7 immersive outdoor art galleries to explore in Copenhagen

By Kendal Karaduman
copenhagen outdoor art

Photo: Andreas Omvik

The Danish capital has lots to offer beyond concept stores and chic coffee shops, including a plethora of inspiring open air art. From Antony Gormley, Olafur Eliasson to Astrid Myntekær – these are the ones to visit alfresco

Copenhagen's rich cultural offerings aren't merely limited to its museums and indoor art galleries. There's also ample opportunity to enjoy some world-class art in the open air, from the regular bursts of street art brightening up many of the city's neighbourhoods to works by Henry Moore and Joan Miró nestled in parkland, and a set of six 'forgotten giants' hidden across the region.


Here's our guide to some of the best outdoor art to explore in and around the Danish capital.



Featuring artworks by the likes of Monet and Renoir, Ordrupgaard is home to one of the most significant collections of French art outside of France – but the Impressionist spirit isn’t just limited to the paintings that hang on the museum’s walls. These explorations of light, nature, and reflection are all continued outside in Ordrupgaard’s open air collection.

Interactive installations and sculptures blur the lines between the artwork, audience and parkland environment, as the open air collection straddles the boundary between museum and playground. Ordrupgaard’s works invite us to experience art in a radically new way; whether its Jeppe Hein’s mirrors fragmenting the viewer’s reflection along with the surrounding greenery, or Doug and Mike Starn’s bamboo labyrinth tempting us to climb 15 metres above the park.

Consisting of two gorgeous early 20th century mansions, with two additional wings designed by Zaha Hadid and Norwegian design studio Snøhetta, the museum itself is equally a work of art to behold from the outside.



The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art holds one of Scandinavia’s largest collections of modern art, dating from 1945 to the present day. Although it would be impossible to see all of Louisiana’s 4,000 plus works in one visit, be sure not to miss the internationally renowned Sculpture Park, which hosts an impressive repertoire of artists including Henry Moore, Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. The collection foregrounds the interplay between the art and its surroundings, as each sculpture demonstrates a unique relationship with the landscape, which opens onto a breath-taking view of the Sound.

This summer, the park’s Calder-terrace welcomes a special guest in the form of American artist Alex Da Corte’s large and colourful sculpture, ‘As Long as the Sun Lasts’, which graced the Roof Garden of The MET in New York last year. On Tuesdays, the museum also offers an opportunity to sit and sketch the beautiful works in its Sculpture Park.


Street Gallery – Nordvest

If you’re looking for the largest open air mural gallery in the Nordics, look no further than Copenhagen’s Nordvest neighbourhood. Established in 2017, the 'gallery' consists of over 2,000 square metres of art across 16 different murals, each by an internationally acclaimed street artist.

Seeking to transform the residential complex into a celebration of urban space and community, curator Jens-Peter Brask invited artists from both Denmark and abroad to contribute to this collection that is at once unified and diverse. Brask also offers private tours of the area.


Kunsthal Charlottenborg

For those wishing to dip a toe in open air art without fully taking the plunge, the architectural pavilions in the courtyard of Kunsthal Charlottenborg strike the perfect balance between indoors and outdoors.

Entitled ‘Sowing the Seeds of Love’, the exhibition is a collaboration between the Kenneth Balfelt Team and Johan August, and explores issues of declining mental health and growing anxiety and stress among students in Denmark.

Throughout May and June, guests were invited to step into the transparent pavilions to read, view and participate in the project, which seeks to better understand and find solutions to these issues. Following this, a temporary exhibition will be displaying the results of its experimental artistic process until 7 August 2022.



Even though it’s only a short train ride from the city centre, it hardly feels that way when you first step foot in Arken – or rather, on Arken. The modern art museum is situated on its own island and surrounded by an artificial beach, making the term “sculpture park” feel somewhat redundant to describe the experience of strolling through the dunes as you cast your eye upon sculptures by Antony Gormley, Olafur Eliasson and Astrid Myntekær.

As part of this year’s Art in Sunlight series, you can also experience Arken’s outdoor summer exhibition, ‘From the Earth’. Here, remarkable installations by Silas Inoue and Nina Nowak urge us to reconsider how we understand and value nature as a “resource”.

Astrid Myntekær, The Hermit

Astrid Myntekær's 'The Hermit' on the shores of Arken. Photo: Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst


Six Forgotten Giants

Unlike the other entries on this list, you’ll have to work a bit harder to find Thomas Dambo’s Forgotten Giants, which are scattered across Copenhagen’s suburban municipalities. The six giants – built from recycled and scrap wood with the help of local volunteers – each come with their own unique charm and character.

Designed to draw locals out from their urban comfort, the giant-hunt doubles up as a tour through the Danish landscape, as the sculptures are located in places of overlooked natural beauty. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can see the tall wooden sculptures as part of a 31-kilometre-long cycle route, with a very helpful map on the artist’s website (just in case your tracking skills are a bit rusty).


Nørrebro’s Street Art

While not technically a gallery in the traditional sense, there’s perhaps no open air art experience that is more authentic than surveying the street art that adorns Copenhagen’s streets. This list would be incomplete without a giving a mention to the vibrant murals that animate Copenhagen’s trendy Nørrebro district.

The district’s buildings are a canvas for talents from around the globe, who join local artists in giving expression to the neighbourhood’s cosmopolitan spirit. If you’re not sure where to start, take a walk down the bustling Nørrebrogade and keep your eyes peeled as you explore one the city’s liveliest areas.