I love castles! Before going to Copenhagen I had no idea how many Copenhagen castles there were in the greater Copenhagen area. From the castles in the city such as Rosenborg and Christiansborg to those that you have to take a train to such as Frederiksborg and Kronburg, there are so many things to see for a castle lover in Copenhagen!
What castles can you visit with the Copenhagen Card
We decided to purchase a Copenhagen Card for our time there and dedicated one whole day to visit Copenhagen castles. This was a great option as it meant entrance to all the Copenhagen castles and also all our transportation costs in the Greater Copenhagen area were included in the cost.
How many castles can you visit in 48 hours in Copenhagen?
With having to get trains to go and visit some of the castles included on the Copenhagen card you may think you may not be able to cover many castles in a 48 hour period but with our itinerary you are guaranteed to visit at least four!
Day one – start early at the central station of Copenhagen to head to Frederiksborg Castle. This also serves as the National Museum of Denmark. This castle is a short train ride away from Copenhagen, and then a short walk through a quaint town to get to the castle itself.
The castle was built by Christian IV of Denmark in the 17th Century. A beautiful castle, we decided to take a guided tour to ensure we got the full experience and did not regret it. I don’t think I would have learnt as much about the architecture, paintings or history of Denmark without this. Highlights of the tour for me included the Chapel and the Great Hall.
On the way back to town, one could take the small ferry (also included in the cost of the Copenhagen card). On the day we were there, the ferry was quite busy. It was such a lovely day we decided to walk the other way around the lake . This gave us the perfect opportunity to stop and explore the beautifully landscaped gardens.
Back at the train station we took the train towards Helsinore. This is the castle made famous by Shakespeare as the castle of Hamlet, Elsinore (in real life known as Kronborg). Now, out of all the castles in Copenhagen, I was expecting to like this one least. In my head it was more the Tower of London to Frederiksborg’s Hampton Court Palace. How wrong I was. Here we learnt about the control of the sound and how the castle was built to control the duties that needed to be levied for all ships wanting to enter or leave the Baltic Sea via the Sound and relations with Sweden as well as some more of the military history. The walk around the outside of the castle was also pleasant with great views over to Malmo. There are also some nice cafes within the castle walls.
Outside of the castle, much effort has been made to make Helsinore a cultural centre. In 2013, the Kulturhavn Kronburg was made to encourage tourism and includes the National Maritime Museum amongst other things. We didn’t have time to venture in but if we were to go back we would definitely spend a whole day in Helsinore!
After Kroburg, we headed back to Copenhagen. If we had a more leisurely timetable we would have stopped at Louisiana, a beautiful modern art gallery set on the sealine which even from the train I can tell you offered great views across the Sound. Its definitely a must when we return.
The next day, because we hadn’t had enough of Danish castles we went to Christiansborg, now the home of the Danish Parliament. Our favourite stop here was the Throne Room and the Stables. It also has a Tower which boasts great views of Copenhagen (so I’m told – we were too lazy to walk up!).
The next stop on our palace Tour de Force was Rosenburg, home of the crown jewels. While beautiful this was perhaps my least favourite of the castles as it was by far the busiest. I guess this is what happens when the castle is in the centre of the city and is home to the crown jewels.
At 11:30 you can watch the start of the changing of the guard who go all the way from Rosenborg to Amalienborg, the final stop on our trip and the residence of the Danish Royal Family.
Overall Copenhagen Castles Itinerary
Overall I think Copenhagen may be the greatest city on earth for Castle lovers! The trains are efficient and easy to use so it means you can even travel outside of the city to get your castle fix. If I was doing this with children, which next time we definitely will be we would obviously take this at a much more leisurely pace and would recommend a carrier – these castles aren’t made for prams!