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Experience New Year’s Eve in Copenhagen

fireworks in the sky

The weather is becoming colder in Copenhagen and it is becoming increasingly darker and darker earlier and earlier. Winter is here and don’t you worry, Copenhagen is awesome during the winter with its Christmas lights, Christmas markets and its hygge all over. So stick it to Copenhagen’s cold and dark weather, put on your mittens, pull down your beanie, swaddle your scarf and come bundled up for some great Danish hygge early with us on New Years Eve 2022/23, because as you may have heard hygge is not only just for Danes anymore (*wink, wink.).

A culture lesson: If you heard something about Danes, this does not count on New Years Eve.

If you read books on Danes from an expats point of view, Danes are often portrayed as really reserved and as someone who appreciates order. Although, this is certainly true in our everyday life, nothing could be further from the truth on New Years Eve! Actually, I would warn you when you celebrate New Years Eve in Copenhagen – be prepared for madness not just with fireworks but also with social rules. Our idea of order and social rules tend to go out the window, as the booze goes in. Maybe it is due to the fact that Danes only have 6 days out of the entire year, where we are allowed to light up fireworks. As a result, Copenhagen is pretty much akin to a war zone during New Years Eve, where chaos seems to be the new rule as fireworks are being blasted on every corner of every street! This might sound dangerous, but New Years Eve in Copenhagen tends to be very safe as long as you use your common sense, if you walk into the hot zones on The City Hall Square or Dronning Louise’s bridge. 

a group of people walking on a rainy night

Firework display at Dronning Louises Bridge | Taken by @meetmartin

Also, New Years Eve in Copenhagen is the best day of the year to meet new people. Generally, it can be really difficult to meet Copenhageners socially during the year, but this is not the case on New Years Eve. Actually, many Danes have a proud tradition of inviting strangers for house parties and it is not uncommon for young people to party-hop between 3-4 private parties during the night! Join the fun and look up the very popular Festen & Gæsten (i.e. the party & the guest) on Facebook, tune into the show with the same name on the radio channel P3 or download the app ‘Heaps’ that all works like an arena for parties, where you can join strangers who sound awesome for a night of celebration. If you don’t want to plan anything, don’t be afraid of approaching strangers on this day. You can bet, everyone will be in a social mood and open to party with strangers.

Tips for a great start to your New Years Eve in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a small city compared to other capitals in Europe, so be prepared for loads of people just shortly before midnight and also after. The city will not be crowded by people before, since Copenhageners tend to be with friends or family, at parties or otherwise engaged while they perform all the typical Danish New Years eve traditions such as e.g. watching the Queen’s New Years Eve Speech at 6pm. Take advantage of this and visit Tivoli Gardens and enjoy the beautiful garden when she looks the most pretty in her beautiful winter gown, while you enjoy Copenhagen’s last standing Christmas market. But before you go to Tivoli, you could start the day with a splash alongside Copenhagen’s mad winter vikings where they leap into the water for a pre-party endorphin kick at Islands Brygge between 12-4pm. It’s actually more popular than you would imagine.

a young girl riding a wave on a surfboard in the water

The winter leap | Taken by @mkjaergaard

Where to dine New Years Eve in Copenhagen

Do not make the mistake of settling in at one of the many restaurants in Tivoli for your New Years Eve in Copenhagen. There are many better options around if you do not want the hassle of standing in the kitchen yourself, as you may have heard that Copenhagen is a serious foodie destination! On New Years Eve, restaurants usually set up and create some fantastic arrangements. Whereas, Christmas food in Denmark is very heavy, New Years Eve food tend to be more lean and this usually shows in the restaurants menus. Providing all the menus is beyond the scope here, but this is some of our favorites in all categories:

Fish-based New Years Eve restaurants

If you are a great fan of all the best from the sea and a huge party, Kødbyens Fiskebar in the Meat Packing District is your place to be. They will serve your fresh fish, sustainable shellfish and organic vegetables a la carte with a great selection of champagne and wines. When the kitchen closes, the restaurant is transformed into a bar that is open all night and everyone is invited. Be sure to book a table early, since this is one of the local favorites.

If you would rather have a set New Years menu, consider Kødbyens Fiskebar’s sister restaurant Musling. The restaurant will usually serve you everything from oysters and scampi chips to lobster ravioli and halibut with caviar. All of these goodies will of course be complimented with champaign, a curated selection of wine and a yummy dessert. The restaurant tends to close at 11.30pm and with its location centrally in Copenhagen, you have ample opportunities to e.g. watch the fireworks at Dronning Louises Bro when we enter the new year or move onto another party in the city.

a close up of a person holding food

Fresh scallops | Taken by @fiskebaren

Meat-based New Years Eve restaurants

If you would rather have a meat-based menu centrally located in Copenhagen, Maven at Nikolaj Plads 34 is your place to be. Located within an old church, the restaurant has the perfect informal ambiance. The restaurant will serve you a set menu created for the occasion, where you among other goodies will get a selection of fish, meat, cheese and desserts complimented with some great wines and champagne. The restaurant will close at 11:30pm and the restaurant have made sure you can get some of that fantastic authentic layered marzipan-cake (kransekage) with you on the go for the firework displays or for the party your on your way to.

At Copenhagen’s best steak house, Restaurant KöD, you can indulge in a 5 course menu of different meat-based and fish-based dishes where there is also a vegetarian option available with free beer, wine, soft drinks and champagne before settling in for a sweet dessert. Right before we bid the new year welcome, the restaurant will serve the fantastic authentic layered marzipan-cake and champagne before wishing everyone a great new year.

a person standing in front of a table

Prime cuts | Taken by @koedkbh

New-Nordic New Years Eve restaurants

For the more experimental menus with a root in the New Nordic cuisine explosion, Høst located 5 min walk from Nørreport station is the place to be. Inside their spectacular restaurant, you will be served snacks, cod, scallops, lobster, and beef tenderloin with truffle – among many things. All with that New Nordic twist that is taking the world with storm. Along with this, they offer a wine menu that has been hand-picked to compliment every dish in the best way possible. The restaurant has chosen to close its doors at 11:00pm so you have time to get to your party or to that special place for a firework display. 

Another modern Nordic restaurant you could consider is the Michelin-starred Kokkeriet located in one of the most charming areas of Copenhagen right next to The Kings Garden. Inside their spectacular restaurant, the head chef Morten Krogholm will not only take you on a culinary journey with a full nine-course menu with nature, simplicity, flavor and Denmark as the corner stores with a delicious wine pairing – you’ll also be able to end the night with a champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight and wish everyone a happy new year.

a bowl of food

Culinary Nordic magic | Taken by @kokkeriet

Where to go clubbing New Years Eve in Copenhagen

First of all, you have to understand that New Year’s in Denmark is a fancy affair. Parties are planned months in advance, tuxes are pressed and dresses procured. So dress to impress! After having procured your best look, start to look for a house party on New Years Eve and have fun with some lovable ‘strangers’. Secure your spot through the ‘Festen & Gæsten’ program or join Festen & Gæsten on Facebook and line up a few parties to attend in walking distance from each other. Taxis will be very difficult to get on New Years Eve, so make sure to be able to walk the distance or have a bike with you. 

Also, do not assume you can just walk into clubs and bars on this evening. At many places you will have to have booked a table to be able to enter so secure your reservations before heading out! There is nothing worse than wasting time walking from place to place just to meet a closed door on the most important party night of the year. We have gathered two of the best parties of the year that you can attend:

Singles party at SKAAL

If you’re looking for a little Copenhagen fling, a New Years Eve party is a great place to look. As mentioned, Danish people tend to become way more social on this last night of the year. This year, the bar SKAAL hosts a New Years party exclusively for singles aged 30, 40 and 50 at Kultorvet in the Inner City, which is where you’ll find most of the action on NYE anyways. The party starts at 9:30 pm and ends at 3 am. 

new year party copenhagen

Dressed to impress for a New Year

The Stage at Wallmanns Cirkusbygningen

One of the hottest nightclubs in Copenhagen for those over 25 years old is The Stage at Wallmanns. Everyday, the circus are hosting their dinnershows and you are invited into their nightclub The Stage from 11pm and onwards! The Circus Building’s exceptional architecture is stunning to behold and really allows you to have fun to the greatest hits of all time that is pumping from the speakers complimented with the finest light show Copenhagen have to offer.

The best firework display in Copenhagen on New Years Eve

There are a number of places where you will find beautiful firework displays in Copenhagen. The typical ones mentioned is Dronning Louises Bridge at the city’s lakes and the city hall square! Both are great options, but we recommend you to stand a little afar from both places with safety goggles on. As we mentioned earlier, Denmark does not have regulations for who can fire off rockets and firework, so prepare to experience a chaotic madness with fireworks being set off in the middle of these areas, in every direction, by drunk, untrained members of the public who are mere feet from you in the street. It is beautiful and kind of awe-inspiring at the same time and accidents are few and far between, but take your precautions and stand a far and enjoy the view.

The calm before the storm | Taken 30 min before midnight by @kennethnguyen

You could also do as many locals and head to Fælledparken where you will walk into a dark park that is completely safe and experience the contrast between the lights on the sky and the darkness in the park. It sets a really cool ambiance and it is absolutely stunning! The same can be said of the locations at the waterside from either side of the canal. Usually you have some pretty cool firework displays from Refshaleøen and in over the city from the Christianshavn side, but the view against Christianshavn is also pretty amazing although I would totally recommend the view from the Christianshavn side. Head over the inner harbor bridge and take it all in from a safe distance. The flatness of Copenhagen can both be a curse and a blessing on New Years Eve here.

With the above recommendations, you should be all set for your New Years Eve in Copenhagen. Remember to bring safety goggles, do not rely on taxis on that night and do like the locals and leap into the new year with your significant someone or a stranger at the stroke of midnight and wish each other a good new year with a kiss! It means bad fortune not to *wink wink*.