At the beginning of this week I went on a 3 day city-trip to Copenhagen. Even though there was snow, cold winds and a freezing 15 degrees difference to London, me and my friends did a lot of walking and exploring. As we are all art historians on a student budget our sight-seeing was marked by many museum visits, packed sandwich lunches and window shopping. So, keeping in mind that I didn’t get to enjoy the culinary gems of the city, I will give you a museum-centric review of the city.
Let me start out by saying, Copenhagen is a great city that I definitely recommend visiting. Despite being ridiculously expensive (who would have thought that London could ever seem cheap), it is possible to explore a lot of the city’s sights on a smallish budget. The six of us stayed in a nice modern apartment in Vesterbro, just 10 min walk west of Copenhagen central station and in walking distance from most attractions. If you are going with a group of friends I can only recommend staying in an apartment. The three bedroom apartment came down to 20 pounds per person, per night, making it cheaper than most hostels.
First on the list was the National Museum. The museum features quite a large ethnographic collection, as well as a collection illustrating Danish history from 1600-today. Emanating quite a colonial atmosphere, the overseas collection of the museum seems slightly dated. However, the contemporary exhibition about the Native American PowWos was worth seeing and seemed especially exciting for kids. Entrance to the museum is free.
Continuing our tour on to the Amalienborg, the castle of Copenhagen, we decided to visit the ruins of the old castles which are preserved underneath the current one. The entrance fee to the ruins only was 45 Kronen/4.60Pounds. A more expensive combi-ticket can be purchased to visit the castle’s state rooms and the royal stables. The ruins where a great lesson about a part of Copenhagen’s history.
On to less historic and more artistic endeavours, we visited the Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The kunsthal is a great contemporary art space with changing exhibitions. There are many small bars and restaurants along the old harbour behind the museum which were perfect for us to warm up and grab a hot drink.
We also visited the Statens Museum for Kunst, the National Gallery of Denmark. The gallery has a large collection of Dutch and Nordic art, as well as a collection of French art which holds some gems (I was surprised to find out that Matisse’s ‘Madame Matisse’ is part of it). My favourite part was the international modern and contemporary collection of the museum which is housed in the new part of the building. The entrance to the collections is free.
Other things to do
Of cause this is only a (biased) selection of things to do in Copenhagen. I also highly recommend to visit the Freetown of Christiania. This alternative living space is quite an experience (walking though an ally lined with Marijuana selling huts definitely was). If time allows, it is easy to take the 35 min train from Copenhagen central station to Malmö, Sweden. The return train ride costs about 20 Pounds and amongst other attractions Malmö is home to the little sister of the Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm, the Moderna Museet Malmö.
Have you been to Copenhagen? What would you recommend seeing?
All pictures in this post are my own.