Denmark is a fabulous place to shop. Bing & Grøndal and Royal Copenhagen porcelain, the Holmegård glass, not to mention the well-known Bornholm ceramics, handmade woolens from the Faroe Islands and Lego toys are just a small sample of great buys. The country is well-known for its quality cutlery, china, sports equipment, textiles, knitting wool, handicrafts, crystal, silver, glassware, furs, pewter, pottery, carved wood and furniture. The country also offers a vast selection of other products: ranging from affordable souvenirs to unique furs.
Porcelain almost certainly takes pride of place among potential purchases. Royal Copenhagen, the world's finest and largest porcelain establishment, hosts the the famous Flora Danica dinner service with its hand-painted figurines and vases sure to attract the attention of fine porcelain aficionados. Many of these porcelain designs have been around for centuries. At the same time cutting edge work produced by the latest Danish artists and designers are also available.
Crystal is a further must-buy while visiting Denmark. Royal Copenhagen Crystal, the institution that provides the country with most of its famous examples of crystal products, has a comprehensive collection located on the ground floor. Crafted by Danish and international artists and designers, this collection is supplemented by the art-work of Georg Jensen, including jewelry and watches. The upper floor features a charming collection of Danish silverware and cutlery. Further displays of cutlery and kitchenware are to be found at Illums Bolighus. This 4-story building displays local tableware, carpets, textiles and furniture.
If shopping in Copenhagen, the country’s most cosmopolitan city, you can easily find a complete array of Danish products from all across the country gathered all in one place. The main shopping area is concentrated around Stroget, a popular walkway. In this city, large department stores mingle with older shops. Peder Hvitfeldt street boasts a lively neighborhood market well-equipped with regional gifts and traditional Danish food, while the lanes around Vestergade feature pricey shops, fancy boutiques and top-end cafes. Antique shops snuggle in almost every nook and cranny in the city, aiming at different clientèles and selling almost anything, from restored furniture to replica Viking jewellery.
Shops usually stay open from Monday to Friday between 9am/10am and 6pm. On Saturdays, you can visit shops between 9am and 5pm. Supermarkets are open Monday through Friday from 9am until 8pm. However, this is not a hard and fast rule and opening hours vary from town to town. Several resorts, bakeries, florists and souvenir shops are open during public holidays and on Sundays. As a rule, the banks in the country work Monday to Wednesday and Friday from 9:30am to 5pm, and from 9:30am to 6pm on Thursday. Some banks in Copenhagen are open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5pm. Here you can also find exchange offices open until midnight.
The local currency is the Danish Krone (DKK), available in denominations of 1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and at specially marked kiosks. However you should bear in mind that personal cheques cannot be used by visitors to the country. Moreover some banks can refuse to exchange mutilated or larger foreign banknotes. ATMs are just about everywhere. If using credit, the most widely accepted cards include American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa, and you can also use Eurocheque cards. You cannot pay directly in Traveller's Cheques, but those can be cashed by banks and hotels. If you wish to avoid additional exchange rate charges, you might want to take traveller’s cheques in euros, pounds sterling or US dollars.
In Denmark, a Value Added Tax (VAT) is included in the purchase price. Foreign visitors are entitled to a refund of 20 percent with a deduction of a 5.0 percent handling fee off the price of items purchased for more than DKK 300. When purchasing a local product, you should check with the handling store whether or not it participates in the tax-free plan. The refund procedure consists of filling out a tax-free slip provided by the shop and presenting it to the custom authorities at the airport before checking in. The due tax is refunded to you in cash upon your departure from Denmark. Visitors from outside the EU can also claim back the VAT on purchased goods which are being sent straight to their home from the Danish shop.