A family holiday in Denmark - September 2013.
Where does one go? What does one do? Thanks to the internet, and the valid contributions by Tripadvisor members, things are easier to understand and conceive. However, personal experiences can never be challenged or compared. Holiday split into 3 parts as follows: 3 nights in the west, 3 nights in the centre, 2 nights in Copenhagen.
For the first 3 nights Ribe was chosen as a base. Accommodation was the Ribe Byferie (see review on the subject). From here it is easy to visit Legoland (90 minutes north), the Wadden Sea + Mondo Island as well as the Viking Centre. For the second 3 nights Ullerslev was the next chosen stay (Staevengarden B+B - see review). This is a good point to reach Funen Village (15 minutes drive) and Odense, with all the Hans Christian Andersen heritage, as well as the Egesov Castle. A day driving around Langeland was also included. Spending the last 2 nights in Copenhagen was a must.
Comparisons are odious, but one can only gauge one thing by comparing it to another. In general, Denmark is a very clean country. People are extremely disciplined, smart and helpful - offering advice even when not necessarily requested. Things follow a very organized system and everything seems to work in a well-oiled manner - compared to the more familiar Mediterranean countries. English is very well spoken, which is a plus sign for those who do not know German (or Danish). Good design, in all its forms and means, is abundant. Places are very well-maintained, both in new and in old areas.
Driving.From a driving perspective, Denmark is a very safe place. Rules and limits are adhered to, and in no way does anyone feel threatened at any point, be it a speedy motorway or a busy town centre. The only 'negative' is that the country is completely flat. Although very clean amd green the scenario does not change at all. This tends to get repetitive and boring. For the ones who normally like to be captivated by changing landscapes, this is certainly not the case. On the bright side, fuel seems to be less expensive than in Malta.
Cost of Living. Although this is a known fact, everything in Denmark is so expensive. Accommodation, tours, food and drink, clothes... you name it. Compared to the Mediterranean, everything is at least 50% more expensive. Before booking make sure to look out for prices and try to be as careful as possible with planning. The kroner makes life so annoying. It is very difficult to convert to EURO terms. Things marked in big numbers make prices that are already on the high side look more expensive. Denmark should change to EURO asap!
Food. Outside the large cities it is amazing how difficult it is to find decent places to eat. Hot-dogs are good, but how long can you eat sausages for? There are no in-between eateries, not even on motorways. In certain villages there is either nothing, or else, a cheap take away serving burgers or kebabs. The moment you find a decent averagelooking place, you can make sure that for a 2 to 3 course meal you will always be spending a minimum of 350 DKK (equivalent to €45-€50) per person. As already explained, sometimes it takes ages to find a town which seems to offer a decent place where to eat - Maybe the Danes do not need to eat out so much! Or perhaps it is a matter of a simple equation of alot of land versus a relatively small population.
Copenhagen. Copenhagen stands out in size compared to the other large cities, including Odense. It is much bigger, and it spans over a very large area. The infusion of inland sea, canals, land and bridges makes it slightly difficult to figure out, and it would help to try to understand the configuration of the city before setting out on foot. A bicycle would help to make things easier to get around. The Nyhaven area is fantastic and so is Tivoli. The kids loved it.
All in all it an be a very fruitful experience. Although very child-friendly, it probably works better for couples, since except for the main attractions, it is very difficult to plan where to go and what to do.