I can’t praise Helsingør enough, and find pleasure in thinking back on the years I had the fortune to live there.
If you ask a child to make a toy city they will squeeze all the good stuff into a tiny space, and leave out all the boring stuff, like living, industry and shopping malls. This is exactly what Helsingør looks like.
I lived near one of the squares, and if I made a cup of coffee, and walked out the door, I could be in the woods, the beach, the small boat harbor, the cultural harbor, the ferry harbor and central station, the city center, or the Kronborg Castle, by foot, so fast my coffee would still be warm.
I would, however, never bring my own coffee to Kronborg, and soon you will understand why.
Almost the entire medieval city is made up of pedestrian streets, and the number of outdoor eateries, cafés and pubs is amazing. Many of them you will find in the courtyards inside the alleyways you’ll see everywhere.
Helsingør is a city where you discover things all the time, while being mind blown by its charming beauty. Keep an eye out for murals, as they really add to the experience.
If you think a library is a quiet dull place for studying, you’ll need to go to the library in Helsingør, also known as Kulturværftet (Culture Yard). I can’t think of a single kind of cultural activity or expression that isn’t going on there. The architecture is unique, in the way they have preserved the integrity of the old shipyard, and simultaneously turned it into something contemporary, or even science fiction.
Next to it, down an old dry dock, another architectural marvel holds the maritime museum. A must-see!
Behind Kulturværftet you’ll find the streetfood marked.
And now, when you think you can’t experience more, without losing your marbles, you can’t leave without entering the world famous Kronborg Castle. It is the epiphany of a medieval castle, and holds amazing stories, both real and pure fantasy.
The way they market Prince Hamlet you will leave with the sense that he was really a proud son of the city, and not a figment of imagination. You will find Holger Danske in the basement, guarding Denmark, always ready to stand up to protect the country. You will see the canons that made Denmark rich by taxing every ship entering or exiting the Baltic Sea.
And when you can’t take any more culture and impressions, you are in luck, as you will – without a shred of doubt – find the world’s best cup of coffee at Strandvejsristeriet, inside the compound of the castle.
Only ten minutes by ferry from Helsingør the larger, a little less charming, but important big brother Helsingborg. Helsingborg is in Sweden, and Sweden has different rules and taxes on alcohol. This means the area in Helsingør close to the ferry harbor is littered with alcohol shops. You will meet many Swedes in Helsingør, and they will add to the charm and experience, from Sunday to Thursday, but Friday and Saturday night you don’t want to be in Helsingør, especially not with kids. According to Danes, being “Swedish drunk” means not being able to hold larger quantities of alcohol without losing all dignity and self control.
Helsingør is the place to eat authentic Danish cuisine, like roast pork with potatoes, red cabbage and brown sauce, sliced roast pork with parsley sauce, plaice filet on rye bread, Danish liver pate etc. The “pork” part of it may not sound appealing due to your religious beliefs, but they can’t possibly be THAT important, no matter how dedicated or fanatic you are. Once you try it you will realize both life and afterlife is insignificant without Danish roast pork. And when you visit Helsingør you will acknowledge that life has, so far, been a warm up session.