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As much fun as visiting a million different history museums while Daniel and I were in Copenhagen would have been, I wanted to make sure that we actually got a good mix of experiences while we were there. So we did visit one museum (the NY Carlsberg Glyptoteket). But we also went on a canal tour, let our stomachs go wild at Copenhagen Street Food, went to an amusement park, and visited a castle.
On our last day, we ventured out a little farther from the center of town to find the Carlsberg Brewery and the Visit Carlsberg museum.
We actually began our morning exploring Frederiksberg Have, a large park in the neighborhood of Frederiksberg, where we stayed while in Copenhagen. Carlsberg Brewery was just on the other side of the park, so we thought it was a fantastic opportunity to explore a little bit of our own adopted neighborhood.
The sun was shining bright, just like it had been the entire time we were in Copenhagen, and it seemed like the whole city had come out to play. We found our own quiet corner by a small duck pond, where we sat on a bench and tried to make conversation with the ducks for a short while. They didn’t seem to be interested in interacting with us. We hadn’t brought them any bread, so fair enough.
After giving up our little bench, we wandered around more of the park.
We gazed across the water towards the Frederiksberg Castle, which stood proudly on a hill with a million schoolchildren running around on the grass below. You can just make them out as the one giant blob in this picture. I think they were being given instructions at that point. Only a few seconds later, they were scattered like leaves in the wind. You know, as children tend to do.
At one point, we turned a corner following what we thought was the sounds of elephants to find… you guessed it, an elephant! As it turned out, the Copenhagen Zoo is also located in this expansive park.
We also came upon a woman who had brought fish for the birds, sat on another bench for a while and watched as baby stroller after baby stroller drove past us, and tried to figure out what strange sort of kickball another group of kids was playing. Daniel wanted to join in. I was feeling less in the childish spirit than I had been at Tivoli Gardens and convinced him to keep walking. I feel kind of bad about that now.
Mornings like this, spent people watching in beautiful weather, is what I think traveling is all about.
Eventually though, we did make it to Carlsberg Brewery, where we were in for a big treat. We paid the 70DKK student admission price (100DKK adults/70DKK children). We thought that was a more than fair price, since it included a free beer, and went on our way.
The Largest Beer Bottle Collection in the World
Yes, you read that right. Carlsberg Brewery is, apparently, home to the Largest Beer Bottle Collection in the World. This was by far the thing I was most excited to see, and luckily enough it was the very first thing on the self guided tour of the old brewery. And it did not disappoint.
I don’t think these pictures even do the thing justice. There were so many friggin’ beer bottles there.
The Carlsberg Brewery
After standing in awe for a good five minutes at all of the beer bottles that Carlsberg had collected, we moved on. We found ourselves in a small room containing the entire history of beer and the Carlsberg Brewery. Unlike a lot of museums, I found myself reading every single word in the room. Since I knew pretty much nothing about beer before visiting the Carlsberg Brewery, I was absolutely fascinated.
From there, it was on to the actual brewery part of the museum. The museum took us through the old Carlsberg Brewery (the one that is actually in use today unfortunately can’t be toured). There, we found out EVEN MORE about beer, especially about how the brewing process has changed over the years.
We also learned that workers at Carlsberg Brewery used to get a large daily beer allowance. I think I have some friends back in Scotland that would love that just about as much as Facebook wine moms love their giant wine glasses.
Outside Carlsberg Brewery
We emerged from the old brewery to find ourselves in a small sculpture garden. Most of the personal art collection of Carl Jacobsen (the son of the founder of Carlsberg Brewery) is now housed at the NY Carlsberg Glyptoteket. But there are still a few pieces hanging around at the brewery. Including a replica of the famous Little Mermaid statue, which was donated to the city of Copenhagen by Jacobsen himself.
Through an unassuming door at the end of the sculpture garden is the Carlsberg Brewery stables. They’re even complete with real live draft horses!(!!!!!)
I know I said that the giant beer bottle collection was what I was most excited to see. But the horses were definitely what I ended up being the most excited about. Sure, a room full of beer bottles is cool, but you can see that if you walk into my kitchen after one of my flatmates has hosted pre-drinks. (I lived with all boys this past year, so having a fridge full of beer was a pretty common occurrence.) Horses, on the other hand, you don’t normally find in my kitchen.
We happily talked at the horses while they ignored us and ate their lunch. Our stomachs were grumbling too though, so we decided it was time to find our own mid day meal.
Lunch at Carlsberg Brewery
We (meaning me) did our research ahead of time. So we knew that, unlike most of Copenhagen, the food at Carlsberg Brewery actually seemed to be reasonably priced. So for lunch, we cashed in our free beer tokens and each ordered a cheeseburger.
We sat outside in the sun and sipped at our beers while we waited for our food to be delivered. We probably cheered a little too loudly as our cheeseburgers approached us, and we quickly dived in. Daniel didn’t even let me take a picture of both of the burgers, he was so hungry. But I can’t complain, since he puts up with my picture taking habits 99% of the time.
The burgers were super delicious. I’d highly suggest getting some to go with your beer while you visit Carlsberg Brewery. The beer less so, but that’s mostly just because I don’t actually like beer. Daniel drank half of mine for me.
A Horse and Carriage Ride
After we finished our lunch, we chose to avail of the free horse and carriage ride that was included in our ticket (yet another reason that the entry price was so reasonable).
We said hi to the horses before climbing on board, where we were joined by our driver and two Italian guys who seemed to be really enjoying their beer. It was warm and sunny out, making it perfect weather for a horse and carriage ride.
From the Carlsberg Brewery, we took a scenic ride around Old Carlsberg, a neighborhood which sprung up around the brewery after it was built. Our driver wasn’t super talkative, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. Especially when a group of children waved from the schoolyard and made us feel like royalty.
After we pulled back into the courtyard of Carlsberg Brewery, it was time to say goodbye to our newfound horse friends. Until next time, I think!
If you go
I highly suggest visiting Carlsberg Brewery while you’re in Copenhagen. Not only is it a really cool experience, but it allows you to see a bit of the city outside of the center.
Tickets for the Carlsberg Brewery visitors’ center cost 100DKK for adults. Reduced prices are 70DKK for students and 70DKK for children (under 5s go free). Admission is free with the Copenhagen Card. You can also buy add-on experiences, such as a guided tour for 50DKK or a beer tasting for 75DKK.
If you want to take a horse and carriage ride (free with purchase of ticket), be sure to show up between the hours of 12:30 and 2:30pm, as they only happen then!
Your ticket also entitles you to one free beer from the Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar and a small souvenir pin from the gift shop.
See the Visit Carlsberg website for up to date information and opening hours.