Travel guides and background: Denmark
A Danish small town
This page contains references to and short reviews of good travel guides as well as books providing historical information about Denmark which may improve your understanding and appreciation of the country and its people.
Horse riding, Lemvig
Winter scene - Copenhagen
Fredriksberg Gardens and Palace
Denmark is a very interesting and pleasant country to visit. It is small both in terms of geography and population size - 43.098 square kilometres and 5,4 million people. It was once one of the home countries of the vikings. Today it is a country with royalty, great design traditions, the land of the fairytales of H.C. Andersen - and the world's happiest people! People in Denmark are polite, pleasant, warm and open. They love good food, and Copenhagen’s restaurants have more Michelin stars than any other Scandinavian city.
Most of the Danes speak English very well, and understand it even better.
There are a great many historical sites, as well as wonderful museums, art galleries, exhibitions, lovely beaches, excellent food, idyllic pubs and more for the visitor to enjoy. You will find well-kept renaissance castles and tidy 18th-century villages, along with impressive Viking ruins, beautiful medieval churches, excellent art galleries, and much more.
Some quick facts about Denmark: Unified as a state in the 10th century AD, a constitutional monarchy, the highest per capita GDP in the European Union (EU); literacy is 100%; unemployment is low; and its social-welfare programs are the envy of continents. Education is free. It is also a country with tidy cities, picturesque countryside, efficient infrastructure and commendable public services.
Interesting cities in Denmark:
- Copenhagen (København in Danish) is Denmark's capital and largest city, and a vibrant metropolis with world class attractions and excellent restaurants.
- Århus is the main city of the Jutland peninsula and Denmark's second largest city. The historic Open Air Museum, which is a representation of how the city looked in the 1800's, is very interesting.
- Odense is the main city of the island of Funen, and Denmark's third largest city. It is known as the birthplace of H.C. Andersen. The Egeskov Castle, one of the best-preserved Renaissance castles in Europe, is a great place to visit.
- Aalborg is a cozy and quaint city, with a very picturesque city centre.
- Esbjerg is Denmark's centre for the fishing and offshore industry, and is a short 15 minute ferry ride away from the lovely island of Fanø.
|Insight Guide Denmark||The best guide to Denmark, in my opinion! This 346-page guidebook includes a section detailing Denmark's history, eight features covering the life and culture of the country, ranging from Hans Christian Andersen and Karen Blixen to extravagantly high-quality designer furniture, and a region by region guide to the sights. It also has a Travel Tips section with essential addresses and numbers. It is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and 17 maps. It's only draw-back, to my mind, it that it is a little expensive and a little heavy.||amazon US|
|lonely planet: Denmark (Country Guide)||lonely planet's Denmark guide is just the right size: you can bring it with you anywhere. It is a great looking guide with beautiful pictures, and densely packed with tons of useful information about this small and delightful country. The guide is excellently organized, and starts with the most important: background, top 15 experiences, and need to know. You will also find information on history, Danish food, Vikings. I especially liked the section on suggested activities by month. This great and useful guide even has a good street map of Copenhagen. A good choice!||Amazon US, Amazon UK|
|Insight Guides Copenhagen Step by Step||If you only intend to visit Copenhagen, this is an excellent and sufficient book. It is clearly-written and thorough, and designed for people who want to explore. The Step by Step travel series gets tourists up close and personal with themed routes and itineraries for some of the most intriguing places in this lovely city. Local writers give lively overviews. It has good maps as well, and will enable you to step outside the most trodden paths. It is also light and easy to carry.
|Denmark (Eyewitness Travel Guides)||Eyewitness Travel Guides are colorful and comprehensive guides with good photographs. One of the best guidebooks on this fascinating and beautiful country. The text and visuals are well done. It also contains explanatory notes on the culture, language and food of Denmark. A recommended book.||Amazon US|
|Time Out Copenhagen (Time Out Guides)||A hip guide to Copenhagen! In recent years, visitors have begun to discover an alternative Copenhagen. Newly revitalized parts of the city like Vesterbro and Norrebro have emerged as groovy hot spots where cutting edge fashion, food, and design flourish. This guide covers every attraction, museum, and source of amusement, including new hot spots and up-and-coming neighborhoods.||amazon US|
|Rick Steves' Snapshot Copenhagen & the Best of Denmark||Rick Steves' Snapshot Copenhagen & the Best of Denmark is a short, to the point travel guide focusing on Copenhagen. It has the same good content as the other Rick Steves guides, but is a little short and with BW photos instead of color. I like the book, I think it is great for quick visits to Denmark and Copenhagen. However, while the Copenhagen coverage is very good, the coverage of the rest of Denmark is quite limited.||Amazon US, Amazon UK|
|The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings (Hist Atlas)||A thorough history of the Vikings. The maps in this book are clear and readable and trace the travels of the Vikings. It can be used as a stand alone, informative text, or as a supplement for historical reference. This is very helpful and puts a number of events into perspective!||amazon US|
|The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen: A New Translation from the Danish||The introduction places Andersen in the context of his time, and for American readers, links him to this country in a fresh way. The stories themselves are a revelation, dispelling the prejudices engendered by Danny Kaye and Disney. Stories taken for granted are new and impeccably rendered in this translation.This is also a perfect gift, but be sure to keep one for yourself.||amazon US|
|The History of Danish Dreams: A Novel, by Peter Hoeg||In a series of linked vignettes that move from 16th-century aristocratic arrogance to 20th-century social crisis, Hoeg offers a wildly inventive account of Danish history. It is a family saga spanning four generations and exploring the transition of Denmark from a medieval society to a modern nation, by one of Denmark's most talented authors.||amazon US|
|A History of Denmark||This book gives a thorough and accessible introduction to the development of modern Denmark, all the way way from the Reformation to the present. It describes 500 years of wars, territorial losses, domestic upheavals, new methods of production, and changes in thought in Denmark's history. Based on research and original theories, it provides an excellent introduction to the fascinating and relatively unknown history of this small European country. Knud J. V. Jespersen is Danish, and professor of modern history at the University of Southern Denmark and royal historiographer to H. M. the Queen of Denmark.||amazon US|
Links: Places in Denmark