Denmark Prices Compared to US
So far I’ve shown you Denmark prices compared to US Dollars on groceries, and cosmetics, toiletries & spa treatments. In my last post of this series, I’ll show you the prices of liquor, dining out, and recreational activities in Denmark.
The prices given in USD are based on the average exchange rate from when I arrived in Denmark in 2010, through 2014, which is 5.60 Danish Kroner to 1 US Dollar.
Denmark Prices Compared to US: Liquor
Denmark doesn’t have many liquor stores, we usually buy our liquor from the grocery store. All of my retail liquor prices have been taken from SuperBrugsen, which is a mid-level grocery store, comparable to an average grocery store in the US, something between Aldi and Whole Foods.
|Item||Size||Price (DKK)||Price (USD)|
|Cosmopolitan Cocktail (average bar)||each||100.00||$17.85|
|Marlboro Reds||20 pack||44.00||$7.85|
Denmark Prices Compared to US: Restaurants
It’s difficult to give standard prices for independently owned restaurants, so I compared prices across mid-range restaurants and took the average price. Think of the kind of place you’d be likely to order from on a night you can’t be bothered to cook, so not something you’d choose for a special occasion, and not something on verge of being shut down by the health department.
|Item||Price (DKK)||Price (USD)|
|Bagel & Cream Cheese||30.00||$5.35|
|Big Mac Value Meal||59.00||$10.53|
|Burger & Fries (Casual Cafe)||129.00||$23.03|
|Egg McMuffin Value Meal||35.00||$6.25|
|Pizza (personal size, combo toppings)||82.00||$14.64|
|Soft Drink (50cl/17oz)||25.00||$4.46|
|Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (Venti)||54.00||$9.64|
|Sushi (15 mixed maki & nigiri)||130.00||$23.21|
Denmark Prices Compared to US: Recreation
|Activity||Price (DKK)||Price (USD)|
|Bowling (per game)||185.00||$33.03|
Managing My Leisure Budget in Denmark
For me, going out is rarely worth the cost in Denmark. Many places don’t have a vegetarian option on the menu and the ones that do are usually pretty awful. A veggie burger here is often a burger with all of the toppings, minus the burger. Or a roll with a bunch of lettuce and a few tiny pieces of falafel. Otherwise, it’s a lame pasta dish, a salad, a piece of quiche, or nachos. From time to time, I’ll try a Grouponish offer, but otherwise, I save my dining out budget for when I’m abroad.
Takeaway is also expensive and not very good. If I do order in, I usually end up thinking how much better my food is than the stuff I just spent a week’s grocery budget to have delivered, and concluding “never again.” Denmark has definitely made me a better cook.
Alcohol is my biggest splurge. I couldn’t continue to live in Denmark if not for martinis and wine ;-) I invest in good wine, but always buy it on sale. I’ve got a rather big stash of a nice California Zin that I bought on offer for half price… about $9/bottle. I also keep a small martini bar, stocked mostly with things I buy abroad duty free. I drink at home, or at friends’ homes—I never go out drinking in bars or clubs.
I’ve only been to the cinema once in Denmark, and been bowling once since I move here. Having golfed some really elaborate mini-golf courses in the US, the homemade plywood obstacles they have here are a bit of a snooze.
By now you’re probably thinking that I’m cheap and boring… but I’m really not! It’s so inexpensive to fly within Europe, that I’d much rather cook at home and not go to the cinema, instead spending that money on long weekends in Rome, Athens, London, or wherever.
How do these prices compare to your local prices? Curious about the price of something I haven’t mentioned? Tell me in the comments :)
P.S. Check out my monthly feature where I post an itemized list of my grocery spending for the past month. Read first post here.
The liquor and cigarette prices are a little cheaper than here (Vancouver, Canada.) I always want to throw a tantrum when I see how cheap wine is in the US. :(
Everything else on your list seems really pricey (close to double what it costs here), except maybe the movie ticket. I wouldn’t care about the fast food prices as I hate spending money on takeout, but do go for sushi once in a while. I spend $9 CAD (about $7 USD) for a veggie combo (4 rolls + miso soup and tea.) $23.21!? Does Danish sushi come with a side of diamonds?!
I’m with you, I would far prefer to pinch pennies when it comes to stuff like this, and spend them on experiences that count (like travel.)
I miss US prices on pretty much everything! Sushi prices are out of control here, but the upside is I’ve learned to make own, I only eat veggie anyway, so it’s pretty simple. I bought a rolling mat and all the accouterments for bit more than half the price of a takeout :)
I bet the paycheques look HUGE in Denmark, hahaha! Great little comparision sheet. I’d do terribly, converting everything. #NotAMathWhiz
I recently moved from Canada to the USA, and I couldn’t get over how CHEAP everything was – and how accessible booze was (seriously, it’s sold at drug stores down here. SO weird).
LOL! Well, they definitely LOOK huge, I’m also a millionaire ;-)
It was a shock getting used to the prices here. I pretty much had to stop converting or I’d drive myself mad. Professional salaries are comparable to US salaries and taxes are higher, so my standard of living is definitely lower here. Enjoy those American prices!
Betsy @ BPhotoArt.com says
Definitely a good point about being able to travel within Europe much more economically. I’d take that trade off any day of the week too. Getting to Europe from the states… now that is pricey!
One of the deciding factors in whether or not to move abroad was how easily I’d be able travel within Europe. For an American, it’s pretty fabulous… I go to Rome and Athens like people in the States go to Florida!
I had much rather dine at home so that I could spend weekends traveling to fabulous places. Actually, the older I get, the more I like my own cooking. I always enjoy traveling (US & abroad) and comparing prices between there and my small southern town. :)
I’ve definitely become a better, more inventive, and versatile cook since moving here. And after living in Denmark, even places like London and Paris seem inexpensive!
Hi, The only saving grace with dining out in Denmark are some of the cafeterias in the grocery stores such as Bilka or Fotex. They often have specials such as all you can eat smorgasbord, (open faced sandwiches) for a reasonable price otherwise I agree, dining out is far too expensive. If visiting Denmark it’s probably a good idea to rent a place that includes a kitchen so you can cook your own meals. However, eggs and cheese and other dairy products are much cheaper in Denmark than here in Canada where I am writing from.
Sage, I came across your blog by ‘accident’ and as a Danish/Canadian person, am quite enjoying reading about your experiences in moving to Denmark. I’m finding it very informative. Cheers, Shanne
Hi, Shanne… I’m glad you found me :)
I’ve been to a Fotex cafeteria once, but they didn’t have anything for vegetarians, so I didn’t order anything, but the prices drew me in. Over the past year or so, most of the Bilka cafeterias have been replaced with Starbucks and Carls Jr.
Renting a place with a kitchen is a great piece of advice for people visiting Denmark… tak for det :) I’ll also add that it’s possible to save some money by shopping discount stores like Fakta, Netto, Lidl, Kiwi, and REMA1000 for staples, and supplement from the nicer stores like Kvickly, Fotex, and SuperBrugsen.
I hope to hear from you again!
:) Det var sa lidt. I’m disappointed to hear that Bilka cafeterias have been replaced with Starbucks and Carls Jr. My last visit to Denmark was in 2010 but I hope to be back next summer. Though I am not a vegetarian, I don’t eat much meat so I understand the difficulty in finding appropriate food. Denmark loves pork that’s for sure! Another money saving tip for those considering a visit to Denmark, if you stay somewhere close to the German border, Sonderborg for example, you can grocery shop in Germany. Prices are much cheaper but Sage, you know this already as you’ve written about this in one of your posts.
What things do you think are better in Denmark than elsewhere? Could this be a future post or have you already written a post like this?
Take care, Shanne
I love shopping in Flensburg!
RE: Thing I think are better in DK vs. elsewhere, here’s a post a wrote a few months after arriving in Denmark: http://www.sageandsimple.com/2010/09/things-i-love-about-denmark/
After 5 years, I’d add that I love the generous amount of time off we get (6 weeks + holidays), and how easy and inexpensive it is to travel within Europe.
Liz Mays says
Those prices do seem pretty high! Particularly the Starbucks price. It’s still expensive here but not that high!
These prices are pretty on par with SoCal! (How awful!) I like cooking at home because then you know exactly what is going into your food :) Being able to travel around Europe it totally worth cooking at home most nights!
I wish my prices came with SoCal weather and produce :)
That is some crazy price difference!! Must be an amazing experience living in Denmark though.
Angelic Sinova says
It’s crazy how different prices vary form country to country (even state to state!) When I visit somewhere like NYC, fast food is a little more pricey than say when I visited small town is Pennsylvania. My mom lived in Europe (mostly London) for years and still to this day convert US to Euros in her head <3
I really try not to, but don’t think I’ll ever fully stop converting currencies :)
Interesting post. I didn’t realize there was such a pricing difference!! Thanks for posting!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
Holy smokes! That is crazy! I am assuming they they make more money there in order to live.
Not really, and definitely not after giving half to the taxman :(
Ruby Caberte says
Whoa! Those are expensive! I can’t believe those prices. I think I will be broke if I live in Denmark.
WOW that is amazing…. I would have never thought that there is that much of a price difference!! I would have to penny pinch living in Denmark!
Ourfamilyworld (@OurFamilyWorld) says
The prices are much higher than where I live. The movie ticket is expensive. You are not cheap, you are living within your means.
Wow very informative post.thanx for sharing.on internet its not that easy to find real prices etc.
ronleyba (@ronley_ph) says
Staggering price! I can’t imagine spending that amount in my whole life! :)
John Lopez says
Wow! looks like it’s quite expensive to dine out in Denmark. I would definitely penny pinch and cook at home. Thanks for comparing the price differences.