Getting to Helsingør (Elsinore) and Kronborg (Hamlet’s castle) is easy from Copenhagen by car, train, bus or on day-trip excursion tours.
Helsingør is easily reached on public transportation from Copenhagen. This small town, most famous in English as Elsinore and the setting of Hamlet’s castle (Kronborg), is a fast train ride or easy drive from Copenhagen making it a very popular day-trip destination from the Danish capital. Excursion trip tours are also available with many offering further popular sights such as Frederiksborg castle or Roskilde for a very full day-trip. A trip to Helsingør also easily combines with seeing the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art when using public transportation or driving.
Driving to Helsingør near Copenhagen
Taking the train from Copenhagen to Helsingør is often the simplest way to travel here but driving is of course also an option and allows for further sightseeing en route.
Helsingør is around 45 km to the north of Copenhagen. The fastest route is the E47 dual-carriage highway with driving time around 30 minutes once outside central Copenhagen.
The more scenic route follows the coastline (Strandvej) but expect traveling time of well over an hour. It is a great option for a slow return drive to Copenhagen with many dining options en route.
Public Transportation to Helsingør
Trains are the fastest way to reach Helsingør from central Copenhagen or Airport (Kastrup). The regional express train generally runs every 20 minutes with the total journey taking 43 minutes from Copenhagen Central Station (København H) or an hour from the airport. The trains also stop in Copenhagen at Nørreport, Østerport and Hellerup stations that may be easier to reach than the main station.
The monumental Helsingør station is on the seafront next to the ferry terminal and a few minutes walk along the old harbor promenade from Kronborg (Hamlet’s Castle in Elsinore).
The price for a one-way train ticket to Helsingor is DKK108 from Copenhagen (any station or airport) making the 24 hour ticket (24timers billet) for “all zones” at DKK130 a far better option, as it covers the return journey plus all transportation before or after for 24 hours. (Denmark has many online ticket options but for a short-term visitor buying the ticket from a station vending machine is by far the easiest option.)
Public transportation to Helsingør is included in the Copenhagen Card (available online) but not in the cheaper City Pass that covers only public transportation in the four zones in the Copenhagen metropolitan area.
Day-Trip Excursion to Helsingør from Copenhagen
Several companies offer day-trip bus excursion tours from Copenhagen to Helsingør. These bus tours usually include a visit to Kronborg (Hamlet’s Castle) as well as further sights in the region such as Frederiksborg and even Roskilde.
Such combination tours make for a full but rewarding day-trip from Copenhagen.
Seeing Louisiana and Kronborg on Public Transportation
It is possible to combine a visit to Helsingør with seeing Frederiksborg in Hillerød and / or Roskilde by using public transportation but double check bus and train times, especially when traveling on weekends. (The 24-hour ticket for “all zones” should cover all transportation costs.)
A more sensible option is to combine visiting the Louisiana Modern Art Museum and Helsingør on the same day. Louisiana is best seen first on weekends but on weekdays, when the museum closes only at 22:00, it is also a good option to see on the way back to Copenhagen.
From Copenhagen, use the regional train towards Helsingør but alight at Humblebaek station (35 minutes). From here, it is a pleasant 10-minute walk to Louisiana. Usually once per hour, it is also possible to use bus 388 (stop Humbleback Strandvej, Louisiana) towards Helsingor from the station.
From Louisiana, the simpler option is to take bus 388 (stop Humblebæck Strandvej, Louisiana) to Helsingør but as the bus runs only hourly, a walk back to the station for a 10-minute train ride may be faster. The bus journey is around 20 minutes. In Helsingør, bus stop Kulturværftet (Allegade) is a few minutes walk closer to Kronborg castle than the final stop at the train station (and Sweden ferry terminal).
From Helsingør to Louisiana, either use the train via Humblebæck or bus 388 (direction Lyngby) from Helsingør station.
Top Sights to See in Helsingør
The top sight to see in Helsingør is undoubtedly Kronborg Castle. Although Helsingør is world famous as Elsinore and setting of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, the city, and Kronborg Castle in particular, was of enormous economic and strategic importance for centuries. Even if not entering the castle, stroll around the ramparts and promenades.
Nearby, in a former dry dock is the Shipping Museum, while the old town of Helsingør has a few historic streets with attractive buildings. The two churches – Helsingør Domkirke (Elsinore Cathedral) and Sct Mariae Kirke (St Mary’s monastery church) are also well worth seeing.
It is also easy to cross the waters to Helsingborg in Sweden – the cheap ferry goes four times per hour taking about 20 minutes.