The best live music venues in Copenhagen: the popular, the quirky and the hidden treasures
The Danes love their music almost as much as their bikes, which is probably why there are so many concert halls and live music bars in Copenhagen. Seriously, the live music scene in Copenhagen goes crazy, with a jam-packed calendar of performances going on all over the city.
On any given night, you can grab a drink and enjoy some tunes in all manner of settings, from small dive bars and old cinemas to extravagant beer gardens and massive theatres.
But with so much to choose from, it helps to know ahead of time where you’re going and what’s on. Especially if it’s the type of place where tickets sell out fast.
So, check out our guide below for a snapshot of some of the most popular music venues in Copenhagen as well as some of its best kept secrets (shh, don’t tell the locals we told you).
The cool thing about this place is that it’s an old cinema, with roots dating back to the 1940s. In fact, the name of the venue is actually a shortened version of ‘Amager Biograf’, which means ‘Amager Cinema’.
The outstanding acoustics of the venue make it a popular place for rock bands to play, but their musical tastes do vary a bit, with everything from metal to pop.
There’s a main floor for standing with capacity for about 1000 people, as well as about 600 seats.
It’s considered a world-class venue, attracting lots of well-known musicians — it’s even hosted the likes of Prince! With up to 200 concerts held every year, there’s something to suit all rock tastes in their music calendar.
Great if you: prefer easy listening and a smaller crowd.
Mojo is as famous for its cosy and chilled atmosphere as it is for its friendly team of staff. So, if it’s good tunes, good beer and good company you’re after, you’ll find it.
You can usually expect some blues, jazz or folk music at this place, but things are so down-to-earth and fluid that you might even hear some rock or pop, depending on the night. And while they certainly get some international acts, they also feature amazing local talent so you can truly immerse yourself in Copenhagen’s live music scene.
This cool little joint is also perfect if you’re a night owl. They rock n’ roll from 8pm until 5am.
Great if you: want a diverse selection of shows to choose from.
About a quarter of a million people waltz through Vega’s doors every year, so there’s no arguing it’s one of the most popular music venues in Copenhagen.
Boasting three stages, Vega has a jam-packed line-up of live music on offer — honestly, check out their calendar and you’ll see artists performing what seems like every night of the week. So, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a show that matches the dates you’re in Copenhagen.
Vega features a lot of alternative rock and alternative pop, but you’ll also see a variety of other genres like folk, hip-hop and R&B, among others.
Depending on which of the three stages your performance is on will determine how big the show will be. The biggest of the three halls takes about 1,500 people and the smallest takes about 250. But all three are quite modern and beautiful, with great bars.
Fun fact: the building Vega calls home was originally called ‘The People’s House’.
Great if you: enjoy music but also want to spend an evening at Denmark’s coolest amusement park!
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any other music venues in Copenhagen that allow you to ride a rollercoaster AND enjoy live music. But that’s what makes Tivoli Gardens so unique.
It’s actually an amusement park (the second-oldest one in the world to be exact) and it’s the ultimate entertainment destination. It’s got thrilling rides, beautiful scenery, amazing restaurants and a live music program that covers a range of genres.
In the summer season, they host a diverse and fun music set from Monday to Saturday: they’ve got all the usual favourites like rock and folk, but they also heavily feature jazz, swing and classical. You’ll just need to make sure you’re there on the right night for the genre you like.
Address: Sydområdet 4B, 1st Floor, 1440 Copenhagen K
Great if you: love progressive music and a medium-sized crowd.
If you want to experience a taste of Copenhagen music legacy, you can’t go past Loppen. Based in Christiania, they’ve been pumping the tunes since 1973, and don’t show any signs of stopping.
The venue attracts a lot of up-and-coming international acts, but it’s also seen the likes of bands such as The National and Smashing Pumpkins in the past.
Check out their jam-packed music calendar and you’ll see a vibrant mix of genres on offer — at the moment it’s mostly punk rock, indie pop, alternative, metal and dance/electronic. So, if you’re into progressive tunes, you’ll feel right at home.
Despite the fact that it’s a medium-sized venue, with capacity for about 400 people, the close proximity between the stage and the audience makes it feel very intimate.
Great if you: love opera or just want to admire the exceptional architecture.
It’s an unforgettable experience to witness a performance at the Copenhagen Opera House.
They have some amazing artists and musicians, but you don’t have to be a lover of orchestral music or opera to enjoy this luxurious venue. The stunning location, modern architecture and luxurious décor will equally tantalise your senses.
Sitting on the island of Holmen, it stands at 14 stories tall and is one of the most impressive concert halls in Copenhagen. It’s also one of the most modern opera houses in the world.
Great if you: are keen on some live music out in the fresh air.
If you love a good outdoor concert or two, Byhaven Pumpehuset is where it’s at.
Located right in the heart of Copenhagen, this trendy and down-to-earth outdoor venue is basically a massive beer garden centred in front of a small stage. They go all summer, from Wednesday to Saturday, offering the perfect place to enjoy live music in Copenhagen’s beautiful sunshine.
Although they showcase a variety of genres, you’ll see that metal, indie, electronic and hip-hop feature heavily.
Best part? Free entry! You can sit in the sun or the shade, or mingle in front of the stage for prime listening. Their bar is well-stocked with some great craft beers and cocktails, and you can even order some delicious South American food.
Great if you: don’t feel like a long walk home after the show.
If you’re travelling solo or backpacking with mates and love yourself a bit of live music before bed, the Steel House is worth checking out as a place to stay and groove.
It’s a luxury hostel in Vesterbro, right in the centre of Copenhagen, and they host live music in the lounge every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Ideal if you want to enjoy some tunes in a cosy and intimate setting, before stumbling straight into your dorm!
It’s a great spot to meet some amazing local bands and upcoming solo artists.
Great if you: are in the mood for something fancy.
It’s best known for its classic symphony music and choir ensembles, but it also hosts extravagant jazz, and rock performances.
Designed by the award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the building has great architectural merit and outstanding acoustics, and is the home base for the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Roughly 1,800 people can fit into the main auditorium so expect performances here to be on a large scale, although the wide comfortable seats ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed. The stage also uniquely sits in the middle, with seats layered upwards around it providing crystal-clear views. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy live music in Copenhagen.
Great if you: love music on the cutting-edge (e.g. progressive forms of electronic, rap, hip-hop).
Known for their vibrant live music and clubbing scene, Rust don’t force themselves into a box when it comes to style. It’s both a live music bar and a nightclub.
You’ll just as likely see a solo pop-electronic artist up on the stage as you will a rap group. But one thing is certain: of all the talent that walks through their doors (bands, singers, DJs) it really feels like they’re pushing boundaries when it comes to genre.
So, if you’re in the mood for something fresh, fun and different, Rust is the place to be. Check them out on Friday and Saturday nights for some insane clubbing and live music.
Great if you: want to groove and schmooze with the locals in a small smoky bar.
This place is small, cosy, packed with locals and full of casual old-world charm (as well as a fair bit of second-hand smoke, so non-smokers beware). And it’s all of this that makes Bo-Bi Bar such an interesting place to visit.
It’s actually quite the historic gem — it’s been running since 1917. Back then it was popular among sailors, but these days you’ll more likely find a bit of an artsy and literary crowd who pop by after work for drinks, chit-chat and occasionally, live music. Usually jazz.
Live music here though is more of an after-thought. The artists who perform are amazing by far, but it’s more of an accompaniment to a relaxing evening drink as patrons catch up. So, don’t be surprised if some people are talking over the music.
Open from noon until 2am, but they don’t have live music every day, so do check ahead to see what’s on.
Love live music? Then don’t forget about Copenhagen’s best music festivals
If a few hours of live music aren’t enough to quench your thirst, you can always check out Copenhagen’s upcoming music festivals and street party extravaganzas. They’re mostly on in June, July and August, so if you’re planning a summer trip, definitely check them out!
Copenhell: It’s one of Northern Europe’s biggest and best metal festivals, and will be on again in 2020 from June 17-20. The event takes place on Refshaleøen in an old shipyard just a 10-minute bike-ride from Copenhagen’s centre.
Distortion: It’s basically Copenhagen’s coolest and wildest street party, with a focus on electronic music, and it’s on again this year from June 3-7. As usual, Distortion will take over various streets in neighborhoods around the city, until the sun sets, then the party moves inside some of Copenhagen’s coolest venues.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival: This event has been going for over 40 years, and it’s as popular as ever with over 250,000 people attending it every summer. In 2020 it will be on from July 3-12, with performances taking place in streets, bars and concert halls all over Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Opera Festival: This week-long celebration provides a glimpse into the magical world of opera, bringing performers out onto the streets of Copenhagen. The dates for 2020 are August 22-30 so if you’re a fan of this classic genre, don’t forget your tickets.
Live music in Copenhagen: Happy listening
Don’t forget, this is just a sample of what Copenhagen’s many venues have on offer when it comes to live music. Everybody has their favourites. So don’t be afraid to do some bar-hopping while you’re there and see what you find.
You never know, you might stumble on one of those local hidden treasures that Copenhagen is famous for.
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