of Aarhus is also worth a visit for it’s unique and youthful vibe.
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Denmark and why?
The Roskilde Festival is the big one, and rightly so – it’s like a cleaner version of Glastonbury! Smaller day festivals can also be fun too, like the Aalborg Carnival.
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
My favourite are the people – it’s what drew me to the country in the first place. If you want spectacular mountains, dense jungle, amazing ocean life – well, there are plenty of other places for that. But the people here are more friendly, humorous and open-minded than their Scandinavian neighbours. The least favourite thing are the prices of the drinks!
7. What things do you focus on most when you write on your travel blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
We tried to stay away from the main tourist attractions instead focusing on the interesting districts which make Copenhagen so special. If you explore off the main streets you’ll find some of the most interesting shops, bars and restaurants. One place we found in the trendy Meatpacking district was a bar, nightclub and art gallery all rolled into one!
8. What’s one thing you can’t travel around Denmark without?
Money, unfortunately it can be expensive. Otherwise it’s a pretty easy places to travel around.
9. If you could have lived anywhere else in the country where would it be and why?
Aarhus is Denmark’s second biggest city and it’s also very livable – clean, friendly with some fantastic architecture.
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone had told you before you started travelling in Denmark what would it be?
Don’t get your hopes up about The Little Mermaid – she really IS little!
Thanks to Becky for Grasshopping her way over here and sharing her Danish experiences with us.
Make sure you check out GlobalGrasshopper.com to find out more!
If you’d like to be interviewed, contact us.