Wet Your Whistle at These Watering Holes Outside in Copenhagen
Hot Town Summer in the City
Come to Copenhagen she said. On a bluebird day in Denmark, there is possibly no better place in the world to be. I may be biased, but Danish life in the summer is sunny and sweet. Picture this. Brilliant blue skies, dotted with candy floss clouds slowly shift overhead. Seagulls swoop over crystal clear canals as boats parade past in every iteration. Canal cruises take the tourists, while locals set sail or putter in electric picnic boats. The warm air feels lazy and fragrant from late May lilacs and early June elderflower, or hyldeblomst as it’s known in Danish. Don your suit and take a dip. It’s Denmark. We all do!
It’s official, this has been the best May in Copenhagen in nearly 100 years. We have had more sunshine here in Scandinavia than any year since the Danish Meteorological Institute started recording in 1920. With temps tipping near 30° C (85° F), this is summer in the city and everyone is loving it. When the weather turns warmer, you’ll find every Dane outdoors. Doing everything you can possibly do outside. I love this about living in Denmark. And just about every restaurant, café, coffeehouse and cocktail bar throws out tables on nearly every street corner. And while it won’t be difficult to find a table outdoors, these are some of the best places to tipple in town. It’s time for a toast. Skål as the Danes say. Cheers. Without further ado – I offer you the….
Best Places to Get a Drink Outside This Summer in The City
Right on the Copenhagen Harborfront near the Inner City
Havnegade 53A, 1058 Copenhagen
Lucky for you Den Vandrette, the wine bar just off the classic (and heavily touristed) Nyhavn canal set up a summer spot across the street right on the main Copenhagen harborfront. This place is casual and cozy, which is difficult to do in one of the most popular places for visitors in Copenhagen. Pull up a striped summer lounger and nestle in for a long summer’s afternoon.
Tues – Sun | 16:00 – 23:00
Børskaj 12, 1221 København K
In the heart of the old city, right where Holmens canal meets the main harbor is where you will find the Kayak Bar. From this sweet location, you can rent kayaks for a toodle on the water before your après-paddle spritz. For uncertified kayakers, there are guided tours to join or sit-upon kayaks to rent. Check their website for up-to-date prices and tour options. The setting here is rustic but they have food on offer and the sun stays late in this spot.
Sun – Thur | 11:00 – 24:00
Fri – Sat | 11:00 – 02:00
Knippelsbro 2, 1400 København K
I almost don’t want to share this one as it is my new favorite in town. I have loved the funky green towers that sit watch over the Copenhagen Harbor on the Knippelsbro (Knippels Bridge) ever since I moved here. Built in the 1920’s, they are icons of the city to me. Now, they are open to the public. Or one is. You are now invited to enter the Culture Tower (Kulturtårnet) for food, drinks, art installations, pop-up dinners and more. Tiny foldable tables and stools at the top afford marvelous views of the comings and goings in the canal below. There is a 20dkk entrance fee, added to your bill. But it is worth it. With organic wines and local craft beer, the Kulturtårnet is a crazy cool place to toast the city this summer. Tell Malthe I said hej!
Weds-Sat | 12:00 – 22:00
Sun | 12:00 – 17:00
Mon, Tues & holidays closed
Luftkastellet at Ofelia Plads
Kvæsthusbroen, 1252 København
Ofelia Plads has plenty going for it. A perfect place for a dip in the clean clear Copenhagen canal, bring your towel and plop right down. Luftkastellet offers a few beers on tap, chilled rosé and a selection of cocktails. Don’t worry the ubiquitous Aperol spritz is one of them. Food carts station themselves nearby to satisfy your tasties. From wood-fired pizza, to tacos to sliders and seafood. Ofelia Plads also sponsors events throughout the summer, like live music, dancing, kayak water polo competitions and more. Check their events page to see what’s on when.
“When the sun is shining.”
Nyhavn, 1051 København K
Even if you aren’t a tourist, you can’t help but be charmed by the colorful and chaotic Nyhavn canal. While prices will be higher here, catering often to travelers with menus in many languages, you can still soak up the scene at one of the outdoor cafés that line the colorful canal.
Vary depending on purveyor.
Havnegade 44, 1058 København
The beautiful Standard building sits directly on the Copenhagen Harbor and offers 60 meters of covered terrace right on the water. Known for their fine dining establishments – Almanak and Studio – as well as a Jazz Club upstairs, the terrace here is a seriously civilized place for a sip.
Almanak Opening Hours:
Tues – Sun | 12:00 – 24:00
Nordre Toldbod 18-24, 1259 København K
A popular place to see and be seen, Toldboden can be a bit of a scene. But with lots of loungers to spread out on the pier, you can carve out a private place on the canal and just watch the boats sail by. Beer, wine and cocktails available to wash down their famous fish and chips. Bonus points for one of the best brunches in town. Into vintage cars? Pop down every Tuesday starting at 17:00 for a rotating collection of classic cruisers and vintage roadsters when the Classic Car Copenhagen club rolls onto the pier.
Mon – Fri | 10:00 – 21:00
Sat | 09:30 – 21:00
Sun | 09:30 – 19:00
Ved Stranden 10, 1061 København
Set right on Holmens Canal in the inner city, with views of the Christiansborg Palace and my favorite building, the Børsen (Old Stock Exchange), Ved Stranden 10 Vinbar is perfectly situated. You can feel like you are still part of it all, with your very own table in town. Special menus on Mondays and tastings on Wednesdays.
Mon – Sat | 12:00 – 22:00
Come to the Christianshavn Side of the Canal
Strandgade 93, 1401 København
In the beautiful space that world-famous Noma used to occupy, Barr offers a casual take on New Nordic cuisine and a super cozy bar with interesting offerings. In the summer, tables outside offer great views of the harbor at blue hour. They have Danish small batch gin and akvavit as well as craft beer on tap. Try their version of the Old Fashioned, but be open-minded. Made with a modern version of Viking mead, this drink is made to be savored. With views like this, it is ok to linger.
Mon-Thurs | 17:00 – 24:00
Fri-Sun | 12:00 – 24:00
Brøens Gadekøkken | The Bridge Street Kitchen
Strandgade 95, 1401 København
The previous owners of Copenhagen Street Food and the founders of Noma have opened the new Bridge Street Kitchen directly across the Inner Harbor bicycle and pedestrian bridge between Nyhavn and Christianshavn. A bit more like an outdoor food court than street cuisine, it is undeniably a very nice place to sit outside an survey summer on the Copenhagen harbor.
Mon-Sun | 10:00 – 22:00
Grød & Coffee Collective open
Mon-Fri | 08:00 – 22:00
Sat-Sun | 09:00 – 22:00
“We are very excited to be working with the team from Copenhagen Street Food to help establish the city’s latest food destination” says Peter Kreiner, Chief Executive Officer of noma. “Together, and with the involvement of some of our friends from around the food world, we look forward to welcoming locals and tourists to The Bridge Street Kitchen.”
– About The Bridge Street Kitchen
Christianshavn Boat Rental and Café
Overgaden Neden Vandet 29, 1414 København K
Christianshavn does not get the credit it deserves for how charming it is. Most tourists only make it through here via a canal boat cruise or as a thoroughfare to hippie commune free town Christiania. But it is definitely worth a wander in its own right. Walk or bike across the Knippels Bridge from the historic center of Copenhagen and wander the cobblestoned cuteness that is Christianshavn. The first place you’ll find on the left before you cross the smaller Christianshavn Canal is a little cafe and boat rental right on the water. Cozy and about as close as you can get without going into the canal.
Mon-Tues | 11:00 – 20:00
Weds | 11:00 – 21:00
Thurs | 14:00 – 21:00
Fri-Sun | 11:00 – 21:00
Takkelloftvej 1z, 1437 København
Maybe the coolest offering in Copenhagen in my humble opinion, but you can get drinks on a retired ferry in the Christianshavn canal. Kontiki is set aboard a 1933 ferry named Ellen that shuttled passengers between Faaborg and the island of Aerø in the South Funen archipelago in her former life. Now set almost directly behind the Copenhagen Opera House, Kontiki is the perfect place for a pre-show drink with views of the late Scandi sun on the water. Serving only natural, organic or biodynamic wines and coffee, Kontiki is winning at sustainability as well.
Open every day all summer according to website
A little further afield, Refshaleøen makes warehouses cool
325 Refshalevej København K, 1432 København
With a music stage, sand and sun loungers, Halvendet offers a beach club vibe at the end of the Copenhagen harbor. Next door to Copenhot hot tubs, Halvandet is the last oasis at the end of Refshaleøen. Bring your dancing shoes or your bikini. Or both. Or neither. *Wink, wink.
Refshalevej 141A, 1432 København
La Banchina is like a little secret tucked away in a corner of Refshaleøen. Blink while riding by and you could miss it. Super popular with swimmers and kayakers who sprawl along the docks on the water here. With a menu focused on sustainable and bio-dynamic ingredients mostly offering vegetable and seafood dishes, you can feel good ordering food at La Banchina with your drinks.
Opening Hours May to September:
Mon-Fri | 08.00-23.00
Sat-Sun | 09.00-23.00
Sauna open daily on demand 10:00 – 21:00 (40dkk/person)
During the long summer days and nights La Banchina is open every day for coffee, homemade baked goods, beer, lunch and dinner, natural wine and our to die for organic spritz. Come and find your spot on the pier in the sun, facing the beautiful Copenhagen harbor.”
– La Banchina
Refshalevej 169b, 1432 København
Beer geeks rejoice. There is a perfect place for you to enjoy your IPA’s, farmhouse ales and more. Copenhagen craft beer gods Mikkeller have a beer garden right on the harbor to taste the latest in microbrewed goodness. Conveniently situated next door to the new Reffen Copenhagen Street Food, you can drink and eat with a view of the city.
Sun-Thurs | 13:00 – 22:00
Fri-Sat | 13:00 – 24:00
Mikkeller Baghaven represents the pinnacle of art and science, old-world and new world, primitive and contemporary. It is the result of human influence, microbiology, and environment.”
– Mikkeller Baghaven
Refshalevej 167A, 1432 København
“Reffen,” the nickname for the Refshaleøen warehouse island of Copenhagen, will now be known as the new home of Copenhagen Street Food. Come to this maze of containers turned food carts for sustainable eats and tasty drinks. Picnic tables and loungers right along the water.
May-September – open all week
Food stalls | 11:00 – 21:00
Creative workshops | 12:00 – 20:00
Bars | 10:00 – 22:00
October-March – weekends only
Fri-Sun | same hours as above
NOTE: Autumn holidays – week 42 and Winter holidays – week 7 2019, Reffen will be open regular hours during these weeks.
Not on the water? Copenhagen has outdoor options in town too.
Østergade 61, 1100 København
Classic and old school on the most Copenhagen of squares. This is where you take your mom when in town. With tables on Amagertorv at the top of the pedestrian shopping street known as the Strøget – Café Norden is a lovely place to put down your bags of Danish design and toast the town. Hungry? This café has delicious cakes and darn good lunches. Just a note – the portions are huge. Big enough to share.
Sun – Thurs | 08:30 – 23:00
Fri – Sat | 08:30 – 24:00
Købmagergade 20, 1150 København
I love taking visitors up to the top of Illums Department store. It’s right across the plaza from Café Norden on Amagertorv. You can enter through the elegant department store and do some shopping on your way up, or take the elevator directly to the top from the Købmagergade side. Here you will find something for every taste. I personally love Original Coffee at the corner overlooking the beautiful stork fountain below. Too late for a latte? They serve wine and beer later in the day. Looking for something stronger? Try seats on the terrace at Bar Jacobsen or Rosso Pomodoro.
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want it.”
– Illum Rooftop Website
Mon-Sat | 10:00 – 22:00
Sun | 10:00 – 20:00
Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 København
A beautiful public market housed in two long glass halls, Torvehallerne has lots of tables to sit outside when the weather turns sunny. Stop by Mikkeller & Friends Bottle Shop and pick up a unique cold craft brew from Mette, she knows her beer. Or take a table at Un Mercato for Italian eats and… you guessed it, cold Aperol Spritz. For the tapas crowd, try Tapa del Toro with tables outside. Or Ma Poule for the best pulled duck confit sandwich and cold French rosé. Bien sur!
Mon-Thurs | 10:00 – 19:00
Fri | 10:00 – 22:00
Sat | 10:00 – 18:00
Sun & Holidays | 11:00 – 17:00
Inside tip: You can buy chilled wine from Lautia and they will open it for you to enjoy immediately. They will have small plastic glasses, but better yet – bring your own reusable silicone glasses. Win for you AND the environment. Something like these collapsible travel numbers?
Beyond the center city, spend time outside along the Copenhagen lakes
Peblinge Dossering 7, 2200 København N
Kaffesalonen may not have the cleverest cocktails or even the best coffee in Copenhagen. But you can rent a paddle boat in the shape of a swan or just sit on the dock and watch them glide past. Just off Dronning Louises Bridge, Kaffesalonen gets center stage status when the annual Swoop Challenge comes to town in late August. Knab a small spot on their floating lake dock directly in front of the inflatable landing pad as daredevil paragliders dip and swirl their way miles above the capital aiming for the target to earn oohs and aahs from the crowd.
Mon-Fri | 08:00 – 24:00
Sat-Sun | 10:00 – 24:00
Paddle boats available to rent daily from 10:00 – 21:00
Sortedam Dossering 83, 2100 København
New picnic tables let you take your local Danish craft beer lakeside at the Østerbro end of the Copenhagen lakes. With 20 rotating taps and lots of tasty options by the bottle, Søernes Beer bar has a brew for everyone. But don’t expect the standard Carlsberg or Tuborg here, this place caters to those who know their microbrews. Look for offerings from Gamma and Flying Couch as well as other special batches from smaller local brewers and other European craft beers.
Mon-Thurs | 15:00 – 24:00
Fri | 15:00 – 02:00
Sat | 13:30 – 02:00
Sun | 14:00 – 23:00
Vesterbro & Kødbyen Meatpacking District offer tons of sunny tables outside
Sønder Blvd 72, 1720 København
Sit outside with the wild animals of Vesterbro, ha! Popular with peeps that live in this hood and the rest of town too, Café Dyrehaven has a delicious brunch as well as good beers on tap. Cold wine and cocktails too. How about the G&T with Sipsmith gin, tonic, cucumber & lemon thyme. Cheers!
Mon-Sun | 09:00 – 02:00
Halmtorvet 29C, 1700 København
Fermentoren is the throwback rock beer bar with an outdoor space for everyone. Ha. Just kidding. Kind of. But if a beer is your poison, this is your patio. Get ready for plenty of sun and 24 brews on tap, including some of the best that the city has to offer. If grunge had a bar in Copenhagen, this would be it. But with these prices, it might be the best microbrew value in town.
Mon-Weds | 15:00 – 24:00
Thurs | 14:00 – 01:00
Fri-Sat | 14:00 – 02:00
Sun | 14:00 – 24:00
Sønder Blvd 53, 1720 København V
Kihoskh is little more than a corner grocery store that just happens to house one of the largest selections of bottled craft beer from Denmark and around the world. Pick out a cold bottle or two and grab some organic snacks to enjoy outside at their picnic tables. No space left out front? No worries. Head across the street and sit with the locals in the green space down the middle of Sønder Boulevard.
Mon – Thurs | 07:00 – 01:00
Fri | 07:00 – 02:00
Sat | 07:00 – 02:00
Sun | 07:00 – 01:00
Flæsketorvet 100, 1711 København
Copenhagen’s meat market district is called Kødbyen and has tons of tables outside when the weather turns worthy. One of the best for food and drinks is the Fiskebar. Reservations are recommended if you desire dinner, but if you can’t get a table, start with drinks outside and soak up the last streams of sun.
All wines on our winelist are chosen by the criterias that means the wines are well and made by nice people. The wine expresses the terroir from where they are from and that the wines are clean, healthy and not the least – nice to drink!
– Anders Selmer, Fiskebaren
Mon-Thurs | 17:30 – 24:00
Fri | 11:30 – 02:00
Sun | 11:30 – 24:00
Flæsketorvet 25, 1711 København
Warpigs is a barbecue joint. In a meatpacking district. You do the math. You may want to come hungry for your drinks here. The brisket is delish and darn right authentic if Texas style is your definition of true barbecue. But don’t try to get a table on a Saturday night inside. First come first served chaos and cacophony. Come summer, thankfully, Warpigs puts out tons of tables outside. A joint venture between American brewers 3 Floyds and Danish gypsy brew heroes Mikkeller, beer wins the battle here. Come here to try the American-Danish style brews outside in the sun. Don’t forget the wet wipes.
Mon – Thurs | 11:30 – 24:00
Fri – Sat | 11:30 – 02:00
Sun | 11:00 – 11:00
In Nørrebro Neighborhood
Guldbergsgade 29F, 2200 København
Brus means bubbles in Danish. Or fizzy. Or to effervesce. And really isn’t that what we all try to do on a daily basis? Just me? Ha! You can do, be and enjoy all of these at Brus Tap Room in the Nørrebro neighborhood of Copenhagen which features their own beers and those from fellow Danish brewery To Øl. This is one of my husband’s favorite spots in the city. Lots of long benches and tables outside. Tasty food available as well. Next door to Empire Bio Cinema for a movie after the sun has set.
Opening Hours for the bar:
Mon-Thurs | 15:00 – 00:00
Fri-Sat | 12:00 – 03:00
Sun | 12:00 – 00:00
When life gives you pineapple, make IPA”
– TO ØL IPA on tap at Brus
Or enjoy the sunshine with sips outside like the locals
Keep it simple, bring your own beverages to any slice of the city and enjoy outside. Here’s where you’ll find the most people on any given sunny day in the capital. There are no open container laws in Denmark and you are free to enjoy anywhere. Just please be respectful of residents wherever you are and take care of your trash and recycle your bottles.