Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle

If you’ve read about my other trips, you might have noticed a theme.  I enjoy exploring old castles (hint: I went all the way to Romania to see Dracula’s.

So, when I found that one of the most famous Renaissance castles in all of Europe was a short 40 minute train ride from Copenhagen, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Kronborg Castle - Cannons
Kronborg Castle – Cannons

This was also a great chance to benefit from my Copenhagen Card, since not only was the train to Helsingør included with my card, so was admission to the castle!

Early on a Tuesday morning, I was surprised to find myself one of only a few visitors on the grounds.  The castle grounds open long before the actual castle museum, so if you like to snap photos with few other tourists, try to show up early!

Kronborg Castle - Frozen Moat
Kronborg Castle – Frozen Moat

Kronborg Castle is located at the narrowest point of the Øresund, across the sound from Sweden.  The castle was built in the late 1500s by King Frederick II as a way to collect tolls passing through to the Baltic Sea.

If the castle sounds familiar, that’s because it was the setting for the famous Shakespeare tragedy, Hamlet.

Kronborg Castle Moat
Kronborg Castle Moat

Personally, I’ve never read Hamlet.  But, after spending the day touring the castle, that prince sure has a nice place!  The play is set in Elsinore, which is the anglicized name of the town of Helsingør.

During the busy summer months, it looked like guided tours were available with Hamlet’s pal Horatio.  But, unfortunately those weren’t available on the cold, January day that I visited.

Once you finish visiting the castle, I recommend spending some time walking the streets of nearby Helsingør.  There are many shops to bide your time before catching the train back to Copenhagen, as well as some great restaurants.  I enjoyed my first Danish open-faced sandwich, the traditional smørrebrød, at Cafe Olai.  Cafe Olai was a cozy little restaurant set amidst the cobblestone streets of Helsingør.  The food was great, and added bonus, was significantly cheaper than eating in Copenhagen!

 

My trip to Kronborg Castle was part of my larger trip to Scandinavia.  See the rest of the trip here:

Chasing Lights

Copenhagen

Malmö

Tromsø