Begin your nightly pub-crawl, as the locals do, at Toldboden, Havnen 27 (tel. 56-65-50-75), built between 1833 and 1847. Carlsberg is served on draft, and you can also order Guinness, downing your suds in a summer courtyard. Live music is presented every Friday evening and on Saturday afternoons, but mostly it's a place to gather and meet the locals.
Our favorite spot to meet friends for a friendly chat at night is La Fontaine, Torvet 28 (tel. 56-65-51-00), which somehow always manages to have the coldest beer in town. It's right on the market square by the old fountain and stays open Sunday to Thursday 10am to midnight, and Friday and Saturday 10am to 2am -- late hours for sleepy Køge.
For young people, the hottest place to be at night is the Ritz Rock Café, Torvet 22 (tel. 56-65-33-77), which is Køge's version of the fabled Hard Rock cafes. People come here for the dance music and to eat and drink, partaking of the American and Tex-Mex cuisine. On a busy night, it holds up to 1,000 patrons. On the ground floor, you'll find the most impressive sound and light equipment, whereas the second floor is smaller and more formal, attracting a more mature clientele.
One of the most charming places for a quiet drink at night is Hugos Vinkælder, Brogade 19 (tel. 56-65-58-50), which opens its courtyard in fair weather. This cozy little wine bar retreat is found in the cellar of an antique building dating from 1392. Filled with atmosphere, it always has a well-chosen selection of wine, which it will sell by the half-bottle if desired. Open Monday to Thursday 10am to 11pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to 1am.
Ask at the tourist office what's on the bill at Køge Bugt Kulturhus, Portalen 1 (tel. 43-97-83-00); the Køge Bay Cultural Center is the venue for a wide range of concerts and theatrical performances. An exhibit of Danish and international art is displayed in its exhibition hall. Tickets for all types of cultural events are sold at the tourist office. Of course, you might want to skip the theatrical performances if you don't speak Danish, but concerts and other entertainment might interest English speakers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.