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Everything that changes in Denmark in June 2023

It's the month when everything starts to wind down in Denmark, with school out, music festivals and Sankt Hans bonfires. Here's what you need to know about June in Denmark.

The Roskilde Festival
The Roskilde Festival in 2019. photo: Maria Albrechtsen Mortensen/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish PM to meet US President in the White House 

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will meet US President Joe Biden in the White House on June 5th, in her first one-on-one meeting on US soil since taking power in 2019.

At the meeting, which will take place on Denmark’s Constitution Day, the two will discuss Danish-American cooperation, continued support for Ukraine, expectations for the Nato summit in Vilnius in Lithuania in July, and working together on future threats, the green transition and the climate.

“It is always something special for a prime minister to represent Denmark at the White House. It is for me too, and I look forward to the visit,” Frederiksen said in a statement announcing the visit. “The United States is our most important ally. The transatlantic bond is as strong as it has ever been.”

Denmark is part of an international coalition set up recently to provide fighter jets to the Ukrainian army, including US-made F-16 aircraft. 

Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen meeting US President Joe Biden at Nato’s 2022 summit in Madrid. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

You can buy your DSB travel pass from June 1st 

The popular summer ticket scheme from the Danish train company DSB is back for the fourth year in a row. The ticket gives the holder free access to all public transport in Denmark for eight consecutive days between June 24th and August 20th.

This year, though, the ticket cannot be used in the very busiest summer period between July 22nd and July 30th.  

The pass can be used on all DSB trains, as well as on Arriva buses and trains, one the Copenhagen Metro and S-train, on the Letbane in Aarhus and Odense, and on local rail services.

It will cost 399 kroner for adults, meaning one rail journey between Jutland and Copenhagen is likely to see its costs covered (the regular ticket price for a single trip from Aarhus to Copenhagen is around 429 kroner).

Adult travellers can bring two children under 12 with them for free. The pass costs 199 kroner for children aged 12-15 or otherwise not travelling under an adult ticket. 

File photo of rail staff at Copenhagen Central Station. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

Get ready for Denmark’s music festival season

The NorthSide festival in Aarhus kickstarts Denmark’s summer festival season on June 1st to June 3rd, followed shortly afterwards by the Syd For Solen festival in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen and the Heartland festival at Egeskov on the island of Funen, both from June 8th to June 10th. 

For lovers of hard rock and metal the Copenhell festival from June 14th to June 17th is not to be missed. 

Then, for the weekend of June 22nd-24th, the festivities move back across the Great Belt Bridge for the Tinderbox Festival in Odense on Funen. 

The month of music then culminates with Denmark’s oldest and biggest music festival, Roskilde, between June 24th and July 1st. 

Police walk about among the visitors at the Folkemøde festival in Allinge in June 2022. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Politicians to meet on Bornholm for giant political festival 

It’s not just music festivals.

Between June 15th and June 17th, the leaders of twelve Danish political parties will take to the stage at the Folkemøde political festival on the island of Bornholm, which every year draws 50,000 attendees, many of them just ordinary citizens interested in politics. 

The festival is held in the picturesque town of Allinge on the island’s north coast and anyone can attend the events without requiring a ticket. 

The best way to get to Bornholm from Copenhagen is to take the train from Copenhagen to Ystad in Sweden, and then get the Bornholm ferry. 

School’s out for summer 

Denmark’s primary and lower secondary schools break up for the summer on Friday, June 23rd for a full seven weeks. 

Universities tend to break up a week later, with Copenhagen University’s spring semester ending on June 30th, and Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark both scheduling their last exams for June 30th. 

One more public holiday – so make the most of it

With the demise of Great Prayer Day (Store Bededag) the early summer isn’t quite the boom season for public holidays in Denmark it once was, although with Ascension Day (Kristi Himmelfartsdag) on May 18th and pinse or Pentecost on May 29th, it’s not bad. 

And there’s still one more to come. On June 5th, Danes get a day off for Constitution Day. 

A Sankt Hans bonfire in Odense

A Sankt Hans bonfire in Odense. File photo: Sophia Juliane Lydolph/Ritzau Scanpix

Get ready for this year’s Sankt Hans aften bonfires

Sankt Hans Aften, when people sing in chorus before lighting a giant bonfire and eating and drinking late into the light summer night, is one of the absolute highlights of the Danish calendar.

The celebration always takes place on the evening of June 23rd, with Sankt Hans day being the following day, June 24th. It is therefore slightly after the actual midsummer, the solstice on June 21st.

You can find our article on the best places to celebrate here, and we’ll update it in the weeks leading up to the big event. 

Financially vulnerable families to get “inflation help” package

The government in February agreed a second 300m kroner package of “inflation help” for vulnerable families, and families eligible for the benefit should get their first payment by the end of June. 

The amount each family receives is determined by the number of children in each family. Families with one children will receive 7,500 kroner, families with two children receive 11,250 kroner, and families with three children will receive 13,500 kroner. A second installment will be paid out by the end of August. .

Copenhagen police to limit cars on busy nightlife streets

Police in Copenhagen will from June 1st take action to limit the number cars on narrow streets in areas thronging with bars and clubs in an attempt to crack down on nighttime public disturbances.

So if you’re planning a cruise, this might not be the best month. 

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For members


KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2023

Budget negotiations, Quran law could take effect, nightlife zones in Copenhagen and markets, a kids’ festival and a major half marathon. Here’s what will change and what to expect in Denmark this September.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2023

Budget negotiations 

The new parliamentary year doesn’t begin until October, but you can expect talks about next year’s budget to begin to ramp up after the government presented its draft financial plan for 2024 at the end of August.

The draft budget offers additional commuter subsidies in rural areas and cheaper ferry tickets, along with spending on mental health care and other areas.

There’s a 500 million kroner “negotiable reserve”, a pool of money in the budget that can be allocated at a later date based on agreements between parties. Opposition parties are customarily invited to talks with the government to decide on how this money will be spent.

Anti Quran-burning law could come into force

After the government in August proposed a new law that would ban burnings of the Quran and other “objects of significant religious importance to a religious community”, the law could be passed in September if its passage through parliament is expedited.

Once in effect, the law could see people who burn the Quran in public punished with up to two years in prison.

The government bill is to go through a four-week consultation phase and could be voted on when parliament opens for the autumn session on October 3rd.

But given the risk “the situation can quickly change”, the Justice Ministry has also said it could table the bill on September 1st so it can “be processed and adopted before the end of the [current] parliamentary year”.


Copenhagen’s car-free and anti-crime nightlife zones stay in place for the foreseeable future

Copenhagen Police is to retain so-called ‘nightlife zones’, alongside a ban on driving in the zones at night, until June 2025.

The limit on cars on narrow streets in areas thronging with bars and clubs was first introduced on June 1st in a bid to crack down on nighttime public disturbances.

People with certain types of convictions, such as violence or weapons possession, and bans from nightlife are meanwhile not permitted within anti-crime zones or to visit bars or other establishments there between midnight and 5am.

The zones, which had been set to expire in mid-September, will now be enforced for the next two years, Copenhagen police have confirmed.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen keeps car-free and anti-crime nightlife zones

Early autumn events

There are plenty of events to keep you entertained during the first month of autumn, catering to various tastes.

For example, international children’s film festival Buster starts in Copenhagen on September 25th, filling the capital’s cinemas with Danish and international movies for kids.

The Fredensborg Slotsmarked (Fredensborg Palace Market) on September 9th brings local foods and drink, art, design, antiques, furniture, clothes and toys to a large flea market on the doorstep of the royal residence in northern Zealand.

If you’re of an active nature, the Copenhagen Half Marathon (September 17th) usually brings a great atmosphere to the city’s streets, not to mention around 25,000 runners. The route is fast: a men’s world record was set by Kenyan athlete Geoffrey Kamworor during the 2019 edition.

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