Black Diamond side of Det Kongelige Bibliotek.

©Caroline Hadamitzky/Lonely Planet

Det Kongelige Bibliotek

Top choice in Copenhagen

Scandinavia's largest library consists of two very distinct parts: the original 19th-century red-brick building and the head-turning 'Black Diamond' extension, the latter a leaning parallelogram of sleek black granite and smoke-coloured glass. From the soaring, harbour-fronting atrium, an escalator leads up to a 210 sq metre ceiling mural by celebrated Danish artist Per Kirkeby. Beyond it, at the end of the corridor, is the 'old library' and its Hogwarts-like northern Reading Room, resplendent with vintage desk lamps and classical columns.

Aside from housing a complete collection of all Danish printed works produced since 1482, Denmark's national library is also home to the National Museum of Photography, which hosts rotating exhibitions of historical and contemporary photography sourced from its rich collection.

The library is also home to decent cafe Øieblikket and modern Danish restaurant Søren K.

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