It’s fall in Copenhagen, and though September is still relatively nice out, as October approaches and the weather gradually gets worse, it’s time to find some good rainy day activities – like hanging out at museums, of which Copenhagen has several different great ones.
But which one to choose? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog post we’ve collected some different recommendations and what mood you should be in before going there.
So here’s a museum for when you’re feeling…
Not Like the Other GirlsTM: Kunsthal Charlottenborg
Location: Kongens Nytorv 1, 1050 København
Price: 50 DKK for students, free after 5 pm on Wednesdays
A Copenhagen museum smack-dab in the middle of the city that isn’t afraid to play around with their exhibitions and provoke. Very artsy and yeah, not quite like any other Copenhagen museum. Definitely worth checking out, even if just for a couple hours any Wednesday afternoon, especially since their exhibitions change every couple of months.
Like Getting out of the City For a Breath of Fresh Air: The Open-Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet)
Location: Kongevejen 100, 2800 Kongens Lyngby
Price: 115 DKK in summer, 105 in winter
City life can be stressful and hectic, and sometimes you just need to get out after a bit. The Open Air Museum is located around 30 minutes by train north of Copenhagen, and focuses on how Denmark used to look back in ye olden days – like how people used to live and how they would farm the land they lived on. If you miss seeing the horizon and the stray sheep, Frilandsmuseet is the place for you.
Like Going on a Fun Day Trip: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Location: Gl Strandvej 13, 3050 Humlebæk
Price: 125 DKK with a valid student ID
Speaking of getting out of the city, if you want a fun idea for a day trip, we’ve got you covered. Louisiana, the Danish art museum, not the US state, is located in a North Zealand town called Humlebæk about 45 minutes north of Copenhagen by train. The museum is known for its funky, insta-worthy and playful exhibitions and beautiful surroundings. Bonus: If you take the train another half hour north, you’ll find yourself at Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, where the famous Shakespeare play Hamlet takes place.
Like a Hero, Possibly: The Museum of Danish Resistance (Frihedsmuseet)
Location: Esplanaden 13, 1263 København
Price: 95 DKK
If you’re feeling some serious main character energy, you can act on that at the Museum of Danish Resistance. Decode secret messages and print illegal papers all while learning more about an important piece of Danish history – the German occupancy of Denmark during World War 2. A history that is quite nuanced and still fascinates, terrifies and inspires the Danes of today – because who were the good guys? Why didn’t more people fight back against the Germans? Were the Danish resistance freedom fighters or terrorists? What about the young girls who “got involved” with German soldiers – were they Nazis and did they deserve to be ostracized? Lots of questions with a not always apparent answer.
Smart, Misunderstood and Gifted in a Secret-History-Dark-Academia-Type of Way: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek/Glyptoteket
Location: Dantes Plads 7, 1556 København
Price: 95 DKK if you’re under 27, free on Tuesdays (special exhibition costs 70 DKK here)
Take a couple of well-shot pictures here and watch as you become the envy of your friend group back home (even more). Glyptoteket is always a feast for the eyes in any Instagram feed, whether it be the vast collection of beautiful white marble statues, impressionist French art or their stunning greenhouse in the foyer of the museum with a café that also serves very insta-friendly beverages. It’s also a museum where we totally could believe that there are secret cult meetings happening in the Egyptian wing every full moon, because the vibes are just that immaculate.
Fancy, Like Spend-Money-On-Embroidered-Handkerchiefs-Fancy: Den Hirschsprungske Samling
Location: Stockholmsgade 20, 2100 København
Price: 75 DKK if you’re under 26
Speaking of immaculate vibes, if you’re more into feeling like the special godchild of a rich Danish family whose wealth has dubious origins, then “Den Hirschsprungske Samling” or the Hirschsprung Collection might be more your style. It’s definitely easy to feel like you’re stepping into a time capsule strolling through the private collection of the tobacco merchant Heinrich Hirschsprung and his wife Pauline, whose collection include many different very famous paintings in Danish art history. The surrounding park is also nice.
Like a Quick Roman Holiday Without Actually Going to Rome: Thorvaldsens Museum
Location: Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads 2, 1213 København K
Price: 90 DKK, free on Wednesdays
If the Copenhagen weather is making you dream of warmer, Mediterranean shores, you’re certainly not alone. Famous Danish 19th century sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen liked Rome so much that he spent 40 years of his life living in that city. Luckily for us in Copenhagen though, he donated the entire body of his work to the city of Copenhagen, and that means that if you want some of the beauty and aesthetic of Rome without actually having to pack a suitcase and go, you can go visit a wealth of Roman-inspired art right next to Christiansborg Slot (the Danish parliament).
Like You Actually Should Been Born in 19th Century Copenhagen (Interesting Choice, But Sure): Bakkehuset (The Hill House)
Location: Rahbeks Alle 23, 1801 København
Price: 90 DKK if you’re under 27
If you feel completely displaced in time and like you ought to have been born in 19th century Copenhagen and lived among some of the greats, you can check out the beautiful house of intellectual Kamma Rahbek, where famous personalities such as Hans Christian Andersen and Adam Öehlenschläger (who wrote our national anthem) came by. And why wouldn’t you? Copenhagen in the 19th century was kind of in a golden period – sure, our navy got destroyed by the English in 1801, we got bombed by the English in 1807 (the last one being the first terrorist attack on a civilian population – gotta love the English :)), went bankrupt in 1813, lost Norway in 1814, and lost about 2/5 of the country to Germany in 1864, but hey, at least art, literature and theatre was pretty fire at this point.
Communist, But Like in a Cool, Hipster Way: The Workers’ Museum (Arbejdermuseet)
Location: Rømersgade 22, 1362 København
Price: 80 DKK for students
You read the Communist Manifesto for “fun” in high school, you like to misquote Mao, you think the color red is superior to all others and you have written #eattherich in your Instagram bio, it’s clear – you care about workers’ rights. As you should! Denmark has some of the best workers’ rights in the world, but that just didn’t happen automatically. It’s taken many years and daring visions to reach the place we are at today, and you can learn all about that at this museum.
Like You Could Star in the Next Up-and-Coming Indie Art Film About the Meaning of Life or Something: Cisternerne
Location: Roskildevej 25A, 2000 Frederiksberg
Price: 90 DKK if you’re under 27
Cisternerne is, literally, an underground art museum where the Municipality of Copenhagen used to store some of the city’s water supply. Today you can go exploring in the almost cavern-like rooms, where the setting is as much a part of the art as the installation itself. You might not be 100% certain you understood what the exhibition you just saw was about, but you like the fact that a bunch of other really cool Copenhageners just saw you go in there. Study abroad done right.
Bonus: Because You Might As Well Go to Sweden While You’re Here: The Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden
Location: Södra Förstadsgatan 2, 211 43 Malmö, Sverige
Price: 195 SEK (NOT the same as DKK)
Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city and it’s located right across the water from Copenhagen, so, well, you might as well go. And what should you do whilst you are there? The Disgusting Food Museum is a safe bet. Check out 80 of some of the world’s most “disgusting” foods and challenge your own perceptions of what you find disgusting or not.