- story of princess prisoner at Christiansborg Castle
Prepare in advance
Copenhagen is a very walkable city and has so many great photo opportunities. Wear comfortable shoes and be sure cell phones and cameras are fully charged before leaving lodgings. It helped us tremendously to pack portable cell phone chargers.
Good to know
Most of Copenhagen's attractions and museums have cafes, restaurants and resting areas. Keep in mind of Copenhagen's fast bicycle traffic. Always be aware of the busy city's cyclists, so be careful with little kids.
The Nationalmuseet and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek/The Glyptoteket are closed on Mondays and weekends are high-volume days. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek/The Glyptoteket is free for everyone on Tuesdays.
The Nationalmuseet and Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek/The Glyptoteket are free for kids under 17 years. The Ruins under Christiansborg Palace are also free for children. The Copenhagen Card allows free admission into 79 museums and attractions. Plus free transport by train, bus, harbor bus and the Metro in the entire Copenhagen Region and also to/from the airport in Zones 1-99. It is a huge money saver.
About This Day
Did you know that in Copenhagen, castle ruins can be found right under royal Christiansborg Palace? This family itinerary is sure to turn any rainy, cold day in Copenhagen into an adventure! First, learn about Vikings and board a Viking ship at the Nationalmuseet. Then, go beneath Christiansborg Palace (still in use by the Danish Royal Family) to see centuries-old ruins and hear the sad tale of the prisoner princess. Afterward, view in the substantial art collections at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek/The Glyptoteket, followed by a snack in its beautiful Winter Garden.
Considered one of Europe's best museums, the Nationalmuseet covers a broad spectrum of Denmark's history, as well as an immense collection of artifacts from Danish pre-history. Our family loved learning about the era of the Vikings and the Danish Renaissance. A separate children's museum next door offers interactive exhibits and activities suitable for children preschool ages up to 12. Even our tweens had a fun-filled hour of dressing up in costumes, running the marketplace and hopping aboard a Viking ship.
TIP The museum also has multiple sites throughout Copenhagen and Denmark. It is best to visit the website first to choose what exhibits are the top priority for your family. The Nationalmuseet and the children's museum are closed on Mondays. Free admission with the Copenhagen Card and children up to age 17 have free admission.
The biggest and oldest ruins under Christiansborg Palace are the remains of the wall from Bishop Absalon’s Castle from the 11th century. A wall first protected the castle from pirates; then, more walls were built to enlarge the next ruin, Copenhagen Castle. Our favorite story is about Copenhagen Castle’s Blue Tower, where criminals and political prisoners were held. The most famous prisoner was Christian IV’s daughter, Princess Leonora Christine, who was held captive for almost 22 years.
TIP Free admission with the Copenhagen Card and children also have free admission. Don't forget to grab a map before entering the ruins. You can also visit the grand Christiansborg Palace, which contains the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State.
The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek houses the well-known ancient and modern art collections of the Carlsberg Brewing family. (My oldest, who was 12 at the time, describes it as a very large, ornate palace, where the wealthiest person in the world bought all the world's best art.) We worried at first that it would not be kid-friendly enough for our nuggets. Happily, we were wrong and wished we had allowed more than the 1.5 hours we were there. The architecture of the museum itself was an art form, and it was very surprising to walk into a room full of sculptures on columns that were not roped off. My girls found it very exciting to get up close to art pieces that have been around for centuries.
TIP The Glyptotek is in the heart of Copenhagen, easy walking distance from Central Station and Tivoli Gardens. The museum is closed on Mondays. Free admission with Copenhagen Card and free admission on Tuesdays. Children up to age 17 have free admission.