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Advice for Foreign Servas
Travellers in Denmark
You will find hosts all over the country and we recommend that you also visit the suburbs and beautiful countryside. Hosts in towns, villages and farms rarely get any visits.
Public transportation works very well and you can easily reach most hosts by train, bus or ferry, - or you could even bicycle. It is a small country. All hosts in the outer suburbs of Greater Copenhagen and neighbouring towns have S-Train, metro or bus service, most of them every 10 minutes (during rush hours more often). For example Roskilde is 30 minutes and Hillerød and Helsingør are about 45-60 minutes from Copenhagen. In Jutland, Beder is 30 minutes and Vejle is 50 minutes from Århus.
Tips on finding hosts in ServasOnline (servas.org):
Denmark is a small country divided into five regions. Distances are short and public transportation will get you to every corner of the country. In ServasOnline the regions are a good starting point for searching.
|First compare the picture here with a map to see which region your destination is in and then set your search criteria in Find Members:
For example "Denmark", [a region], "host" returns all hosts in that region.
|You can also go by the postal code. The postal codes are distributed across the country starting from 0 in Copenhagen in the east and moving to numbers higher than 9000 in the north of Jutland to the west.
If you use the number of people a host can accommodate as your search criteria, be aware that not all host have filled in these fields correctly (the best results are in the field "Persons").
To clear the search criteria and search again, click on "Find Members".
This host list and information in ServasOnline (servas.org) are the property of Servas. The data are confidential and to be used by Servas travellers only.
If printed, never leave it behind. Remember to destroy the list (paper or PDF) after use to avoid use by unauthorised persons.
Do not send it by email. These precautions are to protect the personal data of the hosts listed.
E-mail is a convenient form of communication but please remember the basics of "netiquette":
It is helpful to put Servas and you name in the subject.
An individual e-mail is a friendlier approach than "bulk e-mail" to several hosts at once. In fact, some hosts will not reply if the tone of your e-mail is too general.
The Phone is practical for initial contact as well as for follow-up to confirm visits a few days ahead of arrival. Always ask before using the hosts phone. All calls (even local) are charged. Only alarm calls (112) are free of charge.
The country code of Denmark is +45.
You must have a valid profile with eStamp in ServasOnline before you contact a host (or, in 2018, an approved Letter of Introduction with stamp on paper)
Always give the notice requested. It is considered polite to phone ahead before calling at the host's door even if the host says NPNR in column 1 or 0 days in "Number of days advance notice".
Hand over a print of your Letter of Introduction on arrival.
Inform the host if you don't arrive as agreed (or not at all).
Ask before using a host's phone. All calls (also local calls) are charged by the minute.
Leave after two nights, unless you are invited to stay longer. Don't expect a longer stay unless the host is marked 2d+ and the host invites you.
Most hosts appreciate you bringing a sleeping bag or sheets. If you have a sleeping bag, you may have more chances of finding a host. Look for SBN or "Sleeping bag Yes/Optional" in the list.
One of the best ways to share your host's everyday life is to offer your help with chores - cooking, cleaning, shopping, painting, weeding, etc. One host may not accept your help, but the next may be grateful.
Don't limit your stay to Copenhagen. Public transportation in Denmark is very good and distances are short, and hosts outside the capital hardly get any visitors. They will be happy to welcome you.
In many homes smoking is not allowed indoors. So if you want to smoke, step outside or take a walk in the neighbourhood.
Hosts welcome all kinds of people who will follow not only the Servas rules, but also ordinary decent behaviour. If a host must explain what this means in her home, listen; find out that cultures differ.
After your stay, thank your host by sending a message, post card, letter or photo greeting.
Visiting hosts in Denmark:
History of Servas
Denmark was where young Bob Luitweiler went to folk high school after the Second World War and conceived the idea of travelling in the open door style to help build understanding between different cultures in order to promote peace. This became Servas. Bob passed away in 2008 but his idea lives on. In the context of Servas volunteers have compiled lists of hosts and shared hospitality for nearly 70 years now.
Servas International has more than 100 countries with 15,000 hosts who open their doors to thousands of travellers. Servas International has youth activities and international meetings in various locations every year. Servas International is an NGO officially registered with the United Nations. See servas.org.
Servas in Denmark
Servas has a strong presense in Denmark. You will find hosts all over the country and we recommend that you visit the countryside because hosts in the smaller towns, villages and farms rarely get any visits. They are eager to welcome you. Public transportation works very well and you can easily reach most hosts by train, bus or ferry, - or you could bicycle. It is a small country. Denmark is renowned for the concept of hygge. Visiting a Servas host is the perfect opportunity to experience hygge for yourself.
The hosts represent all social strata and occupations. You will find that hosts are generally informal and easy-going. Unmarried couples are as numerous as married couples and married women can keep their maiden name, so the Servas list will not tell you if a host couple is married or not. You don't have to worry about language barriers since most hosts - and other Danes as well - speak English and other languages. Children learn English from the age of 7.
Servas events in Denmark
two yearly get-togethers in Denmark and travellers are welcome to join us. The date and time will be posted on www.servas.dk, Nyheder.
Summer term: A decade-long tradition, the outdoor mid-August get-together takes place at host Gunna Starck's home in central Copenhagen.
term: Around February we meet at a host's home or at the traveller's cafe Globen in Copenhagen.
- a country in Scandinavia
Denmark, a small island nation in Scandinavia closely connected by bridges and ferries, is the oldest kingdom in the world. Denmark is usually recognised by its social balance, equality, low levels of corruption and transparency. The Danish welfare system is renowned and provides us with universal welfare services such as free healthcare, free education, high minimum wages and high levels of unemployment benefits form the basis of a flexicurity system where the workforce can move from sector to sector with relative ease. The state generally provides for all members of the population all through their lives. The financing of the welfare has to come from somewhere and we are among the top-taxpayers in the world, also in indirect taxes (VAT is 25% on general commodities and much higher on luxury items, such as cars up to 185%). The high tax level reflects on the wages, which again means that the price level is quite high. Protection of the ecosystem has high priority and laws on prevention of pollution are quite advanced. Green living and bicycle transportation are part of everyday life for many Danes. Organic groceries are readily available at most supermarkets.
Denmark is an old democracy and the human rights and freedom of speech are taken for granted. Danes are generally tolerant of those who are “different”, but still, intolerance is encountered by the refugees and immigrants coming in. They find it hard to settle and integrate in a tight-knit population living in a society with a high degree of organization and regulation.
Weather Denmark is famous for its changeable weather. A typical day most of the year is a mix of rainy, cloudy and sunny skies. In the summer it is better to bring a jacket and sweater. For winter bring boots, gloves and a heavy coat.
Public transportation Buses and trains go near any host's address. Distances are short in Denmark. Planning, information and tickets via http://www.rejseplanen.dk.
Unless you are staying only a few days, consider getting the blue, electronic Rejsekort Anonymous instead of tickets. Check out what it is and how to use it here.
Travel by bicycle Bicycling is something you must experience while visiting Denmark. There are special lanes and signals for bikes in most towns. Learn from the locals and be aware of the intense bicycle traffic, especially during rush hour. Bicycles can be rented and Copenhagen (inner city), Odense and other cities have free City Bikes. Or maybe your host has a bicycle you can borrow.
Walking the streets Be careful not to step out in front of bicycle trafic when you take photos and walk the street to take in the sights.
Hitchhiking is allowed in Denmark, except on highways.
Holidays School holidays are from the end of June to the first week of August, the third week of October and second or third week of February. Two weeks at Christmas and one week at Easter are also school holidays.
To learn more about Denmark visit the official website http://denmark.dk/en.