Yes, You Should “Come to This” City by the Sea
If brevity is the soul of wit, then this description of Helsingør will have just enough information to make a traveler want to visit "Elsinore, Denmark," the setting for William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Just as Romeo and Juliet fans flock to Verona, hoards of Hamlet devotees descend onto Helsingør. The writer never even visited the place where he created Hamlet's fictitious world. This doesn't stop over 200,000 people from visiting the Kronborg Palace, one of Europe's finest Renaissance castles.
Lying on a peninsula in the Øresund, the Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally a fortress built around 1420, the castle has seen many iterations. What you see today is the renovation from 1924. In the South Wing lies the Castle Chapel, which survived the fire of 1629; it has a magnificent
Renaissance interior, with German woodcarvings. The North Wing contains the great Knights' Hall. Come take a tour, roam the halls, hunt for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
You can reach the castle by foot in just 15 minutes from the train station. If you're in Copenhagen, the journey takes less than 45 minutes. The "Hamlet" ferry takes passengers from Helsingborg, Sweden through this narrow, strategic strait. In the 15th century, King Erik of Pomerania ruled that ships passing through this skinny waterway had to pay a toll for sailing through these local waters. With that money, he constructed the Castle of Krogen, which was later rebuilt by Christian IV as the Kron borg Palace.
Before the Middle Ages, Helsingør was just a marketplace where people sold goods. About 1200 AD the first Saint Olaf Church was built. A number of convents once surrounded the church, but now all that remains is the church building, today the cathedral of the Diocese of Helsingør. For a small space, the interior glitters like gold.
With a Eurail Denmark Pass, easily hop from Helsingør to other parts of the country. Visit Odense, home to Hans Christian Andersen. Arhus, Denmark's second biggest city, is the unofficial capital of Jutland, a peninsula of famed fjords and crystalline lakes. Capital Copenhagen is compact, cosmopolitan and modern. Helsingør has its share of charms too: medieval lanes, quaint cafes and shops and locals who are happy to talk about something other than Hamlet.
The question is, "To go or not to go?" The answer, a resounding, "yes."
Contributed by: Amiee, Affiliate Marketing Manager, has traveled to 15 countries and over 45 European cities by rail, including Warsaw, where she attempted to find relatives!