Is Copenhagen the Red Light Capital of Scandinavia?

Famous for its historic landmarks, busy museums and significant places of interest, Copenhagen  is also attracting a lot of interest for its adult entertainment industry. So, could the City of Spires be the next Amsterdam?

The capital of Denmark has a reputation for its strip bars, brothels and sex clubs and is fast becoming known as the red-light capital of Scandinavia. Though prostitution was only decriminalised in 1999, there are still some grey areas of the law when it comes to paying for sex.

In this guide, we take a look at the liberal attitude towards prostitution in Copenhagen as well what kinds of services are available in the city plus which parts to head to for the best red-light experience.

Sex in Copenhagen

The Danish have a reputation for being a liberal minded bunch and far more so than their Scandinavian neighbours. Not only is prostitution legal but the women of Copenhagen are well known to be more likely to engage in casual sex; in a 2013 survey, more than half of those interviewed had had a one-night stand. As well as this being the highest rate in Europe, the Danish were also top of the polls when it came to having sex in a public place (41%), watching pornography (63%) and being unfaithful (32%).

is copenhagen the red light capital of scandinavia
It’s not just the canals that make Copenhagen similar to Amsterdam. Image via Pixabay.

Overall, sex in Denmark is not a taboo subject so it’s little wonder that the capital is a go-to place for getting some. But what exactly makes Copenhagen one of the most popular sex tourist destinations in Europe?

As well as pick ups in bars, restaurants and clubs, the city itself has a good deal of ways to pay for sex including brothels, sex clubs, erotic massage parlous and even strip clubs. Swinging is very popular as well as dogging meaning couples can also get their rocks off.

In fact, Copenhagen has more than 2000 sex workers who are active in the city providing a range of legal services, both as out-call escorts and for in-calls.


Red Light Districts of Copenhagen

Vesterbro is the city’s historic red-light area but has undergone a major transformation over the last few decades. Formerly a low-rent area which was home to the seedier kind of sex establishments you might expect from a 1970s cityscape, Vesterbro is now one of the trendiest parts of town. The cobbled streets now line hip cafes, bars and bistros as well as being home to some curious but cool independent shops.

copenhagen red light district
Vesterbro in Copenhagen is the former red light district but is still the centre for most adult entertainment. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

In terms of street prostitutes, Copenhagen doesn’t have a huge scene of ‘ladies of the night’; however, punters can find hookers around this area particularly if you walk west from the central rail station towards Skelbækgade and Istedgade.

The rest of the city’s sex industry is spread around but Copenhagen isn’t a big city and you can cover the main districts on foot in just a few hours.

Many of the best venues are situated in the south of Copenhagen in the area known as Kødbyen (the meat packing district(!) of Vesterbro). However, you can also find several strip clubs and sex venues in the Indre By area around the University and a short walk from the Slotsholmen island harbour.

Best Adult Services in Copenhagen

It isn’t just the fact that sex is legal in Denmark that makes Copenhagen special nor the number of venues you can visit but the variety offered. The city has some specialty clubs and the only easy-access brothels in Scandinavia.

Don’t believe us? We’ve picked seven of the best options for sex in Copenhagen, so you be the judge.


Most of Copenhagen’s brothels are situated outside of the city in industrial or residential areas and many of them are quite small. However, there are a couple in the city and our top choice is Cassopeia Stars situated on the edge of the Vesterbro red-light area (Ringstedgade 5, Underetagen, 2100 Copenhagen Ø).

It’s a bijou place and there are only a handful of girls to choose from but prices are good, services extensive and very conveniently positioned. However, if you want more of a wider choice then you could always head outside the city to Seduction Girls (Rødovrevej 281, 2610 Rødovre). They have a much bigger selection of girls and rooms and they are open until 4am daily.

You can find a full run down of all the brothels in Copenhagen in our separate guide.


Club Manifest is a hedonistic dance club where fetishists meet to enjoy the Danish sexual subculture. They only meet several times a year but their events are some of the most lavish and exciting dates on a kinksters calendar. The ‘dress to impress’ code is usually surpassed by all and you can witness some of the most extravagant clothing in Europe. All types of fetishes are represented at their parties including exhibitionists, sadomasochists, BDSMs, transvestites, gays, voyeurs, bondage enthusiasts, bisexuals, queers, swingers, lesbians, and much more besides.

Sauna Club

The Copenhagen Sauna Club (CSC) on Alekistevej 230, 2730 Copenhagen is the oldest and most famous sauna club in the city. More like a brothel than a spa, the facilities can be enjoyed with or without the company of one of their Danish ‘attendants’.

The CSC has a sauna and whirlpool plus you can enjoy one of several treatments during your stay.

The club is open daily from 4pm to 4am (6am on Fridays and Saturdays).

Sex Cinema

XX Dark, located on Godsbanegade 20, 1722 København V, is a popular club for kinksters and swingers from all backgrounds. They regularly play host to impromptu gangbangs and orgies with plenty of the guests being TV/TS, gay or bisexual.

The cinema is open every day and doesn’t close until 1am (4am on Fridays and Saturdays).

Erotic Massage

Thai massage in Copenhagen is very popular and most will offer happy endings for a small fee. The best of these is the (aptly named) Thai Massage and Sauna on Gammel Jernbanevej 11, 2500 Valby.  This central location is very convenient which is also helped by the fact you can visit 24 hours a day, seven days a week

It’s a modern venue with comfortable and clean surroundings and the cost of the treatments are pretty reasonable for Scandinavia.

You can get a massage from €55 plus extras for a happy ending.

Swinging Club

Both dogging and swinging is very popular in Denmark and there are plenty of pubic locations where this takes place as well as in private residences and on private land. However, our pick of the best swinging clubs in Copenhagen is City Swingers.

Situated on Øresundsvej 55, 2300 København S, it’s Scandinavia’s most popular club and covers almost 6000 sq ft with 12 different playrooms. There is the ubiquitous group play (gangbang) area as well as wet and dry spaces and themed rooms.

They are very welcoming of new guests and they open daily (check website for opening times and admission prices as these vary).

Strip Club

The Kakadu nightclub on Colbjørnsensgade 6, 1652 Copenhagen V is one of the city’s oldest strip clubs and dates back to the 1930s when it was known as the ‘American Bar’. Though it has associations with the USA, it evokes more of a classic British style with a traditional gentleman’s club style.

kakadu best strip club copenhagen red light district scandinavia
The Kakadu is located right in the heart of Copenhagen and attracts plenty of tourists with its sexy dancers. Image via website.

The club is open Monday to Saturday from 9.00pm to 5.00am during which you can enjoy the attentions of some of Denmark’s finest exotic dancers. Though many of the girls are unavailable for extras you can usually get some very up close and personal attention in a private dance.

There are plenty of other gentleman’s clubs and strip bars in Copenhagen to choose from and you can find out more in our full guide.

Copenhagen Compared: Other Scandinavian Capitals

Of the three principle Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, there is no doubt that Copenhagen offers much more for the discerning tourist than Oslo or Stockholm. And, if you include Reykjavik (Iceland) and Helsinki (Finland), the city is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of its diversity of services, number of venues and the legal status of prostitution.

Let’s take a look at the facts and figures to compare:

Copenhagen Oslo Stockholm Reykjavik Helsinki
Prostitution Legal? Partially No No No Yes
Major Strip Clubs 9 5 4 0 2
Brothels 10 0 0 0 0
Massage Parlours 12+ Several Many 0 Many
Sex Clubs 5 0 0 0 1

As you can see, Copenhagen has, by far, the greater number of offerings when it comes to the adult entertainment industry than its Nordic neighbours.

The proximity of Denmark’s capital to Malmo (45 minutes via the Øresund Bridge) makes Copenhagen a popular tourist destination for its Scandinavian neighbours; particularly when you consider that paying for sex in Sweden is criminalised.

You can find out more about the sex scene of Copenhagen in our city feature as well as our Sex in Denmark guide.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.

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