Eager for a visit to Scandinavia, however can’t determine which nation to go to?

Each Denmark and Finland are nice decisions – however which one is greatest for a first-time customer?

Though Denmark and Finland are related in some methods, each are distinctly totally different locations that will take months and even years to discover absolutely.

We’ll undergo the principle variations right here – from what you possibly can see, to how a lot issues are more likely to value once you arrive – and enable you to determine which nation to go to.

What to see and do
Cost of living

Denmark is a beautiful country, but it doesn't have the same wilderness areas as Finland
Denmark is a good looking nation, nevertheless it doesn’t have the identical wilderness areas as Finland

First up: which nation is larger?

Geographically, Finland is larger than Denmark – a LOT greater!

Finland is 338,439 sq. kilometers (that’s round 130,672 sq. miles) and it’s the second largest nation in Scandinavia, simply after Sweden.

Denmark’s measurement is simply a fraction of Finland’s, totalling simply 42,951 sq. kilometers (16,584 sq. miles).

So if you wish to ‘see’ Finland correctly, from the cities of the south to the wilderness areas of the north, you’ll want much more time to get round.

Inhabitants of Denmark vs Finland

In relation to inhabitants, there’s truly not a lot distinction between the 2 nations.

Finland has a inhabitants of round 5.5 million, whereas Denmark is residence to round 5.8 million folks. In order that they’re fairly shut, however as you’d count on, Denmark is extra densely populated.

This won’t sound like an enormous deal, however it is going to positively form your expertise of every nation.

So whereas Denmark isn’t crowded, by any means, it feels extra constructed up, and also you’ll encounter large cities and cities extra usually as you journey round.

And conversely, Finland’s greater cities and cities really feel very unfold out, and it’s extremely simple to search out ‘correct’ nature just about wherever you go.

The north of Finland is usually colder than Denmark
The north of Finland is normally colder than Denmark

What in regards to the local weather?

Denmark and Finland each have chilly winters and gentle, snug summers. So whichever nation you select, you’ll must pack the correct garments for the season.

Summer season temperatures in each nations can hit 25c (77F) on sunny days, whereas winter temperatures in Copenhagen and Helsinki can drop beneath freezing for days on finish.

And whereas the local weather in several elements of Denmark stays pretty steady, there may be big variations between the north and south of Finland, even on the identical day.

Whereas Helsinki in winter may be chilly, it’s common for Finnish Lapland to see temperatures of -20c (-4F) – and even colder within the darkest depths of winter, when the solar barely rises above the horizon.

These guides have extra on the climate in Finland and Denmark.

What to see and do: Denmark vs Finland

Denmark and Finland are each wonderful locations to go to, with hundreds to supply first-time guests.

They provide very various kinds of trip although, and which one you select will rely loads on what you wish to spend your time doing – whether or not that’s hanging out in cool cities, or exploring true wilderness areas which might be more and more onerous to search out in Europe.

Denmark's cities are some of the most laid-back in Scandinavia
Denmark’s cities are among the most laid-back in Scandinavia


Most visits to Denmark and Finland begin within the capital cities – Copenhagen and Helsinki, respectively.

Copenhagen is greatest recognized for its vibrant waterfront buildings, its famously good New Nordic food, its biking tradition, and a laid-back vibe that’s onerous to search out in different elements of Scandinavia.

There’s a way more continental really feel in Copenhagen in contrast with different Nordic capitals like Helsinki, particularly in the course of the summer time, when folks flock to the waterfront for daytime beers.

Numerous vacationers begin by getting their bearings on one of the canal cruises, which provide nice views of town.

Copenhagen can also be residence to the historic Tivoli Gardens: a big amusement park with thrill rides, arcade video games, and live shows. You can get admission tickets here!

Different cities value trying out in Denmark embrace Aarhus, Odense, and Aalborg, however for tradition, meals and just about every thing else, Copenhagen ought to be your first port of name.

Over in Finland, Helsinki is the pure point of interest for Finnish artwork, music and tradition. Massive vacationer points of interest are comparatively few and much between, past some stunning church buildings, parks and historic websites, however it’s the good base for journeys out into the encompassing countryside.

Many vacationers keep in metropolis centre motels, heading out in the course of the day to go to Helsinki’s islands on guided boat tours.

Helsinki additionally has a great bar and nightclub scene, with every thing from karaoke joints and dwell music venues to themed bars.

Different large cities value trying out in Finland embrace Tampere, Turku, and Oulu, however in the event you’re solely visiting Finland for a number of days and wish to combine city-centre sightseeing with a while in nature, Helsinki is a secure guess.

Unlike Denmark, Finland offers visitors the chance to see the northern lights
Finland presents guests the possibility to see the northern lights


Denmark is a flat nation, unfold throughout a number of islands, so that you received’t discover any mountains there.

Nonetheless you can see picturesque landscapes with inexperienced rolling farmland, plus seashores with crystal-blue waters.

Which means a rural vacation in Denmark is extra more likely to be targeted on lazy bike rides and picturesque villages, moderately than true back-to-nature experiences.

Finland’s nature is much more numerous, with dense forests and plenty of, many lakes – over 188,000 in whole.

Should you go to the north of Finland in the course of the winter, you even have a great probability of seeing the northern lights, one thing that’s not normally attainable in Denmark. In summer time, you can even see the midnight solar!

Finland additionally has a number of different winter actions to attempt, from dog sledding and reindeer farm experiences to visiting Santa in Lapland.

There are additionally distinctive locations to remain, just like the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, the place you possibly can sleep beneath the northern lights – in an igloo!

Talking of snow and igloos, Finland can also be well-known for its many winter sports activities reminiscent of snowboarding, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

Bears can be seen in the wild in Finland
Bear-ly anybody round

The massive query: which nation is cheaper to go to?

Properly, regardless of the place you journey in Northern Europe, it’s going to be expensive. Scandinavia is legendary (or notorious!) for being some of the costly elements of Europe.

There’s not an enormous distinction between the 2 nations, however Denmark is usually costlier than Finland – whether or not you’re planning to dwell there, or are merely visiting.

And as a rule of thumb, issues are normally much more costly within the cities – lodging and eating are particularly expensive in Copenhagen, for instance (listed below are some suggestions for free and cheap things to do instead!).

If you wish to discover low-cost lodging round Denmark, Booking.com is a good place to start out. There are additionally a lot of excellent hostels in places like Copenhagen. Simply be sure to ebook upfront, to get the perfect bang in your buck.

Finland isn’t precisely a discount vacation spot both; lately, it’s turn out to be one of the most expensive countries in the EU, behind Denmark and Eire.

One factor to contemplate is that, as a result of Finland is a lot bigger than Denmark, transportation may find yourself costing you extra.

Finland additionally has much more set-piece excursions (like this epic snowmobile tour), that are nicely value doing, however can shortly add up.

Which nation is safer: Denmark or Finland?

Each Denmark and Finland rank up there among the many most secure nations in Europe. However which one is safer?

When evaluating crime, the 2 nations rank virtually identically. In mid-2022, the crime index was 26.23 in Denmark and 26.52 in Finland.

In fact, it’s at all times necessary to pay attention to your environment. However typically talking, you received’t have to fret about your security in both of those nations.

What in regards to the language?

The Danish and Finnish languages are very, very totally different!

They’re every a part of a special language household: Danish is a Germanic language, whereas Finnish is a Uralic language.

Danish is carefully associated to Swedish, Norwegian, German, and English. In the meantime, Finnish is carefully associated to Estonian and Hungarian.

Danish is by far the simpler language to be taught in the event you’re a local English speaker. The identical can’t be mentioned about Finnish: it’s mentioned that Finnish is likely one of the very hardest languages to be taught as an English speaker.

The Finnish language could be very advanced and introduces ideas that don’t actually exist in English. For instance, a single phrase may be a complete sentence.

Moreover, it makes use of double vowels and double consonants. An instance of that is ‘kuunnella’, which suggests ‘to hear’. Or ‘hyvää iltapäivää’, which suggests ‘good afternoon’.

It’s additionally necessary to notice that in the event you’re within the southeastern area of Finland, you could hear a number of Swedish along with Finnish.

Do Danes and Finns communicate English?

Now, in the event you’re visiting comparatively quickly, it’s unlikely that you just’ll have the ability to get fluent in both Danish or Finnish in time in your journey.

However the excellent news is that this: most Danes and Finns communicate English with disarming fluency, and you shouldn’t have any bother getting by with English alone, particularly in the event you stick with large cities!

So, do you have to go to Denmark or Finland?

Each Denmark and Finland have loads to supply guests.

  • Should you’re on the lookout for wilderness actions, and a real sense of ‘getting away from all of it’, Finland is the higher choice.
  • Should you’re on the lookout for cool cities, world-beating delicacies, and a relaxed vibe, Denmark is the best way to go.

Whichever nation you determine to go to, you received’t remorse it. Our sincere recommendation, in case your price range can stretch to it, is to present each of them a attempt.

See additionally:

Nordic vs Scandinavian: what’s the difference?
Sweden vs Norway: which one should you visit?

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