Gay Pride is a huge deal in Copenhagen.
Denmark was the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex unions, and this year the city by the sea was still buzzing from its Eurovision high a few weeks earlier.
Conchita Wurst won the coveted competition on Danish soil, a testament to the open arms and open minds of the nation.
When locals and visitors alike aren’t gathering in the city center to celebrate Gay Pride in August, the city is proudly home to a number of gay bars and gay-friendly businesses.
It doesn’t matter where you go in Copenhagen, you’re sure to be welcomed like family.
Here are some extra tips for living like a local in Copenhagen.
1. Ride the city-wide cycle paths
Cyclists own the streets of Copenhagen. Expect to hear the upcoming ‘ding-aling’ of Danes racing past on their morning errands – but be far from intimidated!
Find a GoBike stand at Koebenhavn station and join the welcoming locals on the speedway – it’s the best (and most fun!) way to see all the city has to offer.
The city’s GoBike scheme offers tourists and residents alike the ability to navigate the streets with the aid of onboard sat-nav, available to hire on pay as you go and weekly/monthly price plans.
2. Embrace the atmosphere, rain or shine
If the rain comes, be sure to find yourself in one of the many candle-lit, cushion lined, pockets of warming atmosphere that await in Copenhagen’s many Café hideaways.
Just south of the residential Vesterbro district, the eco-friendly and mellow Café Mandela invites friends (that’s you) to enjoy a starry ornamental sky while indulging in a buffet feast of whole roasted salmon, garlic and chive-glazed potato salad and other rustic foods.
3. Brunch in style
Dalle Valle offers a feast of riches to anyone lucky enough to stumble across its alley hideaway. Feel the vibes of a chic and stylish café blended with cuisines from delicate seafood to smoky steakhouse – all you can eat 79-119kr ($11-17/£6-10), lunch and dinner!
On the more sophisticated and traditional side of things, the Royal Smushi Café offers an alternative take on the Danish ‘open sandwich’, the famous less-carborous twin of the standard sandwich.
4. Crash in a real Danish apartment
The best way to imagine yourself living life like a real Dane is by lodging in a real Danish apartment.
Renting homes, rather than hotels, from local users across the world has never been made easier than by the likes of Airbnb.com – which offers a range of unique apartments in one of Copenhagen’s prettiest residential districts, Vesterbro.
Meet your hosts, make friends, learn the city through their eyes and maybe you’ll be back to visit a life-long friend!
5. Escape to the Nyhavn waterfront district
Once notorious for beer, sailors and prostitution in the 17th century, the Nyhavn waterfront district has now become the heart of entertainment and refuge from the city for residents and visitors to enjoy whilst embracing the real heritage of Copenhagen.
A hop-on hop-off canal boat tour also operates from Nyhavn for those wanting to get their city bearings.
6. Culture is in abundance… Make use!
They aren’t big on taking down their promo posters apparently… Check out the Copenhagen city tourism website to see what’s going on during your trip.
7. Giggle at this statue…
8. Capture a piece of your childhood
Based on the fairytale of the same name, The Little Mermaid statue quickly became an historical and global icon of Copenhagen on its erection in 1913 and is still a must see today.
Note: You won’t find residents here, but eh.
9. Join the locals
While Copenhagen is entirely LGBT friendly, having hosted the World Out Games in 2009 and becoming the first country in the world to recognize registered partnerships for same-sex couples, a hotspot playground and pinnacle of LGBT history lies with Centralhjørnet – one of Europe’s oldest gay bars, opening in 1917!
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Copenhagen during pride be sure to join the street parties along the Studiestræde and celebrate with the locals!