The small country of Denmark undoubtedly has a lot of tourist attractions to visit. Denmark is a beautiful country to explore with peaceful villages that crisscross the countryside, and stunning castles in Denmark also protected in this small nation in Europe.
When you walk by these beautiful castles in Denmark, you will get a glimpse of rich Danish history as well as the lifestyle of Danish royal families. You can visit both homes of a famous royal couple, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, who spent equal times in Fredensborg Palace of North Zealand and Amalienborg Palace of Copenhagen.
You can get a close look at the Danish jewels of crowns at the beautiful Rosenborg Castle or enjoy a great time in Queen Margrethe’s rose gardens in her residence in Aarhus, in Marselisborg. You can have a great day out by visiting these castles in Denmark with your family.
Table of Contents
- 1 Here’s the list of the castles in Denmark
- 1.1 Amalienborg Palace
- 1.2 Kronborg – Hamlet’s Castle
- 1.3 Egeskov Castle
- 1.4 Nyborg Castle
- 1.5 Frederiksborg Palace
- 1.6 Gråsten Palace
- 1.7 Christiansborg Palace
- 1.8 Marselisborg Palace
- 1.9 Rosenborg Castle
- 1.10 Dragsholm Castle
- 1.11 Fredensborg Palace
- 1.12 Spøttrup Castle
- 1.13 The Castle of Koldinghus
- 1.14 Rosenholm Castle
- 1.15 Vordingborg Castle
- 2 Are you on Pinterest? Pin this for later read!
Here’s the list of the castles in Denmark
Amalienborg Palace is a must-visit palace if you love to learn about royal history as well as what the life of the royal family was in Denmark. They still live in this palace.
Also, visit the museum to feel the imperial history and experience the presence of one of the oldest monarchies in the world from this beautiful building square where you can see how the guards change their duty.
Amalienborg Palace is well known for a beautiful sight of changing of the Royal Guard, known as Den Kongelige Livgarde. You can witness the changing of the guards every day when they march from 100 Gothersgade barrack by Rosenborg castle along the Copenhagen’s streets and finish it up at Amalienborg at noon.
The museum in this Copenhagen palace also features its own interiors of recent queens and kings as well as an exhibit on monarchy with several traditions. The history of the museum dated back 150 years to Queen Louise and Christian XI, the in-laws of Europe; their four children climbed over the thrones of England, Russia, Greece, and Denmark.
Kronborg – Hamlet’s Castle
When visiting Denmark, you should also visit Hamlet castle. Whether you are looking for tourist attractions around Copenhagen or to explore more, you will have enough time to visit the most famous castle in Denmark, immortalized in the 1600s by Shakespeare himself.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is based in Kronborg castle which has a lot of mysteries about him and whether he visited this Copenhagen castle or not is still a secret. Shakespeare called it Elsinore in Hamlet, an English name for a town named Helsingør where Kronborg is located.
Kronborg castle is positioned at Elsinore since 1420. Since then, it had been set on fire to the ground level and then rebuilt. However, it still maintains its presence at Øresund Sound. At Kronborg Castle, ships passing through Baltic Sea paid tolls. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000.
Located in the south of Funen Island near Kværndrup, Egeskov Castle is the best-preserved water castle in Renaissance style in Europe. The structure of the castle was built in 1554 by Frands Brockenhuus, but it was first mentioned in the year 1405.
A lot of Danish noblemen turned their homes into fortifications because of the conflicts due to Count’s Feud civil war, combat causing the Protestant Reformation and general civil unrest. The castle is positioned in a small lake and built on oaken piles with a depth of around 16 ft.
The castle was accessible only through a drawbridge. Legends had it that the oak trees of the whole forest were used to build its base. That is why, it is known as Egeskov, meaning oak forest. The castle has a massive iron chest from around the 16th century which was derived from the property of Hvedholm castle which was previously owned by Egeskov.
The castle also has a lot of oil paintings, including a large one made in a great hall on Neils Juel’s first floor, who won the Battle of Køge Bay against the Swedish force in 1677.
The history of Nyborg castle dates back to 1200 or around. The low-density tower, as well as the basement of this castle, is the ruins of the fortress, which was covered by a thick 1.5m ring wall with semi-curved corners.
The fort hosted Danehof assembly meetings of the most powerful men of the country for around 200 years as it was centrally located until Copenhagen became the capital by Erik of Pomerania.
The fortress was expanded over the centuries and became more than a castle in the middle of the 16th century under Christian III. During the 1658-59 Dano-Swedish wars, it faced severe damage which was so huge that it lost its value as a royal residence and started to decline until the 1900s when its remains were finally restored.
The castle has become a museum since the 1920s. You can see the old models and furniture of the castle and Nyborg’s exhibition as a garrison town in 1670-1913.
Read also: 10 Best Places to Visit Europe in September
Located north of Copenhagen in Hillerød, Frederiksborg Palace is a beautiful castle built in Renaissance architecture at the beginning of the 17th century by Christian IV, the Danish king. In 1878, the Museum of National History was built in the castle by J.C. Jacobson, a brewer and the founder of Carlsberg.
The castle houses the quiet rooms with historical paintings, portraits, decorative art, and furniture which grab the eyes of visitors and give a glimpse of the Danish culture and history from the Middle Ages to the present day. The magnificent rooms and medieval interiors give an intense feeling of changing epochs and styles.
The most significant and most substantial attractions in Denmark are its collections of paintings with new works added recently.
Read also: Top 15 Michelin Star Restaurants in Europe
The summer retreat for the royal family, Gråsten is the very first castle which was leisure and hunting ground developed in the mid-16th century. A new palace was built when it was set on fire in 1603, where the existing south wing of the castle is located.
The Chancellor Frederik Ahlefeldt built the beautiful Baroque castle just before 1700, which also burned down in 1757 and only castle church was left. The south wing or the actual Gråsten castle dated back to 1759. The main building was constructed in 1842.
Queen Ingrid and late King Frederik got the right to use the castle in 1935. Queen Ingrid loved to have flowers, and she arranged the garden until she passed away in 2000. During the time the royal family lived in this castle, the area was closed, and there was no access to the church and castle-garden.
The crown prince couple stayed at the palace with their children from June, after HRH Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe II acquired the castle.
Located on Slothsholmen, a small island, Christiansborg palace consists of the Supreme Court, the Folketinget (Danish Parliament) and the Ministry of State. The Royal Family partly uses the castle for several events and functions.
The Oval Throne Room and The Tower Room are included in the Royal Reception Rooms where the Queen greets foreign ambassadors. There is access to the balcony from The Throne Room where you can find the Danish monarchs.
In this palace, the most imposing room is The Great Hall where Queen’s tapestries are found. The occasion of the 50th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II in 1990 was celebrated by the Danish business community when they ordered 11 fabrics as a gift. Bjørn Nørgaard painted the full-size sketches on which those tapestries were woven, and it also depicts Danish history which dated back to 1000 years.
Marselisborg Palace is the Christmas and summer retreat for the Royal family. The Changing of the Guard by Life Guard takes place every day at noon when the Royal Family stays in residence in this palace. Including the rose garden built by the Queen, the Palace grounds are open when the Royal family is out.
The people of Denmark gifted the Marselisborg Palace to Crown Prince Christian (Christian X) and Princess Alexandrine as a wedding gift. It served as a summer retreat for them. In 1899-1902, Hack Kampmann, an architect, renovated the palace.
The palace was transferred to Prince Henrik and Crown Princess Margrethe by King Frederik IX in 1967. They also used it as a summer residence.
Rosenborg Castle is a royal hermitage located in the heart of Copenhagen in the King’s Garden, and it has 400 years old royal art treasures, splendor, and the Royal Regalia and Crown Jewels. Christian IV was one of the most anticipated Scandinavian kings. He built the Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen in the early 17th century.
The three silver life-sized standing lions guard, the coronation thrones and the Knights’ Halls are some of its main attractions. The walls of the castle have tapestries that pay tribute to the battles between Sweden and Denmark.
The interiors of the palace are very pristine and well-preserved where you can get back in time. You can also visit the exclusive writing cabinet of the king, wax figures of regal inhabitants and his bathroom. It also houses the beautiful Rosenborg castle gardens.
Dragsholm Castle is located by the Sealand’s west coast around an hour’s drive from the city of Copenhagen. It also houses a modern bistro and offers accommodation with a farm boutique. Claus Henriksen, who has obtained excellent skills at Formel B and Noma, top restaurants in Copenhagen, has been heading Dragsholm’s kitchen since 2010.
If you want to examine local botany, it is recommended to try ranger-guided tours during the summer months. You may also visit the castle restaurants, but you need to book a table in advance. Not only the castle is scenic, but also the meandering coastal road nearby.
At the Fredensborg Castle, the Queen lived for an extended period during autumn and spring. The Crown Prince couple took residence in Chancellery House in 2004. But they now live at Copenhagen’s Amalienborg Palace.
This Baroque-style serene palace has often hosted significant events in the Royal Family’s lives, including anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, etc. Queen also gets Heads of State at Fredensborg from different parts of the world.
One of the best-kept medieval castles of Denmark, the Spøttrup castle dated back to the 16th century, but it still looks like a real baron’s castle with ramparts, moat and high walls.
At the Castle Museum, you can get details about the life of the people who fought, lived and worked here over the centuries. The castle was initially mentioned in 1404 when Viborg bishop took a cover of it.
Later on, it was recovered in the year 1525. It had a square castle and two nearby moats with a drawbridge. The leader of the rebellion, Skipper Clement attacked it during Count’s Feud civil war in 1534-36. It moved to several families, and it decayed eventually in the 18th century. In the early 20th century, it started to rebuild, and it was opened as the museum in 1941.
The Castle of Koldinghus
The current Castle of Koldinghus dated back from the 15th to 16th century, but it got its original profile when the young Christian IV built the Great Tower around 1600.
The castle was burned down in 1808 when Spanish troops attacked here and then lay in ruins for years. The castle ruin got the much-needed restoration in the 1980s.
Rosenholm Castle is a serene renaissance castle located in breathtaking greens. It is the oldest family-owned castle in Denmark and among the well-preserved castles from a golden era of the manor house.
Founded by Jørgen “George” Rosenkrantz, the Danish noblemen in 1559, Rosenholm Castle is one of the most popular and oldest ones in the history of Denmark.
King Valdemar, I built the castle on a steep coastal slope in 1160 as a crusade’s base camp against the Slavic tribes on the south coast of the Baltic Ocean. King Valdemar II restored the castle, and Vordingborg Castle has got international ranking. The Goose Tower in the castle is the only tower of 9 towers as it served as the prison for the town.
Are you on Pinterest? Pin this for later read!
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.