The Old Town Museum

Time travel seems like a reality in Den Gamle By, an immersive open-air museum where you get a glimpse of how the city looked and how people lived in earlier centuries. With several smaller on-site museums, there is something for everyone here including many activities and unique experiences.

Step back in time

You may forget which century you are in as you come across people dressed as they would have in the in the past seemingly performing their everyday chores amid an authentic setting of bygone days. The oldest part of the museum re-creates an era from the days of Hans Christian Andersen. Go back to the last century as you enter a 1970s town district, complete with townhouses, backyards, and shops. Learn about the history of the welfare state of Denmark as you walk through quaint cobblestone streets or look back at 1,200 years of the city’s history from the Viking Age in a basement exhibition. Meet farmers and craftsmen from a different era in the Workers Museum and see houses from different parts of Denmark. 

Quaint collections

If you have kids along, don’t forget to stop by the Toy Museum, which has about 5,000 toys from the 17th century onward. Automobile aficionados are in for a treat as they come across a showroom from the early 1920s with popular cars from Ford and Citroën. Jewelry lovers can enjoy a collection of 1,000 pieces of Danish jewelry curated over 40 years.

More than a museum

The immersive experience in this museum also includes fun activities like horse-drawn carriage rides, stilt races, and a merry-go-round. Adults can do some shopping in stores with goods reminiscent of the past. Buy some old-fashioned licorice from the grocery store, stop by the tobacco shop to look at pipes, or indulge your taste buds with bread and cake baked with recipes from before the 1900s. When you want to take a break from all the sightseeing, enjoy a pint of beer in the cozy beer cellar or indulge in delicious Danish pastries in Café Bonnich, which looks exactly like it did in the early 1970s.

Good to know

The museum is open 365 days a year with limited opening hours during Christmas. Children under 18 years have free admission. The cobblestone streets pose a problem for wheelchairs; however, you can borrow a mobility scooter for free. Check the website for details. If you plan to make purchases from the shops inside the museum, it is advisable that you carry cash as some historic shops may not accept cards.