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Six things I learned while living in Denmark

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Six things I learned while living in Denmark
Nyhavn in Copenhagen. Photo: Bill Smith/Flickr
11:32 CEST+02:00
From hygge to great beer there are many things to learn from Denmark, our recently-departed intern writes.

Venezuela native Juan Franco recently finished an internship with The Local before continuing his studies in the United States. 

Before he departed, he left us with this list of the six major lessons he learned in Denmark:

1. Hygge should be exported on a global scale.

The exact definition of hygge, although contested by many Danes, broadly refers to coziness while surrounded by good friends and drinks. Photo: Skitterphoto
The definition of hygge, although contested by many Danes, broadly refers to coziness while surrounded by good friends and drinks. Photo: Skitterphoto.

Let's face it; every social event should have hygge as its ultimate goal. Why wouldn't you want to be cozy, surrounded with interesting company and delicious food and drink?

2. Warm weather can make everything better.

Copenhagen and its suburbs offer residents many parks and attractions. Photo: Lars Plougmann/Wikipedia
Copenhagen and its suburbs offer residents many parks and attractions. Photo: Lars Plougmann/Wikipedia.

Copenhagen looks absolutely stunning in the winter – it's basically like a Christmas postcard you would receive from your grandparents. However, when summer rolls around the Danish capital transforms itself and its residents flock to parks and waterways to enjoy the sun and late summer nights. 

3. It is possible to dream of an efficient transport system.

The Copenhagen transportation system has an extensive network. Photo: Gadgetbox/ Wikipedia
The Copenhagen transportation system has an extensive network. Photo: Gadgetbox/ Wikipedia.

Copenhagen's public transport system works like a well-oiled machine. Where the Metro does not go, the S-Train does, and if you're still having trouble you can always take a bus. I've visited plenty of cities throughout the world, but few can match Copenhagen's efficiency when it comes to transportation.

4. I learned to love beer.

Denmark is known for its tasty and wide range of beers. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr
Denmark is known for its tasty and wide range of beers. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr

I must admit I was not much of a beer drinker prior to my arrival in Denmark, often preferring wine or a cider. However, Denmark taught me how to enjoy a good cold beer. Whether you prefer Danish standards like Carlsberg and Tuborg or are more in to the numerous craft beer bars that have popped up in recent years, there are endless possibilities for enjoying a cold one in Copenhagen.

5. I learned how to make my money last.

The Danish currency is the kroner. Photo: Assy/Pixabay
When everything is expensive, you learn how to stretch your kroner. Photo: Assy/Pixabay

Before coming here, I had read that the Danish capital was one of the most expensive cities in the world – something I confirmed very soon after arrival. Living in a city like this can really push you to become a financial wizard by stretching your funds one paycheck to the next.

6. Denmark is a great place for a fresh start for any expat.

Denmark has as of recently been named at the top of many lists when it comes to living conditions and happiness. It's easy to see why. Photo: Evil Erin/ Wikipedia
Denmark has as of recently been named at the top of many lists when it comes to living conditions and happiness. It's easy to see why. Photo: Evil Erin/ Wikipedia.

Copenhagen is truly a global city, and a city that is ready to welcome new residents. Most Danes are fluent in English which makes the transition easier – although it is encouraged to learn Danish so as to fully immerse yourself in the local community. 

Juan Franco was an intern with The Local from April to June, 2016. You can follow him on Medium or on Twitter at @JuanFrancoT.

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