Part of living somewhere for an extended period of time is being somewhat jaded to the “touristy” aspects of that place. I’ve found it particularly difficult to convince myself that I really need to see the Little Mermaid or walk through the King’s Garden or eat every pastry I see (okay, maybe I don’t really need to do that last one…) While I do think that it’s incredibly important to immerse myself in everyday Danish culture, I’ve quickly realized that some tourist-y activities are popular for a reason (though some inevitably are not).
To motivate myself to make the most of my time here, I thought I’d start a little tradition of reviewing one “touristy” Danish activity a week. I might even occasionally throw in a suggestion of my own of what should be added to tourist guides! So, here we go:
This week I made the long (35 minutes by train) trek to Humlebæk to visit the world famous Louisiana (no, not like the state) Museum of Modern Art. It did not disappoint!
A little background information: Did you know the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the most-visited museum in Denmark? And with good reason. The Louisiana’s collection, dating back to World War II, is varied and thought-provoking. Even better is the museum building itself, which is considered a hallmark of Danish architecture. To say I was ‘pleasantly surprised’ doesn’t adequately describe my delight when I realized the museum teetered on the edge of a valley overlooking the beautiful blue sea. I was lucky to attend the museum on a cool, clear day, and there were scores of tourists enjoying the weather by picnicking on the museum lawn.
Picasso before Picasso- How many times in one’s life can he or she say, “I’ve seen a Picasso.” Okay, now how many times can he or she say, “I’ve seen a rudimentary pencil doodle from when Picasso was a schoolboy.” Anyone? Now I have! During my visit, the Louisiana was hosting an amazing exhibit of some of Picasso’s earliest drawings. What I loved about this was the exhibit’s obvious tourist appeal. Even people who know absolutely nothing about modern art (read: me) can get excited about seeing ultra-rare Picassos. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed in the exhibit (which a security guard calmly and politely informed me of after I snapped an illegal photograph–I love the friendly Danes), but trust me, this was an incredible exhibit.
Yayoi Kusama’s Gleaming Lights of the Soul- A must-see for all tourists and all humans everywhere. This exhibit, which became a permanent installation in 2008, is fairly synonymous with the museum at this point, but it’s 100 percent worth mentioning (and experiencing!) Prepare to question your very existence as you enter this four by four meter space covered entirely with mirrors, lined with a small reflecting pool and illuminated with thousands of ping-pong ball lights. The result looks a little something like this (ignore how silly I look–it’s kind of ridiculous how difficult it is to pose in that room):
The Sculpture Park- This aspect of my experience cannot be overstated. I could have sat in the museum gardens overlooking the ocean for days (weather permitting, of course). If you have the opportunity to visit the Louisiana during your stay in Denmark, I highly highly recommend packing a picnic lunch (free of charge to eat in the gardens) and parking it outside to enjoy the scenery.
My overall rating: I give this attraction a solid 9/10. Whether you’re a modern art enthusiast or can’t tell your Picasso from your Monet, the Louisiana offers a family-friendly and intellectually stimulating day of fun! I would highly recommend making the journey from Copenhagen to enjoy this Danish gem.
Until next Tuesday–Vi ses! (It means–See ya!)