The great outdoors has never ceased being an inspiration to the way Danes live – New Nordic cuisine, for example, owes everything to the way the locals get the most out of their environment.
From the Viking longboats that opened up new horizons and the calming rural environment that provided the heartbeat of the nation for centuries, to the beautiful gardens that fuelled the minds of the literary elite and the scientific approach to zoos, the Danes have a deep understanding of nature and its potential.
So what’s stopping you this summer! Get a bit of fresh air while exploring the great outdoor venues and museum parks of Copenhagen.
A breath of history
Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet), Kongevejen 100, Kongens Lyngby; open Tue-Sun 10:00-16:00, closed Mon; free adm; natmus.dk
The Open Air Museum takes you back in time. Get a taste of old Danish country life with all its buildings, objects, gardens and domestic animals. The museum shows Denmark’s history from 1650 to 1940 in a living exhibition where you have the chance to explore the culture and lifestyle of centuries past. The buildings are accurately recreated to give you an understanding of people’s changing occupations and roles in society through time. In order to illustrate the life of old town communities even better, the staff are dressed up in coeval costumes and work with crafts. In the summer period you can take part in many different activities and workshops every day, from following the beekeepers at work to meet the animals of the museum. Plan to spend plenty of time here and bring a picnic basket for the full outdoor experience.
Take a walk with the wildlife
Copenhagen Zoo, Roskildevej 32, Frederiksberg; open daily 09:00-18:00; over-12s: 195kr (180kr after Aug 12), under-12s: 100kr, under-3s free adm; zoo.dk
A popular activity among kids is going to the zoo. Copenhagen Zoo is a local favourite and not like any other zoo you have visited before. The zoo is very active in the field of science and the breeding of endangered species, which is why you will have the rare opportunity to see a rhinoceros juvenile. The zoo has animals from all over the world, so you can travel to multiple continents within a day, from the African savannah to the North Pole – visit the new underground tunnel to see the polar bear swimming by. You can bring your own lunch and eat outside or purchase food in the park.
Jump aboard the Viking world
Viking Ship Museum, Vindeboder 12, Roskilde; open daily 10:00-17:00; 100kr, under-18s free adm; vikingeskibsmuseet.dk
The Viking Ship Museum is the only place in the world where you can walk straight from the museum to Viking ship reconstructions built in the manner of the original 1,000-year-old models. Between 1 May and 30 September 2018 you can come aboard to sail in Roskilde Fjord and feel the wind blowing in the big sails just like the Vikings. See reconstructed models and maps of how Denmark and the North used to look 1,000 years ago. Learn how the Vikings built their ships and why it remains an important aspect of Denmark’s cultural heritage and history.
Stroll through the Golden Age
Bakkehuset, Rahbeks Alle 23, Frederiksberg; open Tue-Sun 11:00-17:00, closed Mon; 50kr, under-18s free adm; bakkehusmuseet.dk
Bakkehuset is a literary and cultural history museum in Frederiksberg. The museum is situated in what used to be the apartment of the author couple Kamma and Knud Rahbek. They ended their days here in 1829 and 1830 respectively. Kamma Rahbek’s beautiful restored romantic garden is rich in rare flowers. The Orangery is open daily through the summer and is a great place in which to sit back and enjoy the surroundings. The museum invites you into a time warp, away from the busy life of the city. Check the website to keep up with events and changing exhibitions. Guided tours in English are offered every day.