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How Birgitte fell in love with Copenhagen, jazz and culture

Birgitte moved to Copenhagen to study theology and become a minister. But she fell so in love with the city's culture and people that she dropped out of her studies and followed her heart's true desire, jazz.

  • With blue notes and familiar lyrics, Birgitte Soojin sings an old Billie Holiday classic at one of the city's jazz bars. She loves jazz. And she loves Copenhagen.

  • "There's something about jazz that touches the soul. It's the same with Copenhagen. It grows on you and becomes a love affair," says the jazz singer.

  • When she moved from Norway to Copenhagen nearly 20 years ago, a deep love for the city, its people, and its unique jazz culture quickly began to grow. She studied theology with the intention of becoming a minister, but that wasn't meant to be.

  • "You encounter a unique sense of freedom that you won't find anywhere else in the world. Here, everyone can be who they want to be. And if you want to share yourself with others, the Copenhageners are generous and inclusive people," says Birgitte, adding:

  • "I struggled to find my direction in life. But that changed when Copenhagen became my home."

Noma and Alchemist

This sense of freedom and generosity that Birgitte speaks of may go some of the way to explaining why Copenhagen has made its mark on the world. Here, you'll find some of the world's best restaurants, such as Noma and Alchemist, with its 50-course menu. And you'll also discover some of the finest design, art, and culture. With a good dose of tradition and history, this city dares to explore new trends and impulses all the time. It's all pulsating in sync, like a catchy jazz tune at its best, without losing itself.

Birgitte takes a quick break between the classic jazz songs she's chosen for the evening and sips from a small glass to moisten her vocal cords.

"Copenhagen is rich in so many ways. There's something for everyone. And there's always something happening in this metropolis that keeps it from resting or being content with itself, without losing its traditional identity or sense of history. Give this city a chance, and you won't want to leave it either," says Birgitte.

  • Birgitte's cultural gems in Copenhagen

    If you're interested in jazz, the city hosts an annual jazz festival in early July that attracts the biggest artists from around the world.

  • Throughout the rest of the year, you can also enjoy a good dose of jazz at some of the unique venues found here.

  • After nearly 20 years as a singer, Birgitte has become very familiar with what Copenhagen has to offer.

  • Here are six cultural treasures that she believes are worth visiting for a taste of what makes this city so unique.

1. Hvide Lam Café

Address: Kultorvet 5

Founded in 1807 and one of the five oldest inns in Copenhagen. Here, you'll find classic Danish open sandwiches and, of course, snaps. Jazz is on the menu almost every evening.

2. Bo-Bi Bar

Address: Klareboderne 14

This is reportedly the oldest traditional pub in Copenhagen. Original interior, dusty atmosphere, and still many writers and artists' local. Everything about it feels authentic while still exuding modern cool.

3. La Fontaine

Address: Kompagnistæde 11

One of the oldest jazz clubs in Europe. Fantastic location. Fantastic music. Perfect for Sunday evenings. The jazz standard here is high. Prices are reasonable, and the staff are friendly. Note: It's tough to find seating, so arrive early.

4. Hviids Vinstue

Address: Kongens Nytorv 19

Copenhagen's oldest wine bar, founded in 1723. Enjoy Danish open sandwiches and cold beers in the authentic tavern. Hviids Vinstue is especially known for its mulled wine, served every year from November 11th at 11:00 am. Great service and delightful atmosphere.

5. Café Intime

Address: Allégade 25

A jazz and drinking venue that's been in existence for over 100 years. You'll find this unique spot in Copenhagen's Frederiksberg district. Step inside and feel the history as you help create it. This cosy and warm place is well worth a visit.

6. Allégade 10

Address: Allégade 10

Also located in the heart of Frederiksberg, this is one of Copenhagen's oldest restaurants, dating back to 1780. Traditional Danish cuisine, beautiful garden, and lovely service. One of my favourites. Here, I can relax and enjoy a coffee, a glass of wine, or a delicious Danish meal in peace.

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