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Electricity in Denmark and Credit Card use

Do I need to have a converter and adapters for Denmark? (I am from the US). Do we need converters to charge a cell phone?
Do we need a pin for our credit cards? Thanks for any info you can give me.

Posted by
4700 posts

Yes, you will need a plug adapter for sure for all of your chargers. MOST modern cell phone chargers will automatically support the higher voltage (240v) in Europe and will need just a simple plug adapter - about $1 on the Rick Steves site.

I think all US credit cards have chips now, so you'll be able to use such cards in Europe in most places even without a PIN. I haven't actually been to Denmark, but I have used my chip credit cards with no PIN almost everywhere when I've been to Europe (e.g in Finland in 2016 and in numerous other countries). I have a true chip and PIN credit card also but rarely need it - usually at certain ticket machines at train stations. Just make sure you inform your bank/credit card company about the fact that you will be traveling and using your cards there! Otherwise, they could block them due to fraud protection.

Posted by
1114 posts

Please notify your cc companies of your travel plans or your card use may be denied.

Posted by
3318 posts

You'll need a pin on your cards for ATM withdrawals but I've never needed a pin for my chip cards for anything else. Most cards from the US are chip/signature cards...unless you have one of the new fancy chip/pin cards that some banks are offering now. You'll need to check with your bank to know for sure.

Posted by
926 posts

And I had read that you can use credit card for pretty much everything, which wasn't true. We hit quite a few little places that did not take credit cards - some took some special Danish card... wasn't sure what that was. But you will definitely want some cash.

Kim

Posted by
8 posts

Hi, I'm just leaving Copenhagen after spending a week here, so I'll just confirm: get a few cheap plug adapters and then just plug your regular phone charger into the adapter, which goes into the wall outlet. The wall outlets we encountered had on/off switches which we didn't see right at first, so if it seems like the outlet is not working, check for that.

Every time I used my credit or debit card, a PIN was required. And at the train station this morning they also asked for ID. (And plan on using your cards more than you might expect - everything is very expensive!) Also, I'd recommend taking a backup power bank so you can be sure your phone always has a charge and you can access transit passes and other electronic info. when needed.

Posted by
70 posts

Almost all chargers are dual voltage these days. Check your chargers. If they say input 100-240 V or somerhing in that range, they are dual voltage and you only need a plug adaptor. Danish outlets from before 2001 all have a switch (That was the law). Newer outlets are recessed and do not have a switch.

The credit card situation is now much better than it used to be. Supermarkets and many shops accept credit cards and have done so for 10 years or so. The issue was/is that Denmark has its own debit card system which is almost free of charges for the shops. Credit cards carry fees for the shops. Therefore may shops chose not to sign up for cc use and only accepted the national debit card, and still some smaller shops do. So do not expect all shops to accept credit cards just because they have a credit card terminal facing the customer. Some of those only accept the national debit card. Although most shops accept credit cards, especially in tourist areas.

Posted by
5652 posts

As of a couple of years ago, I did not have credit card Chip & Signature acceptance problems in Copenhagen at staffed sales points. Credit cards we so widely accepted that we had to make a point to spend the Krone we withdrew from the ATM cash machine at the airport.

Posted by
533 posts

Travel Man's prices seem high to me, even for Copenhagen. For example, here is a place that sells two-scoop ice cream cones for 35 kr, or about $5.50, so $22 for four. (I don't know anything about this place - it was just the first one I found with a visible menu.)

Just like in any other city, prices in Copenhagen can vary a lot from one place to the next. And in my (very limited) experience, it doesn't take too much shopping around to find some reasonable prices. I'd hate to see anyone discouraged from traveling to Denmark because they have it in their head that they'll have to pay absurd prices for absolutely everything.

Posted by
533 posts

I didn't say you made them up. I said they're not typical for all of Copenhagen.

I've been to Copenhagen in real life, and I paid reasonable prices for things. But for some reason people sometimes seem reluctant to believe that, so I thought I'd back it up with some evidence.

Posted by
11 posts

I was just in Copenhagen 3 weeks ago, and first I must say that I LOVED the city! To second what most people have said, you will need an adapter, but most electronics nowadays automatically convert. So you likely won't need a converter, but double check your device. Also, the hostel we stayed at had USBs in the room, so I didn't even use my converter. Our hotel in Sweden had USBs too, so double check if yours does.

Credit Cards - In short, I used mine everywhere, and never needed a pin. At the subway station, the machines told us to enter a pin, but I just hit the green button and the charge went through. Sever people told us we'd need a pin and didn't want to run our cards, we tried explaining we didn't have a pin, but that didn't work. So we just told them we had a pin, they ran it, and the card went through just fine (without entering a pin). Just be prepared to sign a paper receipt every time.

For cost - Prices are high, but not nearly as bad as I expected. I bought a few days worth of breakfast at a supermarket and ate lunch/dinner at food halls or cafes. I was traveling on a budget and was able to eat most days for $30-$40 total. A cup of tea was $5, my shrimp/avocado smorrebrod at Torrvehallerne was $15, my cinnamon roll at St. Peders Bakery was $4.