Things to do

OUR 12 BEST CULTURE NIGHT TIPS

If you are in Copenhagen or nearby – don’t miss the special Culture Night. With the promise of decent weather you can enjoy a rather magical evening with a unique atmosphere of locals and visitors enjoying the open house atmosphere of their city.

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By Bente D. Knudsen   Pictures: Maria Sattrup(Sattrup & Høst)

The Danish KULTURNAT, the culture night, is an evening with numerous events not to miss if you are here on Friday 12th October.

For only DKK 95 you can visit more than 250 events and museums all open from around 18:00 to midnight. You could choose to visit one of the museums you have never been too, or take advantage of the doors open to places you would otherwise never be able to visit.

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, certainly if you want to go to Holmen on Amager, and even if all public transport is included in your Culture Night ticket, remember the busses and trains will be crowed as more than 80,000 people take advantage of the evening.

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1. Visit the Queen’s Royal Guard at the military barracks at Rosenborg Castle, right in the middle of town. Livgarden, as the Queen’s personal guard is called, is a regiment based in Copenhagen, whose primary role is to assure the safekeeping of the Royal family at their different residences. They are the soldiers you see on guard at Amalienborg for instance. On this evening you will meet soldiers from the defence as well as from other parts of the Danish defence system. There will be grand display and military parades and you can see military vehicles and weapons, try to sit in a fighter jet used by the Danish air force the F16 and much more. From 18:00 until midnight at Den Kongelige Livgarde Gothersgade 100.

2. Visit the Royal household’s Workshop for furniture maintenance and restoration once again open on culture night. If you are a fan of old antique furniture, and curious how it can last for centuries, than a visit to this secret workshop – normally closed to the public – is a must on culture night. You must sign up for it before going though as the access is restricted to those who have signed up. From 18:00 until 22:00 at Amalienborg Snedkerværksted, Fredericiagade 1, 1310 København K ( right next to Amalienborg Castle).

3. 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.

4. Light in the darkness at The House of Greenland/ Det Grønlandske Hus,   learn more about the midnight sun and winter darkness as Greenland is either bathed in light or sunken in darkness, and this year the House of Greenland presents the Qulleq – the special lamp used for warmth and light for centuries – learn more about the importance of light and the cultural impact the darkness has had. You can also see the special traditional dress used by HRH Crown Prince Frederik on display only during the culture night. From 18:00 til midnight at Det Grønlandske Hus, Løvstræde 6. 

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5. 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. A special show with the royal horses and the mounted royal guard, Gardehussarregimentets hesteeskardon will take place from 19:00 to 20:00.

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.

6. 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 by Emil Stenlund at 20:00 in the bar Upstairs.

The Absalon Bar will have great virgin cocktails with lots of colours at special culture night rates. You can of course buy snacks and other drinks. From 18:00 to midnight at Absalon Hotel,Helgolandsgade 15.

7. 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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8. Check out a couple of the church events – One is at the beautiful old Holmens Kirke. The church located right next to the canals and opposite Christiansborg Slot. A maritime church it is still used by members of the Royal Danish Navy as well as local residents. At 18:00 you can listen to the beautiful voices of the DR Children’s choir DR Børnebor and at 20:00 and 21:30 the Holmens Vokalensemble performs pieces by Robert Pearsall, Gabriel Wilczkowski and Erik Haumann.

Or visit 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. Gospel concert at 18:00 by the Revelation Gospel Choir and at 20:00 by the choir Saints and Sinners. Gospel service at 23:00 with the choir Kefas and Reverend Ole Birch.

Many of Copenhagen’s churches have culture night events – you can find all the church event information for Kulturnatten at a great site here.

9. 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 coloured candles. Stroll through this magical place accompanied by the music selected by the local DJ. From 18:00 until midnight at Kongernes Lapidarium Christian 4.s Bryghus,Frederiksholms Kanal 29.

10.Walk the red carpet as though you were a film star at Copenhagen Cinemateket on Gothersgade 55. A workshop is proposed where you can get a beautiful make-up done worthy of a diva or get your face painted with a ghastly wound in the creative workshop prepare your own Oscar speech. From 18:00 to 23:00. For all ages!

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11. 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. Or 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.

12. 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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The Kulturnat website has an excellent English option – visit it 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/Culture Pass for DKK 95 at any 7-Eleven, the pass gives access to all events and to public transport

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