Tucked away in the town of Hvidovre south-west of Copenhagen, Denmark’s Circus Museum is housed at Avedørelejren, a red-brick former barracks now given a new lease on life as an entertainment complex.
This cute, colorful little museum — even the souvenir store has a cheery, red-and-yellow circus theme — presents the history of the circus in Denmark and has Europe’s biggest display of wonderful faux-furry, feathery and sparkly costumes, lots of circus posters from across the ages, old photographs of animal trainers and rare movie footage of magicians and acrobats.
Best of all, much of the museum is thoroughly interactive and visitors can try out circus tricks for themselves; in the fall and winter seasons there are circus performances at the museum, when visitors can watch clowns, conjurers and acrobats. There’s a packed year-around schedule of events and workshops, at which visitors can try their luck on trapezes, ropes, juggling, uni-cycling, plate-spinning or conjuring — and all instructors are professionals so safety is paramount.
The museum is open Sun–Thur 10am–3pm. Admission for adults is 50 DKK; younger than 18 go free. Admission is also free with the Copenhagen Card. Multilingual guided tours cost and additional 400 DKK. If visiting via car, free parking available. The city of Hvidovre is 20 minutes south-west of Copenhagen by road via Brostykkevej. If using public transportation, bus number 1A stops at Avedørelejren, just steps from the museum.