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Buying a SIM Card or eSIM in Denmark

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From bustling streets and cozy cafes to gorgeous lakes and isolated trails (not to mention Lego!), Denmark offers a lot to visitors. I’ve loved every trip I’ve taken to this wonderful Scandinavian country, and am always looking for an excuse to return.

When my wallet can afford it, at least. Denmark is many things, but cheap is rarely one of them! One of the few exceptions is phone service: I’m always pleasantly surprised by how little it costs to buy and use a local SIM card.

Even better, this is one of the very few countries where tourists can quickly and easily buy a prepaid eSIM from a good local company ahead of time. It’s a real breath of fresh air, and means you’ll be connected as soon as you arrive in Denmark.

Travel eSIMs are also an option: they’re just as easy to buy and use, but not quite as cheap as a local SIM or eSIM. Still, there’s not always much in it for short stays.

Whichever option you go with, here’s what you need to know about staying connected in Denmark.

Companies

  • I recommend Lycamobile for physical SIMs and eSIMs for most travelers

The prepaid cell service market in Denmark is unusual, in that all four major carriers have decided they’re not particularly interested in it. Instead, they focus on selling contracts, which you can’t buy without a Danish identity number.

As a result, you’ll need to buy from a reseller if you’re visiting as a tourist or other short-term visitor. Fortunately there are dozens of such resellers, and even more fortunately, there’s one standout option among them.

Lycamobile provides service on the solid Telia network, which has good coverage throughout the country. With reasonable prices, sales outlets everywhere, and EU roaming included, there’s little reason to look elsewhere if you want a physical SIM.

There’s even less reason to look elsewhere if you want an eSIM, since Lycamobile sells them on its website as well. Pick the pack you want, buy and install it before leaving home, then just turn on your phone when you arrive in Denmark. Easy!

If you’re new to eSIMs, they offer big benefits to travelers in terms of how quickly, easily, and (often) cheaply you can get connected when you arrive in a new country. Most recent phones support them.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Denmark

As mentioned above, there are Lycamobile sales outlets throughout the country, and it was hard to walk more than a couple of blocks in Copenhagen without seeing the company logo in a shop window.

After taking the train from the airport to Copenhagen Central, I headed to a 7-11 inside the station that was displaying signs for several different companies.

English is very widely spoken in the capital, so I had no problems getting what I was after. I purchased a SIM pack, and then a top-up voucher to cover the call, text, and data package I wanted.

With a line of customers behind me, the sales assistant told me what I needed to do and said the SIM would work as soon as it was inserted, but didn’t offer any setup help beyond that.

Fortunately, he didn’t need to. After inserting the SIM and restarting the phone, I immediately had service, and received a text advising of my new phone number.

I then followed the instructions on the top-up voucher to add the extra credit, and finally dialed a number to select the data package I wanted. All in all, the entire process took less than five minutes.

Prepaid SIM and eSIM Costs

Physical SIM Card

For such an expensive country, staying connected in Denmark really is surprisingly cheap. When buying my physical SIM from Lycamobile, I paid 29 kroner (~$4.50 USD) for the SIM pack, and then added the minimum 50 kroner (~$7.50) top-up.

If you hunt around, you may be able to find some outlets that will give the SIM out for free. Since it was pouring with rain and the 29 DKK price included 10 DKK of credit anyway, I wasn’t motivated enough to do so.

With that amount of credit, I had the choice of several different packages. I went for 20GB of data for 49 DKK, valid for a month: it came with unlimited domestic texts, 15 hours of calls to Denmark and a few other countries, and 6B of roaming data in the EU.

There are many other packages available, though: you can find all the current pricing options here.

eSIM

Like I mentioned earlier, Lycamobile in Denmark is one of the very few companies out there selling prepaid eSIMs to tourists on its website. It’s even cheaper than using one of their physical SIMs, since the eSIM itself is free.

Not only does this make it easy to get set up before leaving home and connected when you arrive, it’s remarkably good value as well. I’ve seen prices as low as 19 DKK (~$3) for a month-long plan with plenty of data, and more texts and calls than you’ll ever use.

I’ve included a table below for some of the travel eSIM companies I use elsewhere in the world, so you can see just how cheap Lycamobile eSIMs really are. These packs would usually represent pretty good value, but not here! The details were last updated on 20 May 2024.

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $4.50

  • $7

  • $9.50

  • $13

  • $21

  • $32

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $4.50

  • $7

  • $9.50

  • $13

  • $21

  • $32

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 15 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $5

  • $12

  • $14

  • $19

  • $27

  • $33

Long story short: if you’re visiting Denmark and your phone supports eSIM (most do), get it from Lycamobile!

Topping Up

Physical SIM

Anywhere displaying a Lycamobile sign will be able to sell you a top-up voucher, ranging from 50-500 DKK.

If you somehow manage to find yourself in a part of the country that doesn’t have a nearby Lycamobile outlet, there’s also an English-language section of the company’s website that will let you add credit online instead.

eSIM

Topping up your eSIM with Lycamobile (or any of the travel eSIM companies) is done by logging into the website, using the details you entered when you bought it.

The top-up packs have the same pricing and duration as the original eSIMs: there’s little difference between topping up your current eSIM and buying a new one, other than not having to activate it again.

Coverage and Data Speeds

On my last trip, I didn’t leave the Copenhagen city limits. As a result, I didn’t expect to have any problems with cell service, and there weren’t any.

Coverage was reliable everywhere, with full signal and fast data speeds whenever I tested them, including on the train back to the airport a few days later.

If you’re venturing further afield, the Telia network that Lycamobile uses has good coverage almost anywhere you’re likely to go as a tourist (and many places where most tourists never visit).

EU Roaming

Denmark is part of the European Union, so EU roaming regulations apply. These “roam like at home” rules ended roaming charges across much of Europe in 2017, letting you use a SIM card from any EU country across all the others at no extra charge.

Lycamobile limits the amount of data available while roaming in the EU, but you’ll get at least some with every plan they sell. Double-check the exact details at time of purchase if you’re heading elsewhere.

One thing worth noting: you need to activate and use your service in Denmark before you can roam with it. That’s more relevant for eSIMs than physical SIMs: don’t plan to use one elsewhere in Europe if you aren’t going to Denmark first!


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One Comment

  1. I’m using Lycamobile Denmark in July of 2023. For 10 CAD (8 USD) I got two SIMs from the 7-11 at the airport (I had to ask the attendant). The SIM purchase price includes 5 GB of data and 300 minutes of calling to anywhere in Europe, Canada and the United States (yes, that includes international calling outside of the EU) and that lasts for 30 days.

    Great coverage outside of Copenhagen too. The only hiccup I ran into was that once I only had voice service and no data–it turns out that it was my phone’s fault and I had to enable roaming in my Android settings for that SIM (luckily it took me only a few minutes to figure that out).

    The standard prepaid packages only include domestic data so if you plan to travel you have to buy international EU data separately. That starts at 19 DKK so if you’re here on a short vacation you’ll leave with 31 DKK unspent since you have to buy 50 DKK worth of credit.

    PS apparently Lycamobile to Lycamobile calls within Denmark are free.