Delicately balanced between Scandinavia proper and mainland Europe,
is a difficult country to pin down. In many ways it shares the characteristics of both regions: it's an EU member, and has prices and drinking laws that are broadly in line with those in the rest of Europe. But Denmark's social policies and its style of government are distinctly Scandinavian: social benefits and the standard of living are high, and its politics are very much that of consensus.
Denmark is the easiest Scandinavian country in which to travel, both in terms of cost and distance, but its landscape is the region's least dramatic: very green and flat, largely farmland interrupted by innumerable pretty villages. Apart from a scattering of small islands, three main landmasses make up the country - the islands of Zealand and Funen and the peninsula of Jutland, which extends northwards from Germany.
The vast majority of visitors make for
(Sjælland), and, more specifically,
, the country's one large city and an exciting focal point, with a beautiful old centre, a good array of museums and a boisterous nightlife. Zealand's smaller neighbour,
(Fyn), has only one positive urban draw in
, and otherwise is a sedate place, renowned for its cute villages and the sandy beaches of its fragmented southern coast. Only
(Jylland) is far enough away from Copenhagen to enjoy a truly individual flavour, as well as Denmark's most varied scenery, ranging from soft green hills to desolate heathlands.
are two of the liveliest cities outside the capital.