Things I did to be more Danish

  • The language

Over the summer, before I even got to Denmark, I obsessed with learning the language. I used Duolingo, only the greatest app ever and it's completely free. It was so much fun, most of the vocabulary I retained was of numbers (en, to, tre, fire, fem, seks, syv, otte, ni, ti..!), dyr (animals), mad (food) and then, small sentences or key words.

Hej (hello)
Hej hej (good bye)
Jeg elsker dig (I love you)
Fred (peace)
Velbekomme (well you will become - like good appetite say before a meal)
Tak for ___ (thank you for) - It is always polite to thank someone for whatever they are giving you like mad (food) or kage (cake)
Jeg snakker ikke dansk.. Jeg taler en smule! (I dont speak danish.. i speak a little bit!)

  • Kor (choir)

I love to sing so I was very exited to join the university choir! At my first rehearsal, they had a name tag for me. Peter, the maestro, hugs everyone and cheers for new members, it was a very warm welcome. I made so many friends and it made my Erasmus experience extra special. In danish we sang: For Evigt, many danish christmas carols (Nu tændes tusind julelys, på loftet sidder nissen..), Jeg Tænder på dig and even Grøn Er Vårens Hæk for the crown prince at the anual DTU ball.

Angels DTU Kor

Gaia Micatovich Photography

  • Mad (food)

I had danish oats for breakfast 'the bears porridge'. I'm not usually a big fan of oats, but I really enjoyed their variety. I had them with almond, soy or rice milk and then added honey, raisins, berries or cacao. It was the perfect breakfast, specially during those long winter months.

I joined the salad club at my research group, and there was also a bread and cake club. I think it's fantastic that they have all this to promote socialisation between peers and contributing to a positive work environment. About salad, danish people eat EVERYTHING raw: raw peppers, raw cauliflower, raw mushrooms...! 

I had the traditional smørrebrød (danish open sandwiches) with the classic rye bread and butter, smoked samon and the special mustard; and the one with rosbeef and remoulade. It is very common for danes to eat a light meal at lunch, such as smørrebrød, they have it with boiled egg, tomato, avocado, cucumber and canned mackerel. I also tried their fiskerfillet with remoulade sauce and a bunch of other danish foods at conferences and university events.


Oh those delicious danish kages: kanel snegle (cinnamon snails) and my favorite spandauer with the egg, marzipan and jam filling. One thing I love about danes is their constant celebration of anything: birthdays, reaching a goal, overcoming obstacles, promotions, goodbye parties... and anything happy really. It's a joy and always cause for someone to bring in a cake or bread to share with everyone. Bread is shared with all of the choices, butter, cheese, jam, chocolate spread and the yummiest: pålægschokolade from Galle & Jessen, they are chocolate sheets.
Lakrids (liquorice) - I don't exactly love it, but I can tolerate it!!

  • Fireplace & Hygge 

Sitting down on the couch with my blanket, comfy socks and drinking a hot cacao or tea, on a winter cold and grey day. I already wrote about jule (christmas) and hygge in Denmark here)

  • Cycling 🚴🚴🚴
I cycled to and from work, and around the area where I lived. The busy streets of Copenhagen can be scary, far, and uphill to cycle back where I lived. But mostly, I'm a scaredy cat! I wrote about bicycles and such here.
  • Full agenda

Danish people make plans calendar wise as weeks of the year ("uge") something you would never do in Portugal. It puts a different perspective on time, a full year has 52 weeks.
Between travelling, choir concerts, going on tours, hanging out at Bastard café with my friends and volunteering at CPH volunteers, I had my hands full. Danish people always need an early heads up because they have extremely busy schedules.

During Halloween I attended a CPH volunteers event in Valby to facepaint kids, as spøgelse (ghosts), edderkops (spiders), grøn heks green witches, scary princeses, frankenstein, spider man.. and many more! I myself dressed up as an itsy bitsy edderkop. I painted some spider webs with my eyeliner, made the bun with a hair doughnut, added goggly eyes and four long fuzzy wires that were pinned on each side to make the eight little paws. I bought everything from Tiger and had the inspiration from Sweethearts Hair.


  • Flying Tiger 

Many rainy afternoons were spent at Tiger, buying useless crap, all my drawing equipment and school supplies. I absolutely love Tiger ❤ 

  • Knitting

I went to a hygge workshop organized by the International House Copenhagen where I met some lovely ladies that reminded me how to knit. Knitting can be very soothing and hyggelig, i'm just not very good at it, i lack the patience..

  •  Bedtime reading
I read some of Hans Christian Andersen's magical fairytales every other night before going to sleep. He is a beloved danish children's books authors well know for The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The Emperors New Clothes and many more.. He was born in Odense but later on lived in a house in Nyhavn and actually wanted to pursue ballet but was a bit clumsy.

  • Weather and clothes

It is very important to get a warm winter jacket that is wind and rain proof. Denmark is very very windy most of the time, it's also much more practical for riding a bicycle. I had an intelligent jacket from 80DB Original and it was perfect. There is no point in having very warm sweaters beside the big coat because indoors it's summer all year long.. I had warm winter socks and boots from Timberland and they were fine. For cycling, I used rain pants over my jeans sometimes, and warm gloves - very important, you will freeze off your hands. Getting something to cover your ears is also a good idea, I had a white wool headband from Tiger, a bonnet and also a warm scarf, November to February were the coldest months. 

For spring, I got myself a rain poncho, once again from Tiger, but it didn't rain a lot this year. 

  • MobilePay
Almost nobody carries around money in Denmark and it's really hard to find an atm. Everyone uses ebanking and pays with contactless cards and the awesome MobilePay app. The app is basically linked to your card and is the easiest way to pay off friends and small businesses. Whether its 5 or 500 dkk, sharing the debt of small things like pizza and drinks was never so easy! 

As a student you can get a students account free of any charges, I opened up an account with Danske Bank which some people complain about, but personally I had no problems with them.

To any Portuguese people out there going to a country with different currency, Caixa Geral de Depósitos makes a card for "Residentes no estrangeiro" it's amazing because it lets you withdraw cash without comissions.

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