Kronborg Castle (Danish: Kronborg Slot) is one of the most impressive Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and one of the best places to visit in Denmark!
Home to royal chambers, a grand banquet hall, and with strong ties to William Shakespeare this 16th-century castle offers an insight into the country’s regal history.
Here’s a complete guide for visitors with information about entrance fees, opening hours, history and facts about Kronborg Castle in Helsingør.
|Ticket Type||Adult||Child (under 18)|
|January – May||£10||Free|
|June – August||£16||Free|
|September – December||£10||Free|
The cost of general admission to the castle varies depending on the time of year but tickets can be booked online or on the day all year round. If you’re attending during the summer months (June, July, August), it’s recommended to pre-book tickets online to avoid queues at the ticket office.
- January – April: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 4pm
- May – September: Daily 10am – 5pm
- October – December: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 4pm
*Note that opening times can vary during school holidays and over Christmas and New Year. The castle is closed on December 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st.
History & more information
Kronborg Castle is a renaissance stronghold, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, found in the town of Helsingor in Denmark. The castle, which was built between 1574 and 1585, holds a strategic position between the North Sea and the Baltic.
The castle is best known for being re-imagined by William Shakespeare in the play Hamlet. The original use of the castle, before King Frederick II radically transformed the fortress into a Renaissance Castle, was to control the entrance to the Baltic Sea.
When Frederick took over, the castles working role diminished and it quickly became more palace-like. In 1629 a fire broke out and heavily damaged the fortification and much of the castle had to be reconstructed.
Today the castle still stands strong on the narrow promontory between the coasts of Denmark and Sweden, overlooking the surrounding land from its vantage point.
Visitors of the castle can explore the West Wing, the Banquet Hall, and the Apartments which are adorned with Nerthlandish furniture from the 17th century, ceiling paintings, and more.
Due to the castles tie to Shakespeare, guests who time their visit well could land on a live performance of Hamlet which takes place in the courtyard multiple times over the summer.
Points of Interest
The Royal Apartments
On the first floor of the castle’s north wing sits the Royal Apartments which were originally furnished by King Frederick II in 1576!
The castle’s chapel sits in the south wing and boasts Renaissance interiors and woodcarvings.
The Great Ballroom
Head to the north wing of the castle and you’ll find the Great Ballroom / Knights Hall. The ballroom was once the largest hall in Northern Europe.
The Little Hall is adorned with tapestries portraying 100 Danish kings. The tapestries were commissioned by King Frederick II in 1580.
The castle’s west wing is home to more impressive tapestries.
How to get to Kronborg Castle
The castle is 46 kilometers from Copenhagen and the drive takes just under an hour by car. The castle car park sits on the corner of Nordhavnsvej and Kronborgvej and is just a five-minute walk from the castle.
Parking costs £1 per hour. Parking for the disabled is located to the left of the castle yard’s entrance.
From Copenhagen, take a train from Central Station to the town of Helsingor (Elsinore) and walk from here to the castle. The train ride takes 45-minutes and the walk is roughly 15-20-minutes from the train station in Helsingør.
For those traveling from Malmö or other parts of southern Sweden, you can also take a direct train to Helsingør.
If you’re coming from Southern Sweden, you can take the ferry from Helsingborg to Helsingør, which takes just 20 minutes.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Kronborg castle is in the summer months of June, July, and August when the castle puts on a number of live performances of Hamlet.
Note, this period is particularly busy so expect crowds. If you’d prefer to skip the performances and avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons which run from February – May, and from September – November.
With that said, the castle is best enjoyed on a sunny day, which is most likely to happen during the summer months.
Facts about Kronborg Castle
- Previously known as “Krogen”, or “The Hook”, the castle was built in the 1420s by Eric of Pomerania, who was the Danish king at the time.
- In 1629, a fire destroyed much of the castle (except for The Chapel, which maintained its original altar, gallery, and pews) needed to be reconstructed, but could never fully be restored to the majestic beauty it once was.
- Kronborg Castle is the place where William Shakespeare’s famous play Hamlet is supposed to have happened.
- The castle is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Helsingør, and it costs approximately $14 (U.S) for an adult to visit the castle; the price increases in the summer when it is busier.
- From 1738 to the 1900s the castle was used as a prison. Violent or “dishonest” criminals were forced to serve their time doing hard labor inside the walls of the castle, but inmates who were deemed “honest” ones, with minor convictions, were allowed to work outside.
- The castle ballroom, completed in 1582, was the largest hall in Northern Europe. It includes several large paintings originally made from 1618-1631 by a handful of artists.
- The castle is elevated 39 feet above sea level on the island of Zealand, located in the northeast of Denmark, as seen in the map on the right.
- The King’s Chamber was located directly above the main entrance to the castle, so he could keep an eye on visitors passing through.
- In the original castle, the floors had black and white tiles but were replaced with wooden floorboards in 1760.
- Moats and gates protect the route from nearby towns to the castle.
FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)
How long should I set aside to visit Kronborg Castle?
Two hours should be sufficient to browse but those keen for an in-depth look at the castle’s history should allow 3 or more hours.
Is the castle wheelchair accessible?
There is good access to the castle courtyard but it’s not possible to move around inside with wheelchairs and buggies.
Can I bring my luggage inside Kronborg Castle?
Bags and luggage larger than 35 x 15 x 30 must be left in the cloakroom. Small handbags and day bags that can easily be carried on the body are permitted.
Is there WiFi?
Free wifi is available in the castle. You can use it to listen to stories about the castle’s main rooms by scanning the QR codes found on the window sills.
How old is the castle in Helsingør?
The original castle was built in the 15thcentury but the castle you see today underwent major renovations in the 17th century.
How far is Kronborg Castle from Copenhagen?
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs are not allowed inside Kronborg Castle but are free to roam outside the castle grounds.
Do you have more questions before visiting Kronborg Castle in Helsingør? Leave a comment below!