In Copenhagen, 5 free things to see and do
By JAN M. OLSEN
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — While it’s easy to spend a fortune in Copenhagen, one of Europe’s most expensive cities, the Danish capital also has a lot to offer for travelers on a tight budget.
The city center is compact enough that you can get around on foot, enjoying the top sights and walking in the footsteps of fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen — without spending a single krone.
Danes are a relaxed bunch and shopkeepers won’t sneer at you for inspecting their goods without buying anything. There’s no place for window shopping in Copenhagen like Stroeget, the artery that runs from City Hall square to the picturesque harbor of Nyhavn. Skip the souvenir shops with plastic Viking helmets (history check: real Viking helmets didn’t have horns) and explore the internationally acclaimed world of Danish design, from the hand-painted china at Royal Copenhagen to the cutting-edge fashion boutiques with clothes from homegrown designers like Noir, Munthe plus Simonsen, Day Birger et Mikkelsen and Baum und Pferdgarten. If you visit in December, don’t miss the Yuletide markets with Christmastime treats at Hoejbro Plads or Nyhavn.
Take advantage of free admission to state-run museums including the National Museum, the National Gallery or the Post & Tele Museum where you can try out a telephone with a crank handle and lift a rather heavy early mobile phone (also check out the splendid view from the rooftop cafe). The David Collection features work from Vilhelm Hammershoei and other Danish painters, and a rare collection of Islamic art. Admission to the permanent collections is free but there is a fee for temporary exhibits. Some private museums offer free access on particular days: On Mondays at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek — best kn