Life in Copenhagen as an Expat: Pros & Cons

Copenhagen in Denmark is no doubt one of the most beautiful cities in the world. 

Forbes magazine declared the city one of the world’s most sustainable. It’s also known for its low crime rate and high quality of life. 

You would find several museums, theatres, concert halls, parks, and public gardens in the capital city of Denmark. It is no wonder why Europe also recognizes it as one of its creative cities. 

The Danish capital is also home to global unions and agencies like the UNHCR headquarters. The WHO would also locate its office here.

All those things said you will feel at home in Copenhagen if you are an expat. That s all due to the large international community in the city. 

Expats and embassies

The city has over a hundred embassies to add to its globalized scene. So you’ll find lots of foreigners like you. Whether they are tourists or immigrants, you will feel less like a stranger once you see people of other colors living in peace here. Plus, the locals are generally happy to welcome you into their community.

Are you still wondering if the city is a place worthy of staying? Scroll down below to compare the pros and cons.

The Pros

The pros of living in the city as a foreigner is that it is an international city with many things to offer. Among these are:

  • A dynamic culture.
  • A fantastic food scene.
  • Safety rules that each person gives their due diligence.

While life here can be pretty costly, there is no need to worry about that much. It is because even if you are an expat, you will get paid well compared to the other European countries. 

Now let’s give a quick peek at the pros.

The Food

There are so many options for food in the city, and they’re all a taste of heaven. From five-star restaurants to food trucks, the possibilities are endless.

You can also find traditional Danish food where you can literally get a taste of the city. If you ever feel homesick, there will be a fusion of cuisine that can carry your senses back home.


The city is small enough to get around by bike or on foot.

It is well-connected to the rest of Europe, and if you want to go farther, s easy to get around by public transport. There are bus and train options available as well.

You can even ride a ferry across the harbor if you’re adventurous.

Housing and cost of living

Even though the city is one of the most expensive, it is still cheaper here than in other capitals like Oslo and Stockholm.

The average price for a one-bedroom apartment is over $1,500. Yet, this is an average, and prices can range from $600-$3000 depending on location, size, and amenities.

The city is more populated compared to other capitals in Europe. There would be about one-third that live in apartments.

Many expats, thus, choose to rent rooms, fully equipped and furnished apartments, or shared houses. They choose this option rather than building or moving into an entire flat or place alone.

Public healthcare is available and accessible.

Their healthcare system is one of the best in the world. The government provides free healthcare for all. Taxes fund this system, so there are no co-pays or deductibles. Expats can qualify for free or subsidized treatment at public hospitals.

But, this applies only if employed by a company that provides health insurance coverage for foreign employees. Or if they have private health insurance coverage from another country.

So you can visit a doctor or specialist without a referral from your primary physician. Plus, the state covers most prescription drugs.

The Cons

It is also good to weigh some of the cons of being an expat in Copenhagen. One is that it can be challenging to make friends. Why? It is because most people don’t speak English or any other language. So if you want to connect instantly with a community member here, you have to learn to speak in their mother tongue!

Also, finding good jobs can be challenging. Many jobs are not always available for foreigners.

Let’s check the cons below.


Many people think that Copenhagen is a cold city, but it’s not. 

The weather can be unpredictable, though. Winter here can be cold and rainy or snowy. It’s not uncommon to have snowfall in July or even August.

Job market

The job market is very competitive, and it would be difficult for internationals to get a job. Many industries are specialized. 

Thus you will need more training or certification, particularly in the tech industry. While unemployment is low, that only shows locals receive priority, especially for high-paying jobs.


Learning the local language will help you settle into life in the city more efficiently. Doing so will also make you feel more at home. 

It’s important to remember that the locals are very proud of their language and culture. 

Thus they are not used to foreigners speaking the local language well. But, they will appreciate foreigners’ efforts to integrate into their society.

Final Thoughts

Living in Copenhagen has many good things. But you’ll need to take certain precautions. The negatives don’t outweigh the positives.

You’ll enjoy a higher standard of living if you’re careful. But you might also have to work harder than ever before if you want to make ends meet.

Overall, the city tends to be safe and friendly for expats. Copenhagen is worth checking out for anyone looking for a new adventure.


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