5 things that surprised me as an Expat in Denmark


When you get to know that you are about to move to one of the most happiest countries in the world, it is exciting to imagine your future life at a beautiful place like Denmark.

The scenic beauty of colorful buildings at Nyhavn, the iconic Royal palace, the little Mermaid, bikes all over the city, the whiteness of the city during snow, mesmerizing spring with cherry blossom, Tivoli full of lights in the evening and the typical Scandinavian feel of it just wants you to get settled and you gradually become a part of this city which becomes your next home after your own country.

However there are few things which surprise you as an expat at various points in your new life here. Here is my share of it, would love to hear yours:)

1. The typical Danish toilets

Our first apartment in Copenhagen was located at Kongensgade which was quite spacious, well maintained and centrally located. I was quite impressed when I took a quick tour of it and then I entered the toilet where I remember I kept looking for shower area and then I thought to myself probably this apartment has separate toilet and bathroom. I came out and checked with my husband and to my shock that was it! It really took me sometime to register that one is expected to almost sit on the toilet seat while taking a shower. For sure, I was surprised!

2. Babies left outside in pram

When a colleague mentioned to me that babies are left to sleep outside in pram even at night, I conveniently accepted it as a joke. But then when she stressed it with serious eyes, I had to rethink if it was really a joke! That is a different story that now after being in Denmark for a while, I myself keep my baby outside our home for sleeping. But as a new expat, I’m sure this comes across as a shocker to many. Not to forget the famous case in the US, where a Danish lady was charged for doing this ‘absolutely normal’ thing and had to come back to Denmark to avoid charges on herself.

3. Love for liquoirice

When I found a Dane craving for liquorice candy in office, I assumed it to be something interestingly tasty. Sorry Danes, but I fail to understand this love after numerous attempts to having liquorice. I have given up now.

4. Summer madness

Having worked with Germans in my home country before coming to Denmark, I had pretty good idea of how much sun is valued here. Honestly I myself started craving to see some sun when I arrived here at the end of winter season. And then followed by Spring, there was a day in summer of 2015 which was my first here, I felt that whole Copenhagen has gone jobless and shirtless at the same time. The population hiding behind some walls usually, filled up the streets and the views were amazing all over. No wonder people work out on their bodies all year round here for upcoming summer.


5. Simplicity of Danish weddings

I definitely knew that Danish weddings are not as extravagant as we have in India and it is a close affair with family and limited friends. But what further surprised me was that the bride and groom do not shy away in bidding good bye to guests on their traditional bikes. I personally found it very sweet as well as surprising.



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