Denmark shares strong cultural and historic ties with its Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Norway. It has historically been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. In 1969, Denmark was the first country to legalise pornography, and in 2012, Denmark replaced its “registered partnership” laws, which it had been the first country to introduce in 1989,with gender-neutral marriage, and allowed same-sex marriages to be performed in the Church of Denmark. Modesty and social equality are important parts of Danish culture.

In a 2016 study comparing empathy scores of 63 countries, Denmark ranked 4th world-wide having the highest empathy among surveyed European countries.

The astronomical discoveries of Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), Ludwig A. Colding’s (1815–1888) neglected articulation of the principle of conservation of energy, and the contributions to atomic physics of Niels Bohr (1885–1962) indicate the range of Danish scientific achievement. The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), the philosophical essays of Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), the short stories of Karen Blixen (penname Isak Dinesen), (1885–1962), the plays of Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754), and the dense, aphoristic poetry of Piet Hein (1905–1996), have earned international recognition, as have the symphonies of Carl Nielsen (1865–1931). From the mid-1990s, Danish films have attracted international attention, especially those associated with Dogme 95 like those of Lars von Trier.

A major feature of Danish culture is Jul (Danish Christmas). The holiday is celebrated throughout December, starting either at the beginning of Advent or on 1 December with a variety of traditions, culminating with the Christmas Eve meal.

There are seven heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in Northern Europe: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement, the Jelling Mounds (Runic Stones and Church), Kronborg Castle, Roskilde Cathedral, and The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand and 3 in the World Heritage list in North America: Ilulissat Icefjord, Aasivissuit — Nipisat, Kujataa within the Kingdom of Denmark.