We’ll arrive in Copenhagen on May 19. As part of my preparations for the trip, I checked out the currency in Denmark (they do not use the Euro). The Krone (kr) (or Crown) is worth about $0.18. According to my research, if staying at moderate hotels and eating in inexpensive restaurants, we can expect to pay 600kr ($223) per person per day. Our three-day visit is going to be an expensive stay. One of the reasons for the high cost is that hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops add a 25% value-added tax (VAT) called moms in Danish. At least the VAT is included in the price and not an add-on.
ATMs are the best option to obtain cash when abroad. In Denmark, ATMs are available at most banks and at the airport. Since we are landing at the cruise terminal, we will get the local currency on our walk to the hotel. Outside of Copenhagen, ATMs are not available 24/7. Many close between 1 AM and 6 AM.
Plus (run by Visa) and Cirrus (run by MasterCard) are the two major ATM networks. They add a 1% conversion fee. Additionally, some banks charge ATM usage fees (as much as $5.00) while others do not. I will have to check out the bank’s policy before I make a transaction. Sometimes credit unions do not charge this fee, and there are several credit unions in Copenhagen.
The secret is to make fewer and larger withdrawals. Each card has a daily withdrawal limit. (I recommend finding out what that limit is before leaving on your trip.) Since we don’t want to have to pay exchange fees for Krones when leaving Denmark, we will have to plan our withdrawals carefully.
Credit Card Usage
In Denmark, MasterCard and Visa are commonly accepted, so we should be OK with our card. Those with American Express and Diners Club may have more difficulty charging. If the credit card used at a restaurant in Denmark is not a Danish card, there is a 3% to 7% additional fee. To avoid this charge, we will have to have enough cash when eating out. Considering the conversion fees, it is generally less expensive to pay with cash than with a credit card.
Personal checks drawn from foreign banks are normally not accepted in Denmark. Banks will cash Traveler’s Checks for a fee.
There are five bank notes in the following denominations: 50kr, 100kr, 200kr, 500kr, and 1000kr. On the obverse (front of the notes) are bridges connecting various parts of Denmark. On the reverse (backs) are prehistoric objects found near the bridges. Each note has a different size and color.
There are seven coins: one, two, five, ten, and twenty Krone and two coins that are divisions of the krone: twenty-five and fifty Øre. Each coin differs in color, size, weight, and rim. To not overspend, I will have to remember that the 20kr coin is worth about $3.70.
Tipping in restaurants and cabs is not necessary; waitstaff and taxi drivers are well-paid and do not count on tips to supplement their income. If pleased with the service, it is the custom to round up the bill.