The best bars and nightlife in Copenhagen

Ruby Copenhagen - the best bars and nightife in Copenhagen
Pull up a tall chair and get to know the well-stocked marble bar at Ruby, one of the best in Copenhagen

Classical concerts, sophisticated cocktail bars, and kitsch cabaret – take your pick. The Copenhagen nightlife scene delivers on all these fronts and many more.

From swinging seats and Asian-inspired cocktails at a sushi skybar to a Mad Man-esque lounge that's big on akvavit and snaps, Telegraph Travel expert Suzanne King shares some of the best bars and places to go for a good night out in Copenhagen. Bear in mind that many venues close on Monday nights, but things gradually liven up as the week goes on and by the time you get to the weekend, everywhere is in party mode with bars and clubs open well into the early hours.

For further Copenhagen inspiration,  see our guides to the city's best hotelsrestaurantsshopping and things to do.

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City centre


This cocktail bar is refreshingly easy to find compared to many of the city’s hidden-away options; Brønnum sits next to the Royal Theatre, its name displayed in glowing red lights across a façade that’s a riot of stone cherubs, mermaids and swags of fruit. Inside, there’s an equally ornate bar, created from antique Spanish wood panelling, and a sumptuous feel, with velvets, chandeliers, and rooms that get progressively darker and cosier the further in you go. In the early evening, the window seats are the ones to go for – pull up a stool, order a champagne cocktail and posh nibbles, and smile at the 70s disco soundtrack as you watch the passers-by.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Smart casual dress code; over-23s only; bookings recommended at weekends.

Brønnum, Copenhagen
Cosy up at Brønnum's ornate bar for champagne cocktails


Ruby’s discreetly marked entrance leads into an elegant salon with huge gilded mirrors and a well-stocked marble bar running along the far wall. Beyond lies a clubbier space (Regency-striped wallpaper and wing-back chairs), the courtyard and a cosy downstairs room that opens at weekends. The bartenders know their stuff and if you can’t decide what to choose from the seasonally changing menu, they’ll hunker down and talk all things cocktail for a while before whizzing away to shake you up something just right. It’s welcoming and cossetting, and once ensconced in your chosen corner you won’t want to leave any time soon.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Smart casual dress code (no sportswear); over-21s only; bookings accepted (and recommended) up to 9pm on Friday and Saturday or up to 11pm on other days.

Ruby, Copenhagen
Expect a seasonally changing menu at Ruby; pictured here is a cherry twist on the traditional whisky sour


If you need a break from tasteful cocktail bars, you could always try this: a little slice of Vegas adrift in the Danish capital. Step inside the circular 19th-century building – originally designed for circuses – to enjoy a four-course dinner party, with food served throughout a four-hour all-singing, all-dancing, all-plate-spinning extravaganza, followed by a nightclub. The performers double up as waiters – one minute they’re up there dangling from the chandeliers, the next they’re serving up your soup or putting on little sideshows by the table. Each season (late August to mid-June) brings a new show, but it’s always performed in English.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Reservations only; smart dress code

Wallmans, Copenhagen
At Wallmans, your dinner is accompanied by a four-hour all-singing, all-dancing, all-plate-spinning extravaganza

Ved Stranden 10

Natural and organic wines are a big thing in Copenhagen and one of the best places to try them is Ved Stranden 10, a friendly little wine bar and bottle shop across the canal from Christiansborg Palace. There’s no permanent wine list to choose from; just ask what’s open at the moment or have a chat with one of the charming bar staff who’ll find something to fit your tastes. In summer, you can sit outside by the canal; in cooler weather, find a corner indoors, amid white-painted wood-panelled walls, vintage furniture and shelves piled with empty wine bottles, arty magazines and old copies of The New Yorker.

Prices: ££


You’re never entirely sure what you’re going to find when you call in for a drink at Balderdash. The menu at this small cocktail bar changes often and they’re constantly trying out new concoctions that pop up for a limited time. The bar’s known for its experimental approach so options could include anything from a horseradish daiquiri or sake slushie to an Old Fashioned flavoured with smoked duck fat or a rum milkshake with saffron, yuzu and mango. ‘Keep it hygge’ is the slogan on the beer mats, and the chatty bar staff help do just that.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Bookings accepted for groups of six or more people; recommended at weekends.


Skybar Sticks 'n' Sushi

The fabulous views from this 12th-floor skybar, on top of the Tivoli Hotel, make it a popular spot for evening drinks, especially at weekends. It has another little added attraction up its sleeve as well – three tiers of swing seats suspended on long ropes from the ceiling behind the bar. Order a Yuzu Zoo (gin, yuzu and honey) and sway gently to and fro as you sip and admire the sunset through the double-height windows. Just ignore those who turned up late and are clearly coveting your seat; you got there first and it’s still your turn.

Prices: £-££
Getting in: Reservations recommended, and essential at weekends

Sticks 'n' Sushi, Copenhagen
Chill in a swing on the 12th-floor skybar of Sticks 'n' Sushi with a cocktail in hand - Martin Dyrløv Madsen

Duck and Cover

This well-loved Vesterbro bar carried away the trophy for best Danish cocktail bar for a second time at the Bartenders Choice Awards in 2022, and followed that up with the People’s Choice award in 2023. Head down the steps into the cosy basement room and you will find Mad Men-style surroundings with retro wood and leather furniture, potted plants and moody lighting (owner Kasper Riewe-Høgh wanted to recreate the look of a 1950s/1960s Danish living room). The unusual cocktail list is big on local ingredients – from akvavit and snaps to rhubarb and rose hips – but if you just want a basic G&T or a beer, they’ll happily oblige.

Contact: 00 45 28 12 42 90;
Prices: ££
Getting in: Walk-ins are welcome but reservations recommended at weekends

Duck and Cover, Copenhagen
Akvavit and snaps are the core base spirits at Vesterbro bar Duck and Cover


Ask a Vesterbro local to recommend a bar and it’s a fair bet they’ll point you towards Lidkoeb, hidden away in a courtyard off the main drag. Its ground floor bar is pure Scandi-chic, with all pale woods, white walls and industrial-style lamps, warmed up by caramel-coloured leather seating, shaggy fleeces and an open fire. Smiley bar staff serve up a mix of unfamiliar cocktails, such as Østersø Cola, made with vodka, Pimm’s, peach liqueur, lemon and liquorice syrup. At weekends two upper floors come into play, with the top-floor whisky bar (brick walls, beamed ceiling and vintage leather sofas), earning full marks for cosiness.

Prices: ££
Getting in: Reserve a table if you can; although you're not able to after 10pm on Thursdays or after 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays

Lidkoeb, Copenhagen
The top-floor whisky bar at Lidkoeb earns full marks for cosiness


Although relocated to new, larger premises a few years ago, Curfew retains its signature speakeasy style, with retro interiors hidden behind a secret bookcase door. Owner Humberto Marques’s passion for the golden era of cocktails shines through in everything from the swing jazz soundtrack and black-and-white photos on the walls to a fine collection of antique drinks paraphernalia, including a hand-cranked spinning machine. Cosy up on one of the velvet sofas or nab a vintage wrought iron bar stool for a ringside seat as the bartenders - wearing leather holsters containing the tools of their trade - conjure up something delicious from an extensive menu that includes classics, seasonal specials and Marques’s own award-winning concoctions.

Prices: ££-£££
Getting in: Smart casual dress code; bookings pretty much essential at weekends but during the week there should be room for walk-ins. Minimum age 20.

Curfew, Copenhagen
Embrace the golden era of cocktails at Curfew



Trendy Jægersborggade tends to snaffle the Nørrebro limelight, but nearby Guldbergsgade has plenty going for it too – including this handsome bar/brewery/restaurant/shop, a former factory given a stylish makeover. The interiors are done up in acres of natural oak, with shiny metals and matte monochrome paints, and the 30-odd specials chalked up behind the bar provide plenty of choice for craft beers and pre-mixed cocktails. With lots of outdoor tables, Bæst directly opposite (see restaurants) and a cinema right next door, it’s the kind of place you could easily come for brunch and find yourself hanging around all day.

Prices: £-££

Brus, Copenhagen
Brus carefully combines bar, brewery, restaurant and shop to create a chilled out place to hang out all day


Part bottle shop, part wine bar, this cosy little Nørrebro hangout is another great place to immerse yourself in Copenhagen’s thriving natural wine scene. There’s a small selection of wines by the glass, or you can choose any bottle from the shop shelves and (for a corkage charge of DKK 100/£11) drink it on the premises, either inside (rough plaster walls, painted floorboards and wooden stools) or outside (traditional rattan bistro chairs and marble-topped tables on the pavement). They also serve a few tasty snacks, including charcuterie and cheese.

Prices: £
Getting in: No reservations. Get there early if you want to bag an outside table.

Dronning Louises Bro

The broad 19th-century bridge that links the city centre to Nørrebro isn’t just a means of crossing the lakes – on summer evenings it acts as a kind of outdoor club for broke young things whose budgets might not run to club entrance tickets but who still want to party. They bring their own beers and music, and make their own entertainment, generally mingling and merry-making throughout the long summer nights, while the passing cyclists and cars carry on regardless. If you want to join in, head there early evening and grab some cold beers from the nearby supermarket on Nørrebrogade or a coffee from one of the local vendor stalls.


DR Koncerthuset

It’s not just the entertainment that’s the draw at many of Copenhagen’s cultural venues – it’s the buildings themselves. Case in point: this Jean Nouvel-designed concert hall that looks like a giant blue cube from the outside and houses several performance spaces within. In the main auditorium, the central stage is surrounded by angular seating blocks, all clad in pale wood, with soft lighting giving the whole place a soothing golden glow. It’s the ideal setting for enjoying a performance by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, which is based here, but DR Koncerthuset also hosts an eclectic range of other acts, including rock bands, jazz performers and stand-up comedians.

Prices: £-£££
Getting in: Buy tickets in advance

DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen
See the Danish National Symphony Orchestra play at the DR Koncerthuset



As the crow flies, it’s just a couple of miles from the city centre to Refshaleøen, but it feels like a whole other world that's far from the usual tourist beat. That’s especially the case once you’ve ensconced yourself on one of the day beds, deckchairs or sunloungers at this huge beach bar and settled in to soak up the sunset and the views back towards town. Beers and cocktails are served from a thatched bar and the soundtrack runs the range from chill-out tunes to full-on pumping dance music.

Prices: £-££
Getting in: Halvandet focuses mainly on concerts and private events but over the summer months it still has walk-in days and mega beach parties when anyone can swing by for a drink; check the Facebook page for the latest public opening dates.

Halvandet, Copenhagen
Soak up the sunset views from beach bar Halvandet

Mikkeller Baghaven

From one little basement bar in Vesterbro, the Mikkeller empire has grown to take in bars, breweries and restaurants around the world, plus a beer festival, vineyard and running club. This particularly characterful outpost, housed in a big old shipping hall on the Refshaleoen quayside, offers the chance to try exclusive Special Reserve bottles and limited edition draft creations that you won’t find anywhere else, including some intensely fruity wild ales. Drink inside, amid the ranks of barrels, or head outside and enjoy the sunset view across the harbour.

Contact: or
Prices: £


Café Slusen

Most visitors would never stumble across Café Slusen by accident - it’s way off the normal tourist beat, down in Sluseholmen. But it’s easy enough to get to (12 minutes’ walk from the ferry stop at Teglholmen) and a lovely laidback spot for an early evening drink or two. Cross the narrow bridge from the west side of the harbour and it’s there straight ahead of you, a little tin shack with a blue-and-white-striped awning and a waterfront terrace where you can kick back with a bottle of wine and snack on tinned fish and sourdough bread.

Contact: Ved Slusen 34;
Prices: £
Getting in: No reservations. Open summer only (March-September) and closes in bad weather.


Jump on a ferry at Nyhavn, head down to Enghave Brygge (about half an hour’s ride) and you’ll instantly spot Anløbet, hot contender for Copenhagen’s cutest wine bar. Housed in an old pumphouse that looks like a little chapel, it’s tiny inside, with a high timbered ceiling, huge windows and a mere handful of stools on a mezzanine floor. Pick up drinks from the small bar (serving fizz, a few wines and beers, soft drinks and a couple of snacks) and head outside to the waterfront terrace - a lovely place to sit out on a sunny day and watch the boats go by.

Prices: £

How we choose

Every bar, venue or experience in this curated list has been tried and tested by our destination expert, who has visited to provide you with their insider perspective. We cover a range of budgets and styles, from casual pubs to exquisite cocktail bars – to best suit every type of traveller – and consider the service, drinks, atmosphere and price in our recommendations. We update this list regularly to keep up with the latest openings and provide up to date recommendations.