Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle

Kronborg Castle is a Renaissance castle, built in 1574-1585 by Danish King Frederik II.

It has played a significant role in the history of this part of northern Europe, because of its strategic position between the North Sea and the Baltic.

Another claim to fame is that Kronborg ('Elsinore') was the setting for Shakespeare's play Hamlet.

Map of Kronborg Castle

Load map

Visit October 2005

There are still signs of the former shipyard that is mentioned in the ICOMOS report. Although Kronborg can be seen from the train station of Helsingor, you have to cross some industrial heritage to reached its main gate.

October 2005

The castle has been strongly fortified, with walls, bridges and canals that could withstand attackers.

October 2005

Inside, you can visit the Maritime Museum and the Apartments. The spacious Apartments are decorated with Dutch paintings and tapestries depicting hunting scenes. The major drawcard here is the banquet hall, where a good party could be held.

October 2005

Community Reviews

Write a review

Jakob Frenzel

Germany - 31-Mar-21 -

Kronborg Castle by Jakob Frenzel

August 2020 - before biking from Copenhagen to Berlin we spent 3 days in and around the city. After visiting the Parforce hunting park we took the train at the north entrance further to Kronborg. We got kicked out of the train, as our ticket was not valid and the bikes not included. But luckily the next train came 20min later. In Kronborg we walked a bit around the castle, took an obligatory hamlet picture and visited the near food hall with around 20 street food stands. I had been on a sailing trip in the Kattegat in 1999, so had been here before. The revisit was very pleasant though

Kyle Magnuson

California - United States of America - 11-Jul-17 -

Kronborg Castle by Kyle Magnuson

I tried my best to really enjoy this castle, I achieved middling success. After already visiting Frederiksborg and Rosenborg, my efforts to visit even more castles were not filled with much excitement. Nevertheless, I started the day walking to Copenhagen Central station and getting on the train to Hillerød. After the exquisite Fredericksborg, we took the train to Helsingør.

We spent about 2.5 hours at Kronborg. The views from the tower were stunning and one of the prime locations to understand OUV as the layout and elaborate fortifications were all on display. The next primary site of interest for me was the sub levels of the castle, in which food/drink was stored, protection during a siege, and some of the oldest components of the castle. You can enrich your visit to this portion of the castle by waiting for the guided tour.

Kronborg Castle (13)

Lastly, I should mention the Hamlet connection. Actors are usually on-site. There are scenes that are (somewhat) spontaneously orchestrated throughout the castle interior and exterior at different times. We viewed one scene by the fountain, and I would say it was enjoyable enough and added a bit of fun to the visit.

Kronborg Castle (15)

Most of the interior of the castle is not particularly interesting, and little is on display. Once again, the castle is covered with the Copenhagen Card, which is convenient. Kronborg is very much worth visiting, but it suffers in comparison with other Danish castles both in North Zealand and Copenhagen.

Read more from Kyle Magnuson here.

Tom Livesey

United Kingdom - 12-Jun-16 -

We came to Kronborg in January 2016 by train from Copenhagen and spent a night in this small, quiet city. The castle being the supposed setting of Hamlet, the gift shop sells novelty Yorick skulls. It was cold enough that seawater had frozen to the rocks, making for a picturesque view (and to answer Ian Cade's musing, you can indeed see Sweden).

Inside the castle it was fairly typical of European palaces, though not as impressive as sites such as Brühl, Würzburg or Blenheim. There were plenty of local paintings on the walls and some mocked-up royal bedchambers, but overall it was quite bare, with no ‘knockout’ ceiling frescoes or the like. The chapel was nice, but difficult to photograph internally.

A good idea of somebody’s was to put photographs of the famous actors who have played Hamlet at Kronborg in what has become a well-established annual tradition.

Read more from Tom Livesey here.


Malta - 07-Sep-12 -

Kronborg Castle by Clyde

I visited this WHS in June 2011. This castle is believed to be the Elsinore Castle, the setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Opposite the series of cannons, there is an unobstructed view of Sweden's Helsingborg.

Klaus Freisinger

Austria - 02-Aug-12 -

Kronborg Castle is one of the national symbols of Denmark and probably the most famous castle in Northern Europe. It stands guard over the Öresund and was notorious for the Sound Tolls it collected from all ships entering the Baltic Sea. Today it is a major tourist attraction and an easy train ride away from Copenhagen. Combined with a ferry ride over to Sweden and a visit to Malmö (followed by a train ride over the Öresund Bridge), it makes a great day trip. The castle has many historic features, including a chapel and very dark underground corridors with a statue of Holger Danske, and there is an interesting maritime museum, for which a new building is due to open in 2013 outside the castle. I found Kronborg very interesting, but somehow I suspect that it would not have made the WH list without its association to Shakespeare and Hamlet.

Ian Cade

UK - 02-Feb-12 -

Kronborg Castle by Ian Cade

New Year’s eve and New Year’s day are always awkward times to visit world heritage sites, and for the third year in a row I found myself locked out of a chilly northern European WHS. I know that it will be like this, and I have actually started to enjoy these half visits.

2011/12 led me to Kronborg castle, walking over its ramparts and spying its impressive interior across its moats and through a rather romantic blanket of fog.

Obviously I can’t claim to have seen the best of the site, or offer a full review, but it was actually very enjoyable to be locked out of this impressive fortress, and certainly feel I can count it as a visit, having done a lap and ducked into any open facility in order to warm up.

The castle is located at the tip of the little town of Helsingør. I would assume on days with better viability you could see Sweden, just across the narrow stretch of water. This slender channel was the reason for the castle’s creation, as it was essentially a very early and fearsome toll both, collecting taxes on good shipped to and from the Baltic. It is good to see the role of taxes and duties still plays a strong role in the economic life of the city, as the centre is full of shops selling alcohol to Swedes who made the short hop on the ferry. It does make you think though about cost of living if you have to go to Denmark! for cheaper booze.

Helsingør is easy to reach from Copenhagen by regular trains that take about an hour. It was a rewarding place to visit, even if I did miss out on seeing the inside of it.

[Site 3: Experience 4]

John booth

New Zealand - 01-May-10 -

I agree that it is location that makes this castle special, although far from unique. There are more spectacular castles around the coast of Scotland (non-WHS). But the view from the Helsingborg ferry is outstanding. And I did the tour of the battlements, the dungeons and the Royal Chapel too.

Adrian Lakomy

Slovakia - 03-Nov-09 -

Kronborg Castle by Adrian Lakomy

After reading few of the reviews i was not expecting anything special on this site, but the castle is very nice. The location is strategically very good.

The most special for me was the Maritime museum, with a lot of models of ships.

Castle Fredriksborg near is nice too (but for me a bit overdecorated) and you can see both of them if you are doing a trip from Copenhagen by train. Be sure you buy the "right" train ticket, it is always worth to buy the 10klip ticket as it is cheaper and you can combine 4*2 klips as one 8klip ticket. Ask the ladies in the counter on railstation.


UK - 20-Jan-06 -

Kronborg Castle by Solivagant

Perhaps the fact that Kronborg Castle has not yet been reviewed on this site tells one something – that its Shakespearean fame as the site of Elsinore, the “Home of Hamlet” somewhat exceeds the reality of this mainly 17th century structure.

Shakespeare wrote the play around 1600 but Hamlet was a legendary figure whose “exploits” had been recorded as early as 1200CE and which probably go back to the sagas. His “connection” with Elsinore appears to have been solely in Shakespeare’s imagination. The existence of a castle at this spot goes back to at least the 12th century and a significant fortress was built around 1420 to support the levying of tolls on shipping passing through the straight. The castle however reached its greatest magnificence in 1585 (which perhaps explains Shakespeare’s use of it as a location 15 years later). The structure we see however dates from rebuilding following a fire and strengthening from 1620 to 1685. Its position (photo) is attractive enough but all I really remember of its interior was its rather large banqueting hall (Els’s review struck a chord there!). That is not to say that, as castles go, it is not worth seeing, but “of universal value”? Whatever that phrase really means, this must be pretty marginal!

Even the ICOMOS review seems somewhat concerned about building up the case for accepting the nomination and, to misquote Shakespeare’s Hamlet (III, ii, 239) itself:- “The reviewer doth protest too much methinks”!

It states “Other examples of this type exist elsewhere in Europe; however, Kronborg is of special significance by virtue of its location, which has an exceptional value in strategic, commercial, and symbolic terms. It is a symbol of the kingdom of Denmark, built to impress and to assert Danish control over ships passing through the very important seaway between the North Sea and the Baltic. It is also relevant to mention the fact it is the "Elsinore" of Hamlet, the most celebrated of Shakespeare's tragedies. Kronborg Castle is not unique: there are many contemporary Renaissance castles and palaces in Europe, such as those in the Loire Valley and in central Europe. However, its symbolic and strategic importance endows it with special significance which transcends its significance in purely art-historical terms.”

Hmmm? Unless you are a great castle enthusiast or you will only “count” a visit if you go inside the building it is probably enough to see it en passant during the ferry ride – the view from the sea in my view best captures what the site is about anyway!

Site Info

Full Name
Kronborg Castle
Unesco ID
Secular structure - Military and Fortifications

Site History

2000 Inscribed

1994 Deferred

Bureau - needs plan for the removal of the major part of the disused shipyard


The site has 1 locations

Kronborg Castle: Kronborg Castle Helsing


The site has

Human Activity
Religion and Belief
WHS Hotspots
WHS on Other Lists
World Heritage Process


Community Members have visited.

A. Mehmet Haksever A.thum AC Aalberty Adam Hancock Adrian Lakomy Aed1111 Alessandro Votta Alex Pflugfelder Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alexfangel Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Ali Zingstra Alliosoncita La unica Peruchita Amy Tull Andrea Gormley Andreas Jensen Andreas Thum AndreasThum Andres Gomez Casanova Andrew Wembridge Angel Ying Liu Anna Olshäll Anna Wludarska Argo Ask Gudmundsen Aspasia Astraftis Atila Ege Aurelien Drilant-Abenascad Aurora Petan Bborders Ben Ami Ben Buckley Bgbaum Bill Bin Birgitte Sørensen Bob Finnie Bob Parda Bob pateman Bodil Ankerly Boroka Szamosi Bosswench Brendan Carroll Brett Baumann Brigitte Huber Butterflybird Byronb CalvinLoh Carlos Garrido Carstenhansen Caspar Dechmann Cezar Grozavu Chenboada Chenqtao Cheryl Christer Sundberg Christian Wagner Christine Schmit Christine Swanson Christoph CinderEli Claire Bradshaw Claire Whiteley ClaireWhiteley Clem C Clyde Colossus Craig Harder Ctravel Cyba DMORMAR Dachangjin3 Dagmara Dan Pettigrew Daniel C-Hazard Danniella David Berlanda David Marton Davied Deambulante Dennis Nicklaus Dgjohansson Dhhtravel Dibro Digits Dimitar Krastev Dimitrios Polychronopoulos Dirk-pieter Dkabanov Don Irwin Donald M Parrish Jr Doug Robertson Drk9Stormy Duesi73 Dwight Zehuan Xiao Eddypc07 Eireann949 Elaine Baran Elaine McArdle Elida Ellen Nielsen Els Slots Enrique Clemente Erdem Engin Tavlayan Eric Lurio Eric PK Erik Jelinek Eva Kisgyorgy FGKJR1492X FS Fan Yibo Farinelli Feldhase Felicite Fairer-Wessels Felix Femke Roos Filip Dostal Filip Murlak Fool79 Frankwsolak Frederik Dawson George Evangelou George Gdanski Gernot Gijs Glendaviste Gretell Scott Gwythyr Haining Guan Hammeel HannahJoergensen Heidisaacson Hft Hsjamsil Hubert Hurrvinek I&W Rohde Iain Jackson Ian Cade Ilya Burlak Ingemar Eriksson Ivan Rucek J Mitchell Jaakkotoivanen Jacob Choi Jaehyeon Jay Park Jagnes Jakob Frenzel James Welker Jan-Willem JanetB Jani Hyppanen Janis Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jason and Corrinna Jeanne OGrady Jeff N. Jennifer Prout Jens JobStopar Joebobs Joel Baldwin JohanneB John Smaranda John booth Jonas Hagung Jonas Kremer Jonas Martinsson Jordi Martinez Jos Schmitz Jose Antonio Collar Joyce van Soest Judith Tanner JudyWalsh Juha Sjoeblom Julianna Lees Jun Juropa KAO Karl Grossner Kasia M. Kasienka5 Kbecq Kbtwhs Keith Johnson Keith90245 Kelly Henry Kevin Verboven Kevin247 Khuft Kim, Soo-youn Kjsisney Klaus Freisinger Koen Vliegenthart Kyle Magnuson Lara Adler Lars Gunnar Gardo Lars Jensen Lauren Lennart Johansson Liam Lidiane Lisa Ross Lisu Marian Lois Dekker Londonium Lorenzo Mejino Lubos Lucio Gorla Luigi Tura Luis Filipe Gaspar Lut & Theo MBennett MH MMM MaYumin Maarten Hoek Maki Wang MalBee Malgorzata Kopczynska Maria Marie Morlon Markus Martin Funkhauser Martin Richardson Martina Ruckova Marton Kemeny Marty Matthewgibbs Mdnichol Mel Levitt MiIm Mibive Michael Andersson Michael Novins Michael Rohde Michael Wasserman Michael Wojcik Michal Marciniak Michiel Dekker Miguel Gallego Mikael Bjork Mikal Ahmet Mike Harper Mikko Miriam laschever Mirjam L. Mitsidis72 Mjohnston MoPython Monika and Rini Morodhi Naim Y Nan Nelson O Nevin Salman Nicole P Nihal Ege Nineinchgails Nomad99 Olli-Pekka Turunen Omnisppot Orphanos PabloNorte Paczeterson Pascal Cauliez Patphilly Patrik Peter Alleblas Peter Lööv PeterH Petteri Philipp Philipp Peterer Pigi9389 Pingxian Xu Pppppeti Pressdm Rachel Perkins Rae25 Ralf Regele Randi Thomsen Ray matlock Reza Robin Frank Rodinia Roel Sterken Roger Enarsson Roger Ourset Roland Rom Roman Raab Ronald Lange Rosen Rswood Rudegirl Ryan09sb S.camel S1m0n3t4 SHIHE HUANG Sabrina Liebehentschel Sachin Sam Begley Sandersx2 Seadie Sergio Arjona Serimari Shandos Cleaver Sharon Wheelock Simone Cannon de Bastardo Slava Sncjob Solivagant Sonja Stanimir Stanislaw Warwas Stefan and Mia Steve Newcomer Steve Preddy Super-Sophie Sutul Svein Elias Szucs Tamas Tamara Ratz Tarquinio_Superbo Tatiana Nikulnikova Tcchang0825 Therese Steen Thibault Magnien Thijs van den Berg Thomas Buechler Thomas Harold Watson Thomas Kunz Thomas cahalan Thomas van der Walt Thorben Tkinou Tom Flaten Tom Livesey Tom Wong Topaas Torkjell Djupedal Travelindan Tsunami Vernon Prieto Veronika Vaclavek Vicente B. Avanzado Jr. Voyager WILLIAM RICH WalGra Walter Walter H. Watkinstravel Werner Huber Wojciech Fedoruk Wolfgang Hlousa WolfgangHl Xangadib Xiquinho Silva YaroMir Yuri Samozvanov Zen Zeng Zhenjun Liu Zlatko Zlatko Rihter Zoë Sheng