From the outside, Bankeråt looks pretty much like any other bar in Copenhagen. The exterior of the building is unassuming, and the bar's sign doesn't give any real clues to what lies within.
But as soon as you walk through the doors, you'll be greeted by various taxidermied animals and a wall of 30 golden faces. The other art on display is ever-changing, though it's guaranteed to be something out of the ordinary (a few naked torsos from a previous exhibit are still propped around the room). While things definitely start out strange in the front, it only gets weirder as you make your way deeper into the bar.
Grab your drink, and head to the back room, the one with the mirrored walls. You can't miss it. The chaotic reflective mosaics give the room an unsettling feeling, and decapitated baby doll heads dangling from the ceiling only add to that vibe. The dolls' faces, many decorated with splatters of red paint and dark lipstick, have a haunting glow. Their unblinking eyes seem to look deep into your soul. A large neon moose head in the corner is covered in intricate patterns, the work of a former bar employee.
As you sip a beer underneath one of the doll heads, you might notice a sign on the wall leading the way to the bathrooms. A woman points down a dark staircase, and the text on the sign translates to, "Toilets and phone in the basement."
Anyone who has drank at Bankeråt before will tell you that you absolutely must visit the bathrooms. It's sound advice, because as soon as you navigate your way downstairs, you'll find yourself face-to-face with two large taxidermied animals in elaborate costumes. They'll stare at you as you walk down the dimly lit corridor towards a shark that's waiting for you behind bars.
In the men's bathroom, the urinals are shaped like mouths. Both bathrooms have color-changing sinks and plenty of creepy statues to watch you while you pee. It's a surreal experience, especially if you're a few drinks in. So again, make sure you check out the bathrooms if you find yourself hanging out at Bankeråt.
The quirky space functions both as a café and a bar, so you'll have your choice between a latte or a Carlsberg. There's also a full menu of classic pub food with all of the nachos and wings you could possibly want. It's a popular weekend brunch spot with locals and with travelers who want an authentic Copenhagen experience. So if the idea of beady eyes watching you eat and drink doesn't totally creep you out, Bankeråt is a must-see on a trip to Copenhagen.
After all, it's always more fun to drink among friends, so logic would have it that it's even more fun to drink with a taxidermied pelican. And if you want to test that reasoning out for yourself, Bankeråt might just be the only place in the world where you can do so.
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