Maritime Museum of Denmark {Museet for Søfart}, Helsingør

This post has been long overdue. We go to Maritime Museum of Denmark {Museet for Søfart} in Helsingør every year after Christmas (and sometimes other times of the year) and whilst the subject matter is not my top interest, it is a great museum. I believe the sign of a good quality museum is that it makes whatever its subject matter interesting to everyone and this museum certainly does that.

First of all, lets talk about the building. The famous Danish architecture company BIG designed the subterranean building in a former dry dock close to the castle in Helsingør and it really is quite special to see. Anyone who watched the Netflix series The Rain {link} will have seen the building used as the backdrop of one of the final scenes, it was digitally altered to fit with the location on the programme but I thought it gave a fascinating look at the building slightly out of context.

The museum’s theme is obviously Denmark’s ongoing relationship with the sea and there are a number of permanent exhibitions including one about sailors and their families called The Gate to the World {link}, where you can draw your own tattoo on your skin with washable pen. There is a long hall with a number of scale models of various ships called Ships of Our Times {link} (this section doesn’t really float my boat {groan!}) but is interesting for many folks.

Our favourite part is the interactive section called Tea Time – The First Globalisation {link} where you take a real book which connects with a virtual system and you can travel around the world trading in different continents to try to make your fortune. It shows all the different materials and people who were traded at the time in the 1700s when Europe made much of its money sailing around the world importing and exporting goods. I’m not sure my description really does it justice but I can guarantee it will be popular will all ages. This is what the museum says about this section –

Focussing on the goods that were shipped and their consumption, the exhibition tells the story of the first wave of globalisation. You can move along the route of the goods traded and play the role of a merchant trying to make a profit in his trading company en route. Using a logbook you can trade the goods of the 1700s, and compare your success with that of other visitors. Beautiful exhibits from the 1700s tell the story of voyages, adventures and the fortunes made in a world that was simultaneously far away and close to home.

When we went earlier in the year there was a new permanent exhibition called THE MAGIC BOX – Shipping, shopping and the global consumer {link}, which I found fascinating. The other permanent exhibition we like is called Our Sailors {link} and covers a wide gamut of sailors from Rasmus Klump and Donald Duck to film sailors. It is great fun.

This gives you a snap shot of what this great museum has to offer but of course there is a lot more and also temporary exhibitions.

Practical Tips

Located in Helsingør it is easy to reach by train from Copenhagen and it only a short walk from the station in Helsingør. There is a cafe in the museum and the food is very nice however it is fairly expensive and the portions are not generous so you may consider eating lunch outside the museum. It’s Ok for a quick coffee and cake.

For more information check out the museum’s website {link}

One comment

  1. Oh wow! I want to visit here! I love maritime museums. Hamburg, Gothenburg and Amsterdam all have really great ones too.

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