There’s nothing rotten about this charming Danish city, which is written deep into the pages of literature as the setting for one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies - Hamlet. Dominated by the elegant form of Kronborg Castle, which you might know better by the name Elsinore, Helsignor sits watching out over the narrow Øresund Strait towards Sweden. The city retains a captivating medieval air, where quaint half-timbered, flower-draped houses clamour together attractively in the old town. Bold, modern architecture adds a contemporary edge, while scattered artworks like the metallic Han statue add a wink to the storybook charm of this literary city.
Festivals celebrate the creative legacy, with emotive retellings echoing around the waterfront castle’s spires all-year-round. Learn of the castle’s history, which was built to tax vessels passing through the tapering strait, as it narrows between the coasts of Denmark and Sweden. Helsingor’s rich maritime past is explored in all its glory in the ingeniously repurposed dry docks of the National Maritime Museum of Denmark. Set your compass for an underground adventure amid this vision of plunging glass and sharp angular bridges – which totally submerges below ground level, to keep views of the city’s headlining castle unaffected. Exhibitions explore everything from the psychological effects of a seafaring, lonely life on the waves, to the workings of finely-tuned instruments of navigation.
Kronborg might be richly storied, but nearby Frederiksborg Castle is every bit as beautiful, featuring auburn brickwork and a glowing jade roof, which gleams in the sun. This royally approved palace sits as an island surrounded by sweeping moats, and glorious green swathes of perfectly symmetrical landscaped gardens.