From popup clubs and block parties to late night jam sessions, Copenhagen's nightlife keeps dancing after the sun has risen

Copenhagen resident Hans Christian Andersen may have been the "Ugly Duckling" at a few local parties, but modern Copenhagen is a great place for nightlife of all types. Fans of classical music and opera should check out world class venues Koncerthuset, the concert house of national broadcaster DR, and national opera house Operaen; State subsidies keep prices down and allow classical concerts and opera performances to be accessible to all.

If you feel like modern jazz harmonies are following you around, note that Copenhagen has quite a history with jazz. World-class venues like Copenhagen Jazzhouse and Jazzhus Montmartre attract international names as well as opportunities to hear local legends improvising in an early hours jam session.

Copenhagen’s young entrepreneurs are famed for their popup venues and one-off street parties: Summertime festivals include Copenhagen Distortion, 10 days of street parties to celebrate Copenhagen nightlife (May) and the Jazz Festival (first two weeks in July).

Though its reputation as a club has rather faded, Vesterbro’s Vega continues to attract many of the biggest names in alternative music, while for underground acts, Christiania’s Loppen still keeps it down and dirty. Culture Box is Copenhagen’s premiere electronica club while partygoers of all persuasions are attracted to the dark side of Dunkel.

In Copenhagen, you can sleep all day and still get your dose of arts & culture: Try Karriere Bar in trendy meat-packing district Kødbyen, where even the bar, and the lamps above it, are works of art. If you like to drink in style, cocktail bar Ruby makes you feel at home–if only all homes were kitted out as well as this.

Culture Box
Photo courtesy of Willy Lopez


Fans of electronic dance music should note this established offbeat venue on Kronprinsessegade not far from Kongens Have. Ever since two DJs passionate about electronic music teamed up to open Culture Box back in 2005, the club has played a key...  Read More

Photo courtesy of elchicogris/creative commons


Like the free state of Christiania where it is based, Loppen ("the flea") has been a mainstay of alternative Copenhagen for many decades, standing persistently fast as other fads come and go. Located in the large stone building close to...  Read More

Karriere Bar


This arty cocktail bar and restaurant is dominated by its one-of-a-kind bar counter and accompanying lights, the work of artists Jeppe Hein and Olafur Eliasson respectively. Karriere Bar was one of the first establishments to take a chance on...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Ruby


In Copenhagen, nothing's strange about the city's hippest and most forward-looking cocktail bar being housed in a listed townhouse from the 1700s. Ruby is exquisitely furnished with oriental rugs, chandeliers and chesterfield sofas, with added...  Read More

Jazzhus Montmartre
Photo courtesy of Cafe Montmartre


When it reopened in 2010, Jazzhus Montmartre was about paying homage to a vital part of Copenhagen's musical history. The new non-profit Jazzhus Montmartre is open thanks to the endeavours of Rune Bech, a passionate jazz lover who well remembers...  Read More



The name comes from the Danish word for dark or murky, and this gay-friendly, open-to-all nightclub exudes a shady, dark aura of living slightly dangerously more familiar to cities like Berlin and London than to Copenhagen. Don't be afraid,...  Read More

Copenhagen Jazzhouse
Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Jazzhouse


Copenhagen Jazzhouse is the official center of Copenhagen's thriving jazz scene, opening in 1991 to fill the void made when Jazzhus Montmartre closed some years earlier. The venue presents around 200 concerts a year from visiting stars as well...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Lars Schmidt


You don't have to be fan of opera to have heard of Copenhagen's opera house: Inaugurated amid much fanfare in 2005, the Henning Larsen-designed masterpiece is one of the most expensive opera houses ever built anywhere in the world, costing well...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Kristian Gade


At the end of the '90s, during Copenhagen's first wave of gentrification, Vega was about as hip as it got, deep in gritty district Vesterbro and the preferred hangout for the quarter's many students and beautiful young things. A former trade...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Federico Parodi


The concert house of national broadcaster Danmarks Radio was moved out to the new broadcasting headquarters DR-Byen in Orestad in 2009. The ultra-modern, purpose-built cube is the creation of noteable French architect Jean Nouvel (Brad Pitt is...  Read More


Meet Jane Graham

After touring most of Europe in her twenties, Jane was charmed by Copenhagen's relaxed tempo and moved there from her native northern England in 1999. Four young children at home has meant...  More About Jane