Local customs in Denmark! Colonised by the Vikings in the 12th century, Denmark is one of the oldest kingdoms in Europe. Margrethe II has been Queen since 1972, following an unbroken line of kings stretching back over 1000 years! So, let’s get down to some local customs in Denmark before doing your work placement abroad!

No stress

It’s part of their way of life, the Danes don’t get stressed! There’s a reason they were voted the happiest people in the world! For a stress-free work placement in Europe, it’s perfect: here are a few examples.

  1. Flexible working hours: Danes enjoy relatively flexible working hours, enabling them to achieve a better work-life balance. They are often able to choose working hours that suit their personal needs and commitments.
  2. Importance of work-life balance: Danish companies place great emphasis on the work-life balance of their employees. Overtime is generally avoided, and Danes are encouraged to take sufficient time to rest and spend with family and friends.
  3. Access to nature: Denmark offers many natural areas, parks and coastal zones that allow people to relax and enjoy nature. Danes attach great importance to outdoor activities, such as cycling, walking and relaxing in nature, which contributes to a more relaxed pace of life.
  4. Taking holidays: Danes generally have access to paid holidays and relatively generous holiday days. They are encouraged to take regular breaks to rest and recharge their batteries, which fosters a relaxed atmosphere.
  5. Keep it simple: Danish culture often values simplicity and minimalism. Danes often adopt a ‘hygge’ approach, which emphasises well-being, comfort and appreciation of the little things in life, creating a relaxing atmosphere.
  6. Focus on health and well-being: The Danish healthcare system is well developed and provides quality care to its citizens. Taking responsibility for one’s health is considered essential, and Danes are encouraged to take care of themselves to maintain a balanced and relaxed lifestyle.

Overall, the relaxed pace of life in Denmark is the result of a combination of efforts to create a balance between work, leisure and personal life, as well as an appreciation of simplicity and well-being. This approach to life helps to create a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere for Danes and those who live in the country.

Never alone, always doing something

They can’t help it! The Danes have a culture centred on conviviality and a sense of community. They generally prefer to do things in groups rather than alone. The concept of “hygge” is essential to their daily lives, which means creating moments of well-being and comfort by being surrounded by their loved ones. They appreciate moments shared over convivial dinners, evenings at home or over a cup of coffee. Teamwork and collaboration are also valued, and this is reflected in their activities outside work. However, this does not mean that they never enjoy solitude, as they also find time to relax and recharge on their own from time to time. Nonetheless, in general, Danes have a preference for social interaction and value companionship in their daily activities.

Beer beer beer

Denmark’s beer culture is rich and deeply rooted in Danish society. Beer occupies an important place in the daily lives of Danes, and is often associated with conviviality and moments of relaxation with friends and family.

Here are some key elements of Danish beer culture:

  1. Craft breweries: Denmark is renowned for its craft breweries, which produce a wide variety of high-quality beers. The Danes are proud of their brewing tradition and have become increasingly passionate about discovering new flavours and styles of beer.
  2. Bock and Tuborg: The two main brands of beer in Denmark are Carlsberg and Tuborg, which are widely consumed throughout the country. Pilsner beer is also very popular.
  3. Beer and conviviality: Beer is often associated with social occasions and getting together with friends. Danes enjoy meeting up in bars, cafés or beer gardens to chat, laugh and have a good time together.
  4. Beer festivals: Denmark hosts a number of beer festivals throughout the year, where beer lovers can sample a wide variety of local and international craft beers.
  5. Legal drinking age: The legal drinking age in Denmark, including beer, is 18. Danes take a responsible approach to alcohol consumption and pay particular attention to road safety and alcohol-related problems.
  6. Traditional Christmas bock: A time-honoured Danish tradition is to drink a specially brewed Christmas bock during the festive season. This type of beer is generally stronger and spicier than ordinary beers.
The Hygge concept

When you go out with your mates in town for a drink, or to visit museums, etc., they call it “Hygge”. It’s the art of spending quality time together as a family, relaxing and enjoying friends and activities! They are the masters of this concept.

Danish design

Danish design is world-renowned for its minimalism, functionality, durability and elegant aesthetic. It is based on the principles of simplicity, quality and utility, reflecting the idea that beauty lies in the harmony between form and function. This approach to clean, pragmatic design is deeply rooted in Danish culture and has helped shape the country’s identity as a leader in design.

A key element of Danish design is the concept of “form follows function”. Danish designers attach great importance to the functionality of objects, seeking intelligent and practical solutions to meet the needs of users. This rational approach is often combined with a clean aesthetic, with simple lines and geometric shapes, avoiding any superfluous excess.

Danish design is also characterised by the use of natural, sustainable materials. Designers favour wood, leather, glass and other authentic materials, giving products a warm, timeless feel. This preference for quality materials and traditional manufacturing methods contributes to the longevity and durability of the objects, reducing their impact on the environment.

One of the major movements in Danish design is “Danish Modern”, which emerged in the mid-20th century. This style combines Scandinavian minimalism with organic forms and a functionalist approach. Iconic designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, and Verner Panton helped popularise this movement, creating iconic pieces of Danish design such as the “Egg” and “Wishbone” chairs.

The influence of Danish design extends far beyond the borders of Denmark, with many Danish designers having an international reputation. Danish design objects and furniture are appreciated the world over for their quality, timeless aesthetics and ability to blend harmoniously into a variety of environments.

In short, Danish design is a successful marriage of form and function, with clean aesthetics and intelligent use of materials. This sustainable, minimalist approach continues to shape the design of objects and furniture across the globe, making Danish design a treasured heritage of Danish culture and identity.

The simplicity of management

The simplicity of Denmark’s leaders is an important feature of the country’s political culture. Danish leaders are known for adopting a modest lifestyle that is close to the people, which helps to strengthen their connection with the population and establish a relationship of trust.

One of the main manifestations of this simplicity is the absence of ostentatious hierarchy and symbols of power. Unlike in some other countries, Danish leaders generally avoid displaying outward signs of their status, preferring to present themselves as ordinary citizens, eager to serve the people.

Danish political leaders frequently make themselves accessible to the public, whether by taking part in community events, using public transport or visiting public places. This approach fosters a sense of closeness between leaders and citizens and reinforces the feeling that leaders are genuinely listening to the concerns of the people.

In addition, the salaries of Danish executives are generally modest compared with other countries, and the benefits and privileges associated with their position are also more limited. This sends out a message of restraint and financial responsibility, showing that leaders are concerned about the responsible use of public resources.

This simplicity of leadership in Denmark is in line with the country’s democratic culture, where citizens have a strong influence on political decisions. It embodies the values of equality, transparency and mutual respect that lie at the heart of Danish society. By favouring modesty and simplicity, Danish leaders set an example as servants of the people and help to maintain a calm political climate that is close to the realities of people’s daily lives.


Danes are very modest! They don’t show signs of wealth and don’t judge each other by social class.

So, do you know any other local customs? Tell us about them in the comments, and contact us about your work placement in Denmark. GO for your internship in Europe! For more general questions, visit the International Horizons Internships Abroad FAQ.