10 Best Museums in Copenhagen Offer Something for Families, Art Lovers, and Military Buffs

Even those who normally think of museums as boring places where old things collect dust should consider visiting at least one while they are in Copenhagen; not only to escape the inclement weather on a cold and rainy day but also to have those preconceptions bust by some of the most modern, dynamic and hands-on museums in Europe. Many of them, like Thorvaldsens Museum and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, are housed in gorgeous old buildings stunning to visit for their own sake; others, like the Nationalmuseet and the Post & Tele Museum, offer the chance to let children loose in an educational and creatively stimulating environment.

Should you find yorself in Copenhagen in weather much too sunny to be spent inside a museum, take a day trip up to the Frilandsmuseet in Lyngby, the open air annex of the national museum, and let the children play among geese, goats and old mill buildings. Or roam around stately Christiansborg, home to the fascinating Teatermuseet housed in the 18th century Royal Court Theatre.

Copenhagen's most offbeat museum is perhaps the Medical Museion on Bredgade, a fascinating and diverse collection of medical curiosities, while city museum Kobenhavns Museum has boosted its profile, as well as its exhibits, from recent Metro line excavations.

Unlisted but worth a mention are Designmuseum Danmark and the Arbejdermuseet (Workers Museum); while the Royal Danish Arsenal, Tojhusmuseet, and its naval annex the Orlogsmuseet in Christianshavn are a must for fans of old weapons.  

Photo courtesy of Orlogsmuseet

This rather inconspicous museum is located on a two- area story building overlooking the canals of Christianshavn, and is an annex to the Royal Danish Arsenal. While rather old-fashioned, it has a fairly extensive display for those interested in...  Read More

Medical Museion
Photo courtesy of Medical Museion, University of Copenhagen

Located in the former Royal Academy of Surgeons building from 1787 (the lecture hall, hardly changed, is still used by medical students), this rather macabre museum is dedicated to the history of medicine and run by the University of Copenhagen....  Read More


Located in the original court theatre in Christiansborg and built on the orders of King Christan VII in the 1700s, very few plays were actually performed here before a fire ravaged through the royal complex later in the century. The theater was...  Read More

Post & Tele Museum
Photo courtesy of Post & Tele Museum

While a museum of postal and tele communications might not seem particularly fascinating, this museum, located in the old Copenhagen post office not far from the Round Tower, has done a great deal to make its exhibts appealing to families in...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Jane Graham

The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum on Slotsholmen is housed in the original arsenal for the nation's military and naval forces, built during the reign of King Christan IV (1604) for storing cannons and hand weapons. Pride of the museum is its vast...  Read More

Kobenhavns Museum
Photo courtesy of Fernando Mendonca

The city museum is located in a former shooting lodge on Vesterbrogade and while most tourist guides reference it simply for its room of Soren Kierkegaard archives, Kobenhavns Museum has undergone significant change since the year 2000 and is...  Read More

Outside the city
Photo courtesy of Christian Alsing

The Frilandsmuseet, or Open air Museum, is an annex of the Nationalmuseet located in Lyngby, a rural suburb about 20 minutes by S-Bahn from downtown Copenhagen - get off at Sorgenfri and then take bus no. 184 or 194 to the museum gate. An ideal...  Read More

Thorvaldsens Museum, a striking, classically columned building overlooking the canals across from Gammel Strand, is the oldest museum in Denmark, and houses the collection of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1884), who lived most of his...  Read More

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Photo courtesy of Kim Nilsson

Arguably Copenhagen's most beautiful museum, the stunning building of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, situated at the back side of Tivoli Gardens, was built at the end of the 19th century by Dahlerup to house the growing collection of brewery...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Heidi de Vries

The national museum of Denmark is housed in the 18th-century Prince's Palace, a vast, grand building that combines romantic architecture with more modern, Scandinavian additions. The collections are open every day except Mondays, and span...  Read More


Meet Jane Graham

After touring most of Europe in her twenties, Jane was charmed by Copenhagen's relaxed tempo and moved there from her native northern England in 1999. Four young children at home has meant...  More About Jane