How difficult is it to break large kroner bills (200 or 500 kr) in Copenhagen?

I'm asking because I know it's very hard for a tourist to pay with 50 or 100 dollar bills in US; and some people didn't really enjoy breaking CAD$100 bills for me in Toronto, or even BOB$100 and BOB$200 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Probably the currency exchange store will try to give me large bills when trading euros by kroner in Copenhagen, so I need to know what bill values are accepted by the locals.

  • 3
    You can always go into a bank (inside opening hours) and have them excange your 500,- or 1.000,- kroner bills.
    – Bent
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 20:04
  • 5
    Oh and to just warn anybody who tries it. Don't try to pay for your bus ticket with a 500 kr or 1.000 kr note. 200 kr is not that good an idea as well. If you buy your ticket in a shop at a station that is not a problem.
    – Bent
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 20:19
  • 4
    @Bent: Many bank branches these days have gone cashless and the only cash they deal in is what the ATM spits out, deposit bags (which are taken elsewhere to be processed), or pre-ordered currency. Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 23:58
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    @HenningMakholm In what country? If there's anyplace where I can expect cash, it's the bank...
    – Nelson
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 2:36
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    @Nelson: Um, in Denmark. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 2:44

4 Answers 4


In my experience, 200 kr bills are not at all unusual and shouldn't give you any issues (unless you're buying something very cheap, like less than 20 kr, from a very small store). The 500 kr bill is more unusual, but it should be fine in larger stores and restaurants. Some smaller stores and restaurants may refuse them.

  • 3
    This matches my experience (as a native). ATMs are wont to deliver 200 kr bills even when you withdraw amounts 500 kr or over. I sometimes do get 500 kr bills, but have never had any trouble using them for purchases over a few hundred kr. The 1000 kr bill is very rare. Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 16:49
  • 2
    500 kr (or 1.000 kr for that matter) bills are not always welcome in shops as they are the most counterfeited. Some shops have scanners to verify the bills (though that seems to be quite rare lately), some accept them, others may hand them back to you.
    – Bent
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 20:10
  • I had no trouble spending either 500 or 1000 bills in Copenhagen. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 18:01

The other answers already mention that breaking bigger notes in Denmark is not really a problem. But you can likely avoid getting big notes in the first place.

If you exchange the money in the country where it is the currency you can ask and should be given smaller notes. If not all, at least enough that you are not immediately stuck.
When you exchange money in your home country you will have less options when you ask for a certain kind of notes. You will then have to take what they have or leave without exchanging.

But check the cost of exchanging against using a card in the ATM and against using your card in shops and restaurants.
Using your card is often cheaper than traveling with cash and it has much less risk of losing all to pick pockets.

There are tricks to get money out of the ATM without getting too big notes.
Like going to a machine where you can select the notes they deliver. And asking for an amount which is smaller than the big note you want to avoid. Or at least select an amount which means that you do not only get big notes, like 1900 instead of 2000, so you can be sure not to get just 500 or 1000 notes. (Adjust numbers to what you actually need.) And most ATM do not give notes that will be too big.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 25, 2022 at 15:21

It is getting less and less common to pay cash at all in all Scandinavian countries, so you may be given a strange glance no matter which bill you choose to pay with. Except for that, I wouldn't expect any problems paying with larger bills.

  • 1
    Actually in Denmark you can get into a situation where they refuse 500 kr or 1.000 kr notes.
    – Bent
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 20:14
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    To reinforce what this answer says (but from a "visitor" point of view), last time I was in Denmark (some two years ago) I didn't bring any cash nor did I need it at any time. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 7:08
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    To expand on this, it is extremely rare to encounter a shop in Denmark that doesn't accept card (Visa is the safer bet, but other cards are also almost universally accepted). I have a hard time imagining that you'll encounter anywhere that doesn't - especially in Copenhagen. It's still a good idea to carry around a bit of cash on the off-chance that your bank thinks sudden payments in Denmark are suspicious and lock your account.
    – Birjolaxew
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 7:31
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    I did not meet shops that did not accept cards but I have had to pay two B&B places that only accept cash, which was the biggest expense for the days in those places. So be not sure you can pay all with cards.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 9:13
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    Exacty. Why cash at all? Use your debit / credit cards. I did a whole ferry ride, car journey, hotel stop and holiday in LegoLand without using cash once. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 9:26

I moved to Denmark 7 years ago. As many people comment, cash is not all that common here anymore. Many are suggesting to skip cash all together, and just use a credit card. There are two reasons why that might not be the best idea. Danish establishments normally charge a percentage fee for foreign cards. Expect this to be up to 3%. Many smaller shops also do not accept standard foreign card types at all, only the danish standard DanKort. This made my life hard from time to time, as I could not get one until I had lived here for 2-3 years.

I have never been refused to pay cash any place in Denmark. Admittedly, I do not do it often anymore. If you bring 200kr bills, you will most likely not be refused anywhere. And 500 will work in absolutely the majority of cases as well.

So do not blindly rely on using foreign cards. At least some cash is a good idea.

  • Did you have trouble using foreign cards to get money out of the machines or only to pay in shops?
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 12:43
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    @Willeke Nearly all ATMs accept most international cards. All terminals sold/leased in Denmark now have the possibility of accepting all major cards as well; whether they actually do depends on which contract the owner has with the provider (NETS, Teller, etc.). It used to be disproportionately more expensive to accept non-DanKort payments, but prices have evened out, so it’s much less common now. Certainly all supermarkets and chain stores will accept at least Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and UnionPay these days. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 18:17

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