“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”
Maybe that was true in the Hamlet’s Denmark but it certainly wasn’t the case the weekend I paid a visit to Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Elsinor in English). I made the trip up to Helsingør with my roommate and two other friends a couple Saturdays ago.
Helsingør is a 40 minute train ride on the Öresundståg passenger train line. We bought tickets via the DSB app the night before. DSB is the operator of the public transportation options in Copenhagen and the surroundings. The app is super helpful to figure out routes as well as how you can buy tickets. We took the metro from the stop near our Kollegium to the Nørreport station where we transferred onto the passenger train that took us to Helsingør. The train ride went by very quickly, it took by small towns, farmland all the while giving us short glimpses of the sea.
After arriving at the Helsingør train station we walked outside and were welcomed to the coastal city by views of the blue water, boats and on the other side of the water – Sweden. Kronborg Castle was also in our direct line of sight across the harbor. That was our first destination. We walked along side the harbor, looking at the boats tied up to the side. Helsingør is incredibly close to Sweden (Helsingborg) only a 10km stretch of water separates the two. There are ferries that make the journey regularly and according to my quick google search only take about 20 minutes. We would be sticking to the Denmark today however.
The castle is surrounded by a fort and moat which we initially walked around on the outside, taking in the sea air…until that same sea air got a bit too cold for all of us and we desperately wanted some shelter from the wind that had been blowing incessantly since we stepped outside of the train station.
Inside the castle fort walls there were the soldier and stable housing. There were quite a few people also walking around the castle grounds as well as those standing in line at a singular cafe that was open right outside of the castle. I think under normal circumstances they may be other shops and little museums that one could stop at. A lot of the smaller buildings were painted in bright orange which I loved, everything felt so bright and welcoming. We continued walking around inside of the fort. The actual castle itself has another moat surrounding it, which was actually frozen at the time. There are usually tours of the castle itself but as you may have guessed by this point…not something we were going to be able to do. Oh well. The views of the castle from the outside were incredible, I can only imagine what it’s like inside.
The rest of the town
After spending an hour or so walking around the castle grounds, we were ready for a warm pastry and coffee/hot chocolate. We walked into the town center, located quite close to the train station. Here we walked down cobblestone streets with small shops on either sides.
A bakery was quickly located where I bought a new type of pastry I hadn’t tried before (unfortunately I missed the name…I know not a good blogger move) and my friends bought fastelavnsbollers. Cups full of warm drinks mainly for our cold hands were the perfect pick me up. After eating our treats we walked back into the old town center to find Saint Olaf’s Church and the city hall.
After walking around the old church for a little, we all decided it was time to bet back on the warm train and head home.
I loved our adventure to Helsingør. It is a perfect example of how many opportunities there are to explore new places in safe ways and despite restrictions. The weather, albeit a warm cup of tea was definitely needed upon reaching home, was full of gorgeous blue sky and sun making the day that much better.