Above: Kronborg Slot on the Øresund strait - THOMAS RAHBEK / COURTESY

Copenhagen Day Trip

Kronborg Slot er UNESCO verdensarv og på samme tid en monumental fæstning og et majestætisk renæssanceslot.

There is plenty to do and see in Copenhagen proper, but I highly recommend taking a day trip about 30 miles north to see three uniquely fascinating sites: a 16th-century castle that shaped Nordic history, a renowned contemporary-art museum and the childhood home of “Out of Africa” author Karen Blixen.

An Andrew Harper travel advisor can arrange a car and driver, which will be the most efficient and easiest way to visit the attractions below. If you are feeling more adventurous and unhurried, taking the train is a less-expensive alternative. But keep in mind that more walking will be necessary.

Kronborg Slot

Ballroom, Kronborg Slot - Finn Chrostoffersen
Sleeping giant Ogier the Dane, a symbol of Danish identity, located in the casements of Kronborg Slot

At the narrowest point of Øresund strait, where Denmark nearly touches Sweden, stands Kronborg Slot, a hulking castle that provided the fictional setting for Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the current structure was built by King Frederik II in the 1500s as a show of power, prestige and wealth — and a way to collect tolls on ships going from the North Sea to the Baltic. Transforming the medieval fortress into a four-winged castle for his new wife, Sophie of Mecklenburg, he added a copper roof, golden spires and a white sandstone exterior. It must have been an awe-inspiring sight, towering above the sound. The castle burned in 1629 and was later rebuilt, only to be plundered a few years later, but it remains an impressive edifice that visitors can tour from top to bottom. We enjoyed seeing the royal apartment; the intact Renaissance chapel, which survived the fire; the 203-foot ballroom, which hosted days-long events and 24-course dinners; and the haunting maze of underground casemates that could accommodate 350 men and enough supplies to weather a six-week siege. Guided tours are given daily in Danish and English.

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Above: Kronborg Slot on the Øresund strait - THOMAS RAHBEK / COURTESY

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