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Eight things in Denmark that are actually quite cheap

Denmark is more expensive overall than any other country in the EU, but some things are surprisingly good value.

Eight things in Denmark that are actually quite cheap
This house in Nørreballe on Lolland is listed for just €25,000. Photo: Kindsgaards Bolig
We asked foreigners in Denmark what things they are think are, if not a bargain, then at least fairly reasonable.
Here is what they told us. 
1. Houses outside the big cities
“Houses in the countryside,” said Nina Olczak, who lives in Lolland Falster. “Where I live you can get a nice house for as little as €15,000. In Germany prices start at €500,000 for a comparable house.” 
“Houses,” agreed Patrícia Castanheira. “Coming from England I was surprised at prices here.” 
“For the price my parents [in the UK] paid for their house in the middle of nowhere four hours from the nearest city, I can buy a small house 10km from the city centre,” added Ellie Cruickshank. “And then for the price of my tiny little city apartment here, I could buy an entire retired high school in Jutland.” 
The Local did a search and found the cute half-timbered house in the photo above, in Nørreballe on Lolland, listed for just €25,000, so they're not wrong. 
2. Mobile phone plans and internet 
“Data,” said Nina Olczak. “I have a Lebara prepaid card with 100 GB for 99. For that price in Germany I can get maybe 500 KB – 1 GB.” 
“Internet is one of the fastest in the world and the price is cheap when comparing to other countries,” said Mohammed Adel Elkhouly. 
3. Beer and cigarettes
Beer from supermarkets in Denmark is much, much cheaper than in Sweden, Norway or Finland, although perhaps a bit pricier than in Germany. 
Cigarettes, at about €5.39 a pack in 2019, are much cheaper than in Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, The Netherlands, the UK or Ireland, but more or less the same as in Germany, and more expensive than most other European countries. 
4. Private schools (and international schools) 
Denmark's free school system, through which privately-run schools are largely paid-for by the government, means that private schools are cheap in Denmark. 
This also goes for schools that teach towards the International Baccalaureate, for which according to the International Schools Database, Copenhagen is the second cheapest city in the world after Cape Town. 
5. Milk
Milk and other dairy products tend to be cheaper in Denmark, or at least in line with other countries where most other food is much cheaper. 
6. Organic and health food products 
A lot of foreigners said that they had found organic and health food products were relatively cheap compared to their home countries. 
One respondent said that people from southern Europe actually take 'natural' shampoo and soap with 0% perfume, colorants or parabens back to their countries because they are so much cheaper in Denmark. 
7. Municipality-organised children's activities. 
Municipalities in Denmark lay on loads of activities for children throughout the year and particularly during the summer. If they're not free (which they often are) they're normally very reasonable. Copenhagen residents can look at the Børn i Byen for ideas. 
8. Public swimming pools and gym membership
“One of the biggest surprises for me were gym prices. Prices in Estonia are easily two to three times higher,” says Laura Veelmaa. 
Others said that swimming pool entry prices were surprisingly low, as were sports clubs for windsurfing, sailing and other sports. 
Other suggestions. 
Other things that foreigners suggested weren't too pricey included: Pastries in local bakeries, Harald Nyborg, drinking fountains, soda, cut-your-own Christmas trees, dentist visits, Himalayan salt, popcorn and tortilla chips, books, toys, board games in libraries, rubber gloves, fresh yeast, diapers/nappies, products from Tiger, spirits in Lidl, toilet paper, and for some reason, capers.

Member comments

  1. Everything is So great in Denmark. I wish I lived there. Still, hopefully I’ll be visiting again once coronavirus is over.

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For members


What salary can you expect to earn in Denmark?

Denmark is well known for being an expensive country with high taxes. But what can your salary expectations be if you move here and what are you left with after tax and other deductions? We break it down for you.

What salary can you expect to earn in Denmark?

What is my salary after tax?

The Danish average income is 45,500 kroner per month (see below for a breakdown of variations according to age and sector). This is your grundløn, which is the basic wage before supplements are added and before tax, which is paid monthly, månedslønnet. The average full-time job is typically 160.33 hours per month, your timetal. What you take home after deductions is called your netto pay.

Broadly, your salary will include the following deductions: Labour market tax (AM-bidrag 8%), State tax (bundskat 12%), Municipality tax (kommuneskat 25%), State pension contribution (ATP-bidrag 94.65 kroner), Holiday pay (Feriepenge potentially 12.5 percent claimed back later in the year).

If you have an income of 45,500 kroner per month, that means around 45.1 percent will be taxed, and 94.65 will go towards the state pension, giving you a total of 24,884.85 kroner per month (3,340 euros per month) after deductions. Holiday pay may be deducted and later reimbursed, depending on your employer.

It should also be noted that various tax deductions can result in the overall tax contribution being reduced.

How does salary vary by age and profession?

The average employee in Denmark earns 45,545.60 kroner (6,111 euros) per month before taxes, according to Statistics Denmark.

The older you are and more experience you have, the more you earn. So when broken down into age categories, the figures are slightly different.

Under 20 year olds: 19,264.35 kroner per month. 

20-24 year olds: 26,996.14 kroner per month

25-29 year olds: 36,120.13 kroner per month

30-34 year olds: 41,606.29 kroner per month

35-39 year olds: 45,287.62 kroner per mont

40-44 year olds: 48,227.51 kroner per month

45-49 year olds: 49,852.91 kroner per month

50-54 year olds: 49,817.97 kroner per month

55-59 year olds: 48,471.48 kroner per month

60 and over: 47,138.48 kroner per month

Job sectors also have an impact on salary. On the Statistics Denmark website, you can select your field of work to find the average salary for your role.

Here is a sample of various professions in Denmark and their average monthly salaries in 2021:

Software developers: 59,904.51 kroner

Science and engineering professionals: 59,092.83 kroner 

Architects, planners, surveyors and designers: 49,013.29 kroner

Accountants: 60,526.45 kroner

University and higher education teachers: 50,452.46 kroner

Secondary education teachers: 51,013.67 kroner

Primary school teachers: 45,427.32 kroner

Early childhood educators: 38,708.66 kroner

Medical doctors: 73,551.49 kroner

Physiotherapists: 39,998.38 kroner

Nursing and midwifery professionals: 44,130.79 kroner

Advertisers and PR managers 82,871.18 kroner. 

Public relations professionals: 51,349.93 kroner

Advertising and marketing professionals: 51,768.53 kroner

Shop sales: 27,894.29 kroner

Restaurant managers: 44,294.49 kroner 

Waiters and bartenders: 27,566.83 kroner

What comes out of your salary?

Income tax in Denmark is divided into a number of components. The most important are the two state taxes, basic and top tax (bundskat and topskat); municipal tax and labour market tax (AM-bidrag).

READ MORE: How does income tax in Denmark compare to the rest of the Nordics?


AM-bidrag or arbejdsmarkedsbidrag, literally ‘labour market contribution’ is a tax of 8 percent of your wages. It is paid directly to the Danish Tax Agency (Skat) by your employer (for those who are not self-employed or freelance).


State or basic tax (bundskat) comprises 12.10 percent of your income after tax deductible income has been subtracted.


Municipal tax is the personal income tax which covers municipal services. The amount you pay depends on the municipality you live in but on average it is 24 percent.


The top-end Danish income tax bracket, topskat, is based on the political principle that those who earn the most, must contribute more to the Danish state. Political debate on tax policy often revolves around the extent to which topskat should be applied.

Topskat is 15 percent (2022). This means that you have to pay 15 percent extra in tax if you earn more than 600,543 kroner. After AM-bidrag deduction, this is 552,500 kroner so you pay this extra 15 percent on the amount of money you earn over 552,500 kroner.

READ ALSO: How will new Danish government change income tax?


Denmark has a small church tax (kirkeskat). The exact rate depends on the municipality but averages at 0.661 percent. Only members of the Church of Denmark (Folkekirken) pay this tax, so foreigners who have moved to the country in adulthood (as well as people of other religions) generally won’t see it on their pay slips. Danes can opt out of paying the tax if you they do not wish to be a member of the church.

Skrå skatteloft

There is a tax ceiling (skrå skatteloft), which in 2022 was 52.07 percent. This means that you can never be taxed more than this amount. If your total tax rate ends up exceeding the tax ceiling, your topskat is reduced so that the total tax rate ends up at the maximum 52.07 percent.


Literally ‘(tax) deduction’, fradrag is the part of your income which can be exempted from taxation. This can be up to 46,000 kroner (37,300 kroner for people under 18).

Things that can be exempt from tax include membership to trade unions and A-kasse, employment expenses, charitable contributions, child support maintenance and the cost of commuting. You can check what you are entitled to here (in Danish).

READ ALSO: Denmark raises tax deduction for commuters amid high fuel prices


ATP stands for Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension. This is a pension into which you are legally obliged to pay and which supplements the state pension (folkepension). Your employer pays two-thirds of the ATP contribution, one third comes from your wage. This is the amount you will see on your payslip.

If you are paid monthly it will be 94.65 kroner (2023). Your employer contributes 189.35 kroner, adding up to 284 kroner per month.


Arbejdsmarkedspension and other pension contributions will be recorded on your payslip. You may see the terms AM-pension firma or AM-pension egen, depending on the type of pension you may pay into.



‘Holiday money’ or feriepenge is a monthly contribution paid out of your salary into a special fund, depending on how much you earn. You can claim back the money once per year, provided you actually take holiday from work. It is earned at the rate of 2.08 vacation days per month.

There are two sub-types of feriepenge. These are ferie med løn, whereby you are paid while on holiday – in this case you are entitled to a supplement of about 1 percent to your wages.

If you are not paid while on holiday, you will receive feriegodtgørelse as part of your wages and will see this on your payslip. This means that your employer is obliged by law to pay 12.5 percent of your wages in holiday money into the national pool for you to claim back each year, equivalent to five weeks’ holiday.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to understand your Danish payslip