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My first full day in Copenhagen was scheduled to be rainy. Still jet-lagged, I got out to a fairly late start after my huge hotel breakfast. I intended to start with a walk through Tivoli Gardens, which I had not actually been to on my previous trip to Copenhagen. Just as I arrived at the amusement park & gardens, it started to drizzle, so I decided to change my plan and start with some museums instead. Thanks to the park’s opening times & having other plans, I never actually did make it to Tivoli, making me 0 for 2 on visiting it on trips to Copenhagen. Maybe next time?
My first museum stop was at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, which is in central Copenhagen just south of Tivoli. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek was collected by the son of the founder of the Carlsberg beer empire, proving once again that beer can lead to good things.
The museum features works from all over Europe, including art from Rodin, Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, and many more.
Additionally, there are more ancient works from Egypt & Greece.
If you like sculptures & statues, you will love the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.
There were also some modern exhibits, including a walled off room, filled with confetti and fans, so the contents were constantly shifting. The work was called “We All Fall Down” by Lara Favaretto.
The building itself is also interesting, with a large courtyard and plenty of natural light. Entry to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is free on Tuesdays, which happened to be the day that I was there.
My highlights of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek included:
The Rodin scuptures including The Burghers of Calais
Théodore Rousseau’s Thunderstorm over Mont Blanc, which was presented in a room by itself, complete with thunderstorm audio
The special exhibit of all of Degas’ bronze scuptures (though there is some controversy regarding those)
And the rooms of European impressionist & post-impressionist paintings
I love Van Gogh’s work when viewed in person. If you’ve only ever seen his paintings in a book, be sure to pay extra attention to them, as when you’re actually looking close, you’ll notice their three-dimensional qualities that make them leap off the canvas. This painting is called “Mountainous Landscape Behind Saint-Paul Hospital.”
After about an hour and a half in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, I moved on to the National Museum of Denmark, which is located just a couple of blocks away. Entry is free every day, which is a great quality in a museum. They also encourage photography, specifically mentioning that visitors should share photos on social media. Why should I disappoint them?
The National Museum of Denmark has several galleries covering all of Danish history. I found the most interesting parts to be the prehistory portion, as well as the modern age.
Denmark’s history is extensive and well-preserved. There were a phenomenal amount of archaeological finds from throughout the region. It was one of the nicest sections of ancient history that I’ve found. It was also informative, as I learned a lot about the region, including that it wasn’t all that long ago that it was possible to walk from present-day Denmark to the UK. The museum had exhibits going back thousands of years, including a large amount of Viking artifacts.
A few of the ancient highlights:
Viking age runes
The Gundestrup Cauldron
The Hjortspring boat (picture it being rowed by Danish people wearing jorts in the springtime, much more fun that way)
The woman of Himlingoje
Moving closer to modern times, there was a special exhibition titled “The White Buses”, which was all about Germany’s occupation of Denmark during World War II.
I’d missed the section of the museum titled “Peoples of the World” at first, and I wasn’t overly impressed when I eventually found it. I’d rather see even more ancient artifacts than some random exhibits about random countries that have nothing to do with Denmark. The section on Greenland was disappointingly small, as it is a Danish territory, and it would have been interesting to learn more about the island.
There were also Danish interiors from the 17th & 18th century, as well as perspektivkasser, which were described as peep shows. Sadly, despite the exciting name, the actual perspektivekasser was a huge disappointment, as the peep shows only contained images of churches.
The final exhibition I visited covered the social history of Denmark. I love exhibits about social history, as they are a great way to learn just how a place has evolved to its modern state. The one at the National Museum of Denmark was solid.
The National Museum of Denmark is a great way to get to know the country. Once I was done with the museums, it was time to get some dinner & begin exploring Copenhagen’s bars, but that will be for another post.
Read more posts from my trip to Northern Europe:
A trip through Northern Europe & the Baltics – Introduction
American Express Centurion Lounge San Francisco SFO review
American Airlines First Class Airbus A321T San Francisco SFO to New York JFK review
A quick layover in New York City from JFK airport
American Airlines Flagship Lounge New York JFK review
American Airlines Business Class Boeing 767-300 New York JFK to Manchester MAN review
Holiday Inn Express Glasgow City Centre Riverside review
Upperdeck Airport Lounge Glasgow GLA review
Aspire Lounge London Heathrow LHR Terminal 5 review
Hotel Skt. Petri Copenhagen, Denmark review
Copenhagen, Denmark – Museums on a rainy day
Copenhagen, Denmark – Nyhavn, Christiania & more
Craft beer in Copenhagen, Denmark – The Mikkeller bars
Aviator Airport Lounge – Copenhagen CPH review
Norwegian Air Economy Class Boeing 737-800 Copenhagen CPH to Riga RIX review
Radi Un Draugi Hotel Riga, Latvia review
Riga, Latvia – Exploring the Old Town
Riga, Latvia – Museums & a tough 20th century
Riga, Latvia – Street markets & food
Craft beer in Riga, Latvia
Lux Express Riga, Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia review
Hotel Bern Tallinn, Estonia review
Tallinn, Estonia – Exploring the views of the Old Town
Tallinn, Estonia – Exploring Patarei Prison
Craft beer in Tallinn, Estonia
Eckero Finlandia ferry Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland review
Holiday Inn Helsinki – West Ruoholahti review
Helsinki, Finland – Exploring the food markets & city centre
Helsinki, Finland – Exploring the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress
Craft beer in Helsinki, Finland
Finnair Lounge Helsinki HEL non-Schengen review
Finnair Business Class Airbus A321 Helsinki HEL to London Heathrow LHR review
American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow LHR review
American Airlines First Class Boeing 777-200 London Heathrow LHR to Dallas-Fort Worth DFW review
American Express Centurion Lounge Dallas-Fort Worth DFW review
American Airlines First Class Boeing A321S Dallas-Fort Worth DFW to San Francisco SFO review