Framed by long stretches of beach and verdant forests, this Danish port town is also home to a castle made famous in William Shakespeare.
The Danish town of Helsingør faces the glistening water of the Øresund Sound, surrounded by pretty beaches and nature trails. Walk along cobblestone streets past historical architecture, visit museums and discover Nordic legends. Bike along unhurried coastal roads to beachside villages, thick woodland and picnic areas.
Start your visit at Kronborg Slot, a majestic Renaissance castle dating back to 1420. It has since been a tollhouse, a royal residence, a military barracks and the setting for Hamlet’s Elsinore Castle. Marvel at the huge ramparts, peek inside lavish royal halls and visit the spine-tingling dungeon. Notice the statue of Holger Danske, a Viking hero rumored to return to life if Denmark is ever in danger.
The pretty town center is characterized by a neat collection of narrow lanes and pedestrian-only streets. Admire colorful low-rise houses, timber-framed cottages and Gothic stone buildings. Today many double as handicraft stores, fashion outlets, pubs and cafés. Visit the 13th-century Saint Olai’s Church, medieval Carmelite Monastery and Sankt Mariæ Kirke, decorated with 15th-century frescoes.
Helsingør’s museums showcase the town’s long history. Investigate antique pottery, Viking coins and ship timber at Helsingør Bymuseum, set in a former sailors’ hospital. Learn about the town’s seafaring heritage at the subterranean M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark. Attend art exhibitions, live music events and movie screenings at Kulturværftet.
Enjoy a walk in glorious nature while following the trails of nearby woods and forests. Egebæksvang, Hammermøllen and Teglstrup Hegn are all less than a 15-minute drive away. Travel along the coastal road to beaches, such as Hellebæk Strand and Hornbæk Strand, which are uncrowded even in the summer.
Located in North Sealand, Helsingør is just a 45-minute drive from Copenhagen and well connected by public trains. Travel between the town’s major attractions comfortably on foot. Adopt the Danish style and explore areas outside of town on rented bicycles. For a change of scenery, cross the strait on a ferryboat to the lively Swedish city of Helsingborg.