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Norway vs Denmark: How to choose between Denmark and Norway

Today, we’re going to be tackling the Norway vs Denmark debate head-on, with some insights into factors which might affect your choice, depending on whether you’re visiting or relocating. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started…

Trying to decide between Denmark and Norway is a difficult choice. After all, the countries in the Scandinavian region are similar in many ways, but they all have their unique benefits to explore.

Scandinavian languages are also very similar, and many of the regions share common myths and legends too, but if you really want to see incredible fjords, you’re going to need to head to Norway.

If—on the other hand—you’re looking for history and culture, then you might fare better in Denmark.

Whether you’re trying to choose where to visit between Norway and Denmark, or you’re considering settling down in the Nordic region indefinitely, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Hopefully, the following will help you choose between Denmark and Norway…

Norway vs Denmark: The initial differences

Norway and Denmark are both regions of Scandinavia, known for their amazing scenery, their wonderful people, and Viking history.

Denmark is a country of beautiful, colorful towns and cities, stunning docks, and fishing areas, as well as countless places to settle down and enjoy some lunch with friends.

If you’re keen to check out one of the happiest places in the world, and you love seafood, then you’re going to be right at home at Denmark. The region spreads over the Jutland Peninsula, covering about 17,000 miles.

With about 5.6 million people living in Denmark, the location has plenty of opportunities to socialize, but it’s not overly crowded either.

Norway is best-known for its beautiful fjords and the amazing scenery all over the country. Although the temperatures aren’t always high here, Norway is one of the most dramatically beautiful places on earth. The region is also home to several world records.

Norway has slightly fewer people living in it than Denmark, at around 5.4 million. The location is also very scarcely populated, as many regions are uninhabitable due to the severe cold.

Don’t let this scare you away though — Norway has plenty of amazing winter sports and activities to make up for it. Plus, it’s a great place to go searching for the Northern Lights.

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Norway or Denmark: What to expect from Norway

When you’re deciding whether to visit Norway or Denmark, you’ll quickly discover the two locations are very different in what they can offer.

While both counties have a lot of Viking heritage and history to offer, Norway is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for beautiful outdoor experiences.

The stunning fjords aren’t always ice and snow either. You can also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Geirangerfjord, where you’ll often find more lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls, and even a place where you can take a dip.

Norway is a top destination for hikers, with locations like Pulpit Rock, Priekstolen, to visit. You can even climb all the way to the top of the beautiful Preacher’s Pulpit, where you can look over the edge of a cliff to the water below.

Norway’s incredible sights make it one of the most picture-friendly destinations in the world, but this country is more than just a perfect location for snapshots. If you love driving, you can drive through an almost endless coastline of winding roads, and potentially spot a few whales along the way.

Norway is also one of the most eco-friendly destinations in the world too.

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Visit Denmark or Norway? What to do in Norway

If you decide you’re going to visit Norway when making your decision between Norway and Denmark, you’re sure to find plenty of great things to do. We recommend starting your trip with a visit to Norway’s capital city of Oslo.

This wonderful location is surprisingly forward-thinking, with everything from heated roads to modern buildings and bars.

Oslo is where nature and urban elements come together to create something entirely new. You’ll see beautiful green hills and mountains on the horizon, while checking out local stores. For a touch of history, visit the Viking Ship or Munch museum.

If your decision to visit Norway came from a passion for exploration, then head to the second largest city of Bergen for a day or two. This incredible location is home to a wide range of historical and cultural attractions for visitors, as well as a range of natural wonders.

Bergen is known as the gateway to the fjords, and it’s ideal for anyone who loves the outdoors.

If you’re tired of Bergen (as odd as it might sound), you can also discover more natural beauty at the Lofoten islands. This is an archipelago within the Artic circle offering things like fishing villages, waterways, and coastal lines, and so much more.

You can even take a Norwegian coastal voyage around this region and do a spot of bird watching.

For those looking for something a little cosier, visit the small town of Flam in Norway, where you can take a break around the western fjords. There’s a ton of natural beauty here once again, and you can take a trip on one of the most famous railways in the world.

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Denmark or Norway: What to expect from Denmark

So, if Norway is the place to go for truly dramatic scenery and outdoor beauty, what makes Denmark a great visitor’s location? If you’re planning on visiting Denmark, one of the first things you’ll notice is all the water.

If you like fishing, or seafood, you’re going to find plenty of ways to spend your time here. You can even check out some beautiful boats along the docks and learn about the Vikings while you’re in the country.

Denmark is also famous for the sheer sense of happiness enjoyed by its citizens. This is one of the happiest places in the world, thanks in part to things like better work/life balance, safer streets, and welcoming people.

You can discover hygge in the heart of Denmark with a delicious pastry and a warm drink, and take a little of the happiness back home with you.

Denmark is also a great place for educational purposes. You can learn about famous people like Hans Christian Andersen, and check out the Little Mermaid statue when you’re visiting Copenhagen.

Plus, there are plenty of great museums around Denmark to visit too, where you can learn about Vikings, Nordic culture, and companies like Lego.

Denmark is also a place famous for its healthy living. You’ll have no problem finding somewhere to stop for a healthy snack, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to take part in if you want to get active.

Plus, everything you want to see is reachable by bike, giving you the perfect opportunity to put your cycling skills to the test.

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Visit Norway or Denmark? What to do in Denmark

Like Norway, Denmark has plenty of things you can do if you’re looking for a fun way to spend a few hours on your trip. The great thing about Denmark is a lot of great sights and destinations are located pretty close together. This makes it easier to explore more of the country in one go.

You can even cycle around many of the biggest tourist attractions.

If you want to start with an authentic taste of Denmark, make sure you plan a trip to the capital city of Copenhagen. This is a must-visit destination for most travellers, and it’s where you’ll find everything from ski-slopes to stunning stores.

If you’re a fan of beautiful architecture and art, plan a trip to the ARoS art museum, where you can take a walk around a 360-degree rainbow made of glass, to see Aarhus from a whole new angle.

Alternatively, show your appreciation for Denmark’s contributions to the world of toys by visiting the Leo house. The Lego house features a host of color-themed zones to keep the whole family entertained, and there’s a guide to lego history too.

Speaking of architecture, it’s always worth visiting Nyhavn when you’re in Denmark, to get a view of the beautiful 17th century canal, complete with old wooden ships. The region is also packed full of wonderful colorful houses which make for a great photo opportunity.

Alternatively, head over to Roskilde for a look at the amazing Roskilde Cathedral.

If you’re feeling particularly daring, there are activities in Denmark for thrill seekers too. 50 minutes outside of Copenhagen is the Camp Adventure treetop experience, where you can climb to the top of a tower to see for miles around.

On the other hand, you can go bridge walking over Little Belt Bridge.

If you’re visiting Denmark at a specific time of year, be sure to check if there are any ongoing festivals happening. The country is home to some amazing outdoor events.

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Should you live in Denmark or Norway?

Making the decision to live in Norway or Denmark is a lot tougher than figuring out whether you should visit one country over the other. You can even visit Norway and Denmark if you like, as the two locations are quite close together.

When it comes to life in these two Scandinavian countries, it’s crucial to ensure you understand your options.

The first thing to know is all of Scandinavia represents a beautiful and opportunity-rich place to live. The Nordic countries, such as Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden, all offer a great experience for expats.

Finland and Norway are in the top ten in many categories for quality of life, in fact.

Norway is among the top five countries in the world for health and wellbeing, and Denmark frequently ranks among the happiest locations in the world.

Although you will need to learn a new language, regardless of whether you choose Norway or Denmark, you should find it simple enough to adapt to a new way of life. Both Denmark and Norway are likely to be top options if you’re a fan of environmental protection.

These two countries support renewable energy efforts to address things like climate change.

Norway is 1st in the world for environmental friendliness, and Denmark ranks among the top 10 countries too. Norway also ranks among the top countries in the world for security and safety, while

Denmark is well-known around the world for the sense of security locals feel. You’ll frequently sere people leaving their belongings unattended here.

For quality of life, both Denmark and Norway promise a clean, safe, and environmentally conscious home. Political stability is also another factor worth noting for local peace of mind. The two countries perform very well, and citizens have generally good feelings about their government.

Is Denmark the same as Norway?

When you’re trying to choose whether to live in Norway or Denmark, you’ll notice many aspects of the two countries are very similar. Even the languages of Scandinavia have a lot of similarities.

Both Denmark and Norway have excellent quality of life to offer, particularly when it comes to work/life balance. The countries are among the top ten in the world for working experience.

Norway tends to have a lot of job options in the fields of healthcare, manufacturing, and engineering. Denmark can make it a little tougher to find a role initially, but you’ll have no problem getting good pay.

Once you find a career in Denmark, you won’t have to worry about things like high taxes, as you should also have money for things like food, expenses, and savings, provided you’re working full time.

The biggest issue is finding suitable employment isn’t always easy in Denmark and Norway. Remember, both countries have plenty of access to Scandinavian talent.

In terms of some of the major differences between Denmark and Norway, let’s look at some basic facts.

For instance, if you lived in Norway instead of Denmark you would:

  • Live up to 0.9 years longer, as the life expectancy for men and women is higher.
  • Make up to 43.9% more money, due to a massive GDP per capita in Norway.
  • Pay a 31% lower rate for the highest tax category.
  • Be 26.3% more likely to get a job in the field you want to explore.

If you found a home in Denmark rather than Norway, you would:

  • Live in a more diverse climate with nice summers.
  • Be 17.3% less likely to be obese, due to healthier living.
  • Have access to excellent work/life balance and quality of life.
  • Be able to travel to various sights and locations a little easier.
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Is Denmark or Norway more expensive?

When it comes to visiting Norway vs Denmark, you may find the two locations have similar pricing structures for flights, accommodation, and entertainment. Usually, you can plan a comprehensive trip to Scandinavia to suit virtually any budget.

However, it is worth noting life in Norway or Denmark can be very expensive in the long-term.

The cost of living in Scandinavian regions can be quite a shock to external visitors and expats. This is because Denmark and Norway rank towards the top of the most expensive places to live in the world.

Norway is more expensive than Denmark by a small percentage. The average cost of living is around $1922 in Norway, and approximately $1753 per month in Denmark.

Despite a wonderful quality of life in both Denmark and Norway, both represent expensive options if you’re planning on starting fresh. The after-tax salary you can expect from Norway and Denmark is quite good, but there are a lot of taxes to consider.

On average, average-tax salary in Denmark will cover about 2 months of expenses, compared to only 1.6 months in Norway.

Aside from rent, housing, and food expenses, you’ll also need to consider things like getting around in Norway and Denmark. Denmark can be a little less expensive from a public transportation perspective.

You can generally visit most locations with a bike, or travel by foot to keep costs low.

On the plus side, more than four out of five expats from Denmark say they end up with more than enough income after taxes and expenses to cover their daily cost of living.

Household incomes are generally quite high in Scandinavian countries, ensuring local citizens have plenty of opportunity to enjoy a higher quality of life, despite the expenses of taxes.

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Choosing between Norway vs Denmark

Scandinavia and the Nordic region stand out as one of the most beautiful and compelling places in the world. If you’re looking for somewhere to visit to refresh and revitalize your mind, both Norway and Denmark are great choices.

You could even make your trip a full tour of Scandinavia and visit both Norway and Denmark at the same time, along with trips to Sweden and Finland.

Getting around in Scandinavia is quite simple, so it’s easy enough to jump between locations if you want to absorb as many sights and experiences as possible. Alternatively, if you only want to visit one destination, the guidance above should help.

Denmark is a small, easy-to-traverse country with tons of heritage and history.

Norway is likely to be the choice for you if you’re searching for awe-inspiring sights and plenty of outdoor activities.

If you’re thinking of moving to Norway and Denmark, then both locations offer a fantastic quality of life and various employment options.

However, you might find it’s more difficult to live in Norway, because life can be a little more expensive. Although it may be easier to find a job in Norway initially because of its larger size.

Remember to do your research in depth if you’re thinking of moving to Denmark or Norway. Check out the other articles on this website and speak to locals if you have to chance for a deeper insight into what life can really be like.

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