We didn’t have a specific reason we were going to Copenhagen, it was just in the neighborhood of Norway. But in pre-trip reading and research I realised that there was a wealth of great design and architecture. And then I got even more excited, because I remembered Denmark was the birthplace of Lego.
Sadly Legoland was on the other side of the country, so I had to settle for just visiting the Lego shop. Twice. So much goodness, yet so expensive – although native to Denmark, Lego probably costs more here than anywhere else in the world. Besides which, the giant Lego Deathstar or Lego Sydney Opera House probably wouldn’t fit in our suitcases.
Speaking of expenses, Denmark wasn’t quite Norway expensive, but it wasn’t far off. But thankfully a lot of the great places to visit are free. Wandering the streets one morning, we stumbled upon the Post and Tele Museum – while learning about the complete history of the postal service in Denmark perhaps doesn’t sound that interesting, it actually was rather entertaining.
The National Museum had something a bit more hearty to offer than philately, with a rather impressive Vikings exhibition. We’d seen some Viking weapons and the like in Bergen, but this was a much more extensive display, and thankfully this time all the information was also available in English. The focal point was the remains of a Viking ship found in Denmark in 1997, though for me the highlight were the objects made around the time Christianity was being adopted by the Vikings, resulting in things like a pendant in the shape of Thor’s Hammer with a Cross on it – guess they were hedging their bets.
We didn’t get a lot of time to look around the other parts of the museum, though I did have a quick walk through the toy display, including an entire dimly lit room full of dollhouses (rather creepy) and no sign of Lego (outrageous). Also checked out a display on modern Danish history, which had a Punch and Judy puppet version of Hitler from the time of the Nazi occupation, and a set of “Functional Architecture” wooden blocks, for the budding architect. Oh those Danes…
If you ever happen to make it to Copenhagen, some other things that are worth a look:
- The Marble Church – a church that is nearly 100% dome
- Amalienborg – home of the Danish Royal Family, complete with ceremonial changing of the guard, who are of course wearing bearskin hats – who needs Buckingham Palace?
- The Little Mermaid statue – just so you can say you’ve seen it, as it’s not really that exciting
Our final night in Copenhagen coincided with their annual Culture Night. Not speaking Danish it was a bit hard to work out exactly what it involved, but it seemed a bit like the Sydney Festival First Night – lots of things on all over the city, and streets packed with people. Walking around enjoying the vibe was certainly a pleasant way to end our time there.