Details from an InterNations Expat City Ranking survey published in November 2020 revealed that Copenhagen ranked as the fourth worst city in the world for an expat to settle in. And many people moving from other parts of the world have similar complaints: making friends is difficult, and the cost of living is high. The questionable weather for most of the year no doubt plays a role, too.
Moving anywhere new is difficult; Denmark isn’t an exception. However, settling in Copenhagen doesn’t need to be as challenging as some surveys will have you believe.
As a foreigner who had a pretty easy ride when it came to settling in Copenhagen – despite not having a network or a Danish spouse – here are my top three tips for making your move to the Danish capital easier.
Use Social Media
It’s all too easy to talk about the negative effects of social media. But when used correctly, these platforms can be a powerful tool for meeting new and inspiring people.
MeetUp is a great way to connect with individuals you might not otherwise have met, while the Expats in Copenhagen Facebook group is an excellent place to share your experiences and any tips you might have for foreigners moving to the city.
Instagram is another great way to meet others. Consider posting about your experiences in Denmark, and look at joining communities on expat-focused pages.
Reframe Your Thoughts on the Cost of Living
Okay, so Copenhagen is expensive compared to other cities. But at the same time, look beyond the face value – the overall quality of life is much higher.
Instead of thinking about everything costing a lot, or the high tax rate, consider your spending as an investment in society. If things were cheaper, you probably wouldn’t have excellent public services or the functionality that makes the Danish place such a wonderful place to live.
You can also use the high consumer prices as a great way to practice spending your money with more of a purpose.
Make the Most of Your Free Time
If you’re coming to Copenhagen from somewhere like the US, one thing that will surprise you is how much free time you have compared to before. The Danes take work-life balance very seriously; offices often empty well before 4pm on a Friday, and getting things done in July is nigh-on impossible since most people go on vacation for three weeks.
The benefit of this is that you can reconnect with the hobbies you might have neglected in the past. If you like to play sports, join a club. And if you’re more of a photographer, look for meetups and events to join. It’s also worth trying new things too.
When you take part in your hobbies, you’re guaranteed to meet people with similar interests. And over time, you’ll build long-lasting and meaningful friendships.
Cover photo by Max Adulyanukosol on Unsplash.