The nations of Scandinavia have a special place in the hearts of many. Renowned for their almost fantasy-like landscapes, friendly people, and laid-back way of life, these countries draw in large numbers of visitors each and every year, with Denmark being a prime example. Located on the Jutland Peninsula and also incorporating many little islands, Denmark has close ties with its Scandinavian neighbors of Sweden and Norway, but has its own unique personality too.
The birthplace of some highly influential and successful creative people like Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark is home to some beautiful castles, fascinating museums, super restaurants, and charming cities. Many visitors to Denmark head straight for the capital city of Copenhagen, while others choose to visit other cities and locations like Odense or Aarhus. Whether you happen to be headed in Denmark, you’ll need money. Here’s all you need to know about Denmark currency.
Official Currency in Denmark
The official currency for the country of Denmark is the Danish krone. The sign for this currency is kr and its three-letter ISO code is DKK. The krone is also used in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland, and the current version of the krone has been around since the late 19th century. 'Krone' translates to 'crown' in English, so some people simple refer to the krone as the crown.
The plural form of krone is kroner. One krone is made up of 100 øre. Denmark is a member of the European Union but is one of several member states to not adopt the euro. Typically, a single krone is worth a small fraction of a US dollar, but exchange rates and currency values are always changing, so it’s important to verify the latest values before you take any trip to Denmark.
Coins and Notes in Denmark
The krone is made up of both coins and notes. You'll find the following coins being used in Denmark:
- 50 øre
- 1 kr
- 2 kr
- 5 kr
- 10 kr
- 20 kr
The coin system for the Danish krone is quite straightforward and follows the same basic rules as many other coin systems in Europe and elsewhere around the world. The krone coins have all been carefully designed to ensure they're easy to tell apart, being made in different sizes and metals.
The smallest value coin is made from tin-bronze. The next three coins (1 kr, 2 kr, and 5 kr) are made of cupronickel. The last two coins (10 kr and 20 kr) are made of aluminum bronze. The coins feature various symbols and figures like Queen Margrethe II and a picture of Denmark's coat of arms.
You’ll also find the following notes, in addition to the coins:
- 50 kr
- 100 kr
- 200 kr
- 500 kr
- 1000 kr
Again, the notes are all designed to be quite easy to tell apart. They feature a color-coded system. The 50 kr note is purple, the 100 kr note is orange, the 200 kr note is green, the 500 kr note is blue, and the 1000 kr note is red. The notes also get progressively larger in size as their value increases. The notes are clearly marked with their value, as well as images of Denmark architecture and important artefacts.
Using Credit Cards in Denmark
Credit and debit cards are widely used and accepted throughout Denmark, so if you like to pay by card most of the time, you shouldn't have too many problems, especially in the big cities. However, there's one important issue that all foreign travelers should be aware of in Denmark: this country has particular laws regarding credit card payments.
When you use a card in Denmark, you may be charged an extra 3% on top of your total, so it may be wise for most travelers in this country to pay by cash whenever possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of ATMs all over Denmark, so it’s never too hard to get some cash.
Using US Dollars or Other Currencies in Denmark
The krone is the only official currency in Denmark, but other currencies are sometimes accepted. Since Denmark is part of the European Union and has close connections with countries using the euro, euros are sometimes accepted in Denmark at hotels, restaurants, and shops, particularly in big cities like Copenhagen.
Some places in Copenhagen will also accept US dollars as currency, but you may end up paying over the odds due to the exchange rate. In general, paying with krone is the best option for all your transactions in Denmark.
Tips for Currency in Denmark
In order to have the best possible time during your Denmark vacation, remember to bear the following tips in mind:
- ATMs will usually give you the best exchange rates, so you don’t necessarily need to get any krone before you get to Denmark. Simply find an ATM on arrival and withdraw your cash.
- If you do choose to use ATMs, try to limit the number of times you actually use them. Each usage will come with a fee from your bank, so it makes sense to withdraw large amounts and only use ATMs a couple of times over the course of your stay, rather than withdrawing lots of small amounts each day.
- If you do choose to buy some krone before you get to Denmark, shop around and consult different locations to see the various exchange rates and get the best deal.
- Tipping isn't a big part of Danish culture, but waiters and other workers will still be grateful for any kind of tip. About 10% of the bill is a good starting point.
- Traveller’s cheques may be accepted at some places in Denmark, but they are being phased out around the world and a better option is to simply use cash or buy a pre-paid debit card.
- Denmark is quite an expensive country compared to many others around Europe, so be prepared to pay quite high prices for relatively small and simple things.