Ollie's sister is an art student, as well as a very creative individual who has loved creating art since she was very young. We asked her to give us a list of her favorite museums in Copenhagen, as she spends a lot of time visiting art museums in Copenhagen. The following are her recommendations and must-sees when visiting Copenhagen.
"Danes are very particular about what they like, and what is worthy of their time and money."
Spending time in a foreign city, you often want to explore the more cultural side, and not just walking down the main shopping street. In Copenhagen there are multiple great museums, some which are hidden gems which not even the locals in Copenhagen have visited. It’s advisable to check the opening hours and the prices before going, since most are closed on Mondays, and some have a free admission day.
Danish art / Danish design
Denmark is famous for its art and design. Danes are very particular about what they like, and what is worthy of their time and money. Most Danish homes have bits and pieces of Danish art and design, because it’s part of the culture. We would rather save our money for the real deal, than buy a cheap knockoff. Therefore when visiting Copenhagen, you must visit one or more of the art museums. These will give you a sense of Danish style, and hopefully inspire you.
National Gallery of Denmark
The biggest collection of art in Denmark. At the National Gallery you can explore art from all around the world, both classical and modern. The building is actually the old museum building, merged with the newer modern one. It displays quite well, how the two artforms meet in an open environment. The museum is short walking distance from Østerport and Nørreport, and is across the street from The King's Garden. The permanent exhibitions are always free, while the changing ones might cost some money.
The Storm P. Museum
A museum dedicated to the life and art of Robert Storm Petersen (Storm P.). Here you can explore Storm P.’s paintings, inventions and most importantly, his comics. It was his comics that made Storm P. famous in Denmark, and the museum mostly focusses on this element. Every six months the museum has a new exhibition on comics, eg. Japanese comics. The museum is small but cosy, and is located right next to the entrance of Frederiksberg Garden.
The Hirschsprung Collection
A beautiful small museum, located right behind National Gallery of Denmark in Østre Anlæg. This museum holds the Danish art collection of Heinrich and Pauline Hirschsprung. A collection with many famous Danish painters and some of their most famous works, like P.S. Krøyers Summer Evening at Skagen beach (1899). Free admission on Wednesdays.
The first museum building in Denmark (1848). At this museum you can see both plaster casts and marble casts of Thorvaldsens most famous work. The museum itself is quite amazing, every room is painted in a eye-catching colour, and some ceilings have incredible detail to them. The colourful rooms makes the white sculptures pop out, and make sure they get noticed. In the basement you can see all the plaster casts that broke, or which don’t really fit in upstairs, which have their own charm. Free admission on Wednesdays.
A modern art museum, located just 35 mins away from Copenhagen Central Station. Located in beautiful Humlebæk by the sea, you can see Sweden across the ocean, and enjoy the calmness of getting out of the city centre. The museum is open extra late on Tuesdays-Thursdays, where it doesn’t close until 10 pm. The gift shop is amazing, and shows a wide display of Danish and international design.
This museum holds C.L. Davids collection of Islamic, European and Danish art. A huge collection, spread on several floors. Each collection has it’s own sense of theme, with sounds, smells and choice of material. The museum itself is very beautiful and seems a bit posh, with gold railings and huge displays of artificial flowers. But don’t be fooled by it’s poshness, this museum is always free to visit. It is located just by The King’s Garden.
In the old underground water reservoir, you can now explore art and architecture. Cisterne, which according to it’s website is ‘a cave within a city’, has become a popular venue to display art in an uncommon and new environment. Located in Frederiksberg, just opposite Frederiksberg Palace.
The biggest design museum in Denmark holding both Danish and international design. What I especially like about this museum, is how they display the design items. Instead of having for example a red chair in a white room, they incorporate it with other design items from the same period and in the same colours, and create a whole new atmosphere. An enjoyable museum, which shows how design has changed throughout time and why Danish design is so unique. Located close to the Marble church and Amalienborg.
We hope you feel inspired to go art gazing through these fantastic museum picks in Copenhagen. A huge thank you to Ollie's sister India for putting this local insider's guide together!