When traveling to Copenhagen most people don’t think about taking day trips simply because it seems to be to complicated or because it will “take time away from getting to know the city”, but the truth is that there are many great places to visit just a short train ride away, one of the most popular being Helsingør.
Main Attractions in Helsingør
Kronborg castle is best known as Hamlet’s castle, this castle is where Shakespeare got the inspiration for writing the well known tragedy, and even though there are no records of Shakespeare himself ever visiting Kronborg it is a fact that this is the castle in which the story takes place.
Back in the day Kronborg was known for the big parties and banquets that the king would do, and today this castle is a museum for everyone to come and learn the history of the place; while in Kronborg you can visit the market, the big halls, the creepy catacombs and crypts, the royal propaganda and even the danish mythical hero “Holger the dane” who is said to be asleep, and will wake up if ever Denmark would be in trouble as to defend her; as if these reasons where not enough, Kronborg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Hamlet!
The Culture Yard
The Culture Yard is my personal favourite place, a few years ago, the people of this town realised that people coming here would only visit Kronborg and then leave, and so they came up with an idea to make Helsingør a place worth hanging around. Back in the day Helsingør was a fisherman’s village and they had a very big ship-making industry, until eventually this industry was no longer fruitful; a very big shipyard was left behind, and today this building is known as the KULTURHAVN or Culture Yard. It is an amazing example of danish architecture and design, the way they turned a shipyard into such a modern building which is also the town’s library, and a very cozy restaurant/cafe.
It is the perfect place to spend the afternoon and read a book, write, have coffee or even just doing some people watching. At the top of the building there is a terrace where you can get a great view of Kronborg, and if you sit in the lovely cafe, the you can enjoy the sea view and watch the ferry’s traveling to Sweden (yes, Helsingør is also just a 15 minute ferry ride away from Helsingborg, Sweden!).
Just as in Copenhagen there is the world famous Little Mermaid, in Helsingør you can find the Little Merman, a modern sculpture of a Merman similar to the one in Copenhagen, legend has it that if you are patient enough and sit by him you will eventually see him blinking at you…
You can also find an old convent which was once home of the Carmelites but is now a diocese in the Lutheran church, it is located in the center of town, and around it if you roam the streets you will find many of restaurants and shops, including lots of the typical danish “second hand/vintage shops”.
You can walk along the main street called Stengade which has all the main stores and cafes, but if you let yourself get “lost” in the streets you will discover very cool places to sit down or to buy super original clothes and artefacts.
You can visit the Maritime museum which is well known for its amazing architecture, it also use to be a shipyard, and today the modern architecture is mind-blowing; it is built around an old dry dock and it is the tallest museum in Denmark, even though this is not visible from the outside, the way it is built is said to give visitors the feeling of being on board a ship. The great collection and exhibitions consist of ships from the past, navigation articles and history of the navy in World War II.
How to get to Helsingør
Access to Helsingør is super easy, there are many trains that have Helsingør as a final destination.
Public transport in Denmark
Public transport in Denmark is somewhat expensive, but it is very easy to use and buses, metro and train will get you anywhere without setbacks.
One of the easiest ways to move around Denmark in public transport ins by getting a Rejsekort, if you will be spending a fair amount of time in Denmark, or are planning on using public transport as your main means of transportation then this is the perfect solution for you, you just go to any 7eleven store and ask for this card, and add as much money as you want.
With this card using public transport is cheaper, and way more comfortable than buying a ticket each time you get on a bus or train; you just have to remember to “check in” and “check out”, the way it works is you simply place your card in front of the blue machines in each station, you place your card infant of the machine that says “Check-ind” in every station where you start or are transfering, and in the station of your final destination you place the card in front of the machine that reads “Chek-ud”.
For more information on the options for using public transport in Denmark go here.
Getting to Helsingør
There are many ways of getting to Helsingør, the easiest ones are:
- Getting a train from the airport to Helsingør
- Getting a train from Kovenhavn Central Station to Helsingør
- Getting a Train from Norreport to Helsingør
All of these trains have Helsingør as their final destination, and they take about 40 minutes to get from the starting point to the final destination; all of these are quite frequent, so you will find a train leaving in this direction every twenty minutes, and same goes on the way back, trains from Helsingør station to Kovenhavn leave every twenty minutes.
The price of a Rejsekort is about 80DKK, and a trip from Copenhagen to Helsingør with this card costs about 40DKK per person.
Another way of boarding the train is by buying a single ticket “for all zones” this one will be valid for two hours and it costs about 108DKK.