High standards are the norm. It's good to book ahead; in peak summer (late June to mid-August), bookings are essential in popular holiday areas.
Hostels High-quality budget options, country-wide.
B&Bs and private rooms Often quite affordable; from home-style rooms to larger hotel-like guesthouses.
Hotels Budget chains, business-minded options, castles or designer digs – there are plenty of options and price points.
Camping grounds Plenty of full-service, family-focused options. Many are located by the water and offer in-demand cabins and cottages. In high demand in summer.
Self-catering apartments and summer houses Appealing and cost-effective alternatives, especially for families and groups. May have a minimum stay.
- Denmark is very well set up for campers, with nearly 600 camping grounds, Some are open only in the summer months, while others operate from spring to autumn. About 200 stay open year-round (and have low-season rates).
- You need a camping card (called Camping Key Europe) for stays at all camping grounds. You can buy a card at the first camping ground you arrive at, at local tourist offices or from the Danish Camping Board (see www.danishcampsites.com). The cost for an annual pass for couples is 110kr; it covers all accompanied children aged under 18.
- The per-night charge to pitch a tent or park a caravan is typically around 80kr for an adult, and about half that for each child. In summer, some places also tack on a site charge of 50kr to 80kr per tent/caravan; some also have a small eco tax.
- Many camping grounds rent cabins (a few offer on-site caravans) sleeping four to six people. Cabins range from simple huts with bunk beds to full cottages with kitchen and bathroom. You generally BYO linen or pay to hire it. In the summer peak (late June to mid-August), many cabins can only be hired by the week (around 3500kr, but it very much depends on the cabin's size and facilities).
- The Danish Nature Agency (http://eng.naturstyrelsen.dk) oversees some primitive camping areas and shelters in forested areas. See its website for more details and the rules on wild camping.
- Backpackers and cyclists, note: even if a camping ground is signposted as fully booked, there may be sites for light-travelling campers.
- If you're touring around, look for camping grounds offering 'QuickStop', a cheaper rate whereby you arrive after 8pm and leave again by 10am.
- Check www.smaapladser.dk for a list of 34 camping grounds that are smaller and more intimate, with a maximum of 145 camping pitches.
- Best online resources: www.danishcampsites.com and www.dk-camp.dk.
- A great way to get a feel for rural Denmark is on a farm stay, which can simply mean bed and breakfast accommodation or actually helping out with farm activities.
- The website of Landsforeningen for Landboturisme (www.visitfarmen.dk) links to 60 farms throughout Denmark that offer accommodation (from farmhouse rooms to family-sized self-contained flats and small rural houses). You book directly with the farm owner.
- Although it’s best to plan in advance, if you’re cycling or driving around Denmark you may well come across farmhouses displaying værelse (room) signs.
Homestay Bed & Breakfast
- There's a growing number of B&Bs – some are traditional homestay arrangements, where you stay in the hosts' house, but many more are private rooms in small guesthouses, where you may share a bathroom and kitchen with other guests, or have a studio-style apartment to yourself.
- A great example of this is in Ribe (www.visitribe.com), where about 30 locals rent out rooms and apartments in town and around, some of them in beautifully restored old houses.
- The number and quality of these places is on the increase. They're often cheaper than a private room at a hostel or budget hotel, at around 350/600kr for a single/double. The rate generally includes linen but excludes breakfast, which can often be purchased (around 70kr to 90kr).
- Staff at tourist offices maintain lists of B&B options in their area – check the local tourism websites for links.
- Many B&Bs that operate more like small guesthouses are bookable on the usual accommodation booking sites.
- Best online resource: www.bedandbreakfastguide.dk.
- Some 68 hostels make up the Danhostel association, which is affiliated with Hostelling International (HI). Some are dedicated hostels in holiday areas, while others are attached to sports centres (and hence may be busy with travelling sports teams, etc).
- If you hold a valid HI card, you receive a 10% discount on Danhostel rates (these can be purchased from hostels and cost 160kr for non-Danes). We list prices for noncardholders.
- Note that there are a growing number of private hostels not affiliated with the Danhostel association.
- Danish hostels appeal to all ages and are oriented as much towards families and groups as to budget travellers. Hiring a private room is the norm. Outside Copenhagen, only some hostels offer dorm beds in shared rooms (some may only offer these in the summer, from July to mid-September).
- Typical costs are 200kr to 300kr for a dorm bed. For private rooms, expect to pay 400kr to 600kr per single, 450kr to 750kr per double, and up to 100kr for each additional person in larger rooms. All hostels offer family rooms; many rooms come with private bathrooms.
- Duvets and pillows are provided, but you’ll have to bring or hire your own sheets and towel (typically between 50kr and 80kr per stay).
- Almost all hostels provide an all-you-can-eat breakfast costing around 75kr, and some also provide dinner. Most hostels have guest kitchens with pots and pans.
- Advance reservations are advised, particularly in summer. In a few places, reception closes as early as 6pm. In most hostels the reception office is closed, and the phone not answered, between noon and 4pm.
- Between May and September, hostels can get crowded with children on school excursions, or sports groups travelling for tournaments.
- A number of Danish hostels close for part of the low season.
- A note on costs: if you need to hire linen, the price of a double room plus sheets and towels may become more expensive than a room at a budget hotel. Consider what you're after (kitchen access, for example, which hostels offer but hotels don't) and book accordingly.
- A few brands tend to dominate in the hotel business. For budget hotels, look for CabInn (www.cabinn.dk), Zleep (www.zleephotels.com) and self-service BB Hotels (www.bbhotels.dk) across the country, and Wake Up (www.wakeupcopenhagen.com) in Copenhagen and Aarhus.
- Business-standard hotel chains include Scandic (www.scandichotels.com), Radisson (www.radisson.com), Comwell (www.comwell.dk) and First Hotels (www.firsthotels.com).
- There's a good range of boutique hotels in larger cities and popular upmarket destinations (Bornholm, for example, and Skagen), but true luxury or design hotels are not especially common outside Copenhagen and Aarhus. If you’re looking for something more memorable than a chain hotel, consider staying in a castle, historic manor house or rural property. Also look out for a badehotel or strandhotel (an old seaside 'bathing inn') – many of these are now restored. Great resources for something a little special: www.guldsmedenhotels.com, www.slotte-herregaarde.dk and www.smalldanishhotels.com.
- Be careful: the inclusion of kro in a name usually implies a country inn, but it is also (less commonly) the Danish version of a motel, found along major motorways near the outskirts of town.
- Some hotels have set rates published on their websites; others have dynamic rates that fluctuate according to season and demand. Most hotel websites offer good deals and packages, as do the usual booking engines.
- Many business hotels offer cheaper rates on Friday and Saturday nights year-round, and during the summer peak (from late June until the start of the school year in early/mid-August), when business folk aren't travelling.
- There is no hard-and-fast rule about the inclusion of breakfast in prices – many hotels include it in their price, but for others it is optional. It is never included in the price of budget hotels (you can purchase it for around 75kr to 100kr). Hotel breakfasts are usually pretty decent all-you-can-eat buffets.
- Denmark is stuffed with castles and manor houses, some of them offering atmospheric accommodation in beautiful grounds. The website of the Danske Slotte & Herregaarde association (www.slotte-herregaarde.dk) has links to around 15 such places that offer accommodation.
- Many seaside resort areas are filled with cottages and apartments. These are generally let out by the week and require reservations. Rates vary greatly, depending on the type of accommodation and the season, but generally they’re cheaper than hotels.
- DanCenter (www.dancenter.com) handles holiday-cottage bookings nationwide. Many tourist offices can also help make reservations. Alternatively, try Novasol (www.novasol.dk), which organises self-catering options in cottages and summer houses.
- Hundreds of places (summer cottages, inner-city apartments, family-friendly houses) can be rented direct from the owner via the usual online booking engines.
- Local tourist offices (and their websites) can provide lists of local accommodation and may help arrange bookings for a small fee.
- Accommodation prices listed are for peak summer (late June to mid-August), when Danish schools are on vacation and most locals take holidays. Prices at holiday hotspots peak in summer, while business-oriented hotels in cities may drop summer rates to attract guests. Websites list up-to-date prices.
- Many hotels, hostels and restaurants are members of the Green Key eco accreditation scheme (www.greenkey.global).
- There is no hard-and-fast rule about the inclusion of breakfast in prices – many hotels include it in their rates, but for others it is an optional extra. It is never included in the price of hostels and budget hotels (but is usually available for around 75kr). Ironically, breakfast is usually not included in B&B rates.
Opening Hours & Self-Service
- Not all hotels and guesthouses have staffed reception desks – some are 'self-service' (unstaffed with automated entry), while at others the owner or manager will meet you at a prearranged time. For the latter, you may be asked to provide your anticipated arrival time when booking, or to phone the owner/manager an hour before arriving. There may simply be a phone number stuck to the door to call when you arrive.
- There are a growing number of 'self-service' (in Danish, selvbetjening) hotels and guesthouses that are unstaffed – these are generally quite affordable as their staffing overheads are low. BB Hotels (www.bbhotels.dk) is one such small chain. Guests book online and are sent a security code that will grant them access to the building and/or room. There may be a 'help-yourself' breakfast from a fridge, and guests may stay a few days without seeing any personnel (except for maybe a cleaner).
- Hostels are generally unstaffed for a few hours in the afternoon (check-in is generally from 4pm to 6pm, or 8pm in summer). There are options for late arrivals, but you'll need to be in touch with the hostel manager to arrange this.