Capital City: Copenhagen
Denmark is a country in Scandinavia. The main part of it is Jutland, a peninsula north of Germany, but also with a number of islands, including the two major ones, Zealand and Funen, in Østersøen Sea between Jutland and Sweden.
Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. However, the country has opted out of European Union's Maastricht Treaty, the European monetary system (EMU), and issues concerning certain internal affairs.
Denmark is also the birthplace of one of the world's most popular toys, Lego. There is no other better place in the world where one can buy Lego bricks than at the Legoland theme park in Billund.
These days the Danish Vikings have parked their ships in the garage, and put the helmets on the shelves, and along with the other Scandinavian nations, have forged a society that is often seen as a benchmark of civilization; with progressive social policies, a commitment to free speech so strong it put the country at odds with much of the world during the 2006 cartoon crisis, a liberal social-welfare system and, according to The Economist, one the most commercially competitive. Top it off with a rich, well-preserved cultural heritage, and the Danes legendary sense of design and architecture, and you have one intriguing holiday destination.
Denmark is home to the 'lowest-highest' point in Europe; but what that exactly entails is somewhat uncertain. Ejer Baunehøj, in the Lake District region south-west of Aarhus, seems to be the highest natural point (171m with a large tower built on top to commemorate the fact), although Yding Skovhøj, some 3km away stands 2m higher owing to an ancient burial mound. Either way, the 213m tall Søsterhøj Transmission Tower (1956), with its top 315m above sea level is technically the highest point in Denmark!
Sports are popular in Denmark, with football reigning supreme in popularity and counted as the national sport, followed by Gymnastics, Handball and Golf.
Another trait of Danish culture as any tourist pamphlet will tell you, is "Hygge", translating into cosy or snug. Danes themselves will be quick to point out this is somehow a unique Danish concept, which is hardly in tune with reality, but it does probably take a more prominent place in the culture, than in many other countries. It usually involves low key dinners in peoples home, with long conversations over candlelight and red wine in the company of friends and family, but the word is broadly used for social interactions.
Another important aspect of Danish culture, is understatement and modesty, which not only prominent in the Danish behavioural patterns. It is also very much an important trait in the famous Danish design, which dictates strict minimalism and functionalism over flashiness, something that transfers well to the Danish people as well.
The Danes are a fiercely patriotic bunch, but in a sneakingly low-key kind of way. They will warmly welcome visitors to show of the country, which they are rightly proud of, but any criticism - however constructive - will not be taken lightly, although most Danes will be happily spend hours to prove you wrong over a Carlsberg beer, rather than becoming hostile - it won't get you far though, and if you manage to convince anyone of any other flaws than the taxes are too high, the weather is too bad or other trivialities, you should immediately return home and run for a political office. For the same reasons, outsiders on long term stays, are by many viewed with a certain amount of suspicion, as the homogeneous society is often thought to be the key to Denmark's successes, you will often hear resident foreigners complain about a constant pressure to become ever more Danish, and the anti immigrant Danish Peoples Party have seen increasing popularity over the years, taking 13% of the votes at the latest election, making it Denmark's 3rd largest political party.