Frederiksborg Castle | A Renaissance Castle in Denmark

Frederiksborg Castle | A Renaissance Castle in Denmark

Rebecca Aller
Rebecca Aller
February 8, 2024

Frederiksborg Castle is one of Denmark's most impressive architectural landmarks, offering a journey through history, art, and picturesque landscapes. It provides a fairy tale-like experience that no one visiting Copenhagen should miss. Here is why this Royal Castle is special and worth visiting. Learn about its history, how to get there, tickets, and more. You can also learn about other castles and palaces in an around Copenhagen.

But now, let us tell you why you should plan a visit to Frederiksborg Castle during your time in Copenhagen.

Frederiksborg Castle
Daniel Rasmussen, Visit Copenhagen

Discovering Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle is built on three small islands in the Castle Lake and reflects its many towers and spires in an enchanting sight. Named after Danish King Frederik II, who built the original castle, Frederiksborg was significantly expanded by his son, Christian IV, into the magnificent structure it is today - the largest Renaissance castle in the Nordic region. But it is not all about looks - this castle has been at the heart of Denmark's royal story, playing host to all sorts of important ceremonies over the years. Now, it is home to the Museum of National History, where you can dive into a treasure trove of art and historical pieces that bring Denmark's rich past to life.

Note: In and around Copenhagen, there are three castles with very similar names. Be mindful not to mix them up: Fredensborg Palace, Frederiksborg Castle, and Frederiksberg Palace.

Also a Great Experience for Families

The castle is a great spot for families too. There is a lot to explore both inside and outside, and with family activities during school holidays, the museum puts Danish history into perspective and keeps the dialogue with the past alive. The castle gardens are just perfect for royal-outdoor exploring or a chilled-out boat ride. Frederiksborg Castle kind of has it all: fascinating history, cultural riches, and beautiful surroundings.

Another family-friendly visit to a royal castle is The Hermitage in Dyrehaven. Besides the castle, you can enjoy the UNESCO-listed beautiful landscape and find Bakken - the world's oldest amusement park.

Frederiksborg Castle Gardens: A Renaissance Masterpiece

Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle Gardens are a key highlight, featuring both a Baroque Garden and a Romantic landscaped garden. The Baroque Garden, brought back to its 17th-century glory in 1996, showcases symmetrical designs and a cascade system. In contrast, the Romantic garden provides a tranquil, natural escape.

Significant royal monograms within the parterre tell the tale of the regents influential in the gardens' evolution:

  • Frederik IV, who designed the Baroque Gardens in the 1720s;
  • Christian VI and Frederik V, during whose reigns the gardens were maintained;
  • Margrethe II, who reopened the Baroque Gardens in 1996 after extensive restoration.

Fun fact: The gardens are designed with optical illusions to appear more expansive, utilizing narrow paths and strategic viewpoints. This is really clear when you are at the top of the waterfall and look down - the way the land slopes makes it look like the Runde Dam is farther away than it actually is.

Tip: For those looking to relax after exploring, Cafe Havehuset offers both indoor and outdoor refreshments. The café's patio features a large model of the Baroque Gardens and an exhibit detailing the gardens' history, alongside access to the Castle Gardens' public restrooms.

A Must-See at Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg castle

The Knight's Hall

This room, located on the castle's second floor, looks just like it did during Christian IV's reign, filled with spectacular decorations reminiscent of grand royal parties. The ceiling features many detailed carvings and paintings, and the walls are covered with tapestries and family portraits of the royals, including a newer painting of Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, and Prince Christian.

The Audience Chamber

In use since the 1680s, this room has retained its Baroque style from Christian V's reign, miraculously surviving the fire of 1859. After a four-year restoration, it reopened in May 2016, featuring an innovative elevator from 1692 that allowed Christian V to discreetly exit the castle unseen.

The Castle Church

Fortunately, the church was not destroyed in the 1859 fire, so it looks almost the same as it did when kings were crowned here. Today, it serves as a venue for church services and concerts, offering visitors a great view from the top where you can see shields and symbols of knights.

The Portrait Collection

The third floor presents a journey through modern Danish history with portraits and artifacts from the 20th and 21st centuries. It showcases well-known Danes from politics, sports, music, literature, and other areas, all set against a backdrop of modern art.

Frederiksborg Castle
Visit Copenhagen

Tips for Visiting Frederiksborg Castle

  • Allocate at least 2-3 hours to fully enjoy and explore the castle and its gardens.
  • Do not miss the Museum of National History inside the castle for a deeper understanding of Denmark's heritage.
  • The gardens are ideal for a relaxing stroll, offering spectacular views of the castle and the surrounding landscape.

Mini-cruise on Castle Lake

Enjoy a charming mini-cruise on Castle Lake with The little Ferry M/F Frederiksborg, one of North Sealand's top attractions. Departing from the town square, it stops at Frederiksborg Castle and the Baroque Garden, offering stylish access to the Renaissance castle. Both kids and adults will love the scenic sail, complete with tales from the seasoned skipper.

The ferry runs 12 May to 15 September, Mon-Sat 11 am-5 pm, Sun 1-4 pm, and daily during autumn holidays from 20-28 October, 1-5 pm. The 25-minute journey departs every half hour, with stops at the square, Baroque Garden, and Rose Garden. Tickets: Children DKK 10, adults DKK 30, cash only on boarding. No advance booking for individuals, max capacity 26 persons.

Frederiksborg Castle ferry
Daniel Rasmussen, Visit Copenhagen

How To Get There and Visiting Hours

Frederiksborg Castle is easily accessible from Copenhagen, making it a perfect day-trip. Public transport options, such as trains and buses, offer convenient access to Hillerød. Check the castle's official website for the most current visiting hours and any special events.

Frederiksborg Castle, with its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful gardens, is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Denmark.

Looking to explore more?

For additional day-trip ideas to royal attractions around Copenhagen, consider exploring Fredensborg Palace, Kronborg Castle, and The Hermitage are just a train ride away. These four castles offer fantastic surroundings and a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Watch this short video about palaces and castle in and around Copenhagen for a quick comparative overview of the royal attractions, so you can find the right ones for you!

Opening hours and directions

Openings hours for (updated today)
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: Closed
  • Friday: Closed
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
Address: - directions
Website: official site

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