Helsingør, also called Elsinore by the English, is a medieval city located north of Copenhagen on the NorthEastern coast of Zealand. It was founded in the 1420s by the Danish King Eric of Pomerania. The Kronborg Castle is the city’s crown jewel of sorts and is the primary tourist attraction due to its prominence in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
This city is the ideal place for a day trip and it is not too far from Copenhagen. It is a splendid spot to explore the Danish countryside and immerse yourself in the tranquility of its quaint little villages.
Excited about your trip to the coastal city? Read further to know the different facets of culture and sightseeing opportunities this medieval city has to offer.
What To See And Do In Helsingør?
Table of Contents
- How To Reach Helsingør From Copenhagen?
- 7 Interesting Things To Do In Helsingør
- Related Posts
How To Reach Helsingør From Copenhagen?
Take the direct regional train from København H (Copenhagen Central Station) to Helsingør station. It takes 45 minutes and it is the most ideal way. By car, it takes almost the same time.
7 Interesting Things To Do In Helsingør
1. Visit The Famous Hamlet Castle
The Kronborg Slot is one of the finest castles of the Renaissance era. The Kronborg was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Frederik II takes the most deserved credit to transform the original fortress into a castle. He did establish himself as the most powerful king in Scandinavia. He would host lavish parties attracting guests from all over. In 1572, he married Sofie, a much younger maiden to be his queen and their marriage is widely known to be one of the most happier royal marriages to have occurred in Europe.
Kronborg served as the gateway for entering the Baltic Sea. For over 400 years, it had been the headquarters for collecting Øresund duties. The cannons placed along the outer walls dictate that the sailors pay the king to sail past. This made Denmark a dominant power in the Nordic region.
The stories about Kronborg reached England, inspiring William Shakespeare to write one of his most influential plays, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Today, this play is performed annually from June to August in English for the general public in the castle courtyard. This custom has been followed since 1937.
In 1629, a fire engulfed most of the furniture, paintings, and copper roof. Even today, you can notice the burn marks in some places inside the castle grounds. The castle was rebuilt by Christian IV but in 1658, the Swedish King, Karl Gustav, occupied and plundered it. In 1660, the Danes took it back after the intervention from European powers.
Underground, you can visit the casemates that served as soldiers’ quarters during times of war. Here, you will find the statue of the national hero Holger Danske who has been asleep for a century. However, according to an old legend, he will wake up and wield his sword when Denmark is threatened by enemies.
Some of the notable facets of this place include a 62-m-long ballroom in the royal apartments, the royal exhibition, the King’s kitchen, and the Church. There are souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants on the castle grounds. When you walk around the castle grounds you will get to see the west coast of Sweden. Even better, you can peek through the windows to get a more beautiful wide angled view.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 to 17:00 on all days from May to October. Between 11:00 and 16:00 from Tuesday to Sunday from November to April.
- Ticket: Purchase online or at the entrance. However, you need to be prepared for a long queue on weekends and public holidays.
- Cost: 125 DKK for adults, 115 DKK for students, and free for children under 18. This place is also free of charge for people with the Copenhagen Card
2. Learn About The Maritime World
M/S Museet for Søfart (Maritime Museum) is located in front of the Kronborg Castle and it is built below the ground level around an old dry dock. It was designed by the world-famous BIG architect group. It has received several awards in recognition of its innovative architecture and design.
Seafaring is a big part of Danish culture and Denmark was one of the leading maritime nations. The place hosts many permanent interactive exhibitions like The Magic Box, Alle Tiders Skibe (Ships of all times), I Krigens Skygge (In the shadow of war), etc., and also a few special exhibitions throughout the year. The place also houses a cafe and a museum shop.
Drømmeskibet (The Dream Ship) is a big toy motor ship in the museum filled with fun and adventurous activities, especially for children. You can play on the deck, dress like the captain, set sail, load and unload cargo, take a tour, build your own model ship, and even get a temporary sailor-esque tattoo. You can also view the world’s largest container model ship here.
- Opening Hours: From 11:00 to 17:00 on Tuesday to Sunday from September to June and from 11:00 to 18:00 on all days from July to August.
- Tickets: Purchase online or in person at the entrance.
- Cost: 125 DKK for adults, 95 DKK for students, and 100 DKK for the elderly. It is free for children below 18 years and it is free for holders of the Copenhagen Card.
3. Stroll Through The Cozy Streets
The Helsingør Walk is a free self-guided tour you can opt for in the modern cultural city of Helsingør. There are guidebooks available in seven different languages that you can pick up from the Culture Yard or any one of the museums. Follow the blue dots guide marker and it will take you through 800 years of rich cultural history. It will also lead you through 20 cultural attractions all clearly marked along the route.
4. Try Different Cuisines At The Street Food Market
The Værftets Madmarked is a shipyard that has been turned into a cozy indoor street food market with high ceilings. It is a great place to relax with friends and family. We highly recommend this place for its food and ambiance.
The place offers more than 100 dishes across the cuisine spectrum — ranging from Indian, Turkish, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, etc. The bar also serves a varied selection of hot and cold drinks. There is also a small play area to engage the children. They also organize special activities and social events to entertain visitors.
- Opening Hours: From 11:00 to 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11:00 to 18:00 on Sundays.
5. Visit Øresundsakvariet (The Øresund Aquarium)
The Øresund Aquarium is a small saltwater aquarium showcasing marine life. It has three types of tanks which are biotope, theme, and touch. Touch tanks allow you to touch crabs, mussels, starfish, and flatfish. You can also feed the fish and other marine animals per the instructions provided by the guides. You also have the option to make it more interesting by catching the fish at the water laboratory and leaving it in the same tank after you examine it.
During the summer and autumn months, they offer snorkeling and boat trips to spot porpoises, tunas, sea birds, and seals. You can book the tickets online in advance. This ticket also includes the entrance fee to the aquarium on the day of the trip.
- Opening Hours: Open from 10:00 to 16:00 on weekdays and 10:00 to 17:00 on weekends.
- Tickets: Purchase at the ticket office.
- Cost: 79 DKK for adults, 59 DKK for kids between 3 and 11 years, and free for children under 3. It is also free for holders of the Copenhagen Card.
6. Relax By The Shore
You can leisurely loiter in the harbors of Helsingør (Helsingør Nordhavn and Helsingør Havn) or soak in the ambiance by the beach. From the shore, you will see beautiful views of coastal Sweden. You can take a dip in the water or go swimming. But, be warned that the water might be colder than what you are used to. You can also rent a boat in Helsingør.
7. Sail To Sweden
Ven (Danish: Hven) is a Swedish Island along the Øresund Strait. It is a small beautiful island that can be covered on a bicycle. Ride a boat for 55 minutes with M/S Jeppe to visit the Island of Ven from Helsingør. You can book the tickets online well in advance from May to September. You can also buy drinks and snacks from the kiosk. You also have the option to pre-order food while you book your tickets.
Helsingborg is a twin city in Southern Sweden across the Øresund Strait. You will take a 20-minute ferry ride with ForSea to cross the border to reach Helsingborg. We recommend you book your tickets online to ensure you get a more favorable price as opposed to the one you would get if you go in person at the port. You have the option to shop, dine, and drink on board. Head to the Forecastle to witness splendorous views across the water.
Important: Remember to carry your passport when entering Sweden.
If you still have the time and the energy, you can visit the modern Lousiana Museum of Modern Art located about 9 km south of the city.
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