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Expat stories

Daniel Luis photo
Expat Advice: Moving from Portugal to Denmark
Daniel Luis
Has been living in Denmark since 2015

Expat Advice: Moving from Portugal to Denmark

What is it like to live as an expat in Denmark? In this interview, Daniel, a software engineer from beautiful and sunny Portugal, shares his experience about living in Vejle, Southern Denmark. Hopefully his story will be a great source of inspiration to you all. Enjoy the read!

What is your name?
Daniel Luis.

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Portugal.

What company do you work for? What is your position?
I’m a Senior Application Developer at LEGO.

LEGOLAND Billund, Denmark's most famous and popular amusement      park for people of all ages. Image source: tripadvisor.com

Outside of work, what are your passions?
Traveling, sports, and cooking.

What made you decide to relocate to Denmark? 
I was looking for a more challenging position in a good company that would also ensure good work-life balance. Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world and it’s also known for a great work-life balance, so it was a perfect match.

How long have you been living in Denmark?
Two and a half years now. I moved here in November 2015. 

How did you search for a job in Denmark? Any tips for those seeking similar work?
I was suggested for this job, but usually LinkedIn is a good starting point.

How long did it take for you (as an EU citizen) to actually move after accepting the job offer?
Three months.

What are the best things about living and working in Denmark? What impressed you the most?
The work-life balance is great, but there were a few things I didn’t know about that made me even more impressed. Things like safety, low crime-rate, cleanliness, and social security make sure you are welcomed.

Image source: opdagelse.dk

What has been the most helpful thing in adapting to your new home abroad?
Making new friends. Moving alone to a country where you know no one is a big challenge and establishing new friendships is extremely helpful.

What city do you live in? How do you find life (cost of living, housing) there?
I live in Vejle, a town in the southeast of the Jutland Peninsula. Housing is super expensive compared to the pricing of apartments in Portugal. Generally speaking, the cost of living in Vejle is ok and balanced with wages.

Vejle, Southern Denmark. Image source: Climate-Data.org

According to Number, the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Vejle is €700. Is that true?
Yes, the prices shown on Numbeo are quite accurate. For instance, it is possible to rent a 3-room apartment (2 bedrooms + a living room) near the city center for approx. 7,000 kr (~ €900). If it is a 2-room apartment, the prices start at approx. 5000 kr (~ €650).

Can you name a couple of websites that can help in finding an apartment in Denmark?
BoligPortal and LokalBolig are the two popular sites.

If you had to define public transport in Denmark in two words, what would they be?
On-time and reliable. However, a monthly pass is rather expensive.

What is the average software developer salary in Denmark?
That is quite relative, depends on which IT area, experience, where in Denmark, etc... but the union’s website usually has this information available so that is the best source.

Do you have any advice for tech people considering relocating to Denmark?
Companies in Denmark represent a great choice for IT people as they offer a great working culture and conditions as well as challenges. You won’t feel like an IT guy working in a basement away from the stakeholders. Here, you feel IT and business go hand-in-hand for working towards a goal.

Would you like to move your career abroad too? Click here to view software developer jobs currently available.

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Salary calculator

€ 30000

A minimum base salary for relocation starts at € 30000 per year, while more leading roles (architects, team leads) can bring you gross annual income of € 75000, without bonuses.

*The figures are imprecise and reflect the approximate salary range in this country. Keep in mind that the salaries you’re offered when relocating may differ from those you can get already living in the country.

Annual net income:
€ 17400 $ 0000

Monthly net income:
€ 1450 $ 0000

Explore cities

General

Copenhagen, as a capital of Denmark, is the most populous city in this country. Copenhagen is a place with long and fascinating history: from a Viking fishing village to a capital of the happiest country in the world. This city is situated at the crossroads of cultures and links Europe with Scandinavia. Copenhagen can be considered as a fairy tale because the architecture here is nice, impressive and breathtaking. Furthermore, this city is usually among the best places to live in. There is one interesting fact that Copenhagen was named the best city in the world for cyclists in 2015. So now near 55% of Copenhageners use bicycles for getting to work.

Created with Sketch.

best city in the world for cyclists

1.3M

inhabitants


Cost of living

Property prices
  • Apartment rent (small) in City Centre € 1,230
  • Apartment (small) Outside of Centre € 878
  • Apartment (big) in City Centre € 2,316
  • Apartment (big) Outside of Centre € 1,626
Utilities (monthy)
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for big apartment € 178
  • Internet € 32
Transportation
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) € 3.2
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) € 53
  • Taxi 1km ride € 2
  • Gasoline (1 liter) € 1.4
Food & Restaraunts
  • The average food basket € 42                                                                                                                                                                                         milk (1 liter), 1 bread (500g), eggs (12), local cheese (1kg), chicken breasts (1kg), apples (1kg), potato (1kg), water (1,5 liter), a bottle of wine, domestic beer (0,5l bottle)
  • Lunch € 17
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course € 81
  • Beer € 5
  • Cappuccino (regular) € 4.6
  • Coke/Pepsi (0,33 liter bottle) € 2.9
Sports and leisure
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult € 32
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat € 13

Healthcare

Denmark is a country where the public is satisfied with healthcare services and high-level medical care. Copenhagen is not an exemption and healthcare system is excellent there. In this city you are free to choose a general practitioner you want. Furthermore, here you can find a list of hospitals which you can also choose to be admitted to.

Denmark is a country with Very High Proficiency in English, so it is easy to find a doctor who speaks English well.

General medications in Denmark you can find in pharmacies or supermarkets. Medications with prescription are usually expensive and you can buy them only at a pharmacy. Furthermore, there are 24-hour and on-call pharmacies in Denmark.

If you live in Denmark you have to be insured. Almost 84% of healthcare expenditure is funded by the government. However, you can choose private healthcare insurance too for covering those copayments that are not fully covered by public insurance.

More about health care system


Education

Denmark is on the 3d place among the best Higher Education Systems in the World according to U21 Ranking. The Danish higher education is offered by 5 types of institutions: Business academies, University Colleges, Maritime Education and Training Institutions, General and specialized research universities and University level institutions. Furthermore, there are 4 qualifications levels in Denmark: Academy Profession level, Bachelor’s level, Master’s level, PhD level. There is one interesting fact that institutions are free here and almost everybody can get monthly financial aid (State Educational Support). Here you can find universities, colleges and education providers in Copenhagen.

More about Higher Education


Climate

Copenhagen, as a city with an oceanic climate, is considered as a place with cool winters and summers, grey and humid weather. The average temperature in summer is 21°C (70 °F) and in winter 2°C (35 °F). The precipitation is moderate with higher rainfall from July to September.

 21°C

average summer temperature

C

average winter temperature


Safety

Copenhagen, as a fairly safe city, has a safety level of 77% safe according to Numbeo’s rating. This city is also has a low crime rate, so it is very safe for residents and tourists.

77/100

Numbeo

Safety Index


Economy

Copenhagen, as a financial center of Denmark, is known for a service-oriented economy that is also based on commerce. The gross wages in Copenhagen are among the highest in the world. However, taxes here are also very high. Furthermore, there are a lot of businesses, international companies and banks in Copenhagen, because the infrastructure in this city is favorable for the startups (IT, biotechnology, smart city solutions etc.). Despite the fact that Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the EU, it still can be considered as a good place for professional relocation.

5190

Average monthly

salary


People

Expat communities are common in Copenhagen. There you can connect with other expats, find friends and help if needed. Here are some of them:

InterNations

Facebook

  • General

    Copenhagen, as a capital of Denmark, is the most populous city in this country. Copenhagen is a place with long and fascinating history: from a Viking fishing village to a capital of the happiest country in the world. This city is situated at the crossroads of cultures and links Europe with Scandinavia. Copenhagen can be considered as a fairy tale because the architecture here is nice, impressive and breathtaking. Furthermore, this city is usually among the best places to live in. There is one interesting fact that Copenhagen was named the best city in the world for cyclists in 2015. So now near 55% of Copenhageners use bicycles for getting to work.

    Created with Sketch.

    best city in the world for cyclists

    1.3M

    inhabitants

  • Cost of living

    Property prices
    • Apartment rent (small) in City Centre € 1,230
    • Apartment (small) Outside of Centre € 878
    • Apartment (big) in City Centre € 2,316
    • Apartment (big) Outside of Centre € 1,626
    Utilities (monthy)
    • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for big apartment € 178
    • Internet € 32
    Transportation
    • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) € 3.2
    • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) € 53
    • Taxi 1km ride € 2
    • Gasoline (1 liter) € 1.4
    Food & Restaraunts
    • The average food basket € 42                                                                                                                                                                                         milk (1 liter), 1 bread (500g), eggs (12), local cheese (1kg), chicken breasts (1kg), apples (1kg), potato (1kg), water (1,5 liter), a bottle of wine, domestic beer (0,5l bottle)
    • Lunch € 17
    • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course € 81
    • Beer € 5
    • Cappuccino (regular) € 4.6
    • Coke/Pepsi (0,33 liter bottle) € 2.9
    Sports and leisure
    • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult € 32
    • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat € 13
  • Healthcare

    Denmark is a country where the public is satisfied with healthcare services and high-level medical care. Copenhagen is not an exemption and healthcare system is excellent there. In this city you are free to choose a general practitioner you want. Furthermore, here you can find a list of hospitals which you can also choose to be admitted to.

    Denmark is a country with Very High Proficiency in English, so it is easy to find a doctor who speaks English well.

    General medications in Denmark you can find in pharmacies or supermarkets. Medications with prescription are usually expensive and you can buy them only at a pharmacy. Furthermore, there are 24-hour and on-call pharmacies in Denmark.

    If you live in Denmark you have to be insured. Almost 84% of healthcare expenditure is funded by the government. However, you can choose private healthcare insurance too for covering those copayments that are not fully covered by public insurance.

    More about health care system

  • Education

    Denmark is on the 3d place among the best Higher Education Systems in the World according to U21 Ranking. The Danish higher education is offered by 5 types of institutions: Business academies, University Colleges, Maritime Education and Training Institutions, General and specialized research universities and University level institutions. Furthermore, there are 4 qualifications levels in Denmark: Academy Profession level, Bachelor’s level, Master’s level, PhD level. There is one interesting fact that institutions are free here and almost everybody can get monthly financial aid (State Educational Support). Here you can find universities, colleges and education providers in Copenhagen.

    More about Higher Education

  • Climate

    Copenhagen, as a city with an oceanic climate, is considered as a place with cool winters and summers, grey and humid weather. The average temperature in summer is 21°C (70 °F) and in winter 2°C (35 °F). The precipitation is moderate with higher rainfall from July to September.

     21°C

    average summer temperature

    C

    average winter temperature

  • Safety

    Copenhagen, as a fairly safe city, has a safety level of 77% safe according to Numbeo’s rating. This city is also has a low crime rate, so it is very safe for residents and tourists.

    77/100

    Numbeo

    Safety Index

  • Economy

    Copenhagen, as a financial center of Denmark, is known for a service-oriented economy that is also based on commerce. The gross wages in Copenhagen are among the highest in the world. However, taxes here are also very high. Furthermore, there are a lot of businesses, international companies and banks in Copenhagen, because the infrastructure in this city is favorable for the startups (IT, biotechnology, smart city solutions etc.). Despite the fact that Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the EU, it still can be considered as a good place for professional relocation.

    5190

    Average monthly

    salary

  • People

    Expat communities are common in Copenhagen. There you can connect with other expats, find friends and help if needed. Here are some of them:

    InterNations

    Facebook

Denmark
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