The city of Hans Christian Andersen honours its literary background with beautiful bookstores. Get to know all the best literary places in Copenhagen!
Politikens Boghal – Rådhuspladsen 37
This bookstore was my favourite store for new books. They have the best collection of translated Danish literature I could find in Copenhagen, and a very good English collection as well. They organise a lot of events, so check their calendar when planning a visit! I also like their collection of literary merchandise: mugs, notebooks, that kind of stuff. It’s a great place to find a gift for a bookish friend!
Copenhagen has many cool secondhand bookstores, all with cute nooks, corners, dark wood and old books. Most of them have a good collection of English books, so it’s worth to check them out. These are my favourites:
The Booktrader – Skindergade 23
Paludan Bog & Café – Fiolstræde 10
Books & Curiosities – Læderstræde 9
The Royal Library – Søren Kierkegaards Pl. 1
This building is a beautiful combination of modern and older architecture. Enjoy the view over the water from the staircases in the lobby, or take a peek at the old reading room in the older part of the building. This library is the biggest in Northern Europe and definitely worth the visit.
The Little Mermaid – Langelinie
One of the biggest highlights of Copenhagen is a literary one: the statue of the Little Mermaid from the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Prepare for a lot of tourists, but also for a lovely view over the water.
Bispebjerk Kirkegård – Frederiksborgvej 125
At this beautiful graveyard, you can find the grave of Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1944. His book The Fall of the King was named the best book of the 20th century by the Danish people. You can’t find his name on the map the cemetery provides, but if you show them a picture of the grave they’ll recognize it and point you the right way.
Bakkehus Museum – Rahbeks Alle 23
This house used to belong to Kamma and Knud Lyne Rahbek, who played an important role in the Romantic period in Denmark. Not only did they write themselves, but they helped other great Danish writers financially. They were visited by writers like Hans Christian Andersen and Adam Oehlenschläger, who wrote the Danish national anthem. Rahbek’s old study room has a beautiful collection of old books!
HC Andersen Eventyrhuset – Rådhuspladsen 57
Maybe done a bit cheap, maybe a bit childish, but also a wonderful reminder of Andersen’s fairy tales! This place tells you all about his life and the stories he wrote. It’s a great place to visit with children, but for me and my mom it was also a good way to refresh our memory: what were those stories about again?