Cafés, restaurants and outdoor areas
As a trader in Copenhagen, you have the option, where traffic permits, to use the public area in front of your restaurant, cafe or shop for outside seating, advertising boards or product displays. However, you must first obtain a licence from the City of Copenhagen.
Please note that you will have to pay an annual fee if you wish to put out advertising boards or similar.
It is important that you do not obstruct passing traffic, that you are considerate to your neighbours and that you respect the aesthetics of the area. When applying for a licence for outside seating, you need to include a scale drawing.
When making a licence application, you need to use the NemID employee signature for your company and the P-number for the address to which the application relates.
You can read the general terms & conditions for restaurants, cafes, pizzerias and similar here (in Danish): Vilkår for udendørsservering
You can read the general terms & conditions for shops here (in Danish):
It will generally take up to four weeks for your application to be processed.
Questions and answers
How do I apply for a licence?
You should apply via the link provided here. Your application will be made through Virk.dk (in Danish) and you should log in with your NemID employee signature. Read more about the NemID employee signature.
Unless otherwise stated in the licence, it is valid from the date of issue until 31 December of the same calendar year.
The licence will automatically be considered for renewal for the following calendar year, unless you inform the City of Copenhagen otherwise.
However, this does not apply if you have a licence for one of the city’s squares or if the City of Copenhagen has assessed that there are changes, in which case you will have to actively reapply each year.
If you no longer wish to use the licence, you should inform the City of Copenhagen.
It is always your responsibility to ensure that you have a correct and up-to-date licence.
You may set up outside during your shop’s/restaurant’s opening hours, but only between 08.00 and 24.00. If you have outside seating in the Metropol Zone, you may set up approved furniture during the zone’s extended opening hours of 08.00 to 02.00. The Metropol Zone is understood as the area around Axeltorv on Vesterbrogade down to City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen).
The general terms & conditions can be found via the above links (in Danish). In addition to the terms & conditions set out in your licence, you must always observe any instructions from the City of Copenhagen and other relevant authorities.
The fee for advertising boards always applies for one full calendar year at a time. This means that you must pay the annual fee irrespective of whether your shop/restaurant is open all year round or whether you have one or more advertising boards in front of your shop/restaurant for part of the year. You are not entitled to a refund of the fee for months in which you do not use the public area.
NB: Please note that no licences will be issued to set up advertising boards/beach flags or other marketing material in the Strøget area.
The Strøget area is understood as Frederiksberggade, Nygade, Vimmelskaftet, Amagertorv and Østergade as well as Frederiksborggade 1 - 11 and 4 - 14, Købmagergade and Kultorvet.
Smell and noise
Your shop/restaurant must not cause any smell or noise nuisance in the surrounding area, e.g. incense or loud music. If you play music inside, your doors and windows must be kept closed.
Cooking of food (grilling etc.) is not permitted in the outside seating area.
Cleanliness and tidiness
It is your responsibility to keep the area for which your licence applies clean and to remove rubbish at closing time, even if it did not come from your shop/restaurant.
All furniture must be clean and well maintained, and any graffiti must be removed.
Other items, such as bottles, boxes etc., must not be stored in the public area. Throughout your opening hours, you should be mindful of the fact that you are operating in a public area.
You must make sure that all items remain within the permitted area and that the area is kept nice and tidy.
During the winter, you are responsible for snow-clearing and gritting around the area and for maintaining pedestrian passage.
Furniture for outside seating
Tables and chairs
The design and appearance should match the area’s aesthetics and culture. The furniture should consist of movable tables and chairs or small benches by agreement.
You may not use candles or other naked flames.
You may not put down any form of floor covering, carpets, runners etc. in the public area.
In some squares, you can apply for special permission to set up a pavilion.
You can apply for special permission to set up a bar.
Plant boxes and demarcation
Plant boxes and pots must be movable and may be no bigger than 100 cm long, 40 cm wide and 120 cm high, including the plants themselves.
You may not demarcate your outside seating area using plant boxes or anything else. You may only set up plant boxes as a boundary with the roadway (for safety purposes) or with an adjacent seating area.
You may not demarcate your outside seating in such a way that the public area appears to be a private area; there must be free, obvious and comfortable passage through the outside seating area.
Parasols must be movable. When open, they must be no bigger than 4 x 4 metres and must be completely within the permitted seating area.
Parasol ground sockets
First, you must get a contractor to apply for an excavation permit. You will be required to pay a one-off fee to cover the cost of reinstating the pavement etc.
Out of consideration for the environment, you should ideally use alternatives to gas heaters, e.g. electric heaters and blankets.
Safety and accessibility
The rules for outside seating, advertising boards and product displays have been drawn up to ensure that everyone can move around Copenhagen freely and safely. Your outside set-up should generally always allow at least 150 cm of free passage on the pavement. Wheelchair users, persons with walking aids or buggies, and persons with impaired mobility or vision must be able to use the pavement like everyone else.
Candles, oil lamps, torches, blankets, rugs, VIP ropes & poles etc. are not permitted on the city’s streets and pavements for safety reasons. Lanterns with the candle inside are permitted free of charge but only if they are appropriate and do not cause a nuisance to passers-by.
Your outside set-up must not cause a nuisance to motorists, cyclists or other persons at any time.
Phone opening hours
09:00 - 16:00
09:00 - 16:00
09:00 - 16:00
09:00 - 16:00
09:00 - 16:00