Things to do

OUR 10 BEST CULTURE NIGHT TIPS

If you are in Copenhagen or nearby – don’t miss the special Culture Night. If the weather is halfway decent, meaning no extensive rain, it is a rather magical evening with a unique atmosphere of locals and visitors enjoying the open house atmosphere of their city.

By Bente D. Knudsen   Picture: Kulturnat 2016 Sattrup & Høst

The events are numerous – but we hope you can feel inspired by our short selection.

The best way to get around is certainly with your bicycle – even if all public transport is included in your Culture Night ticket.

1. Copenhagen’s old Citadel / Kastelet is the magnificent fortress just behind Langelinie – an enchanting part of old Copenhagen. On this evening you can discover the fortress in the light of flaming torches. Do you think you can find your way in the dark to one of the three open sites – such as the prison? Taste roasted insects, try a gas mask and put on camouflage. The old Dutch mill will be open (expect a queue as it is small inside). Apart from wandering on the ramparts at night you can visit the three open sites; Krudttårnet, Vaaningen and Arresten. Buy coffee, hot cocoa, snacks, etc. From 18:00 to 22:00 at Kastellet.

2.The old under ground water-storage under the gardens of Frederiksberg – the Cisterns are magical and by night even more so. Take advantage of the open night to see them. They are used for art exhibitions, and this year the celebration of the 150 years of diplomatic connections between Denmark and Japan are marked at the Cisterns. As with the Japanese shrine Itsukushima, where  lanterns are lit when darkness falls, during the Culture Night the cisterns will be illuminated with a myriad of lanterns as well. You can make your own lantern, or origami crane, at the workshop held inside or step outside where Japanese chef Isao Suzuki will be serving Japanese street food. Open from 18:00 to midnight at Søndermarken on Frederikberg.

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3. Visit Carlsberg on Culture Night at the new City District or at Visit Carlsberg where they’re lighting up the chimneys, opening the cellars specially for you and, of course, serving cool beer! Enjoy a cool beer from the brewery Jacobsen, which carries on J.C.’s tradition of excellence within the very same walls as the original brewery.

A special invitation is to check out the Cold War cellars under Carlsberg – normally closed to the public. The cellars  have been used for over a century to keep the beer nicely chilled but they were also used to house an aircraft warning centre during the Cold War – on Culture Night you can visit this extraordinary and pretty chilly place. There is food from the grill and to warm you up hot coffee as well. Of course you can also take a horse carriage ride in the twilight. The DJ’s will entertain you with great rhythms too. If you visit the new Carlsberg City District’s event  you can see the amazing outline of what it will look like, be invited into old industrial buildings amongst other Carlsberg’s old bottling facilities and experience sound- and light installations. From 18:00 to midnight at Carlsberg Byen P/S on Pasteursvej 7-28 or at Visit Carlsberg,  Gamle Carlsberg Vej 11.

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 4. At Christiansborg Castle there are a range of great activities – such as the the Royal Stables – visit the white horses at night time in their magnificent centuries old marble stables and take the opportunity to see also some of the other rooms open at the castle on this night. The royal stables are open from 18:00 until midnight. You can also check out the Christiansborg castle’s legendary Royal Kitchen which has been restored to its former glory. Visitors are given exclusive access behind the scenes and they see the preparations for royal banquets in the newly refurbished Royal Kitchen, which boasts one of Europe’s largest collections of copper-ware. From 18:00 until midnight.

5. If you are brave enough get a fun and smart hairdo at Absalon Hotel’s DJ Kushi UV Hair Paint Show & DJ Loud Light & Harmony event. Hairdresser Kushi does his magic with UV hair paint in Downstairs Absalon, lit up for the purpose. Or if you prefer just to go for virgin cocktails and hang out with music from DJ Loud and DJ Kushi in the bar Upstairs. The Absalon Bar will have great virgin cocktails with lots of colours at special culture nights rates. You can naturally buy snacks and other drinks. From 18:00 to midnight at Absalon Hotel,Helgolandsgade 15.

6. Sofiebadet is an old historic bath dating back to 1909, which only recently was extensively renovated. You can experience the historical bath during a tour, it takes place every full hour also – with stories from the more than 100 year bath history and take a look into the Hamam. Extensively renovated and renewed in 2008 it has still managed to retain the 100 year old atmosphere. Open from 18:00 until midnight at Sofiegade 15 A-B st on Christianshavn.

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7. Check out a couple of the church events – One is at Kastels kirken. The church located in the middle of the old fortress of Copenhagen is open all night – but is host to an evening concert at 21:00 with Anne Lindeskov, viola, and Lasse Ewerlöf, organ. They will be playing popular classics, cantatas  and music by Albinoni, Bach and Telemann a.o. The Church will be illuminated with candle light. Take also a walk in the old cobbled streets and feel the special atmosphere taking you back centuries in the dim light. Or visit nearby Jerusalemskirken on Rigensgade 19 to listen to gospel music by the three gospel choirs attached to the church. There will be a café in the crypt from 19:00 to 22:00. More church events can be found at a great site here.

8. The Lapidarium of Kings is located in the the so-called brew-house of Christian IV, under the rustic arches you can visit an extraordinary museum where 384 sculptures have been gathered from the royal gardens and palaces consisting of equestrienne statues, busts of kings, Greek goddesses, Roman heroes. The atmosphere created is eerie and supernatural as it is all illuminated only by candlelight. From 18:00 until midnight at Kongernes Lapidarium Christian 4.s Bryghus,Frederiksholms Kanal 29.

9. Horror flicks and creepy delights for all ages at Copenhagen Cinemateket on Gothersgade 55. A workshop is proposed where you can get your face painted with a ghastly wound. Being Friday the 13th, the date is marked with thrills and chills, here you can learn about sound design and censorship of horror movies, and in the creative workshop make make your own horror film with matching poster. From 18:00 to 23:00. For all ages!

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10. The Danish naval base on Holmen is host to a range of unique events and you can easily spend the whole evening just visiting them. Our choice would be to visit the historic frigate HDMS Peder Skram and hear more about the flagship’s activities during the Cold War, NATO operations in the Atlantic  and many other stories. Former frigate sailors will guide you around many of the 250 rooms on the seven decks. Also the centre for diving will be open – here you can meet the Danish military forces’ diving teams and instructors at Center for Dykning, Henrik Spangsvej 11 or climb high in the 40 meter high Navy Crane from whose upper deck you have a unique view over the city. Beneath the crane you can visit  the missile boat HDMS Sehested, Denmark’s latest torpedo-missile boat. Also jump down into Denmark’s latest submarine Sælen (the Seal)  and listen to former submariners telling you about operations in the Baltic Sea or the Persian Golf. All events from 18:00 until 23:00.

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The Kulturnat website has an excellent English option at http://www.kulturnatten.dk/. Here you can find all events on a city map – and each event has a detailed description with opening hours and location. Remember to buy your KULTUR PAS  for DKK 95 at any 7-Eleven – this gives access to all events.

Enjoy – but remember – it’s a popular evening so you will not be alone.

Why do the Danes say – You lucky potato – and why is the autumn holiday called the potato holiday ? Find out more in our article here