Let’s be honest, rain is a fairly frequent occurrence in Copenhagen, where weather is inclement and showers can be known to last all day: But even if you happen to catch Copenhagen on one of its wetter days, there’s still plenty to do under cover.
A green oasis inside Copenhagen's Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum is a welcome retreat on rainy days. — Photo courtesy of Kim Nilsson
Copenhagen has a great range of museums, most of which are walking distance from each other. The city’s Nationalmuseet is always free to visit and has plenty to look at, including an entire children’s wing that includes 19th-century school room, vintage dress-up clothes, and the opportunity to play grocer. There’s also an excellent restaurant, Julian, located inside the building.
Not far from the National Museum is one of Copenhagen’s most attractive museums of art and antiquities, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Not withstanding the ancient Roman and Greek relics and French impressionist paintings and sculptures found within the building (including an excellent collection of works by both Gauguin and Degas), the Glyptotek brings greenery inside in its gorgeous Winter Garden atrium, especially welcoming on a rainy day.
The Glyptotek also has a pleasant cafe known particularly for its cakes and pastries, accompanied by a cup of fresh ground fair trade coffee. There is an entry charge at the Glyptotek, except on Sundays. Note that both museums are closed on Mondays.
Those who find a little retail therapy brightens up a rainy day should check out the large department stores Illum and Magasin du Nord, where all imaginable Scandinavian brands are gathered across several floors without you having to leave the building. The restaurants in both Illum and Magasin are found on the top floor: Magasin also has its own food emporium located in the basement (and with direct access to and from Kongens Nytorv Metro Station).
A view of Copenhagen harbor from inside the modern designed Royal Library's Black Diamond. — Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lloyd
Book lovers could spend an hour or so browsing in some of the city’s excellent bookstores, many of which have both cafes and English language sections. Paludan Book Cafe, just across from Copenhagen’s historic university library on Fiolstræde has both new and used sections. In contrast, the ultra-modern architecture of the Royal Library's modern ‘Black Diamond’ wing houses Diamanten, a bookstore with an excellent range of both English paperbacks and coffee table art books. Denmark’s National Museum of Photography is also located inside this building.
Those with children may want to look up candy factory Sømods Bolcher on Nørregade, not far from Nørreport Station. Kids get the chance to see how the traditional Danish hard candy is made in the back room of the old-fashioned store, and of course try some for themselves. Production tours run until 3pm (when the last tour starts) on weekdays only.