The Perfect Day Trip From Copenhagen
Updated: Apr 24
Although Denmark attracts many foreign visitors each year, most of them spend their time in Copenhagen, as it is an easily accessible and compact city, which is perfect for a weekend getaway, this means that very few travellers venture outside of the capital city.
While Copenhagen certainly has its charms and is a fantastic city to explore, we were curious to see another part of the country and after some research, we found that there were many destinations in Denmark that can be easily reached from Copenhagen in a short amount of time, so it was just a matter of choosing where to go.
We discovered that if you purchase the Copenhagen Card, you will be able to travel with Copenhagen city and the capital region for free, so it is a good idea to take advantage of this by venturing further out of the city if you have the time. Due time restraints, we decided to do a short day trip to the two cities of Helsingor and Hillerod, which are both located to the north of Copenhagen. Both cities can be easily accessed from Copenhagen Central Station in less than an hour, so they ideal locations to visit on a day trip, not to mention they both have very impressive castle complexes, which are well worth a visit. This was the perfect day trip for us, as we had to be back in Copenhagen by the early afternoon to catch our ferry to Norway.
Helsingor - Kronborg Castle
We departed Copenhagen Central Station bound for Helsingor at 8:33 am, the train was clean and efficient and the journey took just under an hour. When we arrived in Helsingor and exited the train station, we could see Kronborg Castle across the harbour, it was very imposing and much larger than we were expecting. To get to Kronborg Castle from the train station we took a leisurely walk around the harbourside, it took us around 15 minutes to get there.
Kronborg Castle is open every Tuesday-Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm October-April and from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm May-September. If you have the Copenhagen Card, entrance to Kronborg Castle is free of charge, otherwise, adult tickets are 95DKK. For more information about Kronborg Castle visit the Danish Royal Castles website.
Hillerod - Frederiksborg Castle
After spending about an hour exploring Kronborg Castle, we headed back to the train station and took the 11:23 am train bound for Hillerod. We arrived in Hillerod at 11:54 am and followed the marked signs towards Frederiksborg Castle, which is about a 20-minute walk around the edge of Slotssoen the castle lake. If you have time, this would be an ideal place to stop for a break and a picnic lunch.
Entrance to Frederiksborg Castle is free with the Copenhagen Card, without the card an adult ticket will cost you 75DKK. The castle is open every day from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm November-March and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm April-October. For more information about Frederiksborg Castle, you can visit the Museum of Natural History website.
After spending about an hour and a half exploring Frederisborg Castle and its surroundings, we departed Hillerod on the 1:34 pm train for Copenhagen. We arrived at Copenhagen Central Station at 2:15 pm, allowing us plenty of time to collect our bags and transfer over to the DFDS ferry terminal, to catch our ferry to Oslo that afternoon.
Although our day trip was quite rushed due to time restraints, we feel that the visit to Helsingor and Hillerod was well worth it and we highly recommend it as a day trip to anyone who has time to spare while visiting Copenhagen. The train ride through the countryside to Helsingor and Hillerod was beautiful and the Kronborg and Frederiksborg Castles were very impressive.
We would suggest to anyone wanting to do this trip, to allow plenty of time to explore both towns and castles, as the 6hr trip we completed was very fast-paced and we didn't really have enough time to see everything that we wanted. If you are ever in Copenhagen pack a day bag, buy a train ticket, and head to Helsingor and Hillerod, it makes for a fantastic day trip and you will see that Denmark has so much more to offer than just Copenhagen!