A visit to a conference my husband had signed up for fell right in the week before the long Pentecost weekend. So we decided to stay on a few extra days and explore the area north of Copenhagen. If you like castles and the coast, this is the place to go. We were there for only short amount of time, and I know there is so much more to see than what we were able to.
Our base was Hillerød, home to the beautiful Fredriksborg Castle. This was my first stop and I was amazed by the beautiful building and the gardens.
It was a cold and windy day, although luckily not rainy. So I spent as much time possible indoors before heading out into the gardens. Take a moment to look at the ceilings.
The next day we took the train to Helsingør to see the famous Kronborg Castle and visit the new maritime museum. We got there early before anything was open and had a chance to explore the old town and the new Kulturhavn Kronberg, an area which has been refurbished and now offers cultural events and activities.
I had seen a few pictures of the new Danish Maritime Museum, which is an exceptional piece of architecture. The museum is built into an old dry dock and one of the most fascinating hands-on maritime museums I have ever been to. And the food at the café is very good!
The Kronborg Castle is probably best known for its role played in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and was originally built to control the entryway to the Baltic Sea, where Denmark and Sweden are only 4 km away from eachother. The furnishings inside the castle are much starker than the Frederiksborg Castle due to the fact that when the Sweds conquered the castle in 1658, they took everything with them they could carry. That means they left little more than the fireplaces. The things now shown in the castle are from a later time period.
We didn’t only visit castles, we also ventured out to the countryside and along the coast. First to Nødebo on Lake Esrum and then walking along the coast from Hornbæk to Gilleleje.
Gilleleje was our destination and there we walked around the picturesque harbor and dockyard before sitting down to a delicious meal.
When we return, we’ve both decided to use one of these to get around (his is on the left, hers on the right):
Where to eat:
- Restaurant Gilleleje Havn: delicious food, lovely atmosphere right on the harbor and very friendly staff
- Danish Maritime Museum: we both had the lovely herring platter which is served with schnapps. The visit to the musuem afterwards almost had us convinced we were on a lightly rolling ship…
- Bageri Boulangerie Hornbæk: we bought warm Danishes and picked up free coffee to enjoy while watching the boats in the harbor
- Speisestedet Leonora, Hillerød: the restaurant next to Frederiksborg Castle had a large lunch menu. I fully enjoyed my first herring platter of the trip.
- City Bakery, Hillerød: great for a quick cinnamon roll breakfast before heading to the castle
- Chokolade Mageriet,Hillerød: Buy a few handmade chocolates to enjoy while sitting on a bench overlooking the lake to the castle.