Glyptotek Museum: Artwork in a Winter Garden

Dy Carlsberg Glyptotek Art Sculpture Museum Travel Guide Denmark Copenghagen

I arrived in Copenhagen to find the city cloudy and drizzly, exactly the same weather I had tried to escape from back home. But I was determined not to be put off. I wanted to get out and explore what the city has to offer. I’ve gotten into the habit of saving locations I want to visit on Google Maps, so as soon as I arrived and had dropped my bag in the hotel, I was checking my map to see what pin was closest. I was staying at the Mayfair hotel, and I could see the Glyptotek was a short walk away. 

History of the Glyptotek

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (also known as the Glyptoteket) is a museum housing ancient and modern art. It was founded in 1897 by the brewer Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg Brewery, J.C Jacobsen. This museum showcases the private collection he spent his life creating. Since his death in 1914, a further 10,000 pieces have been added to the collection. Today you can find artwork and historical items from all around the world. It has sarcophaguses from Egypt to paintings from France. The Glyptotek mainly focuses on sculptured art, however you can find a section on European paintings too, including artwork by the surrealist Max Ernst.

Sculptures in the Glyptotek Art Museum Carlsberg Copenhagen Denmark

Exploring Copenhagen’s Streets

It wasn’t raining too hard, just a light drizzle, so nothing that would put me off a walk. So I made my way to the Museum. Walking past Tivoli Gardens, I could hear the screams of delight as people enjoyed the rides inside. I’d enjoy them myself soon enough (well sort of, Roller Coasters are my irrational fear). The weather planned to be sunnier the next day so I thought it would be better than. Plus I was really eager to find a cafe, grab some food and sit down after a short but exhausting flight. From the outside the Glyptotek is a beautiful building. If you were asked to draw a museum, it’s exactly how you would imagine one. with regal statues out front and  a big glass dome on the top. However the exterior is nothing compared to the interior. 

I made my way inside and out of the weather. You can buy your tickets in advance but if you haven’t then you can head downstairs to buy a ticket here. You aren’t allowed to take bags into the museum. so you will have to put it in the storage room. The storage lockers only take coins, and I didn’t have the foresight to withdraw cash. Luckily the managers of the Glyptotek have prepared for people like me coming, and there’s a token dispenser. It’s little machine you can tap with your card to get a commemorative token, which can be used on the lockers. When you leave you can either return the token or keep it as a souvenir.

Picnic in the Winter Garden

The Winter Garden Art sculpture Denmark Copenhagen Glyptotek Travel Guides

I grabbed my camera and hung up my wet jacket to dry, and made my way back upstairs to the museum. The first room I walked Into was the one that had drawn me to visit the Glyptotek in the first place. This is the Winter Garden, and it’s just beyond the main entrance. With beautiful fountains and palm trees towering up to the domed ceiling, you will soon forget about whatever weather is outside. I probably spent more time in this room than I did anywhere else in the museum. As much as I love history and art, having a few benches surrounded by nature is much more in my wheelhouse. 

Inside the Winter Garden is where the cafe, Picnic, sits. I hadn’t eaten since my breakfast at the airport by this point so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get something to eat. There were only a few people in front of me, but it took forever to get served. I grabbed a Nutella roll, a cake and a beer. It was tricky to find a seat, and you can’t order at the table. So I did have to push some dirty dishes to the side to clear space on an empty table, so to other visitors it looked like I was just greedy. It was delicious though so I had zero regrets about tucking into that cake. 

Pastry Cake and Beer at Picnic Cafe in  Denmark Copenhagen

I wandered around the Glyptotek museum, travelling through time and space as I explored the different areas. Some of the artwork here is thousands of years old, and has been beautifully preserved. Museums always have a different vibe when it’s rainy outside, making them a source of comfort in drizzly weather. 

The Legend of the Mummy

Mummies in the Museum Copenhagen Denmark

My favourite part of the museum (after the Winter Garden) had to be the Egyptian exhibit. As you make your way down a dimly lit staircase, you will find Mummies laying to rest in their coffins. It’s eerie as you make your way down, and I certainly didn’t expect to find them here. I had a love of ancient history having grown up reading Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories books. I knew there would be Egyptian artefacts here, but I thought it would be old jars and hieroglyphics. Coming face to face with a mummy was something I didn’t expend to happen but was fascinating to see. The darkened basement room really added to the atmosphere, giving it an eerie feeling as you admire the exhibit.  

Secrets of Copenhagen

I preferred the statues to the paintings, that’s just simply because in the past most of the museums I have been to focused on paintings, so a change of style was a breath of fresh air. There is so much to see and explore, and it’s so peaceful here. It was the perfect place to visit after the chaos of the airport. I eventually was taken back to the Winter Garden where I noticed an entrance to a museum shop. Being an art museum, it has your typical souvenir shop items. I had a peruse of the books, and treated myself to a copy of “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Copenhagen” by Austin Sailsbury.

I took my new purchase to a bench in the Winter Garden and had a brief peruse. Checking my camera, I took the opportunity to grab a few more photos. It was getting late in the evening, so time for me to leave. I wanted to drop my camera back at the hotel before I found a place for dinner. It was nearly closing time anyway, and I didn’t fancy being chucked out. I made my way downstairs to retrieve my bag and make my departure.

Glyptotek Museum FAQ’s

How long should I plan for the Glyptotek?

I spent around 2 hours here, it depends on your level of interest in art and if you want to stop for something to eat or drink at the Picnic.

What does Glyptotek mean?

Glyptotek originates from the Greek words “glyptos” which means carving or sculpture, and “theke”, a place where something is displayed. 

What does Carlsberg have to do with the Glyptotek museum?

The Museum houses the art collections of Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg Brewery, J.C Jacobsen. To this day the Carlsberg foundation are the majority owner of the museum.

Where should I go next?

There are so many attractions to visit in Copenhagen, however the closest is just next door. Tivoli Gardens is open well into the evening. With rides and amusements for all ages, as well as multiple choices of restaurants, it’s a fantastic way to spend an evening. If you just want to relax and have some food, there is also Tivoli Food market which is free to visit. If you want to book your ticket to Tivoli I have attached a link with Get Your Guide below. By booking through the link you won’t be charged any extra, but I will receive a commission which helps support me to create content. However you can check the city guide for more things to do in Copenhagen.

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Can I take my bag into the museum?

No, bags are prohibited. But there is a locker room for storage downstairs. If you don’t have any coins for the locker there is a dispenser which will give you a token at the tap of a card. When you are finished you can either return the token or keep it as a memento.

Glyptotek locker Token Dispenser

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