Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames are less than nine months away! In August, the world’s most significant LGBTQ+ event will take place in Copenhagen and Malmö, and #YouAreIncluded.
To give you a flavour of both, we asked four local guys to give you their top tips for enjoying their cities. David B and Martin are both from Copenhagen, and David F and Anders are from Malmö, just 30 minutes over the iconic Øresund Bridge in Sweden.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
David B: I’m a Danish, Gambian, Italian gay man living and working in Copenhagen. I work in pharmaceuticals and in my spare time I enjoy seeing friends, travelling, cooking and volunteering for MIX Copenhangen LGBTQ+ Film festival, which is the leading queer film festival in the Nordic region.
Martin: Hej – that’s Danish for ‘hi’! I live with my boyfriend in Amager, which is the southern part of Copenhagen. I work as a personal assistant for a disabled person and I’m studying to become a social worker. I like going to cultural events and parties.
David F: I was born and raised in Venezuela. Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by human creativity, in the form of art, music, and literature. I love languages, diplomacy, civics, and politics. I spend a lot of time on social media, and shopping for clothing and shoes online, and watching some good series on Netflix. I always say, be all you can be!
Anders: I’m 36 years old and have been living in Malmö for ten years together with my husband. I’m a midwife: it might not be the most common work for a gay man but I really love it and it’s such a powerful and intense moment! Other than that I find powerful and intense moments with good food and drinks, travelling, spending time with the ones I care about and dancing in sweaty, crowded clubs.
What’s your favourite thing about your city?
David B: My favourite thing about Copenhagen is that it is very easy to move around by foot, bike and public transport. It’s an open city where I can be myself, and I’ve seen it change a lot in the last ten years! Copenhagen has developed from being a minor European city to a major, dynamic capital offering something to do, see and experience almost every day.
Martin: The best thing about Copenhagen is that it offers a variety of opportunities as big cities do and Copenhagen offers a lot of events every day of the week if you look for it and are open minded for new ways of experiencing the city.
David F: My favourite thing about Malmö is that the city has a perfect blend between old-world glamour and ultra-modern cosmopolitan architecture, the ideal synergy between the past and the future. Its magic and charm are quite evident, from the Old Town to Scandinavia’s tallest skyscraper – called the Turning Torso – it is a city to never forget.
Anders: Malmö is a young, vibrant and diverse city and even though it’s quite small there’s a lot of things going on. It’s close to everything and you can bike around easily.
Where’s your favourite place to go?
David B: I have so many favourite spots in Copenhagen where I enjoy to go alone and with friends, here is my ideal day: Start the day with a run at Frederiksberg Park or in the summer with a swim in Islands Brygge, quick breakfast bite at Hart Bakery, followed by a visit at the Glyptotek or the David´s Collection. Lunch is at Christianshavn Færgecafe for some great traditional Danish smørrebrod. The afternoon is open for a nature walk at Amager Fælled, or for shopping in Jægersborggade or Nansensgade. The happy hour drinks are at Oscar Cafe in Rainbow Square or in one of the many bars in Blågårdsgade in the Nørrebro district. Dinner at one of the restaurants in Meatpacking district, while the night continues partying in the many LGBTI+ bars around Studiestræde.
Martin: I’m a big sushi fan and you might find me at one of the many sushi restaurants downtown. My favourite restaurant is Sticks N’ Sushi on the top floor of the Tivoli Hotel. It has an amazing view over the city – and the food is outstanding. I also live close to Amager Beach which is a 5km long beach right in Copenhagen. Just jump on the metro to Øresund Metro stop and walk the 300 m. It’s amazing and a must for a hot summer day!
David F: Västra Hamnen is my favorite place to go in Malmö. It is a neighbourhood that seductively exhibits idealistic visions of futuristic living, where high demands on architectural beauty and aesthetics, sustainability and high technology are exquisitely combined. It has a privileged location by the water, with an outstanding view of the Øresund Bridge taking you over to Copenhagen. It is also the perfect place to hang out with friends as there are restaurants, cafes, and several popular bathing areas.
Anders: One thing that I love about Malmö is that the sea is so present. We actually have a 3 km long beach which is close to the city center. I live in Västra hamnen, a neighbourhood who also has a lot of places where you can lay in the sun and work on your tan, take a swim in the sea and eat great Italian ice cream. There’re a lot of great restaurants in town to suit every taste. Malmö Saluhall is a really nice market hall where you can either buy fresh food to cook your own meal or wine and dine there, don’t miss out on the great oysters and bubbles at Söderholmens Fisk. Lilla torg is a famous square in the old parts of Malmö with a lot of bars and big outdoor seatings. When I’m in a new town I really enjoy having a good look over it so if you´re like me then a visit to Malmö Live Sky Bar could be a good idea. We don’t have lots of LGBTI+ venues in Malmö, but one of the great things is that we have Copenhagen only 30 minutes away by train! The train also goes all night so you can always combine a trip to these two cities easily.
What’s the one thing that an international visitor to Copenhagen shouldn’t miss?
David B: International visitors should not miss Cafe Intime and last the Absalon Church, where there are daily social activities for all ages, and at sometimes great drag shows.
Martin: Oh, you can’t miss the canal tours of Copenhagen. Bring a cold drink and sun lotion and enjoy the city from the water. Going up the small canals and giving you an overview of the city makes the canal tour my number one thing to do. Even as a citizen I’ll do the canal tour at least once a year. You can board the boats in Nyhavn, and the tour is offered in a variety of languages. During Pride there are usually Drag cAnal Tours which I would highly recommend! They offer a different view of the city…
…And what about Malmö?
David F: International visitors should not miss the opportunity to experience Scandinavian idiosyncrasies first-hand. Fika which is not just a concept but a mellow state of mind, it is one of the most important traditions in Swedish culture. It is all about making time for friends to share a cup of coffee and a little something to eat. Do not forget it during Copenhagen 2021! Take a walk to Lilla Torg and fika with your friends and loved ones. Be a Swede for a day!
Anders: My favourite place in Malmö is Ribersborgs kallbadhus at Ribersborgsstranden. It’s a cold bathing house with saunas and showers and you’re able to visit all year round. You can lay naked on the bathing platform with an amazing view over the sea, the bridge and Copenhagen on the other side. It has separate areas for men and women but once a month they have Queer Kallis which is mixed for all genders.
What are you most looking forward to about Copenhagen 2021?
David B: I am looking forward to meeting fellow LGBTI+ people reuniting to parade for human rights all over the planet. As normally it’s difficult for the local prides to represent everyone I am really looking forward to a WorldPride where everyone is heard and seen.
Martin: Meeting all the tourists from the world scene and hopefully COVID19 has passed so that we have the opportunity to party all together in the streets!
David F: I am most looking forward to the music and the political events. I hope to see some legendary concerts taking place in both cities, as well as the participation of prominent political figures from both Sweden and Denmark, such as Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, and her Royal Swedish counterpart. I am also very excited to see Copenhagen and Malmö united as a big supranational city for the first time.
Anders: Pride is of course a political event for equal rights and for coming together. This year I am more than ever looking forward to being able to meet, dance and be close to other people from all over again and to show them what ‘hygge’ means.
Copenhagen 2021 takes place from 12-22 August in Copenhagen and Malmö. Visit copenhagen2021.com or search for ‘Copenhagen 2021’ in your app store to download the mobile app. Information on COVID19 can be found on their website at copenhagen2021.com/covid19