One of the best daytrips you can take from Copenhagen is to go to the old town of Helsingør or Elsinore, Helsingor in English. You get there on the frequent trains from Copenhagen there should be at least 3 an hour up there. The train ride takes about 45 minutes and when you arrive at Helsingør Station which is the last stop on the line.
If you want the most out of the day you should aim at a train departing Copenhagen a bit before 9 in the morning. This way you arrive at Helsingør station with enough time to walk to Kronborg and be there when they open the doors. Kronborg is the main attraction of Helsingør since it is the most amazing castle in Scandinavia and also known from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. It is best to arrive right when the castle open at ten in the morning. This way you will be among the first to go into the impressive royal apartments – and you will have a change to get some nice photos without a lot of other visitors in the picture.
The castle is the main attraction of the city and it is well worth going just to visit this castle – you can go and enjoy the royal apartments and the casemates under the castle. In addition there is a large area around the castle with the old fortifications and additional old buildings which has been used back when the castle had a military function.
Right next to the museum at the harbor of Helsingør you find the second biggest attraction of the city. The Danish Maritime Museum. The museum is located in an old dry dock from the old shipyard of the city – it is right next to Kronborg castle so it is very easy to go here and visit after your tour of the castle. If you like a bit of information about the last few hundred years of Danish maritime history this is the place to go and visit.
There are other interesting things to go and see around Helsingør – on the harbor not far from the Maritime Museum is a small museum of the old shipyard which used to be on the harbor. A visit to the shipyard museum will not take long but you can drop in and have a quick look at the small exhibition where you can see the old boardroom of the shipyard and a lot of old tools and ship models.
Other museums in the city are the Helsingør city museum which will give you a bit more information of the old town and there is a display of the city where they have a 15 minutes story about the different houses in the old town. The museum is located right next to an old Church and monastery which you can go in and have a quick look at if you like.
Down at the harbor is a final museum in the old town. It is an old merchant house which has been transformed into a museum. The city of Helsingør had a lot of shipping in the old days and this house is one of the shops which used to service the busy harbor of Helsingør.
After you are done with the explorations of the old town of Helsingør you can still do more sightseeing on the day. A bit north of the old town is an aquarium called Øresundsakvariet which shows the life in the water just outside the city. A bit outside the city is the Danish Technical museum and if you are interest in engineering over the last century you might find this interesting as well if you got time to spare. Down at the harbor you find a ferry which will take you across the water in just 20 minutes to go and visit Sweden for a bit if you like.
The most obvious next destination on a daytrip to Helsingør is to take the train south to Humlebæk Station. From here you can walk a bit to the Louisiana Modern Art museum which is the most visited art museum in Denmark. if you like modern art this is the place to go in Denmark – and fortunately the museum stays open till ten at night so you can easily go here after you explorations around Helsingør. During the summer it will stay light until then anyways so you can enjoy the garden of the museum.
You might get hungry after a full day of exploration. And fortunately there is actually a great restaurant close to Louisiana Museum. The restaurant Sletten is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in Northern Zealand so it would be a good place to have dinner. Unfortunately I have never been myself so I don’t know quality of this restaurant first hand. But the reviews of the restaurant are all good and Sletten is part of a group of restaurants with the Michelin stared restaurant Formel B and Uformel in Copenhagen – both of these restaurants are really good so I assume Sletten is worth a visit.
If you go and visit several of the museums up here you might consider getting a Copenhagen card since the entrance and transport up here will add up. If you are heading for a daytrip to Roskilde with its royal graves and Viking ship museum the day before or after a visit to Helsingør the Copenhagen card will probably be worth the expense.