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First time travel tips- London and Copenhagen

First time travel tips- London and Copenhagen

Dec 31st, 2013, 09:29 AM
  #1  
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First time travel tips- London and Copenhagen

Hey All,
My sister and I will be traveling to London, UK and Copenhagen, DK this winter. This will be our first time traveling outside North America. We've booked flights, hotels, etc. My only "concerns" (I know they are probably minor) are cultural.
Most of the clothing I have laid out to pack is casual and/or semi-formal. As we are traveling in wintertime, I was going to pack a pair of thick jeans and timberland boots as well. I usually wouldn't think twice about bringing or wearing them, but as we will be staying in a more upscale hotel (Hotel Russell in London) and we are young people traveling (21 and 25) and I don't want to come across as "trashy" or troublesome kids, or attract any stares/negative attention. Plus, leaving them home frees up a lot of room in my suitcase.
My other concern is language use in Denmark. I've been told that virtually all Danes in urban areas and the tourist industry speak at least some English. We are of Danish- American background and do have a limited vocabulary in the Danish language. Would it be polite to use our basic Danish at all (such as hello/goodbye, please/thank you, where is____, etc.) or would that come across as "frustrating" or even "rude"? I only ask because I have heard French friends complaining about Americans and Britons trying to attempt French with them, and how they resent this "butchering" of their language.
Any advise or recommendations would be appreciated.
JLBIVLINY is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 11:33 AM
  #2  
 
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I have been to Denmark 3 times and only once found a person who couldn;t get along in basic English 9 an elderly woman in a small village). I would definitely be sure you know the basic polite phrases but you do NOT need to know any more. (But a menu reader with the descriptions of dishes would be helpful - since you wand to avoid tourist places with menus in English.

I think heavy jeans are a really bad idea since once wet they take forever to dry. Much better to have cords or wool slacks. Can't imagine Timberland boots in any city - but I'm not 25. Again, once they they're wet how long would it take for them to dry?

English is required learning in all Danish schools and US and UK TV programs are shown in the original language.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 11:59 AM
  #3  
 
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Would it be polite to use our basic Danish at all (such as hello/goodbye, please/thank you, where is____, etc.) or would that come across as "frustrating" or even "rude"? I only ask because I have heard French friends complaining about Americans and Britons trying to attempt French with them, and how they resent this "butchering" of their language.
Any advise or recommendations would be appreciated.>

I have been in France many many times and all French I have encountered appreciate it when you try - at least try - to use the local language as a starter - if they know English they will start talking in English but believe me what you've been told about trying a little French is totally wrong IME - I would assume the same for Danes but not sure.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 31st, 2013, 12:33 PM
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Danes are well educated and anyone in professional position speak good English. The only person that was not fluent was an old taxi driver in rural Jutland. He knew enough English to get me to the destination.
I think the French case you mentioned lacks a contextual explanation. My experiences when a French person wanted me to speak English instead of French were all in large cities, Paris, Nice, etc, where the person spoke fluent English and seemed to want to get the transaction over with in English. I didn't see this attitude in small towns or when the person did not speak much English. Paris, above all, is difficult to go beyond Bonjour in French except with taxi or bus drivers or at off the tourist track small shops, unless perhaps one can speak at the level of Kristin Scott Thomas.
greg is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 12:57 PM
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I'm willing to take bets that you'll understand Danes speaking English to you better than you will understand Brits speaking English to you.
BigRuss is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:53 PM
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IME many Danes speak British English - from many teachers being British trained and the avalanche of British TV shows, radio, etc.
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 1st, 2014, 02:53 AM
  #7  
 
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You will have no problem in Copenhagen, pretty much everyone speaks some english, most of them very well especially in the tourist areas where you will likely be. And whether it is British english or not you will be fine!

I wear jeans on all our trips and have never had a problem. Just dress like you do at home in a big city.

Enjoy!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 1st, 2014, 05:56 AM
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It's absolutely fine to wear jeans, also in upscale hotels. Wether you want to, or may find them to heavy, is up to you, but I always take at least one pair of jeans.
Timberland boots are quite heavy for in a city, but if you are comfortable wearing them, then take them. Just have a pair of nicer shoes for evening.
You won't attract stares in London, people generally don't care what you wear. Just be comfortable, you'll be walking a lot.
Tulips is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Don't worry. Everything will be fine. Wear what makes you comfortable. Where are you staying in Copenhagen? And for how long will you be here?
Soljet is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 07:16 PM
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Rather than a "thick" pair of jeans just wear regular jeans and a lightweight (silk even)pair of thermals under them. As stated no one cares what you wear, but I don't think Timberland boots are necessary unless you plan to do some serious hiking. But again my interpretation of Timberland boots may be skewered. Even though it's winter, winters in Europe are not necessarily harsh. For most travelers, heavy jeans and heavy boots would be overkill.
historytraveler is online now  
Jan 4th, 2014, 07:57 PM
  #11  
 
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Sorry my I pad got away from me as it sometimes does. Meant skewed not skewered.
historytraveler is online now  
Jan 4th, 2014, 10:42 PM
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Winters in London are, by American standards, downright balmy. There's a Florida resident in the Lounge on this site, boasting about how benign his current weather is: it's actually warmer here.

Jeans of any sort are iffy for a London holiday: fine for people commuting to offices here, but easily turned into a soggy mess if you're out sightseeing all day (we get less rain than most European or American cities, but it rains more often. Jeans manage to get unpleasantly wet even in a London shower-ette) and jeans are almost impossible to dry overnight in a hotel. Thick jeans are pointless and exceptionally unpleasant when it rains.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 09:26 AM
  #13  
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@ Soljet- I will be staying at the Clarion Mayfair on Helgolandsgade in Vesterboro. We will be in town for four days. Any recommendations as to where to get authentic Danish cuisine and atmosphere?

As for wardrobe, I packed a variety of things that could fit any situation, so I'm no longer concerned about that. I also brushed up on some most basic Danish (Hello/Goddag, Goodbye/Farvel, Thanks/ Mange Tak) So I feel very comfortable. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback!
JLBIVLINY is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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I usually wear jeans in London, whilst OH wears Timberlands under jeans if the weather is mucky. If it suits you, no-one cares. If you wanted to look trashy or trouble, you'd be sporting hoodies pulled down over a baseball cap,or your trousers falling down under your arse and loads of bling. Jeans and boots are very conservative.
anicecupoftea is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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Thick jeans are pointless and exceptionally unpleasant when it rains.>

break out the polyester!
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 7th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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to prevent jeans from getting wet..... umbrella?
PalenQ is online now  
Jan 7th, 2014, 12:31 PM
  #17  
 
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A few years ago I was in Copenhagen and Stockholm right after Christmas through the second week of January. They have more snow than they are ever used to and the high during most days was 20 F or less.

My brother wore jeans and froze his arse off. I was perfectly comfortable except in the stores where it was way too hot.

I wore tights, knit slacks, insulated, water proof boots (didn't need heavy socks)and on top I wore silk underwear, a cotton or knit T shirt, a pull over or cardigan sweater, and my medium weight, ankle length long coat that I could take off in the stores or restaurants but also kept my legs warm. I also wore insulated gloves and always a scarf. The scarf was usually long so I could pull it up around my ears and over my nose if needed, like at Tivoli at night. I didn't wear a hat because of "hat hair" but a hat would be appropriate.

My brother had jeans, a short lined leather jacket and leather boots and was always cold. I on the other hand, was perfectly comfortable.
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