The Best Copenhagen Day Trip: Frederiksborg Castle & Kronborg CastleHey there! Travel looks a little different right now. Please be sure to follow local restrictions and double-check openings and guidelines for places you visit. And stay safe and wear a mask! Also, his blog post likely contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associates links. If you make a purchase through one of them I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Want to visit two different castles in one day? This awesome Copenhagen day trip takes you to both Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle in just a few hours!
I loved Copenhagen so much the first time I went that I agreed to go back at a time that wasn’t exactly convenient (right before my exams). But, it being my second time there, I also knew that I wanted to explore a little further afield by taking a Copenhagen day trip. The day trip also needed to be something that Megan would love since it was her first trip to Copenhagen and I knew it would be hard to pull her away from the city.
Enter: Frederiksborg and Kronborg Castles. Two amazing castles just outside of Copenhagen that you can easily visit in one day. Seeing as one of them (Kronborg) is where Hamlet was set and Megan is an English student, it was a perfect fit.
So on our second full day in Copenhagen we set off on our day trip to Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle. Here’s how you can do it too.
THE BEST COPENHAGEN DAY TRIP: FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE & KRONBORG CASTLE
HOW TO GET FROM COPENHAGEN TO FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE
It honestly couldn’t be easier to get from Copenhagen to Frederiksborg Castle. From Copenhagen Central Station all you have to do is take the S-Train Line A towards Hillerød and stay on until the very last stop. The train to Hillerød runs every 10 minutes and takes around 40 minutes to get there.
From there, it’s about a 15-minute walk or a short bus ride. I highly recommend the walk not just because it will save you a little bit of money but because it is truly one of the most scenic walks through a town I’ve ever walked.
I mean, just look at this adorable windmill in the town square:
There was also a couple walking FOUR DASCHUNDS and it was all I could do not to cry.
THE BEST PHOTO SPOT OF FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE
Although Google Maps will have you keep going down the street past the main square of Hillerød, you can actually see Frederiksborg Castle from it, and there’s a small platform by the lake which makes for some of the best photos of the castle.
From there, there’s a shortcut around the lake to the castle, so my suggestion is to stop following Google Maps once you get to the main square (look for the adorable windmill) and then follow the path around the lake until you get to the castle.
(Disclaimer: I did not actually test my theory that the path around the lake is faster than the way Google Maps wants you to go but with views like these you seriously can’t complain if it isn’t.)
There is truly nothing I love more than exploring castles, so I was very excited as we walked up to the castle. And then, a bride and groom walked out of the chapel. Um… how freaking magical???
Once Megan and I got over how amazing it would be to get married in a straight up CASTLE, we went to go get our tickets and get exploring.
The rooms were almost entirely lit by daylight (you know, how they would have been in the #oldendays) so it was pretty dark and hard to see in December (you know, when there’s no light in the north) but it was still very very cool all the same.
Because Frederiksborg Castle actually houses the Museum of National History, there were some slightly weird exhibits interspersed between the rooms arranged to look like they would have when the castle was in use. Some of my favorites
Most of the signs were only in Danish — a problem I hadn’t run into in Copenhagen before — so I wasn’t prepared with a downloaded Danish dictionairy for offline photo Google translate use (my favorite thing of all time). Before you go, be sure to download the full Danish dictionary on Google translate on your phone so you can actually understand what the signs say! Maybe then I would have understood why there was an exhibit full of photos of American jazz musicians in the Danish National Museum. But also maybe not. It still felt super random.
FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE INFO
- Entrance to Frederiksborg Castle costs 75 DKK for adults/60 DKK for students/20 DKK for kids. If you have the Copenhagen Card, entrance is free.
- The Museum is open every day all year. Winter hours (from November 1-March 31) are from 11 am to 3 pm and summer hours (April 1-October 31) are from 10 am to 5 pm.
HOW TO GET FROM FREDERIKSBORG CASTLE TO KRONBORG CASTLE
Here is my one big piece of advice when it comes to getting from Frederiksborg to Kronborg: Look at the bus times ahead of time and GIVE YOURSELF TIME AT THE STATION. Even when you think you won’t need it.
Megan and I set off walking back to Hillerød station the way we came and got to the station with about 5
Luckily, there was a local train leaving a few minutes later that we were actually able to find, but it took 1 hour and 15 minutes instead of the 30 minutes the first one would have, meaning that we were cutting it really tight with the closing time for Kronborg.
Anyways, after that word of warning, here’s actually how to get from Frederiksborg Castle to Kronborg Castle:
- From Frederiksborg Castle walk (or take the bus) back to Hillerød station to get a train to Helsingør
- The fast train (930R towards Helsingør St.) takes approximately 30 minutes and leaves twice an hour on weekdays and once an hour on weekends. You can check train times here.
- There is also a slow train that takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- If you take the slow train, you can get off at the station right before Helsingør main station for a slightly shorter walk to Kronborg Castle. If you take the fast train, get off at Helsingør and from there it’s a
15 minutewalk to Kronborg Castle.
Like I said before, because we missed the train we originally planned to take we were seriously cutting it short with the opening times. Once we finally got to Kronborg Castle we literally only had 45 minutes to explore and almost weren’t let in (tbh I think the only reason we were was because of the seriously panicked look on both of our faces. We really wanted to see this castle, okay???). Seriously guys, give yourself time to catch the train.
Kronborg Castle is best known for being where Hamlet was set, but it’s also a seriously imposing castle on its own.
Because we were there only 45 minutes prior to closing time, we had to rush through everything (Megan managed to get us a shortcut through a roped-off staircase because one of the guards thought she was cute and she really wanted to see the ballroom because she’s a #englishnerd). Even in the short time we had there, I could tell that it was a seriously amazing castle and definitely worth the visit!
KRONBORG CASTLE INFO
- Entrance to Kronborg Castle costs 90 DKK for adults, 80 DKK for students, and kids get in free. Entrance is also free with the Copenhagen Card.
- Kronborg Castle is open Tuesday-Sunday from November-March and every day from April-October. It is also closed on January 1 and December 24, 25, and 31.
- Opening hours are:
- January-March 11:00-16:00
- April-May 11:00-16:00
- June-September 10:00-17:30
- October 11:00-16:00
- November-December 11:00-16:00
KRONBORG CASTLE CHRISTMAS MARKET
We were lucky enough to be in Copenhagen in December, and our visit was perfectly timed with the Kronborg Castle Christmas Market, which is only open during the first two weekends of December. And it was truly the most magical thing ever.
During those two weekends in December, Kronborg Castle comes to life with vendors selling everything from homemade wooden ornaments to the best summer sausage you’ve ever had. I could have spent all day here had I actually had the chance (darn you, not functioning train station information board). Seriously, if you can plan your visit to Copenhagen around the Kronborg Castle Christmas Market, freaking DO IT.
Alternatively, if you’re in Copenhagen in the summer you might have the chance to experience Hamlet live, which also sounds pretty cool.
HOW TO GET FROM KRONBORG CASTLE TO COPENHAGEN
Once you’re done at Kronborg Castle (though if you’re there during the Christmas Market you won’t ever want to leave), walk to Helsingør main station to catch the train back to Copenhagen. There are several different trains that will take you to the main station, so it depends what time you get to the station what train you’ll take. I found Google Maps to be really reliable with train information and times all throughout Copenhagen, including the train back to Copenhagen, so just check that once you get there and you should be on your way!
HOW TO TAKE A COPENHAGEN CASTLES TOUR ON A BUDGET
Visiting two castles in one day AND paying for transportation in between them isn’t exactly the cheapest thing in the world. If you want to do this Copenhagen day trip on a budget, there are generally two ways you can go about it:
- The A-La-Carte Option: For 130 DKK you can get
a 24hour all zones transport ticket which will cover your trains from Copenhagen-Hillerød-Helsingør-Copenhagen. This, plus entrance fees to the castles (75 DKK for Frederiksborg + 90 DKK for Kronborg) = 295 DKK or approximately $45. If you’d prefer to save a bit of money you can skip going into one of the castles, I’d suggest Frederiksborg as you can explore the gardens there for free.
- The Copenhagen Card: The Copenhagen Card covers unlimited transportation in all zones as well as entrance fees to both castles. If you’re also planning on visiting a few other paid attractions, this can be a way to save a bit of money (there’s a calculator on their website to check). We got a 48 hour Copenhagen Card and used it for this day trip and then crammed in all the museums in Copenhagen we wanted to visit the next day. You can purchase your Copenhagen Card online here.
COPENHAGEN DAY TRIP CASTLES TOUR
If you’d prefer not to worry about train times or anything during your Copenhagen day trip to Frederiksborg and Kronborg Castles (and let’s be real, my story might very well have scared you off of DIY-ing it), there are also plenty of guided tour options. Here are just a few to choose from:
And there you have it: the complete guide to quite possibly the best Copenhagen day trip to Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to get to them. I hope you have so much fun!
If you’re looking for more tips for your trip to Copenhagen, check out a few more of my posts:
- Copenhagen on a Budget // What We Spent in 3 Days in Copenhagen
- The Perfect 3 Day Copenhagen Itinerary for First Timers
- How to Find Hygge in Copenhagen