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Copenhagen, Denmark – LGBT

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a relatively easy place to be gay. The Danish Law of Registered Partnership took effect in October 1989, allowing people of the same sex to tie the knot. Since then more than 5000 couples have taken advantage of the law and registered their partnership with city hall.

Adoption laws are liberal compared with other Western countries, and public displays of affection between people of the same sex are unlikely to provoke ire. The Danish national organisation for gays and lesbians, Landsforeningen for Bøsser og Lesbiske (Tel: +45 03 3313 1948; www.lbl.dk; Teglgårdsstræde 13) is based in the Latin Quarter. The facility includes a library, bookshop, informal café, various gay and lesbian support groups and counselling services.

A network of gay and gay-friendly businesses in the city is Copenhagen Gay Life (www.copenhagen-gay-life.dk). The website includes useful tourist information and listings in English, as well as links to LBL and other gay organisations.

Copenhagen has one of the liveliest gay and lesbian scenes in Europe, with dozens of gay bars, clubs and cafés, nearly half of them concentrated along Studiestræde in the two blocks between Vester Voldgade and Nørregade. For a complete list pick up a copy of PAN-bladet, which is available at gay businesses, including the clubs mentioned here. This monthly newspaper has information on gay organisations, saunas and other places of interest. Another read worth keeping an eye out for is Out & About (free), which lists gay venues and events. Its website is www.out-and-about.dk.

Good gay venues include:

Hotel Windsor
Tel: +45 03 3311 0830
Website: www.hotelwindsor.dk
Location: Frederiksborggade 30, Nørreport
Price: single 425kr; double 625kr
An exclusively gay hotel in an older building opposite Israels Plads, the Windsor’s two dozen rooms are straightforward and a bit worn, but all have TV and some have a VCR and refrigerator.

Masken
Tel: +45 03 3391 0937
Location: Studiestræde 33
Hours: 4pm-2am Mon-Thu, 4pm-5am Fri & Sat, 3pm-2am Sun
You’ll find a pretty mellow, easy-going atmosphere in this mainstream gay bar, with cheap beer and good snacks. It’s mainly a hang-out for gay men, but Thursday is Ladies Night.

Cosy Bar
Website: www.cosybar.dk
Location: Studiestræde 24
Hours: 10pm-6am Sun-Thu, to 8am Fri & Sat
A very popular late-night place for gay men, with DJs playing Tuesday to Saturday and a serious attitude to picking up, and quickly.

Pan Disco
Tel: +45 03 3311 3784
Website: www.pan-cph.dk
Location: Knabrostræde 3
Hours: disco 10pm-5am Fri, to 6am Sat
On the southern side of Strøget, this is the city’s main mixed gay and lesbian danceteria, with multiple bars and two (frequently packed) dance floors. Typically one disco spins current house tunes and the other focuses on camp/romantic pop classics that bring out the inner karaoke queen in all of us.

Also check out:
Absolut Ice Bar
Tel: +45 03 7027 5627
Location: Hotel Twentyseven, Longangstræde 27
Price: admission incl one drink 150kr
Admittedly, some might call this an absolute rip-off, but this deep frozen bar is still worth a (one) visit if you have never been to any of the others in Sweden and Norway. Everything, including the glasses is made from the purest Swedish river water. On entering you are given an Arctic cape to protect you from the temperature that can reach –12°C, and warned not to lick the walls!

Restaurants:
Noma ($$$)
Tel: +45 03 3296 3297
Website: www.noma.dk
Location: Strandgade 93
Price: menu 800kr
Hours: lunch & dinner Mon-Fri, dinner Sat
This world renowned, Michelin-starred Modern Nordic restaurant is run by chef Rene Redzepi (formerly of Le Bulli and The French Laundry) who uses only Scandinavian-sourced produce such as musk ox, smoked eel and locally caught lobster and oysters. The wine list is classically orientated and European-centric. Not the most exciting ambiance perhaps, but Noma was recently voted 15th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in the UK and it could well be serving the most exciting food in Denmark right now.

Umami ($$$)
Tel: +45 03 3338 7500
Website: www.restaurantumami.dk
Location: Store Kongensgade 59
Price: 3-course lunch menu 350kr, set menu 750kr
Hours: lunch & dinner Mon-Sat
This glamorous restaurant, overseen by chef Francis Cardenau and designed by Orbit of London as some kind of Wallpaper magazine fantasy, sees classical French cuisine (saddle of rabbit, for instance) flirt heavily with modern Japanese cooking to usually sensational effect. It is at its best in the evenings and on weekends when the DJs do their thing.

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