A Nose Dive Into Denmark's Helsingor, a Hamlet’s Town

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Backpacking in Denmark: Exploring Helsingor, Hamlet's Town

My latest Denmark adventure was a surprise. I had first visited the Danish capital Copenhagen back in 2006. Nearly ten years later, I toured the capital city of Copenhagen again, delve into the mysterious enigmatic wonders of the Freetown of Christiania and visited the magical town of Helsingor. Hamlet’s Town.

The streets of Helsingor, Denmark

The streets of Helsingor, Denmark

To get to Helsingor, there are three options – land, sea and air. By land from Copenhagen, you’re only 45 minutes away on the train.

Arrival in Helsingor just off the ferry from Helsingborg

Arrival in Helsingor off the ferry from Helsingborg

We decided to get the ferry across to Helsingor from the Swedish town of Helsingborg. The distance is only 828 metres and only takes 20 minutes. Once you arrive off the ferry into Helsingor, everything you want to see in the town is easily walkable. A few notable things worth seeing:

1. Kronborg Castle (Hamlet’s Castle)
The main attraction in Helsingor is obvious when you arrive. The magnificent Kronborg Castle sits by the harbour on the end of the peninsula and is hard to miss. This Castle is one of the top sights in Denmark, so it’s very touristy of course. We visited in February on a cold snowy day though and loved it – barely a tourist in sight.

Faster than a cannonball at Kronborg Castle

Faster than a cannonball at Kronborg Castle

Denmark flag at Kronborg Castle

Denmark flag at Kronborg Castle

Church at Kronborg Castle

Church at Kronborg Castle

Touring Kronborg Castle

Touring Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle has been covered on countless sites and magazines over the years so if you’ve read anything about the area, you’ll know that it is officially known as Kronborg Slot and was called Elsinore Castle in the Shakespeare play Hamlet. Due to its strategic position at the mouth of the Oresund and the border between Sweden and Denmark, the location is of high importance and was once the place where boats were checked for customs entering the strait. You can walk all around the outside of Kronborg Castle or go inside and take a guided tour.

Walking to Kronborg Castle

Walking to Kronborg Castle

Entrance to Kronborg Castle

Entrance to Kronborg Castle

Touring Kronborg Castle - Hamlet's Castle

Touring Kronborg Castle – Hamlet’s Castle

2. Kultur Verftet
On your way to Kronborg Castle, you will pass by a seafront exhibition centre where there are coffee shops, a library, wifi and concerts and during some months there is a free guided tour. Cool and modern but an anti-climax compared to Kronborg which is the main event.

backpacking helsingor denmark

Kultur Verftet in Helsingor Denmark

3. Axeltorv (Trading Square)
When you see the Axeltorv Square in downtown Helsingor, the history of it might easily escape you. There used to be a farm in the inner city centre but it burned down to the ground in 1684 and so the locals decided to build a square here. It became a trading square for merchants and farmers and of course now has a lot of restaurants on it.

Axeltorv Square

Axeltorv Square

4. The Little Merboy
You might have been to Copenhagen and seen this really small statue of a Little Mermaid with hundreds of tourists (myself included) taking selfies next to it? In Helsingor, there’s a silver naked guy right by the harbour. It’s shiny and he even has a set of silver balls and eerie eyes! I’ll also be honest that I made the name “The Little Merboy” up…..

The Little MerBoy

The Little MerBoy

5. Vaerftsmuseet (The People’s Museum)
The People’s Museum is small and entry is free, so it’s worth a look around. It gives a history into the people of Helsingor and has a focus on ships and the importance of the harbour.

Vaerftsmuseet (The People's Museum)

Vaerftsmuseet (The People’s Museum)

6. Lego
Following my visit to Legoland in Windsor, England, every time I’m in Denmark I love to check out the Lego for sale in the shops.

Getting my Lego browsing fix in Helsingor, Denmark

Getting my Lego browsing fix in Helsingor, Denmark

7. Danish Cheese
Personally, I think Danish cheese is the best cheese in the world. I simply adore Danish blue and have yet to find a cheese in Denmark that I don’t like. I

The cheese shop in Helsingor, Denmark

10. Kobenhavneren: Old Danish Pub

When Daniel and I are together, beers are often involved. We wanted to find an authentic Danish style bar in the town and the Kobenhavneren: Old Danish Pub seems to be the pick of them. They have beer containers on the walls and decent Danish lager but it is a bit of an old man’s pub and can get smoky!

Kobenhavneren: Old Danish Pub

Kobenhavneren: Old Danish Pub

Beer containers in Kobenhavneren: Old Danish Pub

Beer containers in Kobenhavneren: Old Danish Pub and Beers in Strandborg bar

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Danish-US style burger

 

Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don't Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.
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