To go, or not to go… visit Kronborg Castle with kids
With spooky underground passages, Shakespearean sword fights, magnificent ballrooms, and fascinating history, a visit to Kronborg Castle at Helsingør in Denmark, is an extraordinary experience.
Built in 1574, Kronborg is one of the most important Renaissance castles in northern Europe and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It played an extremely important role in the history of the region, due to its control over one of the few outlets to the Baltic Sea, and therefore all the ships sailing through.
World famous as the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there is no better time to visit the castle than during summer when they bring Hamlet to life. We were lucky enough to visit in summer, where we got to enjoy scenes from Hamlet being acted out, as we toured through the castle. This was our boys’ first real taste of Shakespeare and they loved it, with their favourite being the final sword fight in the ballroom.
What’s underground at Kronborg Castle?
Also to love was a visit to the underground casements. Wandering around the dark and gloomy underground passages with a torch, you got to see where 1,000 soldiers would barricade themselves in during war, for weeks at a time, with their horses and provisions. It is seriously dark in some areas, which can be a bit too spooky for some kids, and for parents if the kids have the torch and run off without you. (Yes that did happen!)
You will also find the Danish legend Holger Danske asleep in the underground passages, as he has been for hundreds of years. Legend has it he will wake up the day Denmark is attacked by enemies.
Should you visit Kronborg Castle?
Kronborg is a true castle with a tower to climb, moat, and cannons, and was so much fun to visit.
Considering this was our family’s’ second castle for the day and it was wet and bleak all day, there was not one grizzle from either of the boys. This is a major triumph when it comes to travelling with kids.
Fun fact: A castle in Denmark is called a slot. So if you’re looking it up on a map or similar, you’ll need to look for Kronborg Slot.
Getting to Kronborg Castle
Kronborg Castle is located one hour north of Copenhagen in Helsingør.
Driving: It’s an easy drive up the motorway or the Danish Riviera’s stunning coast road. We drove there via the motorway and came back to Copenhagen via the coast road.
Train: A DBS train will get you from Copenhagen Central Station to Helsingør in 45 minutes. Trains leave every 20 minutes. From Helsingør Station it is about a 15-minute walk north to get to the castle.
Wheelchair and pram access
While you will be able to access the Castle Courtyard with a wheelchair and pram, you will not be able to go indoors or underground with them.
Tickets to Kronborg Castle
I would highly recommend that you buy your Kronborg Castle tickets beforehand, especially if you’re going in summer. One thing to note is, if you have a Copenhagen Card, admission will be free. Find out if a Copenhagen Card will save your family money.
You’ll notice when looking to buy a ticket to Kornborg Castle that it is significantly more expensive to visit in summer.
Ticket prices (current as of Feb 2020)
- Adult: DKK 145 in summer, DKK 95 at all other times
- Student: DKK 135 in summer, DKK 85 at all other times by showing valid student ID
- Child under 18: Free of charge
Your ticket (including the Copenhagen Card) will allow you to join the guided tours and will provide you with access to the royal rooms, casemates and chapel. You cannot enter the grounds of the Castle without a ticket.
Please note the Castle is closed on Mondays except for during summer.
If you’ve got time, check out the town of Helsingør and the Maritime Museum. Not far away is Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød which is an absolute must-see for any visitor to Denmark.
The Danish do castles really well! Not only are they magnificent pieces of architecture but they have been brought to life for all ages to enjoy, not just the history buffs of the world.
We thoroughly recommend you visit Kronborg Castle.