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Join the party people for a pumping Copenhagen weekend.



The Danes may sometimes look like a serious bunch, but make no mistake: Copenhagen is a city that loves to party. Whether you're a salsa fanatic, techno nut or just love a tour of the dance floor to some good old '80s classics, Copenhagen's dance clubs take music seriously and attract both loyal resident DJs and the cream of the international circuit.

Copenhagen's nightlife scene has become famous throughout Europe, with week-long street parties like May's Distortion attracting partygoers from all over the continent. Those who appreciate electronic dance music can be sure of a club where the music is what's important at spots like the long-established Rust club, Culture Box or the vast warehouse KB3 in the former meat-packing district.

Those who can't stand still when they hear a Latin beat should check out Copenhagen clubs like Club Mambo or Søpavillonen, where it's even possible to take in a salsa class before hitting the dancefloor proper.

The gay scene is famous for its parties, and Club Christopher attracts both gay and straight guests, all out for a good time. Non-exclusive Copenhagen shows the more mature crowd a good time at Nord Natklub, a lounge and club for those aged over 30 only. 

Those who prefer more mainstream music will find something to their liking at downtown Penthouse or Østerbro's Park Cafe, while even headbangers get a round in the moshpit at Vesterbro's newly-opened rock club Sin City

 


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Penthouse
Photo courtesy of Penthouse


This nightclub is located just off Gammel Torv in a building formerly known as 'In'. The new concept aims to add some 1930s glamour and retro style to the place's generally young and boozy regulars, but as Penthouse has retained the eternally popular free bar concept, the beer flows merrily. Dresscode is smart (no sweat pants here!) and the minimum age is 18. Music-wise, Penthouse is fairly mainstream, with current R'n'B hits mixed with club classics. The decor has been modelled - with limited success - on an exclusive Manhattan penthouse, and the upper floor balcony, offers panoramic views out over Stroget as well as to the dancefloor below. The upstairs tables can be reserved in advance.

Local Expert tip: The free bar is for draft beer, soft drinks. Cocktails and spirits cost extra.

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Nord Natklub
Photo courtesy of Nord Natklub


Tired of clubs filled with rowdy youngsters knocking back the drinks? Nord is a club for the over 30s crowd, and has been popular with older partygoers looking to cut loose with their own age group since it opened in 2008. Located in the multicolored building next to Vesterport Station and the Palads movie theater, the club is stylishly designed as both lounge and danceclub, with seating for 200 guests both cafe tables and in comfortable booths, while some of Copenhagen's top local DJs are regulars at the club. From April to September Nord's Friday nights are post Tivoli parties, coordinated to tie in with the Friday rock program.

Local Expert tip: Free entry on Friday nights with Tivoli ticket.

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Sin City
Photo courtesy of Sin City


Copenhagen's newest nightclub district Kodbyen is known mainly for its dance parties, but as of 2012 there's a harder kid on the block: rock club Sin City has moved into the hip meatpacking district and looks likely to fill the void made by the recent demise of The Rock in downtown Copenhagen. A With pretty large premises, Sin City can boast two floors blasting out hard rock and heavy metal and three bars. There's also an inhouse tattooists, Sin City Ink (daytime opening). The first floor has kept the white tiles of the original butchers' hall and has a rock 'n roll dancefloor, while in all-black basement "Down Below" the music goes heavy. There are some concerts, mostly with local jam bands. "Angry hour" is between 11pm and midnight, and offers a free shot with all beers/drinks.

Local Expert tip: Cover charge includes one free drink at Vesterbro's newest rock club.

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Park Cafe & Nightclub
Photo courtesy of Michael Otzen / Park Natklub


A large nightclub in Copenhagen's Osterbro district, Park Natklub still manages to draw the weekend crowds despite being located a little way out of town. Open Fri-Sat from 11pm only, the music is never too outrageous: a mainstream mix of new and old pop, soul and r'n'b favorites, while the decor is fairly standard. Minimum age is 20 on a Saturday, 18 on Fridays (although you might not think it looking at the crowd); dress code is smart - no ripped jeans, hoodies, etc. Park Natklub is located in the same building as movie theater Park Bio.

Local Expert tip: Save your cab receipt to Park for two free Heineken lagers.

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Rust, Spillested & Natklub
Photo courtesy of Rust Natklub


The heyday for this alternative nightclub in Copenhagen's gritty Norrebro district may have passed, but Rust - which has existed since 1989 - continues to have nights when it shines, like during large events like May's Distortion Festival of Copenhagen nightlife. With live concerts and club nights, Rust is a good place to find something going on during Copenhagen's generally quiet midweek slumber, and its Wednesday and Thursday clubs offer free entry in Rust's basement. With no dress code and a fairly mixed N?rrebro crowd, Rust is a non-exclusive club that can hold up to 670 people across its three floors, and is an ideal dance spot as well as a place to simply hang out. Note cover charge if for club nights only, and can be higher for live concerts.

Local Expert tip: Free entry and no age limit for live shows until 11pm.

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Sopavillonen
Photo courtesy of Søpavillonen

An unpretentious nightclub located in the rather improbable beach hut style building at the foot of the Lakes between Norrebro and Frederiksberg. The 'Lake pavilion' is known for attracting huge crowds of enthusiastic Danes for its tribute band nights, as well as for Christmas and New Year parties. In recent years the club has also hosted a number of salsa events, including 'Salsa Libre' - regular 8pm classes in Latin American dance moves followed by Salsatek disco. On the second Friday of the month, 'Karmaklubben' gets the party started at 8pm and is ideal for those who find midnight a little late for hitting the clubs. The regular Friday and Saturday club nights are a revival of '80s and '90s hits.

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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 role in cementing Copenhagen's reputation as a city with a throbbing dance subculture; the decor is dark and a little neglected, but it all lends the place a look of hardcore Berlin techno, and its loyal fans can't get enough of it. Local as well as international visiting DJs come here to play for a crowd united in a love of electronic music at this two-story club (headliners in the main room, bar and lounge upstairs). Boasting one of the best sound systems in Copenhagen, Culture Box keeps its dance happy guests moving until breakfast time.

Local Expert tip: Come early for a few drinks at next door's preclub bar Cocktail Box, open for drinks and lounge atmosphere from 8pm.

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Club Christopher
Photo courtesy of Club Christopher


Named after New York's Christopher Street, the scene of 1969's Stonewall demonstrations that were to be crucial to the history of gay rights, it's pretty clear where Club Christopher's leanings are, though the club considers itself more gay-friendly than exclusive. Over the years this club has had a number of different names and ownership right back to its days as Pan, but the concept remains very much the same: Come to dance, party and have a good time, gay or straight. With a number of floors and bars, this is an open, large and well-established club.

Local Expert tip: Club Christopher's open bar means drinks are free with entry.

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KB3
Photo courtesy of Tuala Hjarno

Copenhagen's club scene has moved out to a vast warehouse in Vesterbro's gentrified industrial district Kodbyen, the old meatpacking district between the central station and the harbor, named after its street address: Kodboderne 3. Opened spring 2012, after a long wait - its opening was postponed by local council officials. A vast hall that operated until relatively recently as a meat locker, this place has a capacity of 800 people and, in the club creators' own words, "the main aim of KB3 is to keep people dancing" - with the cream of local talent as well as visiting DJs to help make that happen. In addition to the massive dancefloor, the huge bar - more than 40 feet long - serves cocktails as well as the usual drinks, and there are lounge areas and a backyard used to host some of Copenhagen's coolest summer parties.

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Club Mambo
Photo courtesy of Club Mambo


Club Mambo is Copenhagen's only venue exclusively for Latin music, and was established in the late '90s when the Latin revival hit Scandinavia had everyone living La Vida Loca. In addition to the club nights, Club Mambo offers lessons in salsa, merengue and tango before the club opens, as well as occasional concerts from visiting salsa and reggaeton groups. Club Mambo also offers an entire nights' entertainment, starting with a three-course meal in the club's restaurant followed by dance classes and entry to the club; advance bookings only. Thursday night offers free entry.

Local Expert tip: Warm up for the dancehall on Thursdays with free preclubbing dance lessons in salsa and merengue.

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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

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