Archive for Copenhagen

Feb
12

Visiting Kronborg Castle from Copenhagen

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About 30 miles heading north up the coast from the Danish capital, Copenhagen is Kronborg Castle. It is was of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was the scene for Shakespeare’s play “The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark”. Kronborg dates back to 1429 and ships passing though the sound had to pay a tax. This was a very lucrative business making the Kings very rich.

It’s a very easy day out from Copenhagen with trains running regularly to Helsingor. From there, it’s a 10 minute walk to the castle which you can see almost as soon as you get off the train. The train ticket system around Copenhagen can be a little confusing so if you aren’t sure, just ask at the ticket office at the main station in Copenhagen. The journey takes around 45 minutes and there were around 3 trains an hour.

Helsingor is the end of the train line so there is no danger of missing your stop. Once you arrive at Kronborg, you cross over the bridge and make your way to the inner courtyard. There is no charge at this point and there are also wi-fi points at various spots where you can connect your phone and listen to MP3 audio tours.

If you want to explore the inside of Kronborg, you’ll need to purchase a ticket which includes a guided tour. There are various prices depending on which parts of the castle you want to visit and the most expensive ticket is 95DKK (around 11GBP).

The castle chapel is beautifully decorated inside and was originally consecrated in 1528. It escaped undamaged in the fire of 1629 and the vivid colours give you an idea what the castle was like in its heyday.

The first part of the guided tour takes you under the castle where you meet Holger the Dane. He is said to be the protector of Denmark and is an important symbol for the Danish people. There are a series of passages and dark corridors which were once home to the soldiers who lived here.

The next part of the tour takes in the various living areas of the castle including the Royal Chambers and the Ballroom. The decoration inside the castle is wonderful and there are various items of furniture and art on display.

The Danish Maritime Museum is also based at Kronborg but for some reason, I managed to miss out going there. As day trips go, visiting Kronborg from Copenhagen is definitely worth while. If possible go during summer as you will also have access to the Telegraph Tower which offers stunning views over the sound.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to live close enough to the city of Copenhagen to spend time there. Although most visitors fly into Copenhagen, it is also easily accessible by train from the Swedish cities of Malmo and Gothenburg. The train crosses the Oresund Bridge from Sweden into Denmark where it stops at Kastrup airport. From there, its a short trip straight to the centre of Copenhagen.

Once in the centre, there are plenty of hotels to choose from with a number of cheaper options located close to the station as well as a good selection of higher grade hotels too. The Marriott was always a place I enjoyed staying. However, the best of Copenhagen is not in the hotels, its around this fascinating city.

One of the most popular places to visit is Tivoli Gardens. It is mainly a summer attraction as it isn’t open all year round but I’ve been there just before Christmas and its a magical place at this time of year too. If you reverse the letters Tivoli, you get “I Lov It” and its a place you simply have to see.

The Nyhavn is one of Copenhagen’s most recognisable places. The multicoloured buildings are the back drop to a small dock. There are some lovely bars and restaurants here and its a wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by in the long summer evenings.

Not far from Nyhavn is the Royal Winter Palace of Amalienborg. The Royal family stay here during the winter and visitors can wander around outside and in the past, I’ve watch the changing of the guard here.

Heading further north out of the city, you will find the famous Little Mermaid at Langelinie. It is one of the most photographed statues in the world and has been the subject of a number of thefts. The Little Mermaid was the subject of a fairytale written by Hans Christian Andersen, one of the most famous people to come from the city.

Back in the centre, you will find the Stroget. This pedestrianised street is the main shopping area in Copenhagen. In addition to the many world class shops, there are plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants along the way. The Stroget links the Radhuspladsen near Tivoli with the Kongens Nytorv next Nyhavn.

Of course, there is much more to see in Copenhagen not least the Carlsberg brewery where tours are available all year round. As with many cities, a Copenhagen Card is available giving free entry and discounts to many of the cities attractions.

Categories : Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe
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