To study or not to study: do both! The best places in Copenhagen to grab a study beer.
So, you’ve been in the library all day, it’s now 19:00.
You’ve seen day pass into night.
People who have been soldiering on near you have gradually packed up and left- but you’re still going, you champ.
Good for you! You deserve a reward, but you still feel like you should do some more work. You give your friend a crafty look and say the magic words…
“Fancy a study beer?”
The institution of the study beer has been passed on between students for millennia. It simultaneously gives a person a reward for their hard work, whilst also fooling themselves that they’ll get back to studying. If you and your friends find yourselves having a second or a third, what’s the harm, you’ve studied all day anyway, right?
Historians tell us that the study beer tradition can be traced back to the ancient Greeks (allegedly). Sources indicate that Socrates was debating with his student, Plato, when the latter suddenly exclaimed, “This is a tough problem, study beer?” (allegedly). This led Plato to state one of his most poignant quotes, “Wise was the man that invented beer” (allegedly).
So, the scene is set. You and your friend/s have decided to gift yourselves the present of rich, golden hoppy goodness whilst doing some light studying. The question remains, where to go? I’ve got you covered. I’ve done all the hard work and strenuously had a study beer in all of the following locations, ranking the top five in descending order with criteria such as price, alcohol selection, lighting, noise and space to study.
Just for ease of movement, all of the below are in or very near the København K area.
- Charlie’s bar
Pilestræde 33, 1112 København K
A hidden gem placed in a street less travelled. Charlie’s bar has arguably the best array of ales and imported beers in the area, with the menu regularly being updated. The feel of the bar is much like a British pub, with wood panelling and a warm orange glow coming from the lights. Whilst the selection is excellent, prices might not be to everyone’s taste with a drink starting around 50 kr. For those who prefer a different vintage to the ale and beer offering, there are also spirits and wine as you would expect in any bar.
Whilst it would be accurate to call the bar cosy- it would also be accurate to say it’s somewhat small. Space is at a premium in the popular drinking hole. However, if your study weary feet find this bar and are fortunate enough to get a table, it’s a comfy place to both study and to have a conversation, with the volume in the bar never going distractingly high. However, given the slightly dimly lit feel of the place and the lack of space, whilst it is a great bar, perhaps it is not the ideal for those wishing to study.
Overall study beer rating: 6/10
- The Globe
Nørregade 43-45, 1165 København K
The Globe is a massively cosy pub in the heart of Nørreport, just a short hop away from the station. The venue is well lit during the day and there is much space for you and your friends to sit at- as long as you arrive before the evening crowd you’re guaranteed a comfy table, maybe even a booth.
The venue offers an excellent array of beers and ales, as well as a huge range of spirits and wines for those that prefer a more cosmopolitan beverage. Aside from the enticing drinks menu, there is also an impressive food offering, with the nachos being a personal sharing favourite. The stuff are very warm and friendly, and the atmosphere is calm, as long as you’re not there during a football night!
The only downside is the pricing is not so student friendly, with Carlsberg costing 50 kr and being the cheapest beer. Although, it should be mentioned that the portions are 56cl, instead of the usual 5.0. The food is priced as you would expect anywhere, with a large dish of nachos coming in at 75 kr, and the cheapest main course costing 95 kr.
Overall, this is a place you can come with a friend and do some light studying (possibly) in a relaxed environment.
Overall study beer rating: 7/10
Fiolestræde 10-12, 1171 København K
Paludan already sits in as a firm student favourite, so it felt rude not to include it on the list. Located centrally on Fiolestræde, Paludan has served an array of food and drink for many a hungry student. The interior is cosy and well lit, making it easy to read. They also have a fantastic deal for students, with either a Tuborg or a Carlsberg costing only 30kr! The food menu is also top notch, with large portions and delicious helpings, albeit perhaps not for consistent purchase on a student budget. Meals start at 79 kr for a Ceasar salad, with the Paludan burger coming in at 95 kr.
The café’s cosy feel, good student drink pricing and tasty food has made it a popular destination, which for the astute study beer follower, is somewhat of a problem. The café is very often busy throughout the day and the tables are relatively small, perhaps just about fitting a laptop each for you and a friend, but most likely not much else. However, if the aim was simply some light reading- this is a great location.
Overall study beer rating: 8/10.
2. Café Retro
Knabrostræde 26, 1210 København K
Another hidden gem! Café Retro is a charming, little venue located just off the main shopping street. The café is completely non-profit, with the proceeds going towards charitable projects in Africa- they also have a sister café in Nørrebro. The bar is stocked as you would expect, with draught beers, bottle, beers and spirits. There is also a 15% student discount for the money savvy.
The inside of the café is bright, with tables large enough to study on. There is also an upstairs area if the downstairs gets a little too crowded for your studying needs. The café remains at a good volume level, not enough to be distraction from work or conversation. Additionally, if you need a study break, there are also a range of board games!
Overall study beer rating 8/10
- The Livingroom
Larsbjørnsstræde 17, 1454 Copenhagen
The Livingroom is another student favourite. The interior is bright, spacious and has excellent furniture. Whilst another busy destination, the venue is fairly large, with two rooms downstairs to accommodate the many people who see it as one of their favourite haunts. The tables downstairs also have enough room for studying, or for having discussions.
The Livingroom unfortunately doesn’t have any draught beer offerings, however, there are a number of bottled beers, wines and spirits all available. The prices are reasonable, and won’t leave you crying after you purchase one bottle. As an added bonus in these wintery months- they also have a fireplace! So if you’d like to get warm whilst doing some light studying- this is the place for you.
Overall study beer rating: 9/10
Købmagergade 52, 1150 København K.
I couldn’t possibly have a study beer list without including the place literally called, student house. Studenterhuset has a wide range of beers on tap, and an excellent student discount. With the student discount, a draught beer could be as cheap as 27kr! The lighting is good and despite being immensely popular with the student masses, it has the space to accommodate the numbers.
Upstairs at the venue there are study tables, away from the din in the bar area, making working comfortable and easy.
I didn’t include it in the main list just because, well, it just seemed a little unfair.