When it comes to art, Copenhagen is often overlooked in favor of more colorful cities like Paris and Barcelona; this is a shame, as the Danish capital can boast a good number of world-class art museums and vibrant contemporary galleries.
The 'big three' art galleries in and around Copenhagen are the National Gallery Statens Museum for Kunst
, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen and Arken
, named after its rounded, ship-like shape, near Ishøj on Copenhagen's southern coast. Of these, Arken has slipped a little on our list: Its architecture may be novel but the lighting and strong shadows do not always make for ideal viewing conditions.
In addition to its collection of antiquities, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
has a fantastic collection of French impressionist art as well as changing exhibits and is quite simply a beautiful building to visit. The Hirschsprung Samling
may not be housed in such a grand setting-rather a large villa in Østerbro-but its collection of paintings from Danish Golden Age of 1800-1850, is one of the most complete there is.
Some of the most cutting-edge contemporary art can often be found as part of group exhibits: Copenhagen has a good number of smaller art museums that each holds a changing program of three to four changing group shows and retrospectives a year. Of these, Kunstforeningen Gammel Strand
has one of the best locations, housed in an elegant old building and overlooking both canals and Christansborg
. Nearby in an atmospheric former church just off Strøget
, the shows at Kunsthallen Nikolaj
tend to be conceptual and multimedia in nature.
Gammel Strandvej 13
Modern art and architecture in spectacular setting... read more
Dantes Plads 7
Art museum in a uniquely elegant setting... read more
Extensive collection of 19th century Danish painting... read more
Gammel Strand 48
Independent contemporary art museum... read more
Art exhibits and architecture amidst a country park... read more
Historic contemporary arts venue... read more
Nikolaj Plads 10
Contemporary art gallery in former church... read more
Art and design museum with beautiful gardens...