Culture Night in Copenhagen

Crowds around Christiansborg Palace, during Culture Night. The Palace is illuminated with colourful lights.

writer icon Peter Karlsson     Maria Sattrup   |   Culture     🕐 12. Oct. 2018

Tonight, for one night only, culture in Copenhagen is open to all. It is the annual Culture Night Festival in the Danish capital.

The entire city will be filled with culture. Places that are usually closed to the public will invite people in. Theatres open their doors and allow the public to visit backstage, even try on costumes. Several museums will be open late, and a number of important buildings and institutions will give guided tours.

A large and varied program

The night will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, and art. The sheer number of events make it impossible for one person to attend everything, but that is not the design of Culture Night. Each year, people of all ages choose from the programme what they would like to do this time, knowing that there will be something else on offer next year.

In order to attend the festival's events, people over the age of 12 need a Culture Pass. While these are not free of charge, at 95 DKK many consider them to be of good value. The Culture Pass not only merits access to events, but it also ensures free travel on public transport in Copenhagen for the duration of the Festival.

No state funding

Culture Night does not receive any funding from the state, or from the local council. The only sponsor is DOT, who sponsor the transport on Culture Night. All revenue comes from sales of Culture Pass.

A non-profit event, all work by organisers is unpaid, except for the Head of Culture Night Secretariat and Secretariat staff.

The programme boasts more than a hundred events, suitable for babies, the elderly, and everyone in between. Due to its family-friendly atmosphere, many of the visitors attend the festival with their children. 


One thing that is key to Culture Night is that it happens in the Autumn. Denmark, together with its Scandinavian counterparts, starts to have much shorter days. The evenings are darker sooner, and the cities are lit up with beautiful, welcoming lights. The cosiness, or hygge, is for many an important part of the enjoyment of the festival.

As there are so many different things happening during Culture Night, organisers advise that people keep to one area of the city, in order to maximise their experience. This is because the Culture Night spreads out across the whole of Copenhagen.

A huge number of visitors

The Culture Night brings a lot of people to the city. While many are international tourists, a huge number of visitors to the festival are Danish residents. Both local Copenhagers and people from further afield flock to the city to experience the Culture Scene in this unique way.

The very first Culture Night took place in 1993. Since then it has grown immensely. In 2017, the Culture Night was attended by over 80 000 people, and at least that many are expected this year.

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