When I was building my Copenhagen itinerary, one of the places that was on top of my list is a day trip to the Northern Zealand, to the town of Elsinore (Helsingor) and to see Kronborg Castle or widely known as the “Hamlet’s Castle”, attributing to the fact that the castle was the setting of said Shakespeare’s popular play.
Maximizing the usage of my Visit Copenhagen card that allows me to travel for free to Elsinore, I took the DBS coast line train from Copenhagen’s Norreport Station. I simply show my card to the conductor who validated it and somehow ended up sitting on the carriage allocated for passengers with bicycles.
The 40 minutes travel time to Elsinore was pleasant and time passes quickly, particularly when I strike a conversation with a lovely Danish student. Our discussion is about the city, the cost of living, the bicycle she uses, and I profess how much I admire Copenhagen for its efficient system of integrating bicycle usage in the overall transportation scheme and how I wish other cities will follow suit.
If there is one thing I regret is the fact that I did not check Kronborg Castle opening timing for winter season, as I arrived late in the afternoon, at about 4pm, and entry to the castle was closed. Nonetheless, seeing the UNESCO World Heritage site from afar and walking the castle ground still makes the trip a worthy endeavour.
Located at the head of Oresund Sound, a narrow strait between the Danish- Swedish Border, Kronborg Castle of Elsinore is originally built to control the strait and to impose shipping fees. Though the castle is now a heritage site, it is not hard to imagine what it was back then, with the view of the sea, the Swedish town of Helsingborg from afar and the numerous ferries crossing in between.
I have to agree with Shakespeare about Kronborg Castle, it is the best location to immortalize the agony, paranoia and tribulation of Prince Hamlet.
There is something intriguing and mesmerizing about the castle- the towers and spires of poetic Renaissance medieval appeal, the strong angular bastions isolating the castle inhabitants secrets, the tall ramparts protecting from outside enemies and the location by the sea symbolizing its strategic importance, it is suffice to say it is a castle built to depict a story.
I enjoy doing city trips, but what makes it even more memorable is whenever I manage to squeeze in a short day trip away like what I did in Kronborg Castle.
To visit a small town that is more laid-back and to see a different side of local life. I relish that feeling of having a mini vacation within a vacation, it is fulfilling and relaxing, and I have to say, by simply walking around Elsinore I was able to achieve this.
The dockland, the narrow cobbled alleyway of shops, the small streets with rows of residential houses, Elsinore is a charming town which manages to keep its historic appeal of being a royal outposts.
You can spend an hour or so just simply walking around town, starting from the train station into the walking district, admiring the old churches and houses. While strolling along the harbour side, with the presence of Kronborg Castle from afar, is a great way to appreciate the sublime beauty of this town.