If there is one thing I can say for sure about Copenhagen is that it never gets boring. Not even when there are less than seven daylight hours. There is always a happening in the city that helps you forget the winter blues and make you leave your couch. As for the summer months, when you already have enough reasons to hit the streets, an impressive lineup of festivals in Copenhagen adds the extra spark you need to fall in love with the city.

Roskilde Festival

It’s not an exaggeration to say that during the days that Roskilde Festival takes place every city in Denmark, including the capital, looks like a scene of a post-apocalyptic movie. The streets, parks and bars are empty and those left behind (usually not by choice) will ask you what’s wrong with you and you aren’t already on a train to Roskilde city. The internationally known music festival lasts for 8 days with performances of some of the biggest names of the international music scene. Being non-profit, Roskilde Festival is run by around 30.000 volunteers, which means that if you want to attend Northern Europe’s largest festival without paying a single Danish kroner, you just learned how to do it.


Metal fans will already be familiar with the name. COPENHELL is an annual festival in Copenhagen taking place every June at Refshaleøen, an old industrial area which has lately become the city’s hippest district. The festival’s three stages have hosted some of the greatest names of the rock and metal scene including Slayer, Prophets of Rage and Black Sabbath. COPENHELL offers a camping site as well as a special VIP area accessible to those purchasing the special R.I.P Ticket.

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Every year for ten days in March, cinema halls in Copenhagen screen the world’s best and most recent documentaries. Film lovers know that it’s the time of the year for CPH:DOX, Denmark’s best documentary film festival. Apart from screenings of recently released documentary films, CPH:DOX hosts also events, concerts, seminars, debates and talks with directors and artists.


CPH PIX is the country’s largest film festival and hence, cinephiles’ favorite annual event. It takes place in the heart of autumn and it lasts for two weeks helping Copenhageners forget that the days are becoming shorter and temperatures approaching zero. At CPH PIX visitors can watch the newest films of all genres from both established and upcoming artists. Workshops, talks and other events run during the festival helping festival goers gain a deeper insight into the film industry.

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Culture Night (Kulturnatten)

Culture Night, one of the most interesting and largest cultural festivals in Copenhagen has been taking place since 1993 and it has now become a tradition. For one night in October, over 200 institutions including hotels, museums, and galleries stay open until around midnight inviting Copenhageners to visit exhibitions halls in the night scenery. Performances, art installations and concerts for the whole family take place in Copenhagen’s most spectacular buildings. Starting March 15, 2019, the fascinating cultural event will introduce The Little Culture Night, an evening dedicated to little ones. From 4pm to 9pm, museums will host storytelling, guided tours, lectures and other events for children from 2-12 years old.

Copenhagen Jazz Festival

Every August, Copenhagen Jazz Festival sets its stages at the city’s most scenic corners and offers a unique musical experience to its audience. For 10 days, jazz artists from Denmark and other countries perform at the streets and at Copenhagen’s historic jazz bars and venues. In February, the jazz festival (Vinterjazz) returns for its winter edition. For three weeks, more than 100 venues in Copenhagen and outside the city host over 600 concerts, making the event one of the top festivals in Copenhagen for locals and tourists alike.

top festivals in Copenhagen

Strøm Festival

Strøm Festival is a three-day electronic music festival that takes place in August. The greatest DJs and producers of the electronic music scene perform at underground nightclubs and urban spaces as well as at unusual places such as the metro or historic churches. Strøm Lab organizes workshops, talks and other events all year round, introducing locals to the electronic music scene.


Distortion is Copenhagen’s greatest street party. For 5 days stages are set at different neighborhoods around the city and Copenhageners dance all day and all night long. Distortion kicks off at Nørrebro and the second day moves to Vesterbro, the city’s trendiest areas. After the first 48 hours and around 40 street parties end, the party moves for two days to Refshaleøen for Distortion Ø, the festival’s main party. Alongside the parties, Distortion holds separates events at the city’s fanciest nightclubs.

top festivals in Copenhagen

Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival

There couldn’t be a more suitable city to host Scandinavia’s largest food festival than the Danish capital. Foodies and professional chefs participate by cooking or simply tasting delicious dishes during 100 unique food events that take place over the 10-days Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival. Israel Plads becomes the center of the festival for five days, while in the week prior to the festival, the city transforms into a huge restaurant whose tables are set to the most beautiful places, from roof terraces and parks to the neighborhoods’ streets.

top festivals in Copenhagen

Festivals in Copenhagen photos courtesy of Thomas Høyrup Christensen / Copenhagen Media Center, Keshav Myso / CPH:DOX, Jonas Pryner / Copenhagen Media Center, By Krists Luhaers / Wikimedia Commons, Rasmus Flindt Pedersen / Copenhagen Media Center, Stiig Hougesen / SH Luftfoto