Journal: TWUKSection:
Title: Issue Date: 23/04/01
Author: Page Number: 50
Copyright: Other

Gay Copenhagen by Paul Pitman

Liberal credentials can’t fail to seduce

Vibrant scene has anything-goes attitude

On the waterfront: there’s a concentration of gay bars and clubs in the old part of town

possible for same sex partners to adopt children. In Denmark being gay isn’t an issue.

For gay travellers these are important credentials. Turning up in a place where you might not be welcome because of your sexual preferences isn’t exactly the makings of a good holiday, which is why the gay-friendly factor is often a priority.

Invariably gay travellers want the assurance of a vibrant gay scene, regardless of whether or not they intend to take part in it. An established scene indicates an acceptable level of tolerance and understanding, which means that little eccentricities like requesting an extra twist of star fruit in your Pina Colada won’t necessarily invite the wrong type of attention.

Ask for the nearest gay bar in Copenhagen and it’s not impossible that a care-free OAP will give you directions in perfect English, wishing you a good time along the way.

Although the city is the largest in Scandinavia, you can easily explore it in a day with plenty of time for coffee stops along the way. The gay scene is spread around the whole of the city centre, but offers a greater concentration of activity around the main shopping district in the old part of town.

Here there’s a host of cafés, late-night bars, clubs, restaurants and accommodation to suit the fussiest of scene queens. What’s different about Copenhagen’s gay life is the number of mixed and gay-friendly venues. Tying in with the Dane’s ‘who cares?’ mentality, it’s refreshing to find a diverse mix of people in the bars and clubs.

The attitude that anyone’s welcome is a winning one. This comes about because the scene in the city is one of the oldest in Europe, which has allowed it plenty of time to mature into a progressive and integrated community. After all, Copenhagen’s first gay bar, Centralhjørnet, opened for business more than 75 years ago.

Making the most of this, the Danish Tourist Board is now promoting the city specifically towards gay tourists. It’s been many years since the power of the pink pound was first recognised, but so far few tourist organisations have taken the initiative to cater for this niche. The tourist board’s move has come about because Copenhagen offers a thriving gay scene as well as plenty of other tourist attractions.

In line with both the maturity and strength of the gay scene in Copenhagen there are a host of organisations, information services and events catering to every taste. Visitors are well cared for with a gay English language magazine and a map highlighting gay venues, both of which are available in most of the bars and clubs.