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Vega in Copenhagen
Photograph: Vega

The 13 best nightlife spots in Copenhagen

From vibey jazz bars to mega late-night clubs, here's our ultimate guide to Copenhagen's nightlife scene.

Written by
James Clasper
Laura Hall

Copenhagen is the prime destination for a trendy, foodie weekend away. The kind of place that makes you want to rent a little bike for the day with a bag full of fresh pastries, and hopefully end up being the subject of someone’s Instagram shot. It’s a beautifully aesthetic, dainty place with great vibes, but don’t be fooled – Copenhagen has a very fun, very late-night side too. 

That’s right. This city is aesthetically pleasing by day, and wild by night. Dipping a toe into Copenhagen’s nightlife scene will have you dancing to live music in an old-school jazz bar and ordering shots at a three-story nightclub. It’s got everything from niche indie spots to classic mainstream spots, and everything in between (including a community centre with DJs). Whatever you’re into, here are the best nightlife spots in Copenhagen right now. 

🍸 The best bars in Copenhagen
🍽️ The best restaurants in Copenhagen
🏘️ The best Airbnbs in Copenhagen
🎨 A complete guide to the Nørrebro neighbourhood

This guide was last updated by Laura Hall, a writer based in Copenhagen. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best Copenhagen nightlife

Godt Øl
Photograph: Godt Øl

1. Godt Øl

Copenhagen is known for its excellent craft beer scene, and Godt ØI is pretty much the pinnacle of it all. Tucked away in the city’s old medieval town, this cosy little bar serves up 12 great ever-changing craft beers in a seriously vibesy setting. Think funky sours in tiny glasses, fragrant ales like you’ve never had before, and even a bookable beer tasting sesh every Wednesday, complete with snacks. 

Photograph: Joy

2. Joy

Sister to Jolene, Copenhagen’s favourite nightclub in Kødbyen, Joy is not just any bar. This is a music-focused bar with a very cool crowd, which hosts a revolving door of brilliant DJs most nights of the week. Hit it up after a few drinks and expect to see soul, jazz, world, psychedelia and more. Plus it’s in Nørrebro, one of Copenhagen’s coolest neighbourhoods – and you’re right next to Christiansborg, so you can spend your evening bar hopping in the area. 

La Fontaine
Photograph: Flickr / PeS-Photo

3. La Fontaine

Long a mecca for jazz musicians, Copenhagen boasts several brilliant live music venues, including the delightfully laidback La Fontaine. Tucked down a pedestrian street in the medieval quarter, it’s said to be the country’s oldest jazz club and remains best known for its Sunday night jam sessions. In fact, during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2015, a certain Lady Gaga even dropped by for an impromptu rendition of ‘La Vie En Rose’. Legendary stuff. 

Culture Box
Photograph: Flemming Bo Jensen

4. Culture Box

Copenhagen’s premier techno palace regularly plays host to DJ legends such as Derrick May and Jeff Mills. The sound system at Culture Box has the most penetrating bass in town, the VJ shows are superb, and the more sedate downstairs dancefloor is perfect for those who don’t want to sweat on the main floor. 


5. Gensyn

This award-winning cocktail bar exudes homely vibes, thanks to its friendly local crowd, old-school billiards table and saloon-inspired décor. Start with a Walnut Brown — Gensyn's house cocktail that’s made with roasted rye bread and three different whiskeys — or try a G‘n’T made with the bar’s very own dry gin: it’s distilled in the basement of nearby Frederiksberg town hall, using botanicals such as coriander seeds, angelica root and brown rice tea.

Nr. 30
Photograph: Kristiana Demant

6. Nr. 30

An ideal spot to wind down over a glass of wine, this low-key bar and bistro draws a mix of well-heeled locals and in-the-know foodies. The wine list is excellent, while the tiny kitchen shuttles out simple dishes such as burrata or mushrooms on toast. Located south of Copenhagen’s lakes, Nr. 30 is irresistibly cosy in winter, while summer sees crowds spilling onto the street and sharing bottles of exquisite natural wine well past midnight.

Photograph: Rust

7. Rust

Rust is one of the city’s best venues for both concerts and clubbing and is an integral part of Copenhagen’s nightlife. Its evolution over the years – from political café through to dubious rock club and, finally, the more polished venue seen today – is all the more impressive for its retention of an experimental edge and an ability to roll with the times. Expect to see anyone from Post Malone to Rufus Wainwright on its artist list; it specialises in indie rock, electronica and hip hop. When live music isn’t on, the three-floor club is a little off the mainstream and always busy on Friday and Saturday nights till late.

Bo-Bi Bar
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / Mark Jensen

8. Bo-Bi Bar

If you can stand the smoke, no visit to Copenhagen is complete without visiting a ‘brown bar’ – a traditional drinking den where puffing away is permitted. Few are as charming as this bohemian spot Bo-Bi Bar in the city centre. It dates back to 1917, and neither its décor nor its denizens have changed much since. To blend in, pair your beer with a shot of Gammel Dansk – a bitter Danish liquor — and if you’re peckish, ask for a hard-boiled egg with mustard.

Photograph: Vega

9. Vega

Opened in 1996 and housed in a listed landmark building dating from 1956, Vega is the queen of Copenhagen’s nightlife. It features a large and small concert hall, Big Vega and Little Vega (1,200 and 550 capacity, respectively) – the latter doubles up as a nightclub; and the street-level Ideal Bar, a party institution in itself. The list of famous names to have played at Vega over the years is a testament to its popularity, from secret gigs by Prince and David Bowie to concerts from the likes of Björk. The interior is superb, the service professional and the DJs among the best in town.

Photograph: Niels Kristian Bjerg

10. Absalon

Dubbing itself ‘an extension of your living room’, Absalon is a colourful community centre housed in a repurposed church in Vesterbro. Visit by day to take a pottery or yoga class – but don’t miss the parties on Friday and Saturday nights. Following Absalon’s famous community dinner – a budget-friendly affair where nobody’s a stranger – revellers hit the dance floor as DJs play everything from Japanese funk to American disco.

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