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Last updated : Nov 2009
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Food & Drink

Smørrebrød is a highly popular traditional Danish dish that is mainly eaten at lunchtime and consists of a slice of dark bread with butter, topped with slices of meat, fish or cheese and garnish. It bears no resemblance to traditional sandwiches and needs to be eaten sitting down at a table with a knife and fork. Buffet-style lunch (the koldt bord) is also popular with a variety of fish, meats, hot dishes, sweets and cheese, usually on a self-service basis. Danes do not mix the various dishes on their plates but have them in strict order.

A normal Danish breakfast, or morgen-complet , consists of coffee or tea and an assortment of breads, rolls, and cheese and jam, often also sliced meats, boiled eggs and warm Danish pastries. Shellfish also forms an important part of Danish cuisine. Apart from the traditional dishes, French or international cuisine is the order of the day.

In Copenhagen, superb gourmet restaurants can be found, whilst Ålborg is noted for its impressive number of restaurants. Most towns have ‘fast food’ outlets for hamburgers and pizzas, and sausage stalls on most street corners, selling hot sausages, hamburgers, soft drinks and beer.

Danish coffee is delicious and popular. Denmark also has many varieties of beer, famous breweries being Carlsberg and Tuborg. Most popular is pilsner (a lager) but there are also darker beers. The other national drink is akvavit, popularly known as snaps, which is neither an aperitif, cocktail nor liqueur and is meant to be drunk with food, preferably with a beer chaser and is served ice cold and only accompanies cold food. There are no licensing hours in Denmark.

Note

The Danish Hotel and Restaurant Association displays signs indicating restaurants where the needs of diabetics are given special attention. It consists of the words ‘Diabetes mad – sund mad for alle’ (‘Food for Diabetics – healthy food for everyone’) encircling a chef’s head.

Nightlife

There is a wide selection of nightlife in Denmark, particularly in Copenhagen, where the first morning restaurants open to coincide with closing time at 0500 hrs. Jazz and dance clubs in the capital city are top quality and world-famous performers appear regularly and there are numerous beer gardens.

Shopping

Copenhagen has excellent shopping facilities. Special purchases include Bing & Grøndal and Royal Copenhagen porcelain, Holmegård glass, Bornholm ceramics, handmade woolens from the Faroe Islands and Lego toys.

Visitors from outside the EU can often claim back on some of the MOMS (VAT) on goods purchased that are sent straight to their home country from the shop in Denmark.

Shopping hours

Monday-Friday 0900/1000-1730/1800 hrs, Saturday 0900-1700 hrs. Supermarkets are often open Monday-Friday 0900-2000 hrs.

Opening hours vary from town to town since shops can regulate their own hours. At some holiday resorts, shops are open on Sunday and public holidays.

Special Events

Festivals take place throughout the summer in nearly every town in Denmark, featuring street festivities and performing artists.

For a complete list of festivals and cultural events in the different regions contact the Danish Tourist Board (see Contact section).

The following is a selection of special events occurring in Denmark in 2005:
January 15th Opening of the Royal Danish Opera at Dokøen, Copenhagen
February 6th - 7th Shrove Tide Tilting at the barrel, close to Copenhagen.
March 11th-13th Holmboe in Horsens (classical music festival), Mid Jutland.
April 21st-24th Odense Folk Festival.
May 28th Half-marathon across the Great Belt, Korsør.
June 21st-July 3rd Viking Plays, Lindholm Høje, Ålborg, north Jutland.
June 30th-July 3rd Roskilde Festival (music festival).
August 3rd-7th Post Danmark Rundt (bicycle race).
September Champion of the Baltic (regatta and boat race), Bornholm.
October 14th Night of Culture (various locations)
November 10th-13th Silkeborg's International Puppet Theatre Festival.
December Christmas Markets and Celebrations (countrywide)
December 3rd-4th &
10th-11th
Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market, Odense.
Social Conventions

Normal courtesies should always be observed. Guests should refrain from drinking until the host toasts his or her health. Casual dress is suitable for most places but formal wear is required at more exclusive dining rooms and social functions. Smoking is restricted on public transport and in some public buildings.

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants quote fully inclusive prices and tipping is not necessary. Taxi fares also include tips, Railway porters and washroom attendants receive tips.
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