Denmark… What's it like? Anyone lived there?
Have been called about a job I applied for, without knowing its location… They are really keen to interview me ASAP as they think based on my CV alone, I'm the ideal candidate! Anyway…
It's in Denmark!!! I've never been… What's Denmark like? How does it compare with other European countries both culture wise, and things to do? I've been to a lot of countries in Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Spain, Portugal) so obviously am fairly well travelled and don't expect it would be a bit like England, but from anyone who has been, who are they closest to culturally (not geographically, I can look on a map!)???
And I'm assuming now, but it's pretty flat there is it? No Mountain Biking to speak of?Posted 8 years ago
My mate lives in Denmark.
Mostly exceedingly flat. Really, really flat. Everyone cycles, usually on step-through town bikes. There isn't much pub culture, but if you do get involved in a bar situation it will be a good (but expensive) laugh. The women tend to be blonde and fit. Lots of (most) people speak English perfectly. You can't get marmite.Posted 8 years ago
LOL @ the comments so far…
Had heard the women were exceedingly fit mostly already, and that beer is expensive (though that doesn't really bother me to be fair!)… More wanting to know what it's like as a place to live rather than visit though.
Just as well they pretty much all speak English though, I don't speak a word of Danish! Which they know, yet they're still interested in interviewing me…Posted 8 years agonowthenMember
I work for a Danish company, but not in Denmark, and know many others who work for other Danish companies… they tend to be excellent employers with very good level of employee care, and really believe in a healthy life / work balance… even to CEO levels. This should be considered, it definitely stands out in the Corporate world for me.
Also, I find the Danish totally "get" the cynical UK sense of humour unlike many other Europeans (just in my experience…), also makes life a bit easier!Posted 8 years ago
Im danish but now living in the UK.
Where abouts in the country is the job based?
There is alot of nice places for riding singletrack, but no big hills. Infact any of the hills will be lile a minor speed bumb compared to the UK, with the one exeption of the area around the Silkeborg lakes.
There is 1 donwhill trail in the country, but its on Bornholm.Posted 8 years ago
Im finding it hard to write anything about how its like to live in denmark, but if you got any specific question feel free to ask.
For culture, the big supermarkets actualy stock alot of brittish Ale now, back in the days when i used to drink, we only had tuborg and carlsberg to choose from. and most bigger cities will have English and Irish pubs.
Ohh and you will get a totaly different idea of binge drinking if you go out on a friday/saturday night.alpinMember
i heard the danes were the happiest people in europe. very well ordered social system with very low un-employment. consequently the danes party hard, but it is said that they have a slightly lower life expectancy than other comparative countries (because of their partying).Posted 8 years ago
Ok thanks again
Price of beer aside (doesn't concern me, I don't drink the stuff) what is everything else there like price wise? Meals out, supermarkets, petrol, rent, gas/electric bills etc… Just general living expenses…
DrJ, be wonderful if you could elaborate a bit more… How you finding it socially out there?
Mikkel, why do people have low expectations there? And what about? Life in general? And what are the public services like out there, particularly health, compared to the UK?Posted 8 years ago
Socially I find Danes to be friendly and ready to socialise – probably up to a point. I don't have any real close friends yet, but I wouldn't expect to. Everyone speaks English which makes initial contact easy, but also makes it harder to learn Danish, which is essential for getting below the surface.
Public services IME are good. Health probably similar to UK – not great, but but not terrible either. People say that it is bureaucratic and bad service in shops etc., but I was in Holland before and anywhere seems fantastic compared with that. Crime is pretty low, especially by UK standards. I feel safe to go anywhere and I'd be happy to let my kids go around town also.Posted 8 years ago
Cost of living is alot higher than the UK when it comes to food etc, Denmark got the highest food prices in all of europe. hourly pay is higher ofcourse, but you do pay 45percent tax.
After almost 6 years in the UK i am still amazed when i hear brittish people complain about how expensive the UK is, as it still seems soo cheap to me when i go shopping.
Renting a flat is probably around the same price as the UK, again depends what area, copenhagen beeing realy expensive.
health service is very much like the NHS, works the exact same way.
Dentists are expensive though as not covered under the "nhs".
Life in general is good, and i think this happiest people in europe is down to people mostly beeing content, but its also a product of most people not wanting to change things, they want things as they used to be.
There isnt many places in the country where you cant see someones house, but if you go to the westcoast for a long walk on any spot of the hundred of km long sandy beaches on a windy day, it will feel wild and remote 🙂Posted 8 years ago
Ouch, 45% tax! On your entire wage or just on a percntage above a threshold like you do with the 40% tax rate in the uk?
LOL @ your comment about people not wanting to change… Oh dear! Haha. As bad as the older generation in Hungary brought up under a communist regime that promised them all jobs for life? Thing is, the job would be continuous improvement specialist for a large multiple national with their head office in Copenhagen I think…
What's the British ex pat community like there? Is there much of one?Posted 8 years ago
Dont know if alot of ex pats in Copenhagen, im from the westcoast myself, Esbjerg area, and there was always alot of brits around there due to it beeing the Danish oil base, would think there would be alot around in Copenhagen aswell.Posted 8 years ago
One good thing about Copenhagen btw, is that its dead easy to get to Sweden since they build the bridge, lots and lots of nice biking to be had over there.
There are various ex-pat groups in CPH, but to be honest I generally avoid them. A lot of expats live around the international school in the northern suburbs.
The tax system is pretty simple – whatever money you get, send nearly all of it to the tax man. The top marginal rate is around 60% I think? plus the 8% commune tax? Not too sure of the details as it's too painful to look. Be sure to find out exactly what your NET salary will be. When I saw the gross salary in my job offer I danced round the room. Then I saw what my take-home would be, and I called them and demanded more.Posted 8 years ago
Drj, very good advice, especialy with the high living cost.Posted 8 years ago
i remember seeing this programme on TV ages ago in Denmark about young people coming over in the summer to work picking strawberries on a big farm, as a working holliday thing. They had seen the gross salary aswelll and been amazed by it, they didnt learn about the high tax untill they received their first pay. They were very disapointed.
Mikkel, cheers for the link… I think…
JESUS CHRIST you're not wrong about giving ALL your money to the taxman… I've just been looking at that tax website, I am gobsmacked! Anything and everything you could possibly be taxed on, is taxed… HEAVILY! I thought giving away 40% of anything over £35k in this country was bad enough, but 40% is about as little as you get away with in Denmark it seems. If you hit the top tax bracket in Denmark and you live in an expensive area, it looks as though you can give as much as 70% of your earnings to Mr. Taxman! And even if you don't hit the top tax bracket, you're likely to be giving over 50% to him anyway… Un-bloody-believable! I reckon for any given job you'd probably have to earn as much as 50% again compared to your UK wage in order to have similar disposable income… But then, like you say, everything costs more anyway in Denmark! Certainly not a country to move to to go and make a few quid to tuck away before moving home…
And guess what, based on my last salary converted into Danish Kroner, I'd almost certainly be looking at touching the top tax bracket if I was to be earning similar sort of money!!! And obviously, as stated, I'm gonna need a lot more of it to be able to afford to even leave the bloody house! 😯
DrJ, car would pretty much be a necessity for me… Especially given that the job would require me to travel a lot (so I've been told), and to be fair, I consider one a necessity in this country too… I am kind of expecting that the job I've applied for will include a company car as part of the package though, which would be a bonus… Until I read about how company cars get taxed in Denmark too! Oh god, it never ends does it! No wonder they can afford to build enormous bridges across to Sweden despite only having a population just over 5 million people!Posted 8 years agoBreamMember
Denmark seems ok but most of the Danish guys I know would like to move across the water to Sweden where I live. Generally cheaper in Sweden (apart from beer!) etc, a lot of people live in Malmö and commute to Copenhagen over the enormous bridge 😆
But, if you work/live in Copenhagen then you are only a short drive away from our bike park in Sweden 😉 We have stacks of Danish riders who come over, and even more in the winter for the snow 8)Posted 8 years ago
Yes, it's cheaper in Sweden, and only about an hour (total) commute. But then you miss out on living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you're Danish and already lived here 20 years maybe you will sacrifice that, but if you're just here for a while, seems a shame.Posted 8 years ago
Two critical points made in this thread tell us something very important:
1. Danes are thought to be the most content with their lot.
2. Tax there is massively high.
Which should tell us quite emphatically that the pursuit of wealth and the pursuit of happiness are two totally different things. Our obsession with acquisition and consumption and our belief that more of that will make us happy is a dangerous illusion.Posted 8 years agooddjobMember
I am married to a Danish bird and have been living here for 5 years. If you can get a decent expat package then you'll be laughing and if you have some really specialised skills there are in fact tax breaks available for the first 3 years you are here, but it is mostly for accademics and pro sports people.Posted 8 years ago
good public transport
cheap child care
free higher education (including living allowance)
good cycle paths and cycling culture (especially for roadies)
fit women (I've got one :wink:)
long dark, cold, dark, damp, dark, grey and miserable winter
windy all the time
rediculous taxes (you can't comprehend this to it's full extent unless you've lived here and somewhere else to compare it with)
cars are approx 2-3 times the price of the UK
You can't make real friends, just superficial ones (it take a couple of years to realise this)oddjobMember
Quick review of taxes
IF I need a plumber to fit a tap
I earn £200 so that I have £95 to spend
I pay him £40 for the tap (25% is VAT)and £55 for an hours work
He pays 55% income tax so is left with ~£30
Final score assuming 100% mark up on the tap:
me: a new tap
BTW new bottom of the range Ford Focus ~£25,000 🙂Posted 8 years ago
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