One of the best ways to get to know the history of the place you are visiting, is by exploring the museums there. It’s a perfect activity, whether you are somewhere hot and escaping the sun, or the museum can give you refuge from the rain or cold. I always seek out the museums in the cities that I visit, to see different histories and understand their heritages. This guide will take you through the 5 best museums in Copenhagen!
As two archaeologists, James and I love to fit in visits to historical places (castles are always a favourite) and museums. A holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without wandering the galleries of a museum. So it’s no surprise that we have squeezed quite a few museum visits into our short stays in Copenhagen.
I’ve compiled guides to museums before, such as the 5 best free museums to explore in Edinburgh. Copenhagen is another city that boasts a huge number of museums. Depending the length of your trip, you may be able to check out more than one! As I’ve had a few visits to the city now, I’ve managed to tick off 5 museums (and even squeezed in a couple of re-visits!), which I’ll share in this post – however there are plenty of others to discover if you have the time. Although I’ve called this a guide to the 5 best museums in Copenhagen, there are so many others to explore too!
Explore the Horniman Museum in London with me in this post!
The National Museet of Denmark
National Museums are the best place to get a good overview of a country’s history – and they often showcase some of the most well known artefacts and objects. The National Museum of Denmark is an impressive museum, with a huge array of history on show. The ground floor is by far the biggest gallery and has a wide collection of Denmark’s prehistory (until 1050AD) with artefacts such as the Gundestrup cauldron, the Trundholm Chariot of the Sun, and even displays of bog bodies. Other levels explore Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, Middles Ages and Renaissance and an Ethnographic Collection.
Currently, the museum has an exhibition called ‘The Raid’ where you can view an incredible display of objects from the Viking Age before taking part in an immersive story telling of Viking Björn Ironside’s journey.
The NY Carlsberg Glyptotek is a stunning museum which houses a collection of over 10,000 works of art and archaeological objects. The museum was founded by Carl Jacobsen – son of J.C. Jacobsen who founded the brewery Carlsberg. Jacobsen was a lover of the arts, and keen collector, and opened his collection to the public in 1882.
When you first enter the museum, you’ll find yourself in an incredible winter garden, the high roof filled with greenery, sculpture and water features. It’s truly transports you into an idyllic environment, before you lose yourself in a maze of marble statues and sculptures.
The museum has an impressive collection of Greek and Roman sculptures, and Ancient Egyptian artefacts. It’s set out thematically, with interactive headphones and storytelling which explains the historical context of the objects and their importance in a really interesting imaginative way.
Although we didn’t explore the artist collections, we spent hours wandering around the archaeology galleries, with artefacts from the Mediterranean, as well as the sculpture rooms.
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The Thorvaldsen Museum is housed in a striking building, painted yellow and decorated with Egyptian motifs, set around a central courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard is the tomb of Thorvaldsen himself.
Bertel Thorvaldsen was a Danish sculptor. He lived and worked in Rome for most of his life, and built up an incredible collection of sculpture casts. As well as the casts, the museum has a huge collection of his marble sculptures, with themes of classical mythology, Christian imagery and even a statue of Pope Pius VII.
Each of the three levels are dedicated to different aspects of Thorvaldsen’s life and work, and there’s even a small collection of archaeological objects which he collected.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is housed in a beautiful red brick building in the Botanical Gardens of Denmark. It is owned by the University of Copenhagen.
On my visit, the temporary exhibit that filled the rooms as The Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The rooms were categorised by theme, and each entry included excerpts from the photographer about their stunning photograph.
There are also some rooms with collections of minerals and , showcasing some fascinating geology.
The museum was setting up a new Neanderthals exhibition which arrives in April 2022 and promises to be great!
For city guides and trip ideas in Scotland, check out my Scotland page!
The Zoology Museum
The Zoology Museum is a bit of a walk out of central Copenhagen, but well worth the time it takes to get there.
One of the first things you see on the ground floor is the massive skeleton of a Diplodocus called Misty! The museum has many different sections which showcase different artefacts from zoology, botany and geology. There’s a fantastic section which takes you on a walk through different climate zones and habitats, looking at different species that thrive there. Start by walking through the glaciers of the Ice Age to come face to face with a woolly mammoth!
The Evolution exhibition is a beautiful display exploring Darwin’s theory of evolution, which guides you through skeletons and fossils which all prove his theory!
The museum is a fantastic place for children – with lots of interactive displays, videos, and a room where they can try slides under the microscope, draw their own dinosaurs, and handle some of the replica animal skulls.
Planning a trip to Europe? Have a look to my Italy guides for some Southern Italy inspiration!
If you’re planning to visit any of these museums, be sure to check out daily discounts. For example the Thorvaldsen Museum gives free entry on a Wednesday. Many of the museums also give group ticket discounts – for example, the Natural History Museum, Zoology Museum and Palm House (Botanical Garden) have a combined ticket option which gives you a great discount to all three!
And that’s my guide to the 5 best museums in Copenhagen! I plan to write individual posts for each of these museums, which will appear on the ‘museums’ tab of The Heritage Tourist, and will showcase more of each museum’s collections and galleries. So keep your eyes peeled!
Of course, there are many more museums in Copenhagen that are more than worth a visit, The Museum of Copenhagen takes a greater look at Copenhagen’s history, whilst the Danish Police Museum explores the history from the corps formation till present day. The Danish War museum takes you through both historic and modern wars, and the Medical Museion showcases the (sometimes gruesome) history of medicine.
If you’re more interested in art museums, then Copenhagen have plenty to visit. Whilst I haven’t visited any of the art museums, I’ve been recommended many including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the Statens Museum for Kunst and the Hirschsprung Collection.
SO many places to visit, you could easily dedicate a trip to just exploring all these fantastic spots. If you’re looking for more ideas of what to do in Copenhagen then check out this post!
Do you enjoy visiting museums on holidays? Which would be the first museum you’d visit?
The National Museum keeps Denmark's largest and most varied collection of objects from the ancient cultures of Greece and Italy, the Near East and Egypt. For example, it holds a collection of objects that were retrieved during the Danish excavation of Tell Shemshara in Iraq in 1957.Which palace is best to visit in Copenhagen? ›
Architecturally, Frederiksborg is undoubtedly the best castle in Copenhagen. It also just so happens to be the home to the Danish Museum of National History.Are Copenhagen museums free? ›
Visiting Copenhagen can be expensive, but there are plenty of free museums and attractions if you know where to find them and which days to visit. Copenhagen currently has 15 museums offering free admission. Check each museum's description below for their free entry days, as not all museums offer free access every day.What is the prettiest place in Denmark? ›
The white cliffs of Møn are one of the most famous and beautiful places in Denmark. It is the only place in the country where you can experience high chalk cliffs and an abundance of unique flora and fauna associated with them.Is 2 days enough to see Copenhagen? ›
Two days in Copenhagen are enough to see the main attractions, but we suggest spending three or four days in the city. This is the only way you can enjoy the Danish hyggeligt lifestyle, which means enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life.What is the #1 museum in the world? ›
1. Louvre Museum, Paris (France.Is DDR museum worth visiting? ›
The DDR Museum is one of Berlin's most recommended museums, giving an interactive insight into life in the Soviet-era German Democratic Republic (GDR) or rather, East Germany.Why is Pergamonmuseum controversial? ›
The Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus were both transported from Turkey, for example. And since the museum's opening in 1930, there has been controversy over the legitimacy of the acquisition of the collection. Many have suggested that the collection be returned to Turkey.Is 3 days enough in Copenhagen? ›
Three days in Copenhagen is not enough to truly discover the city, but the relatively small size and friendly people make it a prime destination for a short getaway. And you can always see more on your next trip…What is the best month to visit Copenhagen? ›
The best time to visit Copenhagen is from March to May or between June and August – depending on what you're looking for. While the summer brings the warmest weather and a number of popular, large-scale events, those looking for lower rates and fewer crowds can still enjoy the mild weather in the spring.
All in all, 2 days in Copenhagen is ideal if you're trying to see the main sites and get a good feel for the city, three days is great if you want to dig deeper in the city itself and 4 days in Copenhagen is fantastic for a few day trips to either nearby areas within Denmark or over the bridge in Sweden.Is Amalienborg Palace worth visiting? ›
The area consists of four identical buildings, which surround the octagonal castle square. In the middle of the castle square stands an impressive statue of King Fredrik the Fifth, who was the founder of Amalienborg. If you are in Copenhagen this is definitely a place worth visiting.How much should I budget for Copenhagen? ›
For budget-minded travelers, it costs around $70-$120/day to visit Copenhagen. These prices are based on what you'll need to visit the city comfortably as a budget traveler. If you want to upgrade your accommodations then you'll want to add another $100-$200/night depending on where you stay.How much is a cup of coffee in Copenhagen? ›
High coffee shop sales
But when you consider the average price of a cup of coffee at home costs 0.30 euros and at the office just 0.36 euros, that translates into an awful lot of coffee bought on the highstreet.
Denmark is a fairly small country and therefore in two weeks you can see the country's main attractions and visit the most beautiful cities including Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus. Start your trip from Copenhagen, Denmark's capital and one of the country's most beautiful cities.What is the most interesting thing in Denmark? ›
Denmark is known as the birthplace of LEGO and being the happiest country on the planet. The country is famed for having the oldest monarchy in Europe as well as the world's oldest national flag. Denmark is also famous for its bike culture, its liberal and open society, and being a world leader in sustainability.What food is Copenhagen known for? ›
What food is Copenhagen famous for? Copenhagen is famous for its New Nordic Cuisine; however, traditional Danish dishes like Smørrebrød are popular too. Copenhagen is also famous for its sweet pastries and savory morning buns.Is Denmark a walkable city? ›
Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, is a prime example of a walkable city. Since the 1960s, its main shopping street, Strøget, has become a delightful pedestrian area.What is the most visited museum in the world 2022? ›
- 1 The Louvre – Paris, France. ...
- 2 National Museum of China – Beijing, China. ...
- 4 The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, USA. ...
- 5 British Museum – London, UK. ...
- 6 Tate Modern – London, UK. ...
- 7 The National Gallery – London, UK. ...
- 8 The Natural History Museum – London, UK.
How much time should I plan for a visit? According to the visitor survey, our guests need about two hours for the exhibition. But there are also people who spend four hours in the exhibition.How long do you spend in ABBA museum? ›
The ticket is only valid for one entry during your chosen date and time. Just remember that we recommend around 1½-2 hours inside the exhibition, and to keep an eye on our opening hours on our website!What day is free at the ROM? ›
The Museum will be free—for everyone—on the third Tuesday Night (4:30 pm - 8:30 pm) of each month. Includes free access to all galleries, plus our special exhibitions: Fantastic Beasts™: The Wonder of Nature, Kent Monkman: Being Legendary and Wildlife Photographer of the Year*What is the Pergamon Museum known for? ›
The exhibition in the Pergamonmuseum features full-scale reconstructions of architectural monuments from Greek and Roman antiquity. The main attraction is undoubtedly the Pergamon Altar (180–160 BC). Its relief frieze is a masterpiece of Hellenistic art. It depicts the Olympian gods in battle with the Giants.Is the original Ishtar Gate still standing? ›
The important remains of the Ishtar Gate remain on site in Babylon. Modern bricks were used to repair the original façade which had been taken away just above the modern level. The lowest levels of the Street of Procession and the Gate cannot be shown as they are too deep under present groundwater levels.Is the Pergamon Altar closed? ›
The hall containing the Pergamon Altar closed in the autumn of 2014 and is expected to remain closed until 2025.Do and don'ts in Denmark? ›
- Don't Ride a Bike Before Getting Familiar with the Rules.
- Don't Drink and Bike-Ride.
- Don't Assume Weed is Legal.
- The Rules of Pusher Street.
- Don't Interact with Danes' Dogs.
- Don't Take (Only) Flip-Flops to Denmark.
- Trying out your Danish Skills.
The public transport infrastructure of Copenhagen is among the most efficient and reliable in the world, and it is still being developed and improved. Public transport will get you anywhere you wish to go in the capital region.What is the darkest month in Denmark? ›
The longest dark nights, on the other hand, are in winter. A December night in Copenhagen lasts almost 17 hours and the days start about 4 hours later. Who wants to look at the sunrise during these days, can take it easy. Late by 8:03 the sun rises in Copenhagen.How can I spend 3 days in Copenhagen? ›
- Visit one of Copenhagen's renowned museums.
- Discover Copenhagen's jazz scene.
- Spend an afternoon in the vibrant Nyhavn.
- Take a trip to Tivoli Gardens.
- Visit the statue of the Little Mermaid.
- Wander around in the city centre.
- Experience local gastronomy.
- Related Articles.
The northern lights are present year-round, but you can't see them when the nights are light. The best time to see northern lights in Denmark is considered to be between April to September when the sky remains cloudless, and the nights are darker, giving more opportunity to witness this phenomenon.Is Copenhagen easy to walk around? ›
Copenhagen's small size makes it a walkable city, and few of the main sights or shopping quarters are more than a 20-minute walk from the city center. Walking around Copenhagen allows you to find hidden gems and interesting detours that you might have missed otherwise.Is Copenhagen tourist friendly? ›
Copenhagen is a really unique city, and its happy, friendly people make any visit to Copenhagen very pleasant - even if it is during the frigid cold months.Is hop on hop off Included in Copenhagen Card? ›
While the Copenhagen Card only offers free public transport by bus, train, and metro, the Copenhagen City Pass fully covers the cost of a Stromma hop on hop off bus tour.What things are free in Denmark? ›
- The Little Mermaid statue and Kastellet. ...
- Wander around Norrebro. ...
- The colourful Nyhavn. ...
- Explore Freetown Christiania. ...
- Photograph the orange houses of Nyboder. ...
- The Botanical Gardens of Copenhagen. ...
- Get epic views from Christiansborg Palace Tower.
Strøget is Copenhagen's main shopping street and one of Europe's longest pedestrian streets with a wealth of shops, from budget-friendly chains to some of the world's most expensive brands.Can you drink on street in Copenhagen? ›
Yes, it's totally legal to drink in public in Copenhagen and in the rest of Denmark as well. This can be seen especially during summer, when people enjoy the warm weather and meet in the public parks, with cold beers or wine.Is food cheap in Denmark? ›
Anyone who has spent time living in Denmark knows that it's one of the most expensive countries around. That's true when it comes to food shopping in Denmark, too. One Dane who had lived in the US explained it this way: “In Denmark, every supermarket is priced like Whole Foods.”How much is a typical meal in Denmark? ›
|Big Mac meal||64 DKK|
|Lunch at a café||130–160 DKK|
|Two-course meal (mid-range restaurant)||250–300 DKK|
|Two-course meal (high-end restaurant)||300–600 DKK|
The Euro is not generally accepted in Denmark. However, you can pay with Euro in department stores, tourist shops, taxis etc. Please inquire about the exchange rate, and in taxis you should ask the driver before getting in.
According to Danish law, any service charge, including tips for waiters, has to be included in the price in restaurants. However, waiters obvious appreciate a tip, and according to some sources, it is customary to leave up to 10% to the waiter, if you are satisfied with the service.Can you use euros in Copenhagen? ›
Can I Use Euros In Copenhagen? You can use euros in Copenhagen for more significant purchases, but the same as US dollars, you'll get a poor exchange rate. And any change will be returned to you in kroner also at a low exchange rate.How many days is enough in Copenhagen? ›
All in all, 2 days in Copenhagen is ideal if you're trying to see the main sites and get a good feel for the city, three days is great if you want to dig deeper in the city itself and 4 days in Copenhagen is fantastic for a few day trips to either nearby areas within Denmark or over the bridge in Sweden.What is unique about Copenhagen? ›
Copenhagen is a unique city, characterized by its canals, cycling culture, strong economy, and happy locals. It is actually known as being the happiest city in the world, due to its shorter workdays, free college tuition, more vacation days, and levels of personal interaction.Is it customary to tip in Copenhagen? ›
In Copenhagen, tipping is not a tradition. If you receive extraordinary good service, you are welcome to reward it with a tip, but it is not expected. Service is normally included in the bill at restaurants, hotels and taxis. Thus it is optional whether to round up the bill or not.What is the best month to visit Denmark? ›
The best time to visit Denmark is in June, July and August, when daylight hours are long and temperatures sit comfortably between 59°F and 68°F — ideal for hiking in the green landscape. This is a popular time to get outdoors for visitors and locals alike, and the coast can get busy.What is the national dish of Copenhagen? ›
The "national dish of Denmark" is stegt flæsk - pieces of pork, fried until crisp, and then served with boiled potatoes and parsley sauce.Can u drink tap water in Copenhagen? ›
Copenhagen has some of the world's best tasting tapwater. The drinking water in Copenhagen undergoes strict daily quality controls, ensuring that it is perfectly safe to drink – and it is so clean and pleasant tasting that there is no need to add chlorine or other chemicals.Should I take cash to Copenhagen? ›
Cash, credit cards and mobile banking apps are all accepted in Denmark, so you have little need for cash, especially in Copenhagen. But if you intend to travel beyond Greater Copenhagen on your trip to Denmark, you will need a small amount of cash for things like local buses and toilets.What is a typical breakfast in Denmark? ›
Typical Danish breakfast is bread (white or rye bread) with cream or soft cheese, sausage, cured cold meat or jam with coffee or tea. Among popular breakfast dishes are also cereals and porridge. One of the most interesting things and a very traditional Danish food you can eat in Copenhagen is øllebrød.
Main meals. Most Danes have three regular meals a day, usually consisting of a cold breakfast with coffee or tea, a cold lunch at work and a hot dinner at home with the family. Some also have a snack in the middle of the afternoon or in the late evening.What is the most eaten food in Denmark? ›
Denmark's national food dish: Stegt flæsk
The crispy pork with parsley sauce and potatoes is a very old dish that has won the hearts, and tummies, of Danes for centuries. You can try the Danes' national dish in many restaurants around Denmark.