Exploring Denmark: Palaces, Castles, and Gardens

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Introduction

Denmark should be high on that list if you explore only one European country. This enchanting country is home to some of the world’s most beautiful palaces, castles, and gardens.

Denmark's Frederiksborg Castle
Frederiksborg Castle © Niclas Jessen

A visit to Denmark is a chance to step back in time and experience life as a royal for a day. You’ll tour magnificent palaces with opulent furnishings and stunning gardens with fountains and sculptures. And don’t forget the castles! They’re some of the most impressive in Europe, with towering turrets and imposing fortifications.

From the imposing Kronborg Castle to the sprawling gardens of Rosenborg Castle, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

As you explore these palatial structures, take in the stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. Each palace has its unique charm, and there’s plenty to see and do inside and out. So be sure to put these destinations on your itinerary when you visit Denmark!

When you travel to Denmark with Discover Scandinavia Tours, whether you choose Denmark in a Week or one of our Multi-Country options, you will enjoy many of these spectacular sights.

Exploring the Castles of Denmark

Denmark has a rich history of castles and fortresses. These structures were built as defensive fortifications to protect the country from invaders. When you explore the castles of Denmark, you’ll find a world of fairy tales come to life. These imposing structures have stood the test of time, each unique. There are over 400 castles in Denmark, but only 37 of them are open to the public.

Kronborg Castle in Denmark
Kronborg Castle ©Heino Eisner

Denmark’s most famous castles include Kronborg Castle and Rosenborg Castle. Kronborg Castle, also known as Hamlet’s Castle because it was featured in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, is one of Denmark’s most popular tourist destinations and attracts more than 600,000 visitors annually. In comparison, Rosenborg Castle is one of the oldest Danish castles continuously inhabited since its construction in 1231. The castle houses a museum with more than 30,000 items on display, including weapons and paintings from different periods.

There are plenty of others to choose from, each with its own story. No matter which castle you visit, you’re in for a treat. They all offer stunning gardens, opulent furnishings, and breathtaking views. 

Touring the Palaces of Denmark

Queen's guard standing outside Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen.
Queen’s guard standing outside Amalienborg Castle in Copenhagen. © Kim Wyon

An absolute must-see in Denmark is the fascinating palaces. If you’re looking for a taste of Danish culture and history, then the palaces are where you’ll find them. From Amalienborg Palace to Fredensborg Palace, something will captivate and amaze every tourist.

Amalienborg Palace, in Copenhagen, has been the official residence of the Danish monarchy since 1760. The Amalienborg museum tour takes you inside the Fabergé Chamber and the Gala Hall, which the royal family still uses on special occasions.

At Fredensborg Palace, the Danish Royal Family’s Spring and Fall residence, you can marvel at the beautiful exterior. Inside, you will find an impressive collection of art and furniture. It is located outside Copenhagen in North Zealand, spread across three islands in Hillerød.  

Finally, Christiansborg Palace is one of Denmark’s largest and most important buildings, as it houses the Folketing (parliament), the prime minister’s office, and the Supreme Court of Denmark.

It’s always perfect timing to visit at least a few of these stunning palaces on your trip to Denmark – no matter what time of year it is!

Discovering the Gardens of Denmark

Duck in the King's Garden
The King’s Garden. © Freya McOmish

Denmark has a long history of gardening dating back to the 16th century when King Frederick II, also known as Frederick the Great, created his first garden in Frederiksberg. It was not until 1843, when King Christian IX opened Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, that Denmark started to develop its reputation as an international garden destination.

The Rosenborg Castle Gardens are a favorite among visitors, with its well-manicured lawns, flower beds, and hedges. The Frederiksborg Palace Gardens are known for their baroque style, with topiaries, fountains, and hedge labyrinths. And the Kronborg Castle Gardens offer beautiful views of the Øresund Strait.

More than just a garden, Tivoli Gardens is a famous amusement park in Copenhagen. Since its opening in 1843, it has become one of the most renowned tourist attractions in the country. From its Hanging Gardens to the Orangery, a Chinese-inspired Bamboo forest, and a Vintage Cars Garden featuring beds of rhododendrons and azaleas, there is a lot to explore before you even get to the amusement park. Tivoli Gardens is also known for its annual Christmas celebrations, which are famous worldwide. 

Other Places to Visit in Denmark

Hans Christian Andersen's home in Odense, Denmark
Hans Christian Andersen’s home in Odense. © Kim Wyon

Denmark might be a small country, but it is full of captivating places to visit. Besides the many palaces and castles, another famous location is Hans Christian Andersen’s home and museum in Odense. In this Danish town, he was born and lived until his death in 1875. 

While in Odense, how about a visit to the zoo? Odense Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and one of the few zoos that allow visitors to feed animals by hand. With animals from all over the world from over ten species, you’ll see everything from chimpanzees to Siberian tigers, manatees, and macaws. 

Travel 1300 years back in time and meet the vikings at Ribe VikingeCenter
© Ribe VikingeCenter

To learn more about Denmark’s Viking past through replicas of the artifacts they left behind, pay a visit to The Ribe Viking Center. The exhibits change every few months highlighting different aspects of the Viking Age. 

There is even more to see, and you can check out all the attractions visited during our Denmark in a Week tour or even our Nordics Silver (13 Days), Gold (18 Days), and Diamond (22 Days) tours. Each of these Multi-Country Nordics tours includes three nights in Copenhagen before heading to Oslo, Norway

Conclusion

Denmark should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a magical and enchanting place to explore. With its beautiful palaces, castles, and gardens, this lovely country has plenty to explore. And, of course, let’s not forget the delicious food, but we’ll save that for another time!

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