Shuffle, Geek and Pong: Copenhagen’s Bar Games


Danes are a bit obsessed with playing games, especially when they’re drinking. We take a tour of the city’s light distractions.

Shuffleboard is all about exactitude and strategy - something that, while drinking in a bar, resonates with the Danish mentality. Go figure. The goal here is to score by sliding discs to precise points on the opposite side of the board - and to prevent your opponent from doing the same. The rules are simple and you can play in singles or doubles, making it a splendidly sociable activity. The biggest and best shuffleboard spot in Copenhagen is at the Generator Hostel. If you’re so inclined, you can follow up a session by tussling with the locals at the Petanque Bar and Terrace, which is right next door.

Generator Copenhagen’s shuffleboard is of epic proportions

The Pétanque Bar and Terrace
This is the first permanent Pétanque spot in the whole of Denmark. ‘Boules’, as the game is also known, is of course most often thought of as the sort of pursuit favoured by a more mature crowd - and usually of the French variety. But, like everything in this young, design savvy city CPH does Pétanque a little differently. Here the game is about drinking and socialising as much as it is competition. Spend an evening at the Generator rooftop knocking back a few drinks and you’ll guffaw at the many references to ‘messing about with balls’. The Danish not only love their beers and bar games - they also cherish their uniquely knockabout sense of humour.

Generator Copenhagen hosts one of the nicest lounges in town…

Ping-pong, drinking and dancing go together like strawberries, chocolate and cream

Dupong Klub & Bar
In Dupong you can sip, sweat and socialise, all while bonding over balls. Deep down, Danes love to mingle. The thing is... they won’t compromise their cool exteriors by cheerfully approaching random strangers apropos of nothing. That's why they are so good at creating bar games. They’re the perfect excuse to make contact. Dupong Klub & Bar is a great example. The joint opened in 2013 with a ping-pong table in the middle of the room. Socialising while working out - and at the same time enjoying a drink - is a concept that suits the Danish wonderfully well. Once you've had your fill of stunning serves and drop shots, you can chill in Dupong’s basement with some classy cocktails or go clubbing with the new buddies you’ve made across the table.

Games nights at the Bastard are more hygge than you would imagine

Bastard Café
You thought Danish people were nice, right? They are. Don’t be fooled by the name of this place. In fact, no spot in Copenhagen better embodies the Danish concept of hygge than Bastard Café. And it’s a nice bar, too. There are over 1,200 board games to choose from, with tables occupied by everyone from rank beginners to aficionados and even creators of the games themselves. In this self-confessed Mecca for boardgame geeks, resident ‘Game Gurus’ are on hand to help you choose the perfect board game while weekly event nights help keep things fresh. In ‘The Monday Match-Up’, for example, gurus select strangers to play together. ‘Serious Sunday’ is, meanwhile, reserved for the hardcore regulars. Get down to Bastard if the idea of travelling to worldwide game expos gets your geek juices flowing.

Inspired to book a trip to Copenhagen?

Now that you have caught a glimpse into what the city of Copenhagen has to offer, start to plan your next trip.