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Copenhagen Museums: The definitive guide

If you are visiting Copenhagen for any length of time you are sure to want to visit one of the many museums there. From the National Museums with important collections, to the quirky, there is something for everyone. We are put together a list of our favourites, so please come and visit and find out more.

It is also worth mentioning the Parkmuseerne. This is a collaboration between six Copenhagen museums which are all located around Østre Anlæg which is a public park in the centre of Copenhagen. You can access all six Parkmuseerne museums on one ticket which is valid for one year.

The museums that are included are:

  • David's Collection
  • The Hirschsprung Collection 
  • National Natural History Museum of Denmark 
  • The National Gallery of Copenhagen or SMK 
  • Rosenborg Castle 
  • Filmhuset

State Museums

Nationalmuseet - National Museum of Denmark 

Nationalmuseet - National Museum of Denmark

Photo credit: Visit Denmark

A fantastic and extensive collection of Danish history as well as history gathered from all over the world. There are eleven permanent exhibitions taking you through time from the Hunters of the Ice Age, The Viking then the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance and the present. You can find the National Museum of Denmark in the centre of Copenhagen near to the Tivoli Gardens and Copenhagen Harbour.

Must see:

  • Sun Chariot
  • Bronze Age Lurs
  • Ethnographic collection
  • Roman Swords

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm

Location:

  • Nationalmuseet, Prince's Mansion, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K

Børnenes Museum - Children’s Museum at the National Museum 

Within the National Museum of Denmark you will also find the Children’s Museum. This is a fascinating Copenhagen museum which tells the history and the culture of children. Children can play in Grandma’s wardrobe and dress up how Granny did when she was a girl, or they can attend Granddad’s classroom from 1920. If they want to learn more about the Vikings, there is a full scale replica Viking Ship which they can explore whilst dressing up in the costumes from the day.

Must see:

  • Grandma’s Wardrobe
  • The world of the Vikings

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 – 16:30

Location:

  • Børnenes Museum, Prince's Mansion, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K

Amalienborg 

Amalienborg

Photo credit: Visit Denmark

Many people visiting Copenhagen like to visit Amalienborg Palace home to the Danish royal family and the Queen’s winter residence. The palace is not only famous for its ‘Changing of the Guard’ but also for its excellent museum. It has a superb location at the mouth of Copenhagen Harbour and a short walk from the Little Mermaid.

The museum takes you on a journey through time of the Danish royal family, one of the oldest monarchies in the world. The museum includes some of the private interior of the palace as well as some of the state rooms depending on whether they are being used or prepared for a visit, as this still is a working palace.

Must see:

  • Christian IX and Queen Louise Rooms
  • The Garden Room
  • The Gala Hall

Opening hours:

  • Please check their website for up-to-date opening hours as these can be subject to change 

Location:

  • Amalienborg Palace, Christian VIII's Palæ, 1257 Copenhagen K

Kongernes Lapidarium

The Lapidarium of Kings is somewhat quirky and truly unique Copenhagen museum in the centre of the city on Slotsholmen Island. It is located in one of Copenhagen’s oldest buildings - in the vaulted cellar of a brewhouse. The museum is quite a recent addition to the city as it was only opened in the summer of 2014.

It is now home to over 300 statues and sculptures which have been collected from palaces, gardens and royal buildings from around Denmark and stand together in a somewhat eerie group.
The museum is currently only open for tours, but it is worth arranging one if you are visiting Copenhagen Harbour, The Victorian Home or the Royal Library as they are in close proximity.

Must see:

  • Scandinavia’s first equestrian statue from 1688, depicting Christian V in both lead and in white plaster of Paris
  • French sculptor Saly’s equestrian statue from Amalienborg Palace Square

Opening hours:

  • Please check the website as these are subject to change 

Location:

  • Kongernes Lapidarium, Christian 4.s Bryghus, Frederiksholms Kanal 29, 1220 København K

Klunkehjemmet - The Victorian Home 

The Victorian Home is a wonderfully preserved home on Frederiksholms Kanal, which surrounds the central island of Slotsholmen on Copenhagen Harbour. The house was built around 1850 and went on to be owned by the merchant Rudolph Christensen who was the joint owner of a ribbon factory.

Christensen was wealthy and the family home was decorated to a very high standard. Fortunately the house and its interior have been preserved more or less untouched, by Christensen’s daughters who lived in the house until their deaths in 1963, when the house was bequeathed to National Museum.

Must see:

  • The drawing room
  • The dining room
  • Bedrooms and kitchen

Opening hours:

  • Please check the website for up-to-date opening times 

Location:

  • Klunkehjemmet, Frederiksholms Kanal 18, 1471 København K, Denmark

Art Museums

Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) - National Gallery of Copenhagen 

SMK Copenhagen

Photo credit: Visit Denmark

The Statens Museum for Kunst or SMK is just a five minute walk from Norreport Station and is located in the Østre Anlæg. It is part of the Parkmuseerne which is a collaboration of museums which can be visited under one ticket.

This world class museum covers 700 years of art with permanent exhibitions as well as special exhibitions, concerts, art talks, films and creative workshops. As well as the museum itself you enjoy refreshments in the café and explore the gardens.

Must see:

  • The Danish Golden Age collection
  • Matisse Collection

Opening hours:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00 -17.00
  • Wednesday: 11.00 - 20.00

Location:

  • Statens Museum for Kunst, Sølvgade 48-50, DK-1307 København K

Ny Carlseberg Glypotek 

The Carlsberg Glypotek gets its name from two sources. Carlsberg the well-known Danish Brewery company owned by philanthropist Carl Jacobsen, and Glypotek which derives from the Greek ‘Glyphein’ to carve and ‘theke’ a storing place. As such it is mainly a home to sculptures from the ancient Mediterranean areas, but also holds an extensive collection of paintings and art from the Danish Golden Age. This world renowned Copenhagen museum was founded by Carl Jacobsen and is located in the centre of Copenhagen next to the Tivoli Gardens.

Must see:

  • Too many to mention

Opening hours:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 – 18:00
  • Thursday 11:00 – 22:00

Location:

  • Ny Carlseberg Glypotek, Dantes Plads 7, 1556 København, Denmark

Thorvaldsen Museum

 

Photo credit: Visit Denmark

The Thorvaldsen Museum is also on Slotsholmen Island on the Copenhagen Harbour front. It is a museum covering the works of just one artist, Bertel Thorvaldsen who actually lived in Rome for most of his life. He was an important Danish neoclassical sculptor and a comprehensive collection of his works is now on display at this wonderful Copenhagen museum.

Must see:

  • Bertel Thorvaldsen’s private collection
  • The Three Graces with Cupid
  • Young Dancing Girl
  • The Shepherd
  • Paintings

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday-Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Monday closed, closed Dec 24, 25, 31 and Jan 1

Location:

  • Thorvaldsen Museum, 2 Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads, DK-1213 Copenhagen K

Hirschsprung Collection 

Another small but excellent Copenhagen museum the Hirschsprung Collection is located in the Østre Anlæg and near to the SMK. It is part of the Parkmuseerne group of museums, and is based around the personal collection of Henrich Hirschsprung. Hirschsprung was a wealthy tobacco manufacturer and was also a patron of the arts. His collection was strongly featured around the Danish Golden Age from 1800 to 1850 but also included later works. He donated all his works to the Danish state shortly before his death.

Must see:

Opening hours:

  • Monday-Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday-Sunday: 11 AM - 4 PM
  • Closed 23-26 and 31 December and 1 January

Location:

  • Thorvaldsen Museum, Stockholmsgade 20, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø

Kunsthallen Nikolaj 

Located right in the heart of Copenhagen, the Kunsthallen Nikolaj is a contemporary arts centre in the former St Nicholas Church which is a real landmark in Copenhagen due to its tall spire. It is regularly home to modern art exhibitions and is a must-see for contemporary art lovers.

Must see:

  • Their Children’s exhibition which is held once a year

Opening hours:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday to Friday 12-6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 11-17pm

Location:

  • Kunsthallen Nikolaj, Nikolaj Plads 10 / 1067 København K

Kunsthal Charlottenborg 

The Kunsthal Charlottenborg is the official gallery for the Royal Danish Academy of Art and is located in the city centre next to the Charlottengborg Palace just off the Copenhagen Harbour front. The building itself is beautiful with a lovely open courtyard and it is now one of the largest spaces for contemporary art in Europe

Must visit:

  • Bookstore
  • Art Cinema
  • Apollo bar

Opening hours:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday to Friday 12pm – 8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 11am – 5pm

Location:

  • Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Nyhavn 2, 1051 København K, Danmark

The David Collection 

This museum which stemmed from the private collection of lawyer C L David is located in the building that used to be his own home. It is just of the Østre Anlæg and the King’s Garden in central Copenhagen it is part of the Parkmuseerne group of museums and is a 20 minute walk from the Little Mermaid. C L David started by collecting paintings and sculptures by Danish artists, but in later life also added pieces from Islamic Art.

Must see:

  • Islamic Art Collection

Opening hours:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday to Sunday 10-17
  • Wednesday 10-21

Location:

  • The David Collection, Kronprinsessegade 30-32, dk-1306 Copenhagen K

Science Museums

Experimentarium (Hellerup) 

Newly re-opened in January 2017 after three years of renovations, Denmark’s science centre has doubled in size and is just 15 minutes north of Copenhagen in Hellerup. This fantastic new Copenhagen museum is spread across several floors and includes a range of hand on and interactive exhibits. A really fun, as well as educational, day out for all the family.

Must see / do:

  • Bubblearium
  • Laser musical instrument
  • The interactive cinema

Opening hours:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30 - 17:00
  • Thursday 9:30 - 20:00
  • Saturday and Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

Location:

  • Experimentarium, Tuborg Havnevej 7, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark

Medical Museion 

Located in the former Royal Academy of Surgeons, near to the Amalienborg Palace the Medical Museion is a collection of medical history exhibits, but also acts as a research unit for the University of Copenhagen. Ranging from body parts to Genomic enlightenment, the collections span the centuries and are a must for anyone interested in medicine!

Opening hours:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday to Friday 10:00 - 16:00
  • Saturday and Sunday 12:00 - 16:00

Location:

  • Medical Museion, Bredgade 62, 1260 Copenhagen

Statens Naturhistoriske Museum – The Natural History Museum of Denmark 

The Natural History Museum of Denmark is spread across three different buildings focusing on three different areas; the Zoological Museum, the Geological Museum and the Botanical Garden. They are all part of the Parkmueerne group of museums and they are all located in the public park, Østre Anlæg in the centre of Copenhagen. Theya are just a ten minute walk from the Little Mermaid.

Must see:

  • Too many to list

Opening hours:

  • Please check their website for most up to date information as each individual museum has different information 

Location:

  • Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, Øster Voldgade 5-7, DK-1350 Copenhagen K

Diesel House 

Diesel House is another unusual Copenhagen museum and is located in the H C Ørsted Værket building which was once a natural gas power station. Being in the industrial part of the Copenhagen Harbour next to MAN Diesel & Turbo who funded the museum, it isn’t the easiest place to find, but is worth the effort if you are interested in engineering. The power station was run by a large diesel engine built by Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen in 1933. The museum tells the story of the development of the diesel engine and has a number of working engines on exhibit.

Must see:

  • H. C. Ørsteds-engine (B&W no. 2000) from 1932 is still operational and is started every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at 11am
  • B&W Engine Nr.1 starts every Thursday at 2pm
  • Holeby Engine Nr. 1 is temporary out of service
  • Bur-Wain Engine Starts every Tuesday at 2pm
  • All engines runs for approx. 5-10 min

Opening hours:

  • Monday and Saturday closed
  • Tuesday to Friday 10:00 to 16:00
  • Alternate Sundays 10:00 to 13:30

Location:

  • DieselHouse, Energiporten 8, 2450 København SV

Heritage Museums

Tøjhus Museum - Royal Danish Arsenal Museum 

Located on the Slotshomen the Tøjhus Museum is a military museum exhibiting weapons from the early 1600s, and Christian IVs arsenal. A must see for anyone interested in militia.

Must see:

  • Display of cannons
  • A Distant War – exhibition on the war in Afghanistan

Opening hours:

  • Mondays closed
  • Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Location:

  • Tøjhus Museum, Tøjhusgade 3, 1220 København, Denmark

Arbejdermuseet - Worker’s Museum 

This fascinating museum, in the Worker’s Assembly Building in the centre of Copenhagen tells the lives of working class people through modern history. It especially highlights the importance of the union movement on improving the lives of the working people.

Must see:

  • Stop Slavery
  • The Children’s Workers Museum
  • The Sørensen Family

Opening hours:

  • Every day except Wednesday 10:00 – 16:00
  • Wednesdays 10:00 – 19:00

Location:

  • Arbejdermuseet, Rømersgade 22, 1362 Copenhagen K

Dansk Jødisk Museum - Danish Jewish Museum 

The Danish Jewish Museum, which is located on the Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, recounts 400 years of history of the Danish Jews. It is a poignant reminder of the story of how the Danish people saved so many Jews from the Nazis in World War II. It won’t take you all day to visit, but while you are there you will find the building and architecture very interesting. Located within a historic building the inside space has been transformed with sloping floors, and luminous glass panels which create an expressive journey through space and time.

Must see:

  • Everything, including the architecture

Opening hours:

  • Their opening hours vary from summer to winter, and for religious holidays so please check their website for details 

Location:

  • Dansk Jødisk Museum, Proviantpassagen 6, DK-1218 Copenhagen K

Miscellaneous museums

Københavns Rav Museum - Copenhagen Amber Museum 

Located in Kannerworffs House, one of Copenhagen’s oldest houses, just off the Nyhavn, the Copenhagen Amber Museum is one of the world’s most recognised amber museums. With a fantastic collection of amber pieces collected through time, the museum also looks at the discovery of amber.

The museum is also part of one of the shops run by the House of Amber, so it is a great place to visit if you fancy buying a piece, plus the area in general is a much loved place to visit by tourists and Danes alike.

Must see:

  • Their collection of amber containing insects and plants
  • The fisherman’s collection

Opening hours:

  • 1 May – 30 September: 09:00 – 19:30
  • 1 October – 30 April: 10:00 – 17:30

Location:

  • Københavns Rav Museum, Kongens Nytorv, Nyhavn 2, 1050 København K, Denmark

Regional Museums

Frilandmuseet - Open Air Museum (Kongens Lyngby) 

Located 15 km north of Copenhagen in Kongens Lyngby, the Frilandmuseet is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world and covers over 80 acres. This rural museum transports you back to a different world where you can visit the homes and workplaces of people from over three centuries.

The land itself is also part of the museum with the farms and countryside being a great representation of how the land was used in a bygone time. It is a great place to take children as it is both educational and a fun place to explore, with the added bonus that it is free! You can also combine your day with the Brede Works which are also nearby.

Must see:

  • The old buildings such as the farmhouses, mills, watermills, and blacksmith

Opening hours:

  • As an open air museum the opening hours are dependent on the seasons and holidays, please refer to their website for up-to-date opening hours 

Location:

  • Frilandmuseet, Kongevejen 100, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Brede Værk - Brede Works (Kongens Lyngby) 

Just up the road from the Frilandmuseet you will find the Brede Works, or the factory in the countryside which opens at weekends only. This amazing museum focuses on the industrialisation of Denmark and the site itself is on the largest protected industrial complex in Denmark. The exhibits themselves are detailed and varied and also interactive, making it another great museum to take children.

Must see:

  • If the weather is good take time to explore the countryside as well as the industrial mill area.

Opening hours:

  • Closed on weekdays
  • Please refer to their website for weekend opening times and dates

Location:

  • Brede Værk, I. C. Modewegs Vej, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

Ordrupgaard – closed temporarily, but Art Park is still open

The Ordrupgaard is an art museum situated around 12 km north of Copenhagen, near Jægersborg Dyrehave. The museum is home to a fantastic collection of Danish and French art. The museum is currently closed for a new extension which is being built to a design by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta which looks to be an exciting new home for this fantastic collection.

In the meantime the Art Park is still open and another great outdoor space to visit. Each summer the park becomes home to outdoor art exhibits such as Himmelhaven which looks to feature the works of Edgar Degas amongst others.

Must see:

  • Himmelhaven

Opening hours:

  • 8:00 – 18:00 everyday

Location:

  • Ordrupgaard, Vilvordevej 110, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

Finn Juhl’s House (temporarily closed) 

Set within the grounds of the Ordrupgaard, Finn Juhl’s House is a house that the iconic architect and designer built for himself in 1942. It is furnished with furniture of his own creations and is a great place to visit if you are interested in furniture design and Danish design in particular. Unfortunately the house is currently closed but check the website for re-opening details.

Opening hours:

  • The house is currently closed but please check their website for reopening details 

Location:

  • Finn Juhl’s House, Kratvænget 15, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

Sommer’s Automobile Museum 

Situated in Nærum, north of Copenhagen, do not miss this great little collection of vintage cars. It also had a great collection of model cars. It is only open on Sunday afternoons and Wednesdays 18:00 to 21:00 when there is a special exhibition, so make sure you time your visit!

Opening hours:

  • Sundays 14:00 – 17:00

Location:

  • Sommer’s Automobile Museum, Nærum Hovedgade 3, 2850 Nærum, Denmark

Where to stay in Copenhagen

If you are planning a visit to Copenhagen we hope you find our list of our favourite Copenhagen Museums interesting. If you are looking for accommodation during your stay, Living Suites are a brand new apartment hotel and an excellent alternative to some of the pricier hotels in the centre of the city. Located in Nærum, in Copenhagen North we have excellent public transport links making us an ideal option for those wanting a bit more space and facilities such as your own kitchen. We have a range of apartments suitable for singles and couples up to larger families and groups.

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The Living Suites Team

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