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Museums in Copenhagen | 15 Gems for Culture, Art & History

Louisiana Museum of modern art

Are you looking for some great museums in Copenhagen? You’re in luck!

I’ve been living in this incredible city for over ten years, and I’ve spent much of that time checking out all the cool spots. I love heading out to local parks and events, but museums have a special place in my heart.

Whether you’re into art or history or just like exploring new things, I have some top recommendations for you. Also, I want to quickly add that you can get great discounts on museums, attractions, tours, and public transport with The Copenhagen Card.

So, let’s dive into this guide together on the best museums in Copenhagen for you to visit!

Denmark’s Culture, History and Museums

In Copenhagen, you’ll quickly notice how much the Danish people treasure their art, design, and history. It’s not just in the museums; it’s in everything around you. From the way we celebrate holidays with age-old traditions to our lively festivals that light up the city, there’s a strong sense of pride in our culture.

Our museums are a reflection of this love. They’re not just places to see old stuff but spaces where our past meets the present. You’ll find everything from Viking relics to modern art showcasing our journey through time. And it’s not just about looking; it’s about learning and connecting with the stories that shaped us.

The love for design is also evident in our city’s architecture. From historic buildings to modern structures, every corner has a story to tell. It’s like the city itself is a museum, with each street and building adding to the rich tapestry of Danish culture.

So, as you explore Copenhagen, you’re not just visiting a city. You’re experiencing a living, breathing celebration of Danish art, history, and tradition. It’s a journey that brings you closer to the heart of what we cherish and celebrate as Danes.

What Are the Best Museums in Copenhagen?

When picking the best museums for the public to visit in Copenhagen, the city doesn’t disappoint. With various choices catering to different interests, visitors are in for a real treat.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or just curious about Danish culture, there’s a museum that speaks to everyone.

Let’s dive into some of the top museums in Copenhagen that are must-visits for locals and tourists alike.

1. National Museum of Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark is a testament to the country’s journey from the ancient past to the present day.

Famous for its stunning Bronze Age displays and rich collection of Golden Age art, the museum is a haven for those who love to delve into history.

museums of copenhagen
Photo credit to Nationalmuseet

The building is a piece of art, blending classic and contemporary architecture. This museum is perfect for anyone intrigued by the evolution of cultures and the artistic expressions that have shaped Denmark through the ages.

2. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is a public space where art and nature beautifully intersect, located in the heart of Copenhagen, . This museum’s highlights include an impressive collection of ancient Mediterranean art and Danish and French paintings.

The building is a marvel, boasting a stunning winter garden at its center.

museums in copenhagen
Photo credit to Glyptoteket

Art enthusiasts, especially those fond of impressionist works and classical sculptures, will find this place captivating.

The serene oasis garden adds to the museum’s charm, making it a delightful spot for anyone looking to blend art and tranquility in the city.

3. Design Museum Denmark

The Design Museum Denmark celebrates creativity, from 19th-century classics to fashion. This museum is a mecca for design enthusiasts, showcasing the best Danish innovation in public spaces and everyday items.

design museum in copenhagen
Photo credit to Designmuseumdanmark

Its architecture, an elegant blend of traditional and modern styles, is the perfect backdrop for the exhibits.

This museum is not just for design professionals; anyone curious about how aesthetics and functionality merge in everyday objects will find it fascinating. It’s where the evolution of design is observed and felt in every corner.

4. Thorvaldsens Museum

Thorvaldsens Museum, dedicated to the works of the famous Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, is a unique artistic treasure in Copenhagen.

The museum, distinctively colored and architecturally striking, houses an extensive collection of Thorvaldsen’s sculptures as well as his collection of art and antiquities.

Thorvaldens Museum
Photo credit to thorvaldsensmuseum

It’s a must-visit for those who appreciate neoclassical art and the profound influence of Thorvaldsen on European art.

The museum’s ambiance is as captivating as the art itself, offering a serene yet profound experience for art lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

5. The David Collection

The David Collection offers a unique journey into the world of Danish art from the early periods to the present. Renowned for its exquisite Islamic art collection, this museum provides an insightful glimpse into diverse cultures and histories.

The elegant and inviting building adds to the experience, making art accessible and enjoyable to the public.

The David collection
Photo credit to thedavidcollection

Art lovers and history enthusiasts will be captivated by the range of pieces, from classic Danish works to rare artifacts from around the world.

It’s a place where every visit turns into an enriching experience, revealing new layers of artistic expression and cultural understanding.

6. Danish War Museum

The Danish War Museum, set in a historic arsenal building, takes visitors through military history.

Known for its extensive collection of art from the 19th century to modern times, the museum in Copenhagen is home to a diverse array of artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, and decorations.

Its grand architecture adds to the immersive experience. This museum is ideal for those interested in military history and strategy.

It’s not just about war; it’s about understanding the historical events that have shaped Denmark and the world.

7. SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark

SMK, or Statens Museum for Kunst, is the epitome of Danish history and culture through art. Designed by a blend of architects, this museum houses an extensive collection of European art spanning centuries.

Known for its Danish Golden Age pieces, SMK invites art lovers to explore a world where each canvas tells a story. In addition, it’s the place to admire Danish artists such as Christen Købke, Nicolai Abildgaard, C.W. Eckersberg, L.A. Ring, P.S. Krøyer, and Vilhelm Hammershøi.

SMK museum in Copenhagen
Photo credit to smkmuseum

From modern masterpieces to classical artworks, it’s a place where art enthusiasts and history buffs can connect with Denmark’s artistic heritage.

The elegant building complements the art inside, making SMK a must-visit for anyone who appreciates the fusion of history and creativity. Also, it has one of the best cafes in Copenhagen inside for a mid-visit break.

8. Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Kunsthal Charlottenborg, in a prime location in the city, is a hub for the best contemporary art. Inside, the museum boasts a dynamic array of modern art exhibitions that constantly evolve, keeping the experience fresh and exciting.

The building is a piece of art, with its grand architecture and a charming courtyard, perfect for a relaxing break.

Kunsthal Charlottenborg museum in Copenhagen
Photo credit to kunsthalcharlottenborg

Right outside, there’s a cozy café where visitors can unwind and reflect on the art they’ve just seen. This museum is a favorite for those who love staying on the pulse of the art world, offering a glimpse into the cutting-edge of creativity.

9. Cisternerne

Cisternerne is an extraordinary museum experience in an underground extension beneath a stunning park, Søndermarken, in Copenhagen.

This unique space, once a water reservoir, now hosts immersive art installations that interact with the haunting, underground atmosphere.

Cisternerne museum in Copenhagen
Photo credit to Cisternerne

Known for its unconventional setting and exhibitions, Cisternerne offers a sensory journey. It’s a place where art, history, and architecture merge to create unforgettable experiences.

Ideal for adventurous art lovers and those intrigued by unconventional spaces, Cisternerne challenges perceptions and invites visitors to explore art from an entirely new perspective, deep under the city streets.

10. The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum of Copenhagen is more than a traditional museum; it’s a green oasis where visitors can explore the wonders of the natural world.

Founded to educate and inspire, this museum houses an impressive collection of specimens from various ecosystems.

The building itself is a testament to the beauty of nature, providing a serene backdrop to the exhibits.

Perfect for families, science enthusiasts, and anyone curious about the natural world, the museum offers interactive displays and engaging stories about our planet and its inhabitants. It’s where nature’s past, present, and future come alive.

11. The Workers Museum

The Workers Museum in Copenhagen offers a unique exhibition that dives into the life of the Danish working class. Set in a historical building, it brings to life the everyday struggles and triumphs of workers through the ages.

This museum is famous for its authentic recreations of workers’ living conditions and its engaging portrayal of labor history. It’s not just about the past; it also focuses on contemporary work life.

Visitors interested in social history and the evolution of work culture will find it particularly enlightening. Plus, there’s a bonus: an old-fashioned workers’ beer hall on-site, offering beer and traditional smørrebrød, adding a touch of nostalgia to the visit.

12. Experimentarium

The Experimentarium, a hub of interactive fun and learning, is a favorite among both kids and adults in Copenhagen. This museum is perfect for school excursions, offering hands-on science and technology exhibits that spark curiosity and imagination.

But it’s not just for kids – adults looking to ‘play’ for a day in Copenhagen find it equally captivating. The building is modern and inviting, setting the stage for a day filled with exploration and discovery.

Famous for its engaging and educational attractions, the Experimentarium makes science accessible and enjoyable for everyone, turning complex concepts into playful experiences. It’s a place where learning feels like an adventure.

13. Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum is a journey back in time to the era of the fearless Norse explorers. This museum is known for its impressive collection of original Viking ships, meticulously preserved and displayed.

The building, with its simple yet striking design, enhances the ancient maritime atmosphere. It’s an ideal spot for history enthusiasts, especially those fascinated by Viking culture and seafaring.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the lives of the Vikings, learning about their shipbuilding skills and adventurous spirit.

This museum doesn’t just showcase artifacts; it brings the daring world of the Vikings to life.

14. Lyngby Open-Air Museum

Lyngby Open-Air Museum offers a unique outdoor experience where visitors can step into Danish history. This museum is renowned for its collection of historic rural buildings, each telling its own story of Denmark’s past.

Set in a picturesque landscape, it’s a place where history is not just observed but experienced.

Open air museum

Kids especially love exploring the different structures and participating in interactive activities that bring historical lessons to life.

It’s an ideal spot for families and anyone interested in understanding the Danish way of life from centuries ago. The museum offers a hands-on approach to history, making it both fun and educational for all ages.

15. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Although not in Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art holds a special place as my favorite museum and is definitely worth the short trip.

Famous for its stunning modern art collection, the museum offers a captivating experience for art enthusiasts.

Louisiana Museum of modern art
Photo credit to louisianamuseum

The setting is a masterpiece, with a beautiful blend of nature and architecture that enhances the art.

Its serene atmosphere and breathtaking views make it more than just a museum visit; it’s a peaceful retreat perfect for a day trip out of Copenhagen.

Ideal for those who appreciate contemporary art in a tranquil setting, Louisiana is a gem that beckons visitors to explore and enjoy the fusion of art and nature.

Map of Museums in Copenhagen

Below, I have made a map of the museums in Copenhagen so you can navigate more easily:

Practical Information, Tickets, and Discount Options

Navigating Copenhagen’s museum scene can be budget-friendly with some insider tips.

The Copenhagen Card is a great option, offering free entry to many museums and other attractions. Check it out for free admission to museums, public transport, and tickets to other tours and attractions!

Additionally, some museums welcome visitors for free on Wednesdays, though keep in mind that Mondays might be a closing day for several places.

A special treat is the annual Culture Night, where most museums open their doors for free – a real boon if you happen to be in town.

These options make exploring Copenhagen’s rich cultural offerings both convenient and economical.

Final Thought on Museums in Copenhagen

And that’s it for the top museums in Copenhagen! Each one offers a unique window into the rich tapestry of Danish history, art, and culture.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or just curious about the Danish way of life, these museums are a must-visit. They showcase incredible collections and tell the stories of Denmark’s past and present, inviting you to explore and discover at your own pace.

As you plan your trip, remember these museums are just the start. Copenhagen is a city brimming with experiences.

For more ideas on what to do and see, make sure to read my article on the best tours in Copenhagen.

A whole world of adventure is waiting for you in this vibrant city, so dive in and enjoy every part of your stay!


FAQs About Museums in Copenhagen

Are museums in Copenhagen free?

While not all museums in Copenhagen are free, many offer free entry with the Copenhagen Card. This card can be a great way to save on admission fees and explore more.

What is the largest museum in Denmark?

The National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen is the largest museum in the country. It’s renowned for its extensive collection covering Danish history and culture.

Does Copenhagen have a Viking museum?

Roskilde, close to Copenhagen, is home to the Viking Ship Museum, which showcases original Viking ships and offers a deep dive into Viking history and maritime culture.

Is the Copenhagen Card worth it?

The Copenhagen Card can be very worthwhile, especially for visitors planning to explore multiple attractions. It offers free admission to many museums and discounts on tours and transportation.

The article may include affiliate links, meaning that I may receive affiliate compensation at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. Read more in my Affiliate Disclosure.


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