What are the best art galleries or public art spots in Copenhagen? I'm going to be meeting up with an old friend while we're both in that part of the world. We're two visual artists who prefer small, unusual art galleries and public art spots to big museums. Thank you for your advice!!!
Janice, most consider the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek to be the best art museum in Copenhagen. It is just next to Tivoli and the main train station and is a world class museum in downtown Copenhagen. Others enjoy the Statens Museum for Kunst to be the best art gallery in Copenhagen, but my personal favorite museum is Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which is an easy train ride out of town (about 45 mins to an hour). The collections and rotating galleries are great, but the setting and architecture is amazing. Lousiana can be easily combined with a trip to Helsingor, which has an interesting walking street and downtown area that is also walking distance from Kronborg Slot (the castle that was the inspiration for Hamlet).
As for public art, the entire city is filled with sculptures, amazing architecture, etc., and Copenhagen has the added benefit of being one of the most walkable (or bike-rideable cities in the world), so I would say just strolling around the city is one of the greatest open air art galleries in the world. Also, there are frequent pop up-art installations (especially in summer). There is a significant amount of outdoor art in Freetown Christiania, which is a hippy commune in the middle of the city that has outdoor concert areas, art, etc. Marijuana and hash are freely sold here, so if that throws you off, I'd stay away, but this area is one of the bigger tourist attractions in Copenhagen and an interesting places to see.
Not sure what type of art you personally enjoy, so I'll give you some general advice: Strøget is the main walk street through town, and there are many side streets and squares that branch off from it. My personal favorite square directly off of Stroget is Højbro Plads which has a great statue of the founder of Copenhagen, Bishop Absalon, overlooking the canals, the Danish parliament building and the Børsen, which is the world's first stock exchange (the buildings are amazing and the Borsen has a really unique dragon tail spire). Another amazing square that I personally love is Gråbrødretorv, which doesn't have any art, but is very charming and beautiful with a beautiful tree in the center, flanked by interesting buildings and cafes (I like heading to the basement of Peder Oxe's Vinkælder for a beer or glass of wine). At one end of Stroget is Kongens Nytorv, which is surrounded by the Det Kongelige Teater (aka, the Royal Danish Theater) which is a grand building with sculptures out front and a facade of sculptures and paintings, the Hotel D'Angleterre which is the most famous hotel in Denmark, and Nyhavn, which is a great place to see and where you can board a canal tour of the city, which take an hour and is a great way to see the city/get an overview. Often, there are pop-up art installations in different parts of the city along the canals, and doing the canal tours can give you great ideas of different parts of the city to explore.
Another place in town that is non-traditional from an "art" point of view, but depending on the time of year, can have art pop-ups (and at all times of year has beautifully manicured gardens, etc.), is Tivoli.
Mentioned in this answer:
Janice, you have to go to Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek! It's more on the classic side, but I think you'd really enjoy it. Lots of French impressionist pieces there. Think Degas and Monet. There's also the most gorgeous greenhouse smack dab in the middle of the museum!
There's definitely a lot of great art in Copenhagen. If you have time, I would highly recommend checking out Louisiana Museum of Modern Art about a half hour outside of Copenhagen. It's located by the shore inside a large Villa. Their collection varies from time to time. The Villa is filled with large exhibit rooms connected by glass walkways. There is also a sculpture garden that surrounds the building.