Frederiksborg Castle

Photo: Mark Gray

Frederiksborg Castle is one of the most famous castles in Denmark and for good reason: situated on three islands surrounded by a lake and beautiful gardens, it's simply breathtaking. Home to the Museum of National History, the grounds are full of rich history, architecture, and gardens.

A royal castle

Frederiksborg Castle was built in the early decades of the 17th century by King Christian IV. It is the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia, and it incorporates the very best of Renaissance architecture and craftsmanship. Throughout the 17th century, Frederiksborg Castle was often used as a royal residence, for instance by Frederik VII in the 1850s.

Due to improper maintenance, a fire broke out in 1859, and the greater part of the interior of the castle was destroyed. The fire was a disaster. Fortunately, the castle was rebuilt by J. C. Jacobsen, the owner of the Carlsberg Breweries. The castle chapel survived the fire and today stands as in Christian IV’s time. To this day, Danish kings and queens are anointed in the chapel at Frederiksborg Castle.

The picturesque baroque garden

The symmetrical castle garden was created by architect J. C. Krieger in 1725. It was designed to follow the main axis of the castle with a long perspective extending into the landscape. In baroque style, it was complete with festive cascades and parterre flower beds. During the following centuries, the garden was altered, but in 1996 it was restored to its original design. Noteworthy are the royal monograms executed in boxwood.

Additionally, to the left of the baroque garden is a romantic English-inspired garden. This garden is home to the charming Bath House, which is occasionally used by the Royal Family for hunt lunches.

"The symmetry in the outside gardens is extremely satisfying to just gawk at." - Mark Gray

The Museum of National History

Since 1878, Frederiksborg Castle has housed the Museum of National History. Here, 500 years of Danish history is illustrated through portraits, paintings, furniture, sculptures and decorative art. Guests can encounter people and events which have shaped Denmark and Danish history from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

For instance, at the museum you can find the portraits of Johan Friedrich Struensee and Queen Caroline Mathilde by artist Jens Juel, or wonder at paintings by artists Karel van Mander, Wilhelm Marstrand, P. S. Krøyer, Niels Strøbæk, and many more.

The permanent exhibition gives guests an insight into the castle, which was previously closed to the public. Here, you can see original decorations and sculptures from before the fire in 1859. 

"In every room at the castle, I feel the presence of hundreds of years of history. The many portraits on the walls are like a giant family album, making you wonder about the stories of all those people. You can really sense the history and stories of the castle in the atmosphere there." - Julie Andrea

Off the beaten path

After you've explored the castle and strolled through the Baroque gardens, you should walk around the castle lake. It'll provide you with new (but still stunning) angles of the castle that are sure to make your friends even more envious!

"What I personally love about exploring new parts of the country is going off the beaten path (although full disclosure there was a path around the lake) to take in locations and sights from different angles. This small pier is an ideal place to get a panoramic view of the grounds." - Mark Gray

Practical information before your trip

We hope that we've managed to awe you with all the castle's splendor above (because it really is marvelous!), so now it's down to the nitty-gritty: Where is Frederiksborg Castle, how do you get here, and when is it open?

How to get to Frederiksborg Castle from Copenhagen

One of the best perks about Frederiksborg Castle is that it's only 40 minutes from downtown Copenhagen, so a visit to the castle is perfect for a half-day trip.

All you have to do is take the S-train (line A) to Hillerød Station. From there you can either walk to the castle through the charming old streets in Hillerød, or you can one of the local busses (301 towards Ullerød or 302 towards Sophienlund) and get off at the stop “Frederiksborg Slot”.

You can plan your journey and check the train time table on Journey Planner.

Official website

Visit the Frederiksborg - Museum of National History website for further information, or to buy your tickets ahead of time so you can skip the line.

Opening hours

Monday to Sunday:
10 am - 5 pm ( April 1 - October 31)
11 am - 3 pm (November 1 - March 31)

Admission prices

Adults: DKK 75
Children (0-5 years): Free
Children (6-15 years): DKK 20
Students: DKK 60
Seniors (65+): DKK 60
Family ticket (2 adults + 3 children): DKK 150

Admission and public transportation to Frederiksborg Castle is free with a Copenhagen Card.