13 Jun 2019
Want to take in the Copenhagen art scene? Check out these must-see attractions in this guide for Copenhagen for art lovers.
Denmark's capital city might only take you around 35 minutes to cross by bike, but a scenic cycle through Copenhagen would take you past at least 20 museums, as well as a wealth of art galleries and creative spaces.
For art lovers, Copenhagen is a dream come true. The city's thriving art scene means that you're never more than a few steps from a classic exhibition, an architectural landmark, or hip new gallery.
Check out these must-see Copenhagen art attractions to find out the best places to seek creative inspiration in the city.
1. Kunsthal Charlottenborg
This Dutch-inspired palace is a stunning piece of classic baroque architecture in itself. But beyond the sunny courtyard and leafy facade, it also houses an impressive collection of contemporary art.
Located in the heart of Copenhagen, Kunstal Charlottenborg is one of the capital's most popular museums. Built in 1672, this sprawling space has showcased exciting and progressive exhibitions since 1883. And it remains one of the largest contemporary art centres in Europe.
Some of the exhibitions running this year include 'Europa Endlos', which looks at EU identity, as well as Eva Kot’átková's first solo show in Scandinavia.
2. Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK)
Otherwise known as The National Gallery of Denmark, SMK is Denmark's largest art museum.
It features a mix of Danish and international art, displaying work from the past 700 years. As such, among classics by Matisse and Rubens, you'll also find contemporary work by Danish artists Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen and Sidsel Meineche Hansen.
The perfectly manicured setting of this popular Copenhagen art museum also makes it one of the city's must-see attractions. And, if you're visiting Copenhagen with your kids, the museum runs special art workshops on Sundays.
3. The Thorvaldsen Museum
Although Bertel Thorvaldsen is the most famous Danish artist ever, this space dedicated to his work and life is one of the most overlooked Copenhagen museums. But it's also one of the best.
Located on the small island of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, the building is inspired by antique Greek architecture. It also features an Egyptian-style inner courtyard where Thorvaldsen is buried. Inside, the museum's design references Pompeiian, Greek, and Egyptian architectural styles.
The museum is home to a vast collection of Thorvaldsen's sculptural works, as well as art and personal belongings he collected during his lifetime.
4. Designmuseum Danmark
The Designmuseum Danmark is at the forefront of Danish art and design, with an extensive collection of classic and contemporary works.
Before becoming a museum, the building was the first public hospital in Denmark. Now, this stunning Rococo building houses a range of decorative designs from Asia and the West, dating from the late Middle Ages to the present day.
In addition to the permanent collection, the museum runs a range of temporary exhibitions. At present and until the end of the year, the museum is participating in a celebration of 100 years of Bauhaus.
And, if you're under 25 and visiting Copenhagen on a budget, you'll be pleased to hear that you can get in free.
5. Galleri Bo Bjerggaard
In addition to the art Copenhagen proudly displays in its museums, there are also many galleries that have made their mark on the Denmark arts scene.
Among the hidden spots and trendy Copenhagen neighbourhoods, Vesterbro is one of the most vibrant. The city's former meatpacking district is home to restaurants, clubs, and several great art galleries.
One that's a must-visit for lovers of modern art is Galleri Bo Bjerggaard. This space features some of the biggest talents in contemporary painting, as well as work by upcoming stars in photo and video art.
6. Danish Architecture Centre (DAC)
If architecture and design are more of your thing, the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC) offers a range of experiences at its location on Copenhagen's waterfront.
The space features shows, exhibitions, talks, lectures, and city walks. DAC focuses on a mix of design history and architectural trends by masters of architecture like Frank Gehry. It also features a lot of up and coming Danish architectural studios such as BIG and 3XN.
To explore Copenhagen's rich architectural developments, make sure to check out the centre's 90-minute walking tour. Or, if you prefer, you can take a tour of BLOX, one of Copenhagen's newest architectural landmarks and the home of DAC. The centre also has a great shop where you can browse lifestyle products from a range of innovative design brands.
7. The Glyptoteket
The Glyptoteket showcases the personal art collection of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of Carlsberg Breweries.
The collection includes over 10,000 works of art and archaeological objects. These include pieces from Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Plus, you'll also get to admire works by famous names such as Degas, Van Gogh, and Monet among others.
Aside from its impressive collection, the expansive exhibition rooms, decorative courtyards, and displays of foliage are a sight to behold. As such, it's an inspiring location to spend a romantic afternoon in Copenhagen.
8. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art
Among the many Copenhagen museums with a mix of contemporary and classic art, the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art focuses exclusively on all things modern in the art world.
The museum is outside of Copenhagen and takes around 25 minutes from the central station by train or bus, but the journey is well worth it.
The museum's waterside location and bold maritime-inspired architecture make for a stunning exterior. And the range of works by Modernist greats and new artists ensures an enlightening experience for all modern art lovers.
Your Guide to the Best Copenhagen Art Attractions
From extensive museum collections to modern gallery spaces, there are many Copenhagen art attractions to inspire your creative side.
For art lovers, the hardest part will be choosing where to head first.
Which is why we've made it easy for you to find the perfect hotel room in Copenhagen. Book with us now to reserve your Copenhagen accommodation!