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City guide

The sea and the network of canals that cross Copenhagen are integral to its character –, by day you can enjoy coffee on the cobbled quayside cafes of the Nyhavn harbour district, at night the terraces of waterside restaurants fill up, and three miles to the south is Amager Stranpark, a vast white beach.

Drinking in the early days of the week is not part of Danish culture so many bars only open Wednesday to Saturday evenings. Neither are after-work drinks with colleagues a big thing either, so it is common for bars not to open until 8pm in the evening, though they then close proportionately later, between midnight and 4am. That said, when Danes do drink they really drink and their appreciation of cocktails has supported the rapid growth of a vibrant bar scene.

The centre of Copenhagen is compact and most of the bars recommended here are within easy walking distance of each other. Cycling here is a joy, as it's flat and there are cycle lanes so those more outlying bars are easily accessible too, or you can take one of the plentiful Mercedes taxis, all of which helpfully accept credit card payment.

The smoking laws allow smaller venues to permit smoking, or to provide a dedicated, well ventilated smoking room. However, it is actually rare to see anyone smoking inside and you should seek permission before lighting up. The legal age for drinking is 18 but this is reduced to 16 for low alcoholic strength drinks.