We’ve compiled the best of the best in Zealand - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Frederiksborg Slot

    The Danish royal family's castles are a motley lot, and Hillerød's Frederiksborg Castle 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 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, Capital Region, 3400, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 75, gardens free, Castle and museum: Mar. 15–Oct., daily 10–5; Nov.–Mar. 14, daily 11–3. Gardens: Apr.–Sept. 8am–9pm; Oct.–Mar. 8–6
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  • 2. Karen Blixen Museum

    This museum is in the elegant, airy manor of Baroness Karen Blixen, who wrote Out of Africa under the pen name Isak Dinesen. The manor house, to which she returned in 1931 to write her most famous works, now displays Blixen's manuscripts, sketches, photographs, and memorabilia documenting her years in Africa. Leave time to wander around the gorgeous gardens, which also function as a bird sanctuary.

    Rungsted Strandvej 111, Rungsted, Capital Region, 2960, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 100, May–Sept., Tues.–Sun. 10–5; Oct.–Apr., Wed.–Fri. 1–4, weekends 11–4, Closed Mon. Sept.–June and Tues. Oct.–Apr.
  • 3. Kronborg Slot


    Kronborg Slot dominates the city of Helsingør. Built in the late 1500s, it's the inspiration for Elsinore castle in Shakespeare's Hamlet (1601). Shakespeare probably never saw the castle in person, but he managed to capture its spirit—it's a gloomy, chilly place, where it's clear that an ordinary person today lives much better than kings once did. The castle was built as a Renaissance tollbooth: from its cannon-studded bastions, forces collected a tariff from all ships crossing the sliver of water between Denmark and Sweden. Well worth seeing are the 200-foot-long dining hall and the dungeons, where there is a brooding statue of Holger Danske (Ogier the Dane). According to legend, the sleeping Viking chief will awaken to defend Denmark when it's in danger. (The largest Danish resistance group during World War II called itself Holger Danske.)

    At point, on harbor front, Helsingør, Capital Region, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 95, April–May and Sept.–Oct., daily 11–4; June–Aug., daily 10–5:30; Nov.–Mar., Tues.–Sun. 11–4
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  • 4. Lejre Forsøgscenter


    Back in the Iron Age, Lejre was the capital of the Lejre Kingdom; some scholars believe it's mentioned in Beowulf. These days it's best known as the home of the 50-acre Lejre Forsøgscenter, a pioneer in the field of "experimental archeology." In summer a handful of hardy Danish families live here under the observation of researchers; they go about their daily routine grinding grain, herding goats, and wearing furs and skins, providing a clearer picture of ancient ways of life. You can experience a Stone Age camp, a Viking market, and 19th-century farmhouses, and there's a large children's area.

    Slangealleen 2, Roskilde, Zealand, 4320, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 130, Mid-June–mid-Aug., daily 10–5; other times irregular hrs
  • 5. Louisiana


    The must-see Louisiana is a modern-art museum with fresh, often-witty temporary exhibitions and an impressive permanent collection that includes Picasso, Giacometti, and Warhol. Even if you're not an art lover, it's well worth the 30-minute trip from Copenhagen to see this beautiful combination of a 19th-century villa and modern Danish architecture, with its large sculpture garden and dramatic view of the Øresund waters. There's a children's section as well, where kids can draw and paint under the supervision of museum staff. To get here from the station, walk north about 10 minutes.

    Gammel Strandvej 13, Humlebæk, Capital Region, 3050, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 95, Tues.–Fri 11–10, weekends 11–6
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  • 6. Carmelite Kloster

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Close to Sankt Olai Kirke stands Sankt Marie Kirke. Its 15th-century Carmelite Kloster is one of the best-preserved examples of medieval architecture in Scandinavia.

    Skt. Annæ Gade 38, Helsingør, Capital Region, 3000, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free; tour costs DKr 20, Mid-May–mid-Sept., daily 10–3; tour at 2 mid-June–mid-Sept. Mid-Sept.–mid-June, daily 10–2; no fixed tour time
  • 7. GeoCenter Møns Klint


    While in town, you may want to join the Danish families hunting for fossils. You can have your fossils identified at the GeoCenter Møns Klint, a spectacular natural history museum with aquariums and a Mossasaurus skeleton.

    Stengårdvej 8, Borre, Zealand, 4791, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 115, Easter–June, Sept., and Oct., daily 10–5; July and Aug. daily 10–6
  • 8. Møns Klint

    Nature Sight

    The island of Møn is most famous for its dramatic chalk cliffs, known in Danish as Møns Klint. Circled by a beech forest, the milky-white 75-million-year-old bluffs plunge 400 feet to a small, craggy beach—accessible by more than 500 steps.

    , Denmark
  • 9. Roskilde Domkirke

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Construction began on Roskilde Domkirke around 1170 on the site of a church erected 200 years earlier by the Viking hero Harald Bluetooth. It was made possible by the introduction of brick making to Denmark—it is made up of more than 3 million bricks—and a commission by the powerful Bishop Absalon, who's also considered one of the founders of Copenhagen. The cathedral made the city one of the spiritual capitals of Northern Europe. These days, its best known as the mausoleum of the royals: 38 Danish monarchs are entombed here, including the first Queen Margrethe (1353–1412), and there's reason to believe that Queen Margrethe II will ultimately find her resting place in or near the cathedral, like her father, Frederik IX. Don't miss the 16th-century clock depicting St. George charging a dragon, whose hisses and howls throughout church cause Peter Døver, "the Deafener," to sound the hour. A squeamish Kirsten Kiemer, "the Chimer," shakes her head in fright but manages to strike the quarter-hours.

    Domkirkestr. 10, Roskilde, Zealand, 4000, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 60, Apr.–Sept., Mon.–Sat. 9–4:45, Sun. 12:30–4:45; Oct.–Mar., Tues.–Sat. 10–3:45, Sun. 12:30–3:45
  • 10. Sankt Olai Kirke

    On the corner of Stengade and Sankt Annægade near the harbor is Sankt Olai Kirke, worth a peek for its elaborately carved wooden altar. Also in downtown are whole streets of medieval-era merchants' and ferrymen's houses—they're now modern shops.

    Skt. Annægade 12, Helsingør, Capital Region, 3000, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, May–Aug., daily 10–4; Sept.–Apr., daily 10–2
  • 11. Shakespeare Festival

    Each August, Kronborg Castle is the site of the Shakespeare Festival, featuring outdoor performances of Shakespeare plays. The schedule varies from year to year. In 2019, productions were Richard III by HamletScenen, the house theater company, and Songs of Lear by a visiting theater troupe.

    Kronborg 13, Helsingør, Capital Region, 3000, Denmark
  • 12. Vikingeskibsmuseet

    Less than 1 km (½ mile) north of the cathedral, on the fjord, is the modern Viking Ship Museum, containing five Viking ships sunk in the fjord 1,000 years ago. Submerged to block the passage of enemy ships, they were discovered in 1957. The painstaking recovery involved building a watertight dam and then draining the water from that section of the fjord. The splinters of wreckage were then preserved and reassembled. A deep-sea trader, warship, ferry, merchant ship, and fierce 92½-foot man-of-war attest to the Vikings' sophisticated and artful boat-making skills.

    Vindeboder 12, Roskilde, Zealand, 4000, Denmark

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: DKr 110–150, Daily 10–5

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