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Five museums you can’t miss in Copenhagen

shop in museum

Danish Architecture Center (DAC) (Photo by Caroline Sølver)

According to student reporter Caroline Sølver, Copenhagen may be a small capital, yet it has everything you need, including great museums that share the history of Copenhagen and Denmark through art, design and artefacts. Here are five great museums to add to your Copenhagen bucket list.

Guide |   07. Oct 2020

Caroline Sølver


Copenhagen may not be the largest metropolis in the world, but the tiny capital still has it all. Great shopping and fashion, a mind-blowing culinary scene, world-famous furniture, design and architecture traditions, not to mention all the lovely art and history museums that are spread throughout the city.

Here are five museums in Copenhagen that you can’t miss, including the newly opened Museum of Copenhagen.

The Museum of Copenhagen (Københavns Museum)

A month before the corona lockdown happened, The Museum of Copenhagen opened its doors in a brand-new space after undergoing renovation for five years. The building itself is an experience with beautiful rooms and a ceiling with gorgeous paintings. Throughout several floors, the Museum documents the history of Copenhagen dating back to the 12th century, before Copenhagen was even established as a city, until today. It also features archeological finds discovered while excavating the Metro system.

Besides the history, the museum has a great museum shop (don’t we love museum shops?!) and a cafe by Democratic Coffee that, by the way, serves the best croissants in Copenhagen. It’s always free to visit the cafe and store.

On Wednesdays, admission to the museum is free, and is always free for under 18s. Otherwise, it costs DKK 90.

Copenhagen Contemporary

On the hip Refshaleøen is an international art center situated in a former B&W welding hall showcasing contemporary installation art and modern art covering more than 7,000 square meters. Copenhagen Contemporary frequently showcases new artists and installations, so if you’re into art, you can drop by several times a year for new, inspiring experiences.

When on Refshaleøen, make sure you stop for coffee or lunch at farm-to-table restaurant La Banchina or Lille Bakery, one of the very best bakeries in the city, and if the weather allows it, go for a swim.

Entry to CC is free for under 18s, DKK 65 for students and 18-27-year-olds, and DKK 100 for others.

The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst)

This museum is the OG art museum of Denmark, the national gallery, and takes the winning prize as the largest art museum in the country. The museum features European and Danish artworks dating back to the 14th century and the collection consists of more than 260,000 works of art. Located in Østre Anlæg, which is a lovely park, the grand museum building is spectacular. Behind the building, a modern extension adds a very interesting contrast of styles.

restaurant at The National Gallery of Denmark

The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst) (Photo by Caroline Sølver)

The museum has a great restaurant and cafe, Kafeteria, run by famous chef Frederik Bille-Brahe, who is also the brain behind Copenhagen favorites Atelier September and Apollo. The coffee and pastries are delicious, and the daily lunch offers seasonal salads and platters.

Entry is free for people under 18, DKK 120 for adults and DKK 95 for under 27s.


Glyptoteket was a gift to Copenhagen from the founder of Carlsberg, brewer Carl Jacobsen, hence the name Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. The museum focuses on sculptures and contains more than 10,000 pieces of art and archaeological objects, some dating back more than 6,000 years.

Nice roof and palms in museum

Glyptoteket in Copenhagen. (Photo by Caroline Sølver)

Besides the art and sculpture, the building and rooms of the museum are works of art in themselves. With grand rooms, colorful ceilings, marble slabs and columns, the museum is magnificent. Another attraction is the gorgeous Winter Garten, which features palm trees and a window dome that makes visitors forget that they’re actually in Copenhagen. Here, you can enjoy the palm house feeling while sipping coffee and treating yourself to a slice of cake from the cafe. The museum offers outstanding rooftop views of the city.

Admission is free on Tuesdays as well as for under 18s. Students and under 27s can enter for DKK 85, and the regular entrance fee is DKK 115.

Danish Architecture Center (DAC)

This museum recently opened in the modern building, Blox, beside Copenhagen canal. The museum is where architecture, design and urban culture in Denmark meet. The changing exhibitions showcase sustainability, communities, city living and architecture, with a modern take on how museums should be explored. Ultimately this makes the museum forward thinking and very kid-friendly. Here, you can try out virtual reality, a slide (yep!), build magnificent LEGO creations, explore modern architecture and dive into interesting exhibitions that teach you about our world, bridging architecture and urban living.

The museum has a restaurant on top of the building where you can enjoy great city and canal views as well as modern Danish food. The museum shop, with handpicked design items, is also worth a visit.

The entrance fee is DKK 95, free for under 18s, DKK 50 for under 26s and DKK 70 for students.

Whether you’re into art dating back thousands of years, history, design or architecture, you should visit and experience at least one of these top Copenhagen museums. Enjoy!


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