Bristol vs the world

A travel (and sometimes fashion) blog about exploring Bristol and the rest of the world, one post at a time.

Tag: museums

Cultural Copenhagen

Design Museum Copenhagen garden

Although we spent a lot of our time in Copenhagen eating and drinking and possibly even more just wandering the streets (no, not like that), we also found time to visit a few museums too.

It’s worth noting that there’s definitely an ‘off’ season in Denmark – most things seemed to be more fully open from about the time the Tivoli Gardens open in mid-April until the end of Summer. This meant that in a number of the museums, not all exhibitions or areas were open. But on the plus side, they were also relatively quiet. So if there’s nothing you’re absolutely desperate to see, then I’d definitely recommend an out-of-season visit.

Design Museum Copenhagen display

Design Museum Copenhagen shop

Design Museum Copenhagen Wegner Exhibition

Design Museum
John’s a Design Engineer and we both love wooden, mid-century furniture so a visit to the Design Museum was always a must. In one half, the museum showcases key design themes, pieces and designers while in the second, the focus is on the more traditional. Our knowledge of historical Danish design was (is) limited, so we were quite suprised by the look of the older pieces.

We also saw the beginnings of a new exhibition (it didn’t open fully until a couple of days after our visit) – Wegner, ‘Just One Good Chair’ which was already looking really excellent.

Also excellent was the (free!) exhibition catalogue we were given on arrival. Thick paper and beautifully designed – I guess we should have expected nothing else considering the museum we were in!

Great shop too – as with everything in Copenhagen, it’s slightly pricey, but there’s some gorgeous products in here. We managed to restrain ourselves and came away with just a large (A4) postcard, but the wallet damage could easily have been much worse!

The details
Bredgade 68 / 1260 København K
Nearest Metro stop: Kongens Nytorv
Entry: 90DKK. Free if you’re a student or under 26 (something we very conveniently found this out a couple of days before my 26th birthday. Guess where we headed the next day..!)
Closed Mondays & some bank holidays

Carlsberg Glyptotek Copenhagen

Winter Garden Glypototek

Winter Garden Glypototek2


Peter Bangs Vej 145  - 2000 Frederiksberg   DK
Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket

When I was talking to my manager about my plans for Copenhagen, this was the first place she recommended. Even if you’re not interested in the collections, she said, the building itself is amazing.

Walking into the main courtyard of the Glypototek, I understood exactly what she meant. Called the Wintergarden, it’s like a huge greenhouse or orangery full of trees and plants and fountains and statues and benches. Unexpected and breathtaking. My manager was right – even if you’re not too bothered about the art, it’s worth making the most of the museum’s free entry on Sundays just to see this.

And if you are interested in art, there’s plenty more here to explore, from Egyptian mummies in a basement to rooms and rooms full of statues (so many statues! And busts. And bits of statues and busts) to Danish art to French masterpieces by Gauguin and Cezanne among others. Sadly the latter section was closed when we visited, which was one of the areas we were most interested in, but we still spent an hour or so in the other rooms and marveling at the building itself.

The details
Dantes Plads 7 | DK-1556 Cph
Nearest station: Central Station (Københavns Hovedbanegård)
75DKK (Adults). Children under 18 go free.
Free entry on Sundays – we thought it would be heaving as a result but it didn’t seem to be.
Closed Mondays & some bank holidays

Danish Jewish museum

Danish Jewish museum

Copenhagen Royal Library Garden


Copenhagen Royal Library Garden

Danish Jewish Museum
There was an unwritten rule of city holidays in my family. If we found ourselves in a new city with a Jewish museum, then my Dad would gravitate towards it. When I was younger, I just didn’t get it. Sure they were interesting – but how different can each Jewish museum be? How much more can they say?

But as an adult (allegedly), I have inherited this gravitational pull. It’s like there’s some kind of magnet that gets passed through Jewish blood and kicks in when we get to about 18. I’ve also learnt that Jewish museums can be, are, very different. I’m ashamed to admit I knew very little of how Sweden helped Danish Jews during the war. The exhibits focusing on this area were the highlights of the museum for me. The other displays were more focused on Jewish culture through the years, featuring items like Torahs and clothes.

It wasn’t the best Jewish museum I’ve been to, but it was interesting to hear a new side to the Second World War story. And the building itself, jutting walls and interesting lighting, is stunning; it was designed by Daniel Libeskind, the man behind the Jewish Museum in Berlin – along with many other projects. Although exploring the museum itself will probably only take an hour or so of your time, being able to see inside the building is justification enough to pay the entry fee.

It’s also set within the small, peaceful Royal Library Gardens, the perfect place to just sit and stop and think (or not think!) for a little while.

The details
Købmagergade 5, 3
1150 København K
Nearest station: Kongens Nytorv
50DKK (Adults), or 75DKK for main and special exhibition (special exhibition wasn’t on when we visited). Students and pensioners are 40DKK/65DKK. Children under 18 go free.
Closed Mondays. During off-peak season (01/09 – 31/05), only open 1-4 on weekdays (open all day at weekends).
It’s worth noting that the museum is closed on some Jewish holidays (i.e Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) as well as national Bank Holidays

experimentarium copenhagen

OK, this one’s not quite as cultural as the other museums we visited – but it was a whole lot of fun! The Experimentarium is a science museum full of hands-on exhibits. Test out your fitness and strength, learn about Danish inventions or see inside your body. It’s really aimed at children, but that doesn’t mean that big kids can’t spend a good couple of hours here playing around. Go in the afternoon though – apparently it gets very busy with school groups in the morning.

I highly recommend if you fancy a laugh for a few hours. That said, when it moves back to Hellerup (their main building is currently being refurbished and expanded) then it’s probably quite not worth the trip for adult-only parties. Though the expansion may add lots of extra features that prove me wrong (and the architects’ designs a Google Image search throws up are undeniably intriguing).

The details
Trangravsvej 12
1436 Copenhagen K
Nearest station: Christianshavn Torv
Children 3-11, Students & Disabled: 105DKK
Adults (12+): 160DKK
Under 3s and Disabled helpers go free
Closed some bank holidays
(No I haven’t just missed a line – it’s open on Mondays!)

We also visited the lovely Viking Ships Museum in Roskilde – you can read a little more about it here

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Picture Credits
All pics that aren’t mine link to original source
Design Museum exterior, shop and collection (3rd pic): Design Museum website
Glyptotek exterior and interior statues: Glypototek website
Experimentarium from accross the water: Location CPH
All other pictures my own, please credit if using


Priceless Lisbon

Museu Colecca Berardo, Bélem. Photo Credit: Wikitravel

Lisbon is a great city for those travelling on a budget. Food and drink is affordable and much of the experience of the city is in discovering its many miradouros, listening to the strains of fado in the backstreets of the Alfama and getting lost in the the Bairro Alto.

And, even better, many of the cultural sites that would come at a price in many other European cities are free. Here are my three favourite priceless cultural discoveries during our time in Lisbon. This said, with only three days to explore we couldn’t cover even a tiny percentage of what was on offer, so I know I’ll have missed some great sites here. If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments. (NB. I will be covering the majority of Belém attractions such as the monastry in a separate post. Promise!)

Wine bottle tree, Museu Colecca Berardo. Photo Credit: Fat Pig in the Market 

Museu Coleccao Berardo, Belém
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 7pm (last entrance: 6.30pm)

This modern art museum is home to the collection of billionaire José Berardo. It features both permanent and temporary exhibits by new contemporary artists and renowned names such as Warhol, Picasso and Hockney. My favourite exhibit was Mappa Mundi, a temporary collection featuring artworks inspired by geographical maps, from collages to more political pieces.

There’s plenty here to keep contemporary art lovers entertained for hours. However even if you think that’s not your thing, it’s still worth paying the museum a visit if you’re in the area. After all, it being free of charge you can’t really go wrong. And it’s got really good air conditioning.

MUDE Museum, Lisbon. Photo Credit: Archdaily

Mude: Lisbon Design & Fashion Museum
Free of charge
Open Tuesdays – Sundays, 10am – 6pm (8pm in summer)

If our B&B host hadn’t recommended it, we would have walked straight past the Fashion & Design Museum. It’s not that it’s hard to find – with a huge sign outside of its central location it’s arguably harder to miss – but we just wouldn’t have considered paying it a visit. In fact, even then the only reason we did go in was because we were walking past and had some time to spare.

Actually, the Museum is worth planning into your trip, if only to catch a glimpse of the warehouse-style building in which it is housed, complete with exposed plaster and concrete. Its contents are pretty interesting too. Arranged by decades, they take you on a journey through the history of fashion and design by designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Yves St Laurent and Phillipe Starck. The decades are accompanied by a brief overview of history during the period, contextualising the designs of the time. , 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music plays softly in the background, growing louder as you approach those decades.

Fascinating and informative and full of lovely pieces to lust over, this museum is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re into vintage looks or design and fashion in general.

Roman Ruins, Lisbon. Photo Credit: Polewn

Núcleo Arquelógico da Rua dos Correeiros
Rua dos Correeiros, no 9, Baixa
Very limited hours, visit the website for more details

I’ll be honestI can only really half recommend this attraction. We did go in to the museum section, featuring a number of artefacts. But, unless you’re an archaeologist or ancient historian, this small space is unlikely to hold your attention for long, although the woman working there when we visited was extremely knowledgeable and definitely worth talking to.

However, what I really want to recommend is the Roman site – a critoportico – which lies under this space, offering an insight in Lisbon life before an earthquake destroyed much of the city in 1755. The bank offers occasional tours of this area, some of which are conducted in English. We left it to late to enquire about when the next tour would be (unfortunately we had to be on a bus to the airport at the same time), so I can’t recommend it first-hand. However it’s definitely something I’ll make an effort to to try and arrange if I ever find myself back in Lisbon. Learn from my mistakes and investigate early on in your trip if you’re interested.