Emigrating to Denmark: Everything you need to know at a glance

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Would you like to emigrate to the beautiful country of Denmark? To make sure nothing goes wrong, we have put together a comprehensive overview summarising important information about living and working in Denmark. Checklists, to-do’s and helpful links will help you with your preparations and planning. God fornøjelse i Danmark!


Denmark is characterised by a high quality of life, a comprehensive welfare system and a strong economy. Known for its innovative culture in design and architecture, it places great emphasis on sustainability and environmental protection. The capital Copenhagen symbolises the dynamic urbanity of Denmark, which at the same time invites you to enjoy outdoor activities with its flat landscape and numerous beaches.

Size42,952 km²
Inhabiants5.903 million (2022)
LanguageDanish (dansk)
CurrencyDanish crowns (DKK)

Emigrating to Denmark: Advantages

  • Work-life balance
  • Free healthcare system
  • High educational standards
  • Low crime rate
  • Plenty of nature and opportunities for outdoor activities
  • Hygge mentality: focus on cosiness, contentment and well-being

Before emigration

Preparation and planning

  • Scrutinise motivation and goals of emigration
  • Familiarise yourself with Denmark, its culture and history and learn the language
  • Plan enough lead time, this saves stress and provides a buffer for unforeseen events such as deadlines and waiting times
  • Do you fulfil all the requirements?
  • Monitor thelabour market and start looking for a job if none is available locally yet
  • Clarify formalities: are all documents up to date and available, what exactly is required?
  • Check finances and draw up a financial plan if necessary
  • Look for accommodation or interim accommodation, which place should it be?
  • Cancellation of flat, internet, electricity, subscriptions, etc., special cancellation rights often apply when moving abroad
  • Deregister from your British place of residence

Question: What are your motives and goals for emigrating? Why do you want to take this step and why is Denmark the right country for you?

Emigrating to Sweden or Norway is also an option? Our guides will provide you with helpful information that can help you choose a country.

Danish coastal town

De-registration or re-registration

Facts about deregistration and re-registration

  • Check requirements for registration in Denmark
  • Check recognition of British documents, are they all available, up to date and are translations necessary?
  • Apply for a residence permit in advance
  • Apply for a CPR number and health insurance card
  • Apply for NemKonto and electronic tax card
  • If necessary, re-register your vehicle and also apply for a danish driving licence

As a citizen of the UK, you need to apply for a residence permit in Denmark. Be aware that it might take some time, so apply early in advance! Check, depending on the reason for emigration, whether you fulfil all the requirements for registration and check if you have all the documents to hand. Please consult the Danish Government website, as they provide detailed information for British citizens moving to Denmark.

Arriving in Denmark: Beach

You will need to register with the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) and apply for a CPR number (Danish national insurance number) at the Residents’ Registration Office (Folkeregisteret). This is not only important for insurance purposes, but also for everyday life in Denmark, just like the personal number in Sweden. You will also need a sundhetskort (health insurance card) from the public health insurance scheme (“Sygesikring”).

In order to receive a salary from your employer, you will need a NemKonto account, from which taxes are also deducted. You should also apply for an electronic tax card from the Danish Customs and Tax Administration (SKAT), otherwise taxes may be deducted from your salary. Here you can find instructions on the first steps from the Danish Tax Agency.

Here you can find information on re-registering vehicles if you come to Denmark by car.

Danish citizenship can be applied for after 7 years of residence.


In order to be entered in the Folk Register and thus obtain a residence permit, one of the following points must be fulfilled and verifiable:

  • Employment contract with Danish company/job offer
  • University admission certificate
  • Template about self-employment
  • Sufficient financial means and health insurance: If you cannot prove that you are employed or studying, your own financial means should be sufficient to cover the monthly costs, estimated to be at least GBP 1,270 per month. However, this amount may vary depending on your individual situation and should be clarified in good time. Health insurance is also important in this case, as you are not covered by Danish health insurance without a CPR number.

Living in Denmark


Facts about the Danish climate

  • Temperate climate zone
  • Relatively mild winters
  • Summer rather cool
  • Highest temperatures between June and mid-August
  • West coast slightly warmer
  • Zealand sunniest
  • Funen/South Jutland most precipitation

Denmark lies in the temperate climate zone and is relatively small and flat, so there are no extreme temperature differences throughout the year or within the country. Winters in Denmark are relatively mild (-2 °C and 4 °C) and summers are relatively cool (15 °C -22 °C). Maximum temperatures are reached between June and mid-August. On the west coast it tends to be slightly warmer due to the Gulf Stream, but more changeable. The sunniest region is Zealand with the capital Copenhagen. The rainiest weather is in South Jutland/Funen.

Climate and Regions in Denmark


Facts about Danish culture

  • Hygge as a guiding principle
  • Danes value punctuality, reliability and the use of “tak”
  • You can’t avoid cycling and sustainability in Denmark
  • Stories about trolls, fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Danish legends
  • Danes cherish their public holidays
  • Flea markets, arts and crafts and second-hand goods are very popular
  • Delicious baked goods and maritime recipes
Emigrating to Denmark: Hygge

The Danes love cosiness, togetherness and are known for creating a feel-good atmosphere with ease. All of this is part of the Danish concept of hygge. It is not for nothing that they are among the happiest people. You might also think that the clocks tick a little slower there, as people take their time and take everything a little more calmly. Nevertheless, the Danish population emphasises punctuality, agreements and the regular use of the word tak (“thank you”).

If you want to live in Denmark, you should be prepared for a lot of cyclists and a conscious approach to sustainability. The country is not exactly cheap due to its high taxes, but this creates many social benefits, such as free education and healthcare.

Danes like to poke fun at themselves and it is said that their humour is reminiscent of the British. They are also great storytellers. Hans Christian Andersen’ s fairy tales are known worldwide and mythical creatures, such as trolls, are mentioned in many Danish legends. You can find out what other Scandinavian legends and gods there are in our article on Nordic mythology.

In your free time, flea markets and craft markets are very popular and second-hand shops and vintage fashion are also becoming increasingly popular. If you like to celebrate, Denmark is the right place for you, as there are several Danish festivals and holidays that are traditionally and extensively honoured. Foodies also get their money’s worth in our neighbouring country. In addition to recipes with fish, which are characterised by the coast, you will also find delicious pastries such as Wienerbrød and Æbleskiver in Denmark. Smørrebrød with various toppings can be found on every corner and the traditional lunch dish is also perfect for breakfast.

Cost of living, shopping and transaction fees

Facts about the cost of living in Denmark

  • More expensive on average than in the UK
  • Value added tax of 25%
  • Choice of supermarket can make a difference
  • Payment is mainly by card (make sure you have a credit card with you!)
  • Transaction fees may apply for card payments
  • Foreign bank transfers with different currencies are subject to fees

Due to the high tax rates, life in Denmark is not cheap. The 25% VAT is noticeable when shopping. Food tends to be more expensive than in the UK, especially meat and dairy products as well as exported products. It can therefore be worth paying attention to the choice of supermarkets. The cheapest supermarkets in Denmark are Netto, Lidl, Fakta and Rema 1000, while Irma and Meny are the most expensive and Bilka, SuperBrugsen and Føtex are in the middle price segment.

As in Sweden, card payments are widespread in Denmark and cash payments are becoming increasingly rare. This is practical, as you don’t have to exchange large amounts of cash. However, there may be transaction fees when paying by debit card and it may not work everywhere. It is therefore recommended that you also carry a credit card with you.

Please note: If you want to transfer money from the UK to Denmark, or vice versa, there are fees due to currency conversion. These are often slightly lower with external providers, such as Wise.

If you want to estimate the cost of living in Denmark more accurately, you can use databases and comparison portals such as expatisan.com and numbeo.com.

CategoryDenmark (GBP)UK (GBP)
TransportAverage costsAverage costs
Public transport (monthly pass)70.5260.20
Single ticket2.862.41
Petrol (per litre)1.481.38
Bread (500g)2.451.03
Milk (1 litre)1.230.86
Apples (1 kg)2.451.89
Eggs (12)3.272.15
Utility services
Electricity (per kWh)0.250.26
Internet (monthly)32.6830.10
Mobile phone contract21.5017.20
Restaurants and alcohol
Cheap restaurant (per person)16.3412.90
Three-course menu (per person)49.0243.00
Domestic beer (0.5 litre)5.723.01
Imported beer (0.33 litres)6.133.44
Average Prices in Denmark

Working in Denmark

Facts about working in Denmark

  • Flat hierarchies and opportunities for co-decision-making
  • 37-hour weeks
  • At least 25 days’ holiday, but these are only paid after they have been “worked out”
  • Entitlement to 3 holiday weeks in a row between May and September
  • Basic knowledge of Danish an advantage
  • Good opportunities in the IT, engineering, healthcare and sustainability sectors

Everyday working life in Denmark is characterised by flat company hierarchies and decentralised decision-making. This leads to the involvement of employees in decision-making. Interaction is relaxed, informal and people are on first-name terms. Independent work and personal initiative are valued. A working week usually consists of 37 hours and there is no statutory minimum wage. In principle, you have at least 25 days’ holiday in Denmark and from May to September you are entitled to three weeks’ consecutive holiday (main holiday). However, it should be noted that, as in Sweden, paid holiday must first be “earned” (2.08 days per month).

Also be prepared for the concept of the Fredagsbar (Friday bar), which is not a special bar, but a social gathering with colleagues after a working week. This is also common in a university context.

Job search in Denmark

If you do not have your own business or already have a permanent job in Denmark, you should start looking for a job there at an early stage. To prepare, it is advisable to get an overview of the Danish labour market, your industry and regional opportunities.

Job search in Denmark

A large number of companies offer English-speaking jobs, so you don’t necessarily have to speak perfect Danish from the start. However, these jobs are very popular and in order to integrate in the long term and expand your opportunities, we recommend that you have at least a basic knowledge of Danish. Professional language skills are required in some professions. It is best to find out what the situation is like in your desired field. In Denmark, employees are particularly sought after in IT and engineering as well as in the health and sustainability sectors.

In addition to the well-known job platform LinkedIn, workindenmark.dk and jobindex.dk are good places to search for vacancies in Denmark. It is also worth making contacts and building up a network. Either online or at trade fairs and events. Also look specifically at interesting companies in your desired sector or at British companies in Denmark. Perhaps an internship is also an option to start your career in Denmark, gain experience and learn the language.

Application: In Denmark, you usually apply with a short cover letter (in Danish or English) and your CV. Keep it short and fill it with information that is relevant to the desired position. It is also best to include references, such as contact details from previous employers.

Danish education system

Facts about the Danish education system

  • Early childhood and free education
  • Future-orientated education policy
  • Individualised support
  • Centralised framework by the Ministry of Education, developed by municipalities and schools
  • Practical training of teaching staff
  • Extracurricular programmes
  • Danish pupils have very high competences in the area of “computational thinking”

The Danish education system emphasises early childhood and free education. Teacher quality is extremely high and children are offered individualised support to ensure equal educational opportunities. Schools have extremely good IT equipment and the education policy is very future-orientated. While the Danish Ministry of Education provides a centralised framework, it is up to the local authorities and individual schools to shape it. The training of teaching staff is integrated and cross-phase, so that theory and practice are combined at an early stage.

The curriculum offers flexibility and many schools offer SFO (skolefritidsordning). The extracurricular programme offers additional space for further development, experimentation and individual learning. Danish students have proven very high competences in the area of computational thinking.

In Denmark, students

Facts about studying in Denmark

  • 8 universities (4 full universities and 4 with departments)
  • 20 art colleges and 20 further education centres
  • Studying in Denmark is very personal due to smaller study groups
  • ECTS credits
  • High quality assurance
  • Degree from a university of applied sciences entitles the holder to a Master’s degree at a university
  • There are international study programmes in English

If you want to study in Denmark, you can choose between 8 universities. There are 3 universities in the capital Copenhagen and others in Aarhus, Roskilde, Aalborg, Odense and Lyngby. Half of these universities are full universities with a wide range of courses, while the other four specialise in specific subject areas. There are also 20 art colleges and 23 further education centres (Danish: Centre for Videregående Uddannelser). Danish universities are often very personalised and have smaller study groups. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is used to assess performance. The quality assurance of the universities is carried out by Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut and Danmarks Akkrediteringsinstitution.

A special feature in Denmark: With a degree from a university of applied sciences, you can apply for a Master’s programme at a university.

Many international study programmes are offered in English. As a rule, a standardised test such as TOEFL or IELTS must be passed for admission.

Living in Denmark

Facts about renting and buying property in Denmark

  • In Denmark, people generally buy more than they rent
  • Higher prices and smaller living space in cities
  • Copenhagen is by far the most expensive city
  • A holiday apartment/holiday home or interim rental is suitable for the transition
  • Incidental purchase costs are low
  • Formalities simplified by digital administration
  • No notarisation is required to buy a house
  • Relocation costs can be between GBP 425 and GBP 2,980

The Danish housing market is quite similar to the British housing market, as there is less renting and letting. If you want to move to one of the larger cities, Copenhagen, Aarhus or Odense, you have to be prepared for higher prices and less living space than in smaller towns and rural areas.

Rent a flat

Copenhagen from above

Many of the rental flats on offer are furnished and there are shorter notice periods. Service charges are comparatively low, as a number of things are already included in the rent. Rental prices vary greatly between the city centre, outer districts and rural areas. Copenhagen is by far the most expensive city in Denmark. A 3-room flat in the city centre costs between GBP 1,870-2,725 on average.

It can make sense to look for a holiday home or a temporary rental first and then look for a rental property locally.

Region3-room city centre3-room outside city centreGeneral average
CopenhagenGBP 1,870 – 2,725GBP 1,360 – 2,045GBP 1,530 – 2,130
Aarhus/OdenseGBP 1,190- 1,700GBP 850 – 1,360GBP 850 – 1,270
AalborgGBP 1,020 – 1,360GBP 765 – 1,020GBP 680 – 1,020
Rural areasGBP 680 – 850GBP 510 – 680GBP 510 – 680
Average rents in denmark

Buying a property

Scandinavian furnished living room

To purchase a property in Denmark, it is worth contacting the British Embassy in Copenhagen for information or inform yourself on purchasing a permanent dwelling and making sure that all requirements are met.

In general, the ancillary purchase costs are lower than in the UK and for many Danes, buying a property is not a lifelong decision, as they move on average every 7 years, even for property reasons. Digital administration means that the formalities are less complicated and buying/selling is relatively straightforward. Information on every house and property is available online at Danmarks Miljøportal.

No notarisation is required to buy a house in Denmark. This is done via the markler or the lawyer. It makes sense to find your own English-speaking lawyer for this. Sites like aiel.com and gov.uk will help you in your search.

In addition to the purchase price and the costs for the marketeer/lawyer, the following fees and taxes apply:

  • A property tax (grundskyld), which must be paid twice a year. The amount depends on the respective municipality.
  • Land registry fees of 0.6 % of the purchase price plus the fixed amount of DKK 1,750
  • Property value tax (ejendomsværdiskat): Generally amounts to 1% of the purchase price, but from DKK 3.04 million, 3% property value tax is payable
RegionAverage purchase price flats (GBP)Average purchase price houses (GBP)
Copenhagen2,555 – 5,112 per m²255,62 – 852,08
Aarhus2,13 – 3,83 per m²170,41 – 511,24
Odense1,70 – 2,98 per m²127,81 – 426,04
Aalborg1,53 – 2,56 per m²127,81 – 383,43
Rural areas1,28 – 2,13 per m²85,21 – 298,23

Moving to Denmark: What are the costs?

If you want to take your entire household with you, it can add up to quite a lot, especially if you are moving from a large flat, house and family. In order to be able to transport all of this to Denmark as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible, early planning is recommended!

Depending on the number of rooms, the moving price varies roughly between GBP 425 (1 room) and GBP 2,980 (4 rooms). The price also depends on the amount of furniture and the number of kilometres between the old and new place of residence. Plus a container costs between £1,500 and £4,000+, depending on size. If you hire a removal company, make sure that they have experience with removals abroad. If possible, it is best not to schedule the move for a weekend or a public holiday, as this is usually the most expensive. You can save money during the week. Compare different removal companies and ask for individual offers, as generalised quotes can be very inaccurate.

Links and addresses


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