5 TOP-RATED DAY TRIPS FROM COPENHAGEN
1. KRONBORG CASTLE (KRONBORG SLOT)
The castle that Shakespeare called Elsinore and used as the home of his
fictional character Hamlet, has stood above the water at the head of the
oresund Sound in Helsingor since 1420. This was once one of the most
important towns in Europe, controlling access to the Baltic and
collecting tolls from passing ships. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
the Kronborg Castle you see today was rebuilt in 1640 after a fire in
1629. The Castle Chapel survived the fire, and its Renaissance interior
and German woodcarvings remain intact. Tapestries in the West Wing and
the Knights’ Hall are the other main highlights. Various guided tours
explore the castle’s history, including the crypts deep beneath it.
2. FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE
Set in beautiful Baroque gardens and reflected in the lake that
surrounds it, the Dutch Renaissance-style Frederiksborg Palace was built
in the early 1600s by King Christian IV. A fire in 1859 destroyed much
of the original, but it was rebuilt in its former style. The palace
chapel survived the fire intact, and much of the rest of the palace is
devoted to the Museum of National History, with exhibits on the history
of the castle and of Denmark, along with a sizeable art collection that
includes historical paintings, portraits, and modern art. The palace
occupies three small islands, and all around the castle is the Palace
Garden, a romantic landscaped garden that has been re-created from the
original 1725 plans and drawings. In it is the Badstueslot, the small
Bath House Palace built in the time of King Frederik II, and a summer
cafe. Day tours from Copenhagen often combine a visit to Frederiksborg
Palace with Kronborg Castle.
3. VIKING SHIP MUSEUM AND ROSKILDE CATHEDRAL
Five viking ships that were recovered from underwater are the focus of
the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, spectacularly displayed in a hall
that was built to showcase them against a full view across Roskilde
Harbor and the fjord. Exhibits tell the fascinating history of these
ships and their recovery and preservation, and throughout the several
buildings that make up the museum, you’ll learn more about these ships
and the Nordic maritime experience in the prehistoric and medieval eras.
As fascinating as the ships themselves is the shipyard, where you can
watch the building of reproduction Viking ships and other traditional
Nordic wooden ships.
Without question one of the prettiest villages in Denmark, the fishing
town of Dragor is the perfect destination for a 12-kilometer bike ride
across the Amager Falled moorland and along the coast. Once there,
explore streets lined with small thatched cottages and visit the museum
at the picturesque harbor. You can also tour a local farmhouse to learn
about local life and traditions of this town settled by Dutch farmers,
who were invited here to grow vegetables for the king’s household.
Dragor also has a strong fishing history. In the summer, art and music
festivals are held here, and you’ll often find open-air markets as well.
Bring a picnic to enjoy overlooking the water or stop at one of the
several cafés and restaurants at the harbor. You can also reach Dragør
by bus from the city center.
It’s an easy day trip from Copenhagen to the Swedish city of Malmo,
across the spectacular oresund Bridge that connects Denmark to Sweden.
You can learn about Malmo’s history on a scenic canal cruise; enjoy the
lively atmosphere of Stora Torget; and browse in the boutiques on Lilla
Torget, which is filled with outdoor cafés in the summer.