Copenhagen is one of the world’s most expensive cities. If you’re looking for ways to save money whilst visiting this charming city one easy solution is to make the most of the free museums and art galleries.
Copenhagen has a great selection of free museums and art galleries. Some of the free museums in Copenhagen are only free on certain days or times, so you might have to plan your schedule carefully to make the most of the free admission. But even if you’re not able to visit those, there’s still plenty to pick from.
You can also save money by picking up the Copenhagen Card. You’ll get access to over 80 attractions + unlimited public transport for a set price. If you only have a few days in Copenhagen and want to make the most of your visit, the city card is a great way to unlock the best of what the city has to offer and remove the hassle of buying public transport tickets. The Copenhagen Card is avaialble as a download via their app, so I recommend getting a local prepaid sim card to ensure you can access the card anywhere in the city.
The guide to free museums in Copenhagen is correct as of September 2023. The free admission times can change days/times, so make sure to check their websites before you visit.
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If you’re a fan of art and history, Thorvaldsens Museum is a must-visit location in Copenhagen. This hidden gem is located in the heart of the city. The museum is dedicated to the works of Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, who was renowned for his neoclassical sculptures. The museum opened its doors to the public in 1848 and stands as the country’s first public museum.
Inside Thorvaldsens Museum, you’ll find a stunning collection of sculptures, including famous works such as “The Three Graces” and “Jason with the Golden Fleece.” The museum also houses Thorvaldsen’s personal collection of paintings, drawings, and decorative art, providing a comprehensive look into his artistic journey.
The museum itself is also a work of art. With unique architecture and richly decorated rooms provide an immersive experience, adding depth and context to the masterpieces on display.
While visiting the museum, consider downloading their app (available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store), which offers an immersive experience of Thorvaldsen’s universe. The app will significantly enhance your visit and provide additional insights into the art and the artist.
I also recommend allowing time to appreciate the building’s exterior, adorned with Thorvaldsen’s sculptures.
The museum frequently hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase contemporary art and explore different themes. From thought-provoking installations to innovative sculptures, there is always something new and exciting to discover.
Copenhagen Cathedral Museum
The Copenhagen Cathedral Museum is a great place to learn about Copenhagen’s religious history and culture. The Cathedral, known as “The Church of Our Lady” is where 5 of the Royal Coronations took place between 1449 and 1648. In more recent years the Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary got married in the church.
The museum itself is hidden behind an altar on the first floor of the cathedral. Once inside you’ll find a beautiful museum, with a collection of artifacts and displays that tell the story of the cathedral and its significance in Danish history. From ancient relics to intricate architectural models, the museum offers a unique glimpse into the past.
You’ll also get the chance to go below the museum, into the cathedrals basement. Here you’ll get to see remains of the Gothic church that date back to 1316. The church is well worth visiting and is easily one of the best churches to visit in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Cathedral Museum has free entry.
The Ballerup Museum is a hidden gem for budget travelers looking to explore the city’s art scene without spending a penny.
This small but charming museum showcases a variety of exhibits that highlight the rich heritage of the Danish town, Ballerup and its surrounding areas. From artifacts and photographs documenting the region’s past to interactive displays that engage visitors of all ages, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Ballerup Museum.
Whether you’re interested in learning about the agricultural roots of the area, discovering the local traditions and customs, or simply immersing yourself in the stories of the past, Ballerup Museum provides a unique and educational experience.
Ballerup Museum has free entry.
The David Collection
The David Collection is a hidden gem among Copenhagen’s museums that art enthusiasts and history buffs will not want to miss. Situated near central Copenhagen, this museum offers a unique collection of Islamic art dating back to the 7th century.
The collection is easily one of the best Islamic art collections in Europe so I highly recommend adding this to your list of things to do in Copenhagen. The museum also has a collection of Danish Early Modern art, and European 18th-century art, showcasing the diverse cultural heritage of different eras.
When planning your visit to The David Collection, be sure to check the museum’s official website, The David Collection, for the latest updates on exhibitions and other relevant information. Enjoy your visit as you discover a treasure trove of art and history at this exceptional museum.
The David Collection has free entry.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Located in the heart of Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is an amazing art museum and is easily one of my faveorite museums in Copenhagen.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has a large collection of art, featuring works from ancient civilizations to contemporary artists. There’s a huge selection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. beautiful ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, or immerse yourself in the world of Impressionism with works by renowned artists like Monet and Renoir as well as some of Van Gogh’s work. The extensive collection make’s it easily one of the best museums in Copenahgen.
Besides the art, one of my favourite things here is the beautiful Winter Garden, where you can relax and enjoy the lush greenery and beautiful palm trees. I love relaxing here after strolling around the museum. You can also enjoy views over the garden from the second floor of the museum.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek only has free entrance on the last Wednesday of the month. If you’re not going to be in Copenhagen during that time, I recommend getting the Copenhagen Card so you can access the museum + other attractions such as Christiansborg Palace and a canal cruise at a discounted rate.
Nikolaj Kunsthal – The Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center
Nikolaj Kunsthal is a contemporary arts center located in Copenhagen, which offers free entry on Wednesdays. Housed in a former church, this unique modern art gallery features a magnificent spire towering over the city. When you visit, you will not only experience international contemporary art exhibitions but also enjoy an exceptional view from its tower.
The art displayed at Nikolaj Kunsthal often focuses on contemporary social, cultural, or political issues, showcasing a diverse range of media and styles. Exhibitions change regularly, ensuring that you’ll always find something fresh and interesting to explore during your visit.
Nikolaj Kunsthal re-opened on 7th September with brand new exhibitions by Shane Brox (Upper Gallery), Samara Sallam in collaboration with Kate Sterchi (Platform), and the group exhibition “Kunstnernes København” (Lower Gallery).
The Immigration Museum in Copenhagen covers the migration history through Denmark for over 600 years including the recent refugee crisis due to the war in Ukraine.
Admission to the Immigration Museum is completely free and it is easily one of the best free museums in Copenhagen. It’s a great learning experience and can help everyone – especially kids, learn about how people migrate and the reasons behind it.
There’s a great range of exhibits and displays that showcase the stories and experiences of immigrants throughout Danish history. From interactive installations to personal narratives, the museum offers a unique perspective on the contributions and challenges faced by immigrants in Denmark.
The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions that delve deeper into specific themes related to immigration and multiculturalism. These exhibitions provide a deeper understanding of the complex and evolving nature of Danish society.
The Immigration Museum in Copenhagen has free entry.
The DieselHouse is a unique museum that offers a fascinating glimpse into the industrial history of Copenhagen. Located in the former engine room of a power plant, this museum showcases the impressive machinery and engines that powered the city in the past.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a power plant and see the massive engines up close. But Dieselhouse Copenhagen isn’t just about engines. The museum also offers a variety of exhibitions and displays that delve into different aspects of Copenhagen’s industrial history. From the evolution of technology to the impact of industrialization on society, there’s always something new and interesting to discover.
Entry to the Diesel House is free.
Magasin Du Nord Museum
When you visit Copenhagen, make sure to include the Magasin du Nord Museum in your must-see list. This small yet beautiful museum, located within an old department store, offers free entry to its visitors.
At the Magasin du Nord Museum, you will find a diverse collection that showcases the rich history of retail in Copenhagen. Although the museum covers just a small area, the collection is extensive, making it the largest among retail stores in Denmark.
The museum also features the exhibition ‘På arbejde i Magasin,’ which provides a glimpse into the daily workings of the Magasin du Nord department store. While you’re there, don’t forget to check the museum’s opening hours, which are Thursdays and Fridays from 13:00 to 17:00 and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 15:00.
If you’re planning to visit with a large group of over 10 people, the museum offers free guided tours. Just make sure to contact them in advance to arrange your visit.
Magasin Du Nord Museum has free entry.
The Black Diamond
The Black Diamond is a remarkable architectural gem located in Copenhagen’s harbor. As an extension of the Royal Library, this modern building offers you free access to various cultural experiences. You can choose to visit the library, explore exhibitions, attend concerts, and appreciate the beautiful view of the harbor.
Designed to be more than just a library, this impressive building doubles as a cultural center for art, music, and literature enthusiasts. Enjoy browsing its bookshop, sipping coffee at the café, or indulging in a meal at the restaurant.
One of the highlights of the Black Diamond is the wide range of exhibitions it hosts. Here, you can delve into Danish history and culture through various showcases of artwork, manuscripts, and historical documents. Stroll through the halls and immerse yourself in a captivating learning experience that you won’t soon forget.
Not only a treat for the mind, but the Black Diamond is also a feast for the eyes. Its striking facade, composed of black granite and glass panels, contrasts beautifully with Copenhagen’s traditional architecture. As you stand in awe of this splendid architectural masterpiece, it’s easy to see why it’s become one of the city’s must-see attractions.
I also recommend taking the elevator to the top floor, and enjoying the view over the library towards the harbor. You can watch boats go past, whilst people watching.
The Black Diamond has free admission
Møstings Hus is a charming historic house located in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, that offers free entry to art enthusiasts like you. The house itself was built in the early 19th century and belonged to J.S. Møsting, a prominent Danish politician. Today, it is a hub for modern and contemporary art exhibitions, boasting a rich history and serene environment.
Each year, you can find various art exhibitions and events organized at Møstings Hus, featuring both emerging and established artists. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to explore the local Danish art scene and appreciate a diverse range of artistic styles. Since Møstings Hus is always free, you won’t have to worry about admission fees when planning your visit.
As you explore this historic house, take in its lovely architecture, which is believed to be designed by a talented student of the renowned Danish architect C.F. Harsdorff. The house served as a holiday retreat for J.S. Møsting and his wife from 1816 until his death in 1843.
To make the most of your Møstings Hus experience, be sure to check their website for current exhibitions and event schedules. This way, you can stay informed about upcoming art displays and make your visit even more engaging.
Møstings Hus has free admission
Royal Cast Collection Museum
If you’re a budget traveler looking to immerse yourself in Copenhagen’s rich art scene, don’t miss the Royal Cast Collection Museum. The museum covers the plaster casts of sculptures from various eras and cultures. And the best part? Admission to the Royal Cast Collection Museum is completely free on Wednesdays, making it the perfect opportunity to explore the world of art without spending a dime.
Inside the Royal Cast Collection Museum, you’ll find a treasure trove of sculptures and casts, including iconic works from artists like Michelangelo and Rodin. As you wander through the galleries, you’ll be transported back in time, experiencing the beauty and craftsmanship of these masterpieces up close.
But the Royal Cast Collection Museum isn’t just about the sculptures. It also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase different themes and artistic styles. From contemporary art exhibitions to special displays of rare artifacts, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.
Royal Cast Collection Museum has free entry.
Bank and Savings Museum
The Bank and Savings Museum in Copenhagen offers you a fascinating glimpse into the world of Danish banking in the 1800s. As a free museum, it’s a great opportunity for you to explore the history of banking systems, both Danish and international.
When you visit the Bank and Savings Museum, you’ll discover the museum’s extensive collection of maps and objects related to Scandinavian and Danish banking systems. The museum is housed in an old building, but unlike many other museums, it also has a fully operating bank branch on site.
As you wander through the exhibits, you’ll learn about the integral role banks played in finance during the 19th century. The museum gives you the whole story, from the evolution of currency to the development of banking services and tools, such as cheques and payment systems.
Some standout attractions you’ll encounter at the Bank and Savings Museum include:
- A rich collection of old banknotes, coins, and stamps
- Historic banking equipment, such as safes and vaults
- Interactive displays that take you through the history of banking
The Bank and Savings Museum has free entry.
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