As promised in Copenhagen Part 1, here is more information about accessible travel in Denmark’s capital.
This exquisite building was formerly a palace, but now houses extensive collections devoted to Denmark’s history. For a building that is several hundred years old, it is surprisingly very accessible. The museum has small lifts that will carry you from floor to floor, as well as stair lifts at each set of stairs that separate the rooms. Both types of lifts are very small and are designed for manual wheelchairs or very small mobility scooters. If you have a larger scooter you won’t be able to explore the entire museum and should borrow a manual wheelchair from the museum. Just ask the staff at the entrance near the coat check area.
Rosenborg Slot & Kongens Have
This 16th century Renaissance castle houses the crown jewels. The castle and grounds are beautiful, but the castle is not accessible at all. To tour this site you need to be very independently mobile, enough to negotiate very old and uneven staircases and cobblestone paths. The surrounding grounds are completely accessible, so roll around and enjoy the picturesque setting.
This amusement park was built in 1843 and takes some of the credit for inspiring Walt Disney’s launch into theme park world domination. Like most theme parks the accessibility of Tivoli will vary from person to person depending on how well you can transfer in and out of the ride vehicles. They do have ramps and lifts installed to get you to the loading platforms, and the grounds themselves, shops, and restaurants are almost completely accessible. Occasionally you may have to ask an employee about alternative entrances for restaurants and shops, and they will do their very best to accommodate you. We dined at Groften (one of the many, many, many restaurants inside the park) and the manager took us around to the side entrance to dine on the patio so I could avoid the stairs. We couldn’t have asked for better service or a better meal! If you find yourself at Tivoli I highly recommend trying Groften for some delicious Danish food.
This complex of palace buildings has been home to the royal family since 1794. You can tour parts of the palace that host gatherings, but only if you can climb up and down a long set of stairs. While the palace itself may not be accessible, the center of the buildings offers a brilliant view for the changing of the guards ceremony.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Even though this building claims to be recently renovated, the renovations didn’t seem to include adding stair lifts like the ones found at Nationalmuseet. There are stairs to enter through the main entrance and a lift can be found around the corner to the left of the entrance. However, the lift only works about half of the time. Have someone you are traveling with ask the museum staff for assistance and they will have you enter through the staff entrance which is located around the corner to the right. This is actually pretty neat, as you get to enter through huge wooden doors and travel through some of the staging area, and maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of pieces not on display. Once inside, you’ll find that some areas of the museum are accessible and given the size of the museum’s collection of fine art it is worth exploring these areas. There is a lift which will take you to some of the floors, but once there you’ll only be able to view some of the galleries before running into stairs. Because so much of this museum is not accessible, visit on a Sunday when admission is free.
Copenhagen’s pedestrian shopping area is filled with one of kind as well as chain shops and restaurants. All 5 linked pedestrian streets that make up this area are accessible, but the shops and restaurants vary in their accessibility. Some have installed ramps to allow guests on wheels to enter and some have level entrances, but several have 2-3 steps you will have to climb in order to enter. The steps vary in size and height and often no handrail is available. There are enough accessible shops and restaurants to make this area worth your time.
Carlsberg Museum and Visitor Centre
Brewery tours are always interesting, they almost always include high tech multi-media type experiences which lead to a beer tasting which is included in your admission. The tour is fairly accessible, but the museum is housed in the original brewery which was built in 1847. Two of the rooms on the tour require you to climb up and down stairs, but you can just skip these two areas as there is still plenty of accessible areas to explore. When starting your brewery experience you might want to ask the staff if you can enter the first part through the exit near the stables, otherwise you’ll have to climb down two very, very large steps at the entrance. You’ll also need to have a member of the staff open up the elevator that takes you to the café and bar at the end of the tour.
The people of Copenhagen have made great strides in making their city accessible. You will run into a few obstacles, but if you do your research and contact the sites you plan to visit ahead of time you’ll be fine. There is so much you CAN see and do in Copenhagen without ever having to leave your wheelchair you’ll never miss the things that are not yet accessible.