For our second day in Copenhagen, there was one trip that had been very well researched – a trip to the Carlsberg Brewery Visitors Centre! It was about 20 minutes stroll from our hotel and is one of the most impressive buildings in terms of decorative architecture I’ve seen.
The visitors centre costs DKK 60 which is around £7 and includes 2 free drinks (soft or beer), this in itself makes the ticket a bargain as you would pay somewhere in the region of £6 a pint in most Copenhagen bars and the staff all speak several languages like most places in Copenhagen.
The tour starts with the largest sealed bottled beer collection in the world and it is impressive!
Row upon row of bottles, there are also screens with more info and Carlsberg adverts, but we just spent ages looking at all the different labels!
The rest of the tour guides through not only the history of the Carlsberg Brewery & beers, but also of the workers and the city of Copenhagen, pretty much all of the written information is in both Danish and English.
Like most tourist attractions there is also a gift shop which has all manner of Carlsberg/Tuborg related merchandise – we were quite gutted that we couldn’t take stuff home in the suitcase with us, they had some nice bottles/glasses etc..
After the gift shop is the aroma room – this was my favourite part of the tour – numerous bottle with various aromas in that are used in beer
the idea being that you sniff them all and mark on a card which aromas you like most, then there is a corresponding chart hanging from the ceiling which tells you which beers you should try based on their aroma. My favourite aromas included coffee, cereal & bread! So then it’s on to the Jacobsen Bar where you collect your free drinks – with over 35 types of beer to choose from you are spoilt for choice!
The bar also does some nice Danish food which is also reasonably priced
The menu for food & beer can be downloaded from their website – most beers (after the free ones) cost DKK 25 which is about £3. Also if that isn’t enough, in the centre of the room you can see the bottling plant, which is the only part of the tour where you’ll see actual brewery action.
After all the fun of the brewery tour, we had a casual stroll back towards our hotel, which is when we noticed all the sex shops on the same street!
We had decided to take in some art in the afternoon so we went to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
This gallery also charges DKK 60 to enter, but it wasn’t really worth it in our opinion, unless you’re really into 19th Century/Early 20th Century French/Danish art works.
We thought the Early Egyptian/Ancient Roman & Greek artefacts would be interesting but without any context as to why they were collected (the translations were quite sporadic) it left us cold – we’d seen similar collections in Tunisia that seemed far more coherent.
It’s probably worth noting that in Winter/off season (ie October to March), most Danish tourist attractions close at 4/5pm which feels quite early.
After this we headed back to our hotel, grabbed a bite to eat, then went for an intended wander, however we didn’t get very far as we ended up at the end of the street (literally 30 seconds away) in the Jernbane Cafeen a train themed bar/pub. It was very quaint and friendly – the staff spoke good English although we had a bit of trouble explaining which type of Carlsberg beer we wanted, however – there were folders/menu’s on the table, and after pointing at what we wanted we ended up with a good ol’ Carl’s Lager
The bar train theme (we assumed because of the proximity to the station)was pretty impressive – the seats were from trains, all numbered along with destination plates etc.. the toilets even had train sound effects when you entered! They also had one of the cheapest slot machines I’ve ever tried, for about £3 we had around 80 goes, of course the winnings were also minimal and we didn’t really know what we were doing, but it was fun.