5 Differences Between Sweden & Denmark

I have been spending a lot of time in online travel communities and forums lately. And one question keeps showing up, and I have to set the record straight.

Is Denmark a Part of Sweden? Denmark is not a part of Sweden. Denmark is a sovereign country and Sweden is a neighboring country. Even though Sweden is about ten times as big as Denmark in size. Denmark has close to 6 million people, whereas Sweden has 10 million.

Many things separate Sweden and Denmark, apart from being different countries. And with this being a travel blog, I will tell you some differences that might be relevant to travel folks.

I have to say that I do understand that you might mix up Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, because our languages are so much alike, that we understand each other if we just make sure to speak slowly and clearly.

As a group, you can call us Scandinavians.

What Is the Difference Between Sweden and Denmark?

#1 Sweden is cheaper than Denmark, except…

In Denmark, we have higher taxes, higher salaries and more expensive housing in general. Denmark is one of the most expensive places in the world to live in. Norway is even more expensive than in Denmark. Sweden is a bit less expensive than Denmark, except for buying alcohol. 

For many years the Swedes have been crossing the border to Denmark, to get a cheaper beer. It’s funny because, for just as many years, the Danes have been crossing the border to Germany, to get an even cheaper beer.

I don’t know why beer is cheaper in Denmark, maybe it’s lobbyism from Carlsberg and/or Tuborg breweries which are big companies in Denmark. And in Sweden, all alcohol is sold by the state monopoly called “Systembolaget”

#2 Denmark has a lot more beaches

As I write about in this blog post. “Are there any beaches in Denmark” there is 7314 kilometers of coastline in Denmark, which makes it the 16th largest coastline in the World. Sweden has about 2000 km and much of this is cliffs and hills, and not sandy beaches like Denmark.

Go read my aforementioned blog post if you are going to Denmark because the beaches in Denmark are quite dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. 

#3 Sweden has Mountains

Denmark is very flat, the highest point in Denmark is called “Ejer Bavnehøj” and is 170 meters above sea level.

You can go skiing in Sweden, the highest point is, according to Wikipedia, called Kebnekaise and is about 2100 meters above sea level. 

You can also ski in Denmark, but it is on an artificial ski slope called “Amager Bakke”.

In Denmark, we have grass, soft ground, and fields. Sweden has more rocks and mountains.

#4 Wildlife is non-existing in Denmark

Denmark is so small, and dense compared to Sweden, and everything that looks remotely green, is being farmed, so we have a lot of cows, and domestic animals.

If you go to a lake, you will see swans and some ducks.

But in Sweden it is a whole other story, they have Moose, Reindeers, Wolves, and Bears. I would think that you can compare their wildlife to Canada. Sweden is about 1600 kilometers long, going up far north. If an Ice Wall is guarding the realm of men, it would be in the true north of Norway or Sweden.

#5 Crime stats are much higher in Sweden.

According to NationMaster.com if you are comparing Denmark and Sweden, Sweden has about 86% more crime than Denmark and is ranked 51st in the world, whereas Denmark is 78th. Norway is even further down the list on 98th place.

And get this fact, there is 10 times more rape happening in Sweden than in Denmark. These scores are percentages, so they should not have a higher score, just because they are more people. It is compared to the population size.

6 Questions About Sweden and Denmark

If you want to know more about Sweden and Denmark, you might want to read some of these. These are questions if found on the internet, either in travel forums or on “general question sites” Some seem pretty obvious to me as a Dane, so here is my take on these questions.

#1 Can you see Denmark from Sweden?

Yes, you can see Denmark from Sweden. The Sealand east coast in Denmark is not very far away from Skåne west coast. On a clear weather day, you will be able to see the coastline of Denmark.

#2 Can Danes and Swedes understand each other?

Danes and Swedes can understand most of what each other are saying. But there are some dialects of Danish, that even other Danes do not fully understand, which makes it even harder for Swedes to understand. 

For those living in Copenhagen (which is close to Sweden) Swedish is quite easy to understand. And for those living very near the German border in Denmark, German is easier to understand.

#3 Is Denmark and Sweden connected by a bridge?

A bridge and tunnel are connecting Sweden and Denmark. It is called the “Øresund” straight and is about 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) long. You can cross the bridge by car or by train.

#4 Can you cycle across the Oresund Bridge?

It is illegal to cross the Øresund bridge by bike, but you can get your bike on the train and go from Denmark to Sweden by train. People have tried crossing the bridge on a bike, but the police closed the bridge and detained the individuals

#5 Do Danes like Swedes?

I do not live in Copenhagen. I grew up in a part of Denmark with many German tourists each year, and I did not like them growing up. Today I think it’s completely fine. From my experience, Danish has a lot of jokes about the Swedes, and the other way around.

#6 Is English widely spoken in Denmark?

English is spoken by the entire literate population of Denmark. Everyone is taught English in school from a very early age. German, Swedish and Norwegian are also common for Danes to understand depending on where they live.

You can read more facts about Sweden on this post.

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