Another day spent just outside of Copenhagen technically, after about a week in Denmark we found ourselves heading to the Open Air Museum, or Frilandsmuseet, near Sorgenfri Station.
Check out Day 6 when we headed to Frederiksborg Castle!
The Open Air Museum is a collection of recreated farms, houses, and other buildings representing the periods between 1650-1940 and spanning almost every region of Denmark and the Faroe Islands. Visitors are welcome to explore the reconstructed sites and interact with the various historical demonstrations all while getting a sense of what life was like in the different areas of the country and throughout different time periods.
We had a few travel hiccups on our way there but once we arrived it was smooth sailing. I wanted to see the Open Air Museum because the concept made me think of Barkerville in British Columbia (which I LOVED as a kid) or, perhaps more familiar to others, Colonial Williamsburg, where I’ve never been myself but I think is the same sort of deal — ie. a town set up to look like how it was during a certain time period, with people dressed as they would have been back then doing the whole historical reenactment spiel. For a history nerd like me, fun times!
What impressed me about the Open Air Museum in Denmark was its scope and time range. This wasn’t taking just one time period to recreate, it was taking multiple, and, as I said, it was recreating buildings from all over the country. That meant we could see how farmers were living in one part of the country compared to other parts, we could see how the wealthy lived compared to the working class, we could see how one century affected living conditions compared to another century, and everything in between.
As the name implies, the Open Air Museum isn’t an enclosed space but instead spreads out across 86 acres, all of which you’ll pretty much have free reign to explore. With many different paths to choose from, you’ll have an infinite number of directions to go in with something new to see no matter where you go. It’s definitely a trip where you’ll want to be prepared to do a lot of walking and you’ll want to go on a nice day because you’ll be outside for the majority of your time there.
It was a bright and sunny day as we explored the Open Air Museum and actually grew quite hot as the day went on, so it was nice to be able to duck inside the various farmhouses, cottages, shops, and stables to escape the heat momentarily. In addition to being able to go anywhere outside, most of the buildings are entirely open to explore within as well, with only a few exceptions of some rooms being closed off (although you could still poke your head in).
I remember loving the brightly-coloured wallpaper that decorated a lot of the farmhouses, where you’d think there wouldn’t be any and I also remember the impression the extremely low ceilings and doorways had on my forehead, haha (were people just shorter back then or something?).
As we wandered around, we got to see several demonstrations, such as the blacksmith at work and the windmill in operation. There were lots of animals around as well, from horses to cows to sheep to chickens. One of my favourite areas was the recreated railway town, where you could pop into the general store or check out the train station.
All in all, it was a fun visit, and worth checking out if you ever find yourself in the area. After seeing everything we wanted to see, we took the train back into Copenhagen, where we ate a restorative hot dog and plunged into a little shopping.
Check out our next day as we headed to Christiansborg Palace where I had to resist the very strong temptation not to swiiiinnggg on all the chandeliierrrrs that were around and we got to see the ruins of not just one ancient castle but two.
In the meantime, check out my other travel adventures!