First things first. Always before we go to a place there is nothing better than having travel advice from somebody that lives there. Locals know better and can show a totally different perspective of the city in which they live. When you travel to a place you have never been before, I’m sure you don’t want to waste your energy spending the short time you have in that city going to the wrong places. Finding the right spots will optimize your time and give you a deeper understanding of the local culture. With this in mind we interviewed Henrik, he lives in Malmö, the greater area of Copenhagen. He and his partner are passionate world travelers and know what it takes to dive into different cultures. Straight to the point, this is what Henrik has to share with us about Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Gay Guide
WHERE TO STAY
The very city center of Copenhagen is the place to be. In fact I would recommend gay guys to stay as close as possible to the town hall square (Rådhuspladsen), which is in the very center. Why not check out “Manon Les Suites” hotel for that tropical feeling?! From the town hall square you have walking distance to the gay cafés, pubs and clubs. Also you are close to the Central Station from where you can go to most places easily. Sometimes hotels around that area could be quite expensive. But don’t be afraid of looking for a room, a few blocks away, since you could easily rent a city bike and enjoy the excellent bike lanes as do most Copenhagen people. The area on the backside of the Central Station has many hotels, but be aware that these streets also attract less charming people and activities in the evenings.
WHERE TO PARTY
The gay scene in Copenhagen is good, welcoming and something for most tastes. However it is less club-oriented and more pub-oriented in general. You usually go pub-crawling between the different bars before ending up in a club or something else that suits your taste. Keep in mind that some of the bars still allow indoor smoking in Copenhagen and you will notice this quite clearly at some places.
BARS – A typical evening starts at café Oscars (actually a bar and a restaurant with a very warm and relaxing atmosphere). When the weather is good, this is where gay people meet at the outdoor seating for some wine and people spotting. After a while people move on to one or several of the other gay bars like “Centralhjørnet”, “Masken”, “Cosy”, “Jail House”.
GAY CLUBS – Go clubbing at “G.A.Y.” or the late night place “Never mind”. All at walking distance from each other. Some times there are pop up gay clubs in other areas and they tend to be good fun.
Copenhagen Pride is more about party and less about politics than Stockholm pride. I can say Copenhagen has a very relaxed and open Pride
If you are in the mood you can take a 35 minute train ride to the Swedish side and experience Malmö gay life you will find that it is a bit different. There are a few gay bars like “Red Shoe bar”, “Bee bar” and a fetish club “SLM” but many Malmö gays nowadays go to mixed places as sexual orientation is not a big thing. Although this combined with the closeness to Copenhagen gay scene do that Malmö have fewer gay places compared to what to expect from the size of the city.
WHEN TO GO
May-September is when most people have the most energy and are most happy in Scandinavia and this is also the “best weather time”. July-August are usually the warmest months. If you plan to go in August do not miss the Copenhagen Pride with the Pride parade on the 17th of August 2019. After the parade join all others for one big street party with lots of people partying in several streets. For the guys that plan to come in July don’t miss the Swedish Malmö Pride 18th-21th of July just a short train ride across the bridge to Sweden. Just remember to bring your passport. In 2021 Copenhagen and Malmö holds World Pride and Eurogames, which will be a huge event that you don’t want to miss! For anyone travelling to the area in November there is a crazy event that I rarely miss. The annual Christmas beer premiere is on the first Friday in November and Tuborg/Carlsberg drive around to all pubs in the city and hand out free beer, Christmas hats and bling bling.
WHERE TO EAT
In Copenhagen you have to try a “Smoerrebroed” restaurant which is a restaurant serving open faced sandwhiches the traditional way. These are often open lunchtime only and the best ones must be booked in advance. A couple of my favourites are “Schønnemann”, “Kanal-Cafén”, “Restaurant Grøften” or “Restaurant Kronborg”. Unless you do not drink alcohol a “Snaps” and a local beer is a must to accompany the food.
Copenhagen Pride and Malmö pride is more about party and less about politics than Stockholm pride. In Copenhagen it is a very relaxed and open Pride where you can join the parade, you can picnic in the nearby parks and you can bring your beer or wine to the streets if you wish. In Malmö pride it is a mix between the more orderly Stockholm pride and the more party like Danish Pride. In Denmark you can order an alcoholic drink in a bar, go outside and watch the parade as you drink your drink. In Sweden (neither Stockholm nor Malmö) you can not leave the place with your drink as the place can loose their license if you do.
THINGS TO DO COPENHAGEN
In Copenhagen enjoy the bustling food courts at “Torvehallerne” and sip a coffee at the typically colored Danish Larsbjørnsstræde street. After an obligatory cold beer at characteristic “Nyhavn” hit the streets on bike which is the best way to explore this city and round of at one of the excellent restaurants. Personally my next try will be the seasonal rooftop restaurant “Gro Spiseri” serving local and organic food in a glasshouse.
DAY TRIP FROM COPENHAGEN
Go see the Louisiana Art Museum north of Copenhagen and in summer the Swedish Island of “Ven” right between the two countries would be my favorite day trips!
Malmö is Sweden’s youngest and most multicultural city with 182 nationalities. This makes the food scene something out of the ordinary.
There is a must experience in Malmö that in my opinion captures the essence of the neighboring city soul and truly what you should put first on your list. “Ribersborgs kallbadhus” spa is an old wooden building on the sea where people go all year around to enjoy simplicity and sauna culture. No need to bring a towel, soap or lock, as this can be bought/rented in the reception. From here you will also have the best view of the tallest high rise building in the Nordics the “Turning Torso” by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava. But if you wish to eat a really local dish go for the “Äggakaka” at Savoy Restaurant!
also READ about: GAY TRAVEL SEVILLE
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