The 12 Best Museums In Copenhagen

Published by: Bounce17 January, 2022

Museum-hopping in Copenhagen is great fun, especially with all the different museums spread throughout the city; museums of every shape, size, and genre. Whether you are a history buff or a lover of the arts, you will definitely find several museums that grab your interest and make you want to explore further.

Finding the best museums in Copenhagen has never been easier! Keep reading to find out which museums are worth taking the time to visit. Before you head out to the first museum on your list, find a Copenhagen luggage storage service to drop your extra belongings, as most museums do not allow large bags inside.

Museum of Copenhagen

Address: 18 Stormgade, 1555 Kobenhavn V

Spend a few hours uncovering Copenhagen’s past, going back over 800 years. Delve into the pasts of some of the more prominent citizens of Copenhagen, see how the city changed through the years as it recovered from invasions, bombings, and fires. The strength of the people who have rebuilt the city time and again is truly a wonder.

Located behind City Hall in a historic and breathtaking building, you will have a close encounter with the fierce Vikings who settled the city and travel through time to the free city it is today. You will be taken on a journey through 14 key places in the city and the importance of each one.

Included on your journey is the Castle Island of Slotsholmen, City Hall Square, and the Amalienborg Palace Square. Each place highlighted tells a story of the resilience of the Danes and their desire to remain true to their roots. You can get in free to the Museum of Copenhagen if you have purchased a Copenhagen Card.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Address: 13 GI Strandvej, 3050 Humlebaek

This is the leading international art museum in Denmark and is a fantastic place to explore the arts. Nature and architecture have been combined to create an experience unlike any other. Located in a lovely old park in Humlebaek just north of Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is a must-see when you are checking out all the great museums in Copenhagen.

The modern art collections here date from 1945 to now and boast over 4,000 pieces of art, most being sculptures and paintings. While the entire collection is too large to be on display in its entirety, many pieces are on permanent display while others are rotated, giving you something new to look at every time you go.

The museum also hosts six to ten exhibitions each year highlighting local and international artists. While admission to the museum is free with your Copenhagen Card, special exhibitions do charge a separate fee.

Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Address: 2 Nyhavn, 1051 Kobenhavn K

Come check out the biggest exhibition of contemporary art in all of Europe at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Located in an extension of the Charlottenborg Palace right in the heart of Copenhagen, this museum has had a strong focus on international contemporary art since 1883. Established artists, as well as up-and-coming artists, are featured here.

While you are here, you may want to check out one of the special activities such as performances, video screenings, talks, and concerts. Visit the comprehensive bookstore located at the museum and look for great gift ideas. Before leaving the museum, take a stroll through the open courtyard, sit and meditate in the peacefulness of your surroundings. Admission is free with a Copenhagen Card.

Nikolaj Kunsthal

Address: 10 Nikolaj Plads, 1067 Kobenhavn K

Formerly the St. Nikolaj Church, the modern art gallery, Nikolaj Kunsthal is best known for its international contemporary art exhibits. Located in the city center, the outside of the building still very much looks like a church, but when you step foot inside it definitely is not a church. It has been transformed into a breathtaking art museum.

There are seven to ten annual exhibitions held at Nikolaj Kunsthal that focus mainly on innovative and experimental art by local Danish and international artists. After wandering through the different exhibitions, climb to the tower and look out over the rooftops of Copenhagen for unparalleled views. Grab a Copenhagen Card, admission to this museum is no charge if you have one. If you are looking for more things to do for free, we've got an informative guide here!

SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark

Address: 48-50 Solvgade, 1307 Kobenhavn K

The Statens Museum of Kunst (SMK) – National Gallery of Denmark is the biggest art museum in Denmark and features collections from international and Danish artists dating back seven centuries. Conveniently located just steps from the Norreport Station, you can easily take public transportation to reach this marvel of Danish history.

Sign up for a guided tour to ensure you do not miss anything when you visit. You can also sit in on art talks and workshops or sit back and enjoy live performances and concerts. View European classics from artists such as Hammershoi, Matisse, Mantegna, Elmgreen, Munch, Anna Ancher, and Abramovic. Bring your Copenhagen Card with you for free admission to the museum.

Cisternerne

Address: Sondermarken, 2000 Frederiksberg

This very unique space is actually located beneath Sondermarken Park in a former reservoir. Sondermarken Park is directly across from Frederiksberg Castle. This massive underground cavern has been transformed into an incredible exhibition venue where different galleries host events and special exhibits.

Stroll through the darkened Cisternerne and check out the various art exhibitions. Since daylight never reaches underground, the ambiance is truly remarkable. You almost feel like you should whisper as you make your way through the large cavern.

Danish Architecture Center

Address: 10 Bryghuspladsen, 1473 Kobenhavn K

Filled with interesting exhibitions, the Danish Architecture Center is dedicated to promoting architecture and urban development along Copenhagen’s harbor. See exhibits portraying the works of SANAA and Frank Gehry. Learn about the interesting Danish architecture and history of the homes and buildings along the harbor.

While at the center you can sign up for lectures and city walks that take you on a journey showcasing unique architecture. Guided tours take you through parts of the city and point out historic landmarks, iconic architecture, and stunning modern gems. Admission to the Danish Architecture Center is free with your Copenhagen Card, but special exhibits and tours do charge a separate fee.

Glyptoteket

Address: 7 Dantes Plads, 1556 Kobenhavn V

Officially known as Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, this interesting museum was founded in 1888 and is best known for displaying both ancient and modern art. The gallery is divided into modern and ancient works and each collection is expertly displayed including Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Etruscan art. Over 3,500 years of art are represented here.

The modern art mainly focuses on Danish artists from the 19th and 20th centuries but there are a few international artists displayed as well. The marble sculptures lining the halls are truly fantastic as is the winter garden filled with palm trees and a breathtaking fountain. General admission is free with your Copenhagen Card but special exhibitions may charge a fee; general admission is free every Tuesday.

Copenhagen Contemporary

Address: 173A Refshalevej, 1432 Kobenhavn K

The Copenhagen Contemporary is one of the biggest exhibition halls in Scandinavia for contemporary art from around the globe. It is housed in the fascinating, and very large, B&W welding hall that is over 75,000 square feet. Here, art comes alive and if felt with your entire body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. The Danish golden age is highlighted through a special art collection.

This center offers art walks, art talks, creative workshops for adults and children, concerts, performances, and so much more. While here, peek out the windows for breathtaking views of Copenhagen Harbour. Are you hoping to make a cool purchase as well? Before leaving make sure you check out the gift shop filled with interesting gift ideas and souvenirs. Admission is free for the permanent collection if you have a Copenhagen Card.

Arken Museum of Modern Art

Address: 100 Skovvej, 2635 Ishoj

Located just south of Copenhagen is Ishoj at Koge Bay Beach, Arken is home to works of art from some of the greatest Modernist artists. You will find one of the best permanent collections of contemporary art as well as fantastic maritime architecture. With over 400 Danish, Nordic, and international pieces of art from after 1990, you will want to spend a lazy afternoon exploring.

Be sure to check out the collection by Damian Hirst, one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists. The permanent exhibition of Asger Jorn’s Læsø as well as featuring works by Anselm Reyle, a renowned German artist. The fantastic masterpiece by Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist, should not be missed. Use your Copenhagen Card for free general admission.

Kunstforeningen GL STRAND

Address: 48 GL Strand, 1202 Kobenhavn K

This modern art gallery has a long history dating back to 1825. This Danish museum supports young Danish artists through art exhibitions. It is best known for bringing new art to Copenhagen and showcasing new artists, both local and international. The GL STRAND is different in that it does not have a permanent collection so all the exhibits constantly change making the experience new and exciting each time.

The museum also has six to eight exhibitions each year where new and innovative art is displayed, your Copenhagen Card can be used for general admission but not for special exhibits. Workshops and art talks are also held throughout the year. Sit in the small courtyard and enjoy a cup of coffee and a sweet treat from the café. The Crown Prince of Denmark is a patron of the museum and is a lover of the arts.

Thorvaldsens Museum

Address: 2 Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads, 1213 Kobenhavn K

The first museum in Denmark, the Thorvaldsens Museum opened its doors in 1848 and is dedicated to Bertel Thorvaldsen, a world-famous Danish sculptor. Stroll through the vibrant halls of this Danish museum and enjoy the masterful sculptures of Greek gods and historically famous people. The building is a marvel all by itself and is in Slotsholmen, right in the heart of Copenhagen.

Thorvaldsen donated his impressive art collection to the city of Copenhagen in 1838. The collection also includes works by contemporary European artists as well as many of his own art pieces. Thorvaldsen died in 1844 and was buried in the courtyard of the museum. Be sure to use your Copenhagen Card for free admission.

What are the best free museums in Copenhagen?

It used to be that the public museums were always free, however, in recent years, admission fees have had to be added to bring in revenue since government funding was cut. If you purchase a Copenhagen Card, many of the public museums in Copenhagen are free. However, many special exhibits do still cost a small fee.

Check out these best free museums in Copenhagen:

  • Mostings Hus

  • The David Collection

  • Thorvaldsens Museum (free on Wednesdays)

  • The Black Diamond

  • Glyptoteket (free on Tuesdays)

Which are the best museums in Downtown Copenhagen?

Downtown Copenhagen is filled with must-see attractions including several great museums. You can easily do a little museum-hopping while staying close to the city center. After hitting a few museums, sit down to a delicious meal at one of the welcoming restaurants or cafes. Once you have rested a bit, head out to explore a few more of the museums in the area.

  • Thorvaldsens Museum

  • Museum of Copenhagen

  • Kunsthal Charlottenborg

  • Copenhagen Contemporary

Are there any cheap museums in Copenhagen?

Copenhagen and cheap are two words that usually do not go hand in hand, however, there are still plenty of cheap and even free things to do in Copenhagen. The best way to stay within your budget is to purchase the Copenhagen Card. This discount card gives you free admission to 83 museums and attractions throughout the city.

By using your Copenhagen Card, you can visit several museums and get general admission free including these amazing Danish museums:

Statens Museum of Kunst (SMK) – National Gallery of Denmark

Arken Museum of Modern Art

Danish Architecture Center

Art Museums and More

So when touching down at Copenhagen Airport, make sure to add museum hopping to your list of things to do. The magnificent Danish design can be found pretty much anywhere in Copenhagen from the architecture to the art inside. Art museums abound here and of course, the Natural History Museum is always great fun. From Danish art to European works, each museum offers a glimpse into the city's past from artistic highlights and antiquities to plaster sculptures and beyond.

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