The Danish royal family's castles are a motley lot, and Hillerød's Frederiksborg Slot is one of the few that can be called a true beauty. Danish builder king Christian IV tore down a previous castle on the site and built this Dutch Renaissance version in the early 1600s. The building is enclosed by a moat, covers three islets, and is topped by with dozens of gables, spires, and turrets. Devastated by a fire in 1859, the castle was reconstructed with the support of the Carlsberg Foundation and now includes Denmark's Nationalhistoriske Museum (National History Museum), which contains the country's best collection of portraits and historical paintings. It also has an activity area where kids can dress up as historical figures.
Don't miss the gorgeous castle chapel Slotskirke, with its lacy ornamentation: Danish monarchs were crowned here for more than 200 years, and the house organ dates from 1610. The Baroque Gardens, rebuilt according to J. C. Krieger's layout from 1725, include a series of wide waterfalls that make the neatly trimmed park a lovely place for a stroll. Don't miss the floral sculptures of the current royals' official monograms.
Hillerød, Hillerød, 3400, Denmark