The Renaissance Rosenborg Palace with the Danish crown jewels is one of the most popular sights to see in Copenhagen.
The Rosenborg Castle is a magnificent Renaissance palace in a large park in central Copenhagen. The palace is furnished in the style of the absolute monarchs of Denmark from the 17th to 19th centuries while the Danish crown jewels and the royal treasury are in the basement cellars of the castle. Rosenborg Slot is one of the top sights to see in Copenhagen and hugely popular during the tourist season from April to September. Discount combination tickets are available to save on admission prices – buy tickets elsewhere to skip the queues.
Christian 4’s Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen
The Renaissance Rosenborg Castle, as so many other prestigious buildings in Copenhagen, was erected on the orders of King Christian 4. His C4 moniker gleams above the main street-side entrance. (The Danish royals mostly didn’t use Roman numerals for kings!)
Christian 4 erected the Rosenborg as a pleasure palace in the early 1600s and it soon became his favorite Copenhagen residence. However, by the 1700s tastes have changed and the absolute monarchs stopped living in the castle but rather use it for safe storage and display of the royal collection. It opened as a public museum in 1838.
Visiting the Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen
Visiting the Rosenborg Castle may be divided into two sections: the castle and the treasury. Two separate entrances to the north of the palace are used, so preserve tickets for the second inspection.
Visitors receive a map with basic information but the layout is simple with a route through three floors of the museum in the castle and two more in the cellars housing the treasury and crown jewels.
Free wifi is available with an audio guide and QR-codes making it easy to obtain more information, if desired.
Museum in the Rosenborg Castle
The museum in the Rosenborg Slot is furnished in the style used by the various kings from Frederik II (1559-1588) to Frederik VII (1848-1863). Rather remarkably, the Danish royals during this period managed to have a Christian succeed every Frederik, and vice versa, so Christian IV to VIII (and Frederik III to VI) neatly fit in between Frederik II and VII. (The last Danish king not named Frederik or Christian was Hans (John), who died in 1513.)
The various rooms of the palace are furnished as it would have been in the times of the various kings. The palace thus has a huge collection of important art, furniture and decorative arts on display. The floor tiles, wall decorations (wall paper, tiles, tapestries, paintings) and ceilings are typical of the periods.
Although many foreign visitors may be less familiar, or interested in, the finer intricacies of Danish royal history, it is well worth having a closer look at the items highlighted in the visitor’s guide. Some items are of exceptionally high quality and may be appreciated just for the art too. Every item is numbered and more details may be checked on the Royal Collection website, or information sheets in many rooms.
A highlight is the Great Hall on the upper floor – a throne room befitting an absolute monarch. Here three silver lions (1670) guard the royal thrones that are made from narwhal tusk and silver.
The Treasury in the Basement of Rosenborg Castle
Christian V already used Rosenborg to store his most valuable possessions and today the basement of this Renaissance castle is used to display many of the royal treasures as well as the crown jewels of Denmark.
The cellars of Rosenborg has a variety of items on display including a range of weaponry, scientific instruments, a gilt toy soldiers set, wine barrels, ivory and amber items, as well as jewelry. Note the set of Colt revolvers that Abraham Lincoln gifted to King Frederik VII.
The most valuable items in Rosenborg are in the three rooms of the treasury on the lowest level of the basement. Items here include symbols of power as well as the crown jewels. Note the Order of the Elephant (the highest Danish order) as well as Christian 4’s Order of the Garter, believed to be the oldest in existence.
The final room has the Danish royal crowns and other symbols of power. The last coronation in Denmark took place in 1840 and since the end of absolutism (1848) most of these jewels are no longer used. The queen wears the crown jewels a few times per year (and only inside Denmark) but the heavy “crown of the absolute monarch” is now only used on the coffin of a diseased monarch.
Rosenborg Palace Visitors Information
Opening Hours of the Rosenborg Palace
The Rosenborg Castle is open year-round but the exact opening hours change frequently. Turning up at opening time is generally a good idea during the busy months – holidays and most of April to September.
The palace usually opens at 10:00 (but 9:00 from June to August). Closing time ranges from 15:00 to 17:00.
The palace is closed on most Mondays from November to mid-April but may be open during holiday periods. The Rosenborg Palace is open on most public holidays but not on New Year’s Day and not for a few days around Christmas.
Ticket Prices for the Rosenborg Palace
Tickets for the Rosenborg Palace is DKK120 for adults, DKK85 for students (with ID) and free for children under 18.
Buy tickets online and go directly to the museum entrance without having to queue in the ticket buying line.
Several combination tickets are available – these generally offer generous savings and allow visitors to skip the long, slow-moving ticket line at the Rosenborg Palace. Buying these combination tickets at any of the other sights will almost always be faster than buying at the Rosenborg.
Combination tickets with Rosenborg Castle admission:
- DKK170 – Rosenborg and Amalienborg (DKK95) combination ticket that is valid for 36 hours (no extension for Monday or holidays). Available at either palace or online.
- Parkmuseerne /Park Museum Ticket cost DKK245 and is valid for a year. It gives admission to the Rosenborg Slot (DKK120), SMK National Gallery (DKK120), Hirschsprung Collection (DKK55), Natural History & Geological Museum (DKK95), The Workers Museum (DKK90), the Palm House in the Botanical Garden (DKK60), and the David Collection (free). The ticket is sold at any of these museums and visitors with these tickets are already ahead after seeing the Rosenborg and SMK – two top sights in Copenhagen.
- The Copenhagen Card – typical transportation and sights pass, price varies. Pass at the ticket window to pick up a ticket for Rosenborg.
The queue forming at the Rosenborg Palace at the street-side entrance is for buying tickets. Ticket holders may go straight into the palace where tickets are check (and again when going into the cellars to see the crown jewels).
Visitors without tickets may wander into the garden and courtyard for a closer look of the building.
Transportation to the Rosenborg Palace
The Rosenborg Castle, Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 Copenhagen K, is inside the large Konghaven (King’s Gardens) in the outer edges of central Copenhagen. It is within easy walking distance of the heart of Copenhagen. Entry is through the park or from Øster Voldgade.
Nørreport station (trains, metro, busses) is a few minutes’ walk from the Rosenborg Castle. Bus stop Georg Brandes (buses 6A, 23, 184, 185) is closest to the main entrance but walking from Nørreport station is invariably simpler.
More Copenhagen Sights near the Rosenborg
Other sights within the immediate vicinity of the Rosenborg Castle and King Garden include the SMK (National Gallery of Art), Botanical Gardens (free), Geological Museum, Natural History Museum, David Collection (free) and the Hirschsprung Collection.
The Rosenborg Castle is quite similar in style and contents to the magnificent Frederiksborg Castle – the largest Renaissance palace in Scandinavia and one of the most popular day-trip destinations from Copenhagen.