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SOCIAL LIFE

3 phone apps to help you make friends in Denmark

While your chances of a friendship meet-cute with a Dane in the wild are always fairly low, the online friendship market in Denmark is booming as recent transplants and long-time locals alike swipe to build their post-pandemic social network.

3 phone apps to help you make friends in Denmark
A group of friends sitting around a dinner table. Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Between constant remote work and the sometimes unapproachable coolness of Danes (so blonde! so tall! so stylish!), it can be tricky for newcomers to strike up a friendship the old-fashioned way. What’s a lonely telecommuter to do? Lurk next to the rye bread at the grocery store and blurt out invitations for platonic coffee dates? Lob flødebolle into passing bike baskets until someone stops to share one with you?? 

Friendship apps – which, the data shows, are not only for 20-somethings – do the blurting for you. Every user is actively looking for friends, and it eliminates the risk of an embarrassing rejection – you’re only connected if you both express interest in each other. Here are three apps that can help you find your people. (And no, this isn’t sponsored in any way. We just don’t want you to be lonely.) 

BumbleBFF 

BumbleBFF is platonic sister to Bumble, the dating app that famously only allows women to make the first move. Bumble BFF is far and away the top choice friendship app for internationals and the internationally-minded in Denmark, with more profiles in English than competing apps. Bumble’s interface is easy to use and lets you set a target age range and location for prospective friends, as well as outline what you’re looking for (an exercise pal, or a fellow parent hoping to set up playdates, a binge-watching bud, etc). Like a dating app, your profile is an elevator pitch on why you’d be a great friend – pop in a few pictures and answer a couple of their questions and you’re ready to start swiping. 

BumbleBFF currently only offers potential friends of the same gender as you, supposedly in an effort to reduce spammy romantic texts where they’re not wanted (not sure that’s effective for our queer friends, or where that leaves non-binary babes). 

As on any app, some BumbleBff connections will inevitably fizzle out before you meet up in person (why be coy on a friendship app? Don’t just say ‘hej’ and ghost) but persistence pays off on BumbleBFF. 

READ MORE: An expat’s guide to making friends with Danes

Hey!VINA 

Hey!VINA is a friend-making app exclusively for women and fem-identifying people that seems to have a considerable following in the Copenhagen area. It’s certainly not as slick as Bumble BFF (the app is glitchy and temperamental) and a lot of the questions are eye-roll worthy. There’s serious “girlboss” energy, with questions like “Choose your #hair goals” and “What would you add to your vision board: an olympic medal, a balloon in the shape of the word “love,” a pile of $1’s, or a microphone.” 

But if you can stomach that, there are plenty of profiles to browse, most of them in Danish. Hey!VINA is also chock-full of features that are either new or that Danish users just aren’t into, such as scheduled meet-ups (there’s only one in the calendar for the Copenhagen area, and it’s in September) and a “Party chat” where you’re paired with people randomly for live chatting. Let us know if those work out for you. 

However cumbersome the vessel, we’re confident that Hey!VINA can introduce you to wonderful new friends in your area with shared interests.  

READ MORE: How to make friends with expats in Denmark (and why that’s okay) 

Meetup

Our third app finally goes co-ed! Meetup, founded nearly 20 years ago, allows users to share open invitations to their community. There are plenty of thriving Meetup groups in the Copenhagen area based on networking, tea-tasting, mountain biking and niche cross-over events like “Drawing and ice cream.” Meetups help diffuse the pressure of a one-on-one friend date, but you don’t have any assurance that the people there are, indeed, after platonic connections only. 

Before you make a bee line to the app store, take a minute to fill out our survey on how (and if!) you’ve made friends so far in Denmark. We’ll use it to guide future articles. 

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LIVING IN DENMARK

Is it really impossible for foreigners in Denmark to become friends with Danes?

Danes are the hardest people in the world to befriend, according to an international survey ranking the quality of life for expats.

People and dogs walk along Lakolk beach in Rømø
Lakolk beach in Rømø. Polling data suggest Danes may be among the most difficult nationalities to befriend. Photo by André on Unsplash

Danes are the hardest people in the world to befriend, according to a 2016 international survey ranking the quality of life for foreign nationals.

In the survey the Nordic countries all ranked in the bottom ten when expatriates, which is the term used in the study, revealed how easy they had found it to settle in.

Denmark was dead last when it comes to the ease of making friends, 64th for being made to feel welcome and 60th for the perceived friendliness of the locals. 
 
According to InterNations, “an astounding 68 percent” of foreigners in Denmark reported difficulty in making local friends. 
 
So is it true? What advice do you have for foreign nationals hoping to build social links with locals in Denmark?  Please take a minute to fill out the questionnaire.

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