Immortalized as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kronborg Castle is one of Denmark’s top attractions. The fortress casts an imposing silhouette on Øresund (“the Sound”), and its towering Renaissance facade holds more than 400 years of history. From lavish ballrooms to the darkest of dungeons, this castle has it all.
Kronborg Castle (Kronborg Slot, also known as Hamlet Castle) was once one of Europe’s most impregnable strongholds. Now the fortress is open to the public, and travelers are free to explore its vast interior, including the former royal chambers, King Frederick II’s wine cellar, an expansive 16th-century ballroom, and dungeons housing a foreboding statue of Viking chief Holger Danske.
Kronborg’s proximity to Copenhagen makes it a perfect day trip from Denmark’s capital. Visit on a private Hamlet Castle tour and learn about Kronborg’s storied history from an expert guide, or take a full-day tour of Kronborg, the nearby town of Elsinore, and the 17th-century Frederiksborg Castle. To visit at your own pace, get free entry to the castle with a Copenhagen Card.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Kronborg Castle is a must-see for history and literature aficionados.
- Three on-site restaurants serve sandwiches, coffee, ice cream, and other lunch fare.
- Free Wi-Fi is available on the castle grounds.
- The castle interior is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Kronborg Castle lies 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Copenhagen on Denmark’s eastern coast, roughly 45 minutes by road. Parking is available near the castle. To get there via public transportation, take the coastal train to Elsinore from Copenhagen Central Station or Nørreport Station.
When to Get There
Kronborg is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday. Summer is the best time to enjoy warm weather on the castle grounds, as well as the Shakespeare Festival, which features live performances of the playwright’s most famous works. Opt for an early visit to avoid crowds, especially in July and August.
A Cultural Gem
In 2000, Kronborg Castle was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perched on a strategically important site on Øresund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, the Renaissance castle played a key role in the history of northern Europe and has great cultural significance for the Danish people.