Denmark has a rich Royal history. Therefore you can find many royal castles and palaces in Denmark. Even though Denmark is a small country, you will find many beautiful castles dotted throughout the land.
In this post, I’ll give you a guide to all the Royal castles & palaces in Denmark. From Royal castles that are still used by the Royal family today. To castles & palaces with a Royal past. The (former) Royal Castles and Palaces have diverse functions today. From museums to event venues and hotels. Yes. you can even stay in a palace that used to be owned by the Royal family.
To make your visit to these palaces and castles easier. You’ll find a Google Map at the end of this post.
Amalienborg Palace consists of four palaces surrounding Amalienborg Palace Square in Copenhagen. It is the winter residence of the current Royal family.
The Palace was not built for the Royal family, but instead for four high-ranking aristocrats. When the old Christiansborg Palace burnt down in 1794, the Royal family moved into Amalienborg Palace.
The four palaces of Amalienborg
Christian VII’s Palace is Queen Margrethe II’s palace for guests and official receptions. This palace is not open for visitors.
Christian VIII’s Palace houses the museum Amalienborg. Here you can wander through the palace and learn more about the past 150 years of Royal history. In the museum, you will also find the private apartments of former Kings and Queens. The Royal Representation Rooms, the Gala Hall, and other state rooms in this Palace are still used by the Royal family. These rooms are open daily in June, July & August. In other months they are only open on Saturdays.
Frederik VIII’s Palace is the official residence of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary. This palace is not open for visitors.
Christian IX’s Palace is the official residence of Queen Margrethe II. This palace is not open for visitors.
Behind the Palace, you will find Amalie Garden. This new garden is designed by Belgian architect Jean Delogne in 1983. The modern garden has fountains, sculptures, trees, and flowers. And gives a wonderful view over the harbor and Copenhagen.
Visit Amalienborg Museum
The museum is open daily January 22. – October 23. And on Tuesday-Sunday October 24. – December 30. Buy your ticket online.
This Palace is only 100 years old, but from this location, the crown of Denmark has ruled for centuries. Nowadays Christiansborg is mainly used as the seat of parliament in Denmark. Which includes the Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court of Denmark.
But the palace is also used by Queen Margrethe II for official events (such as gala banquets and public audiences). The Queen uses the Royal Reception Rooms, the Palace Chapel, and the Royal Stables.
Christiansborg is the only building in the world that houses all three branches of government: the executive power, the legislative power, and the judicial power.
Visit Christiansborg Palace
The Royal Reception Rooms: open on Tuesday-Sunday
The Royal Kitchen: open Tuesday-Sunday (in July & August). Saturday & Sunday from September-June
The Ruins: open on Tuesday-Sunday
The Royal Stables: open on Tuesday-Sunday (in July & August). Saturday & Sunday from September-June
The Palace Chapel: only open in July (Tuesday-Sunday)
The castle is built in the early 17th century by King Christian IV who was King of Denmark and Norway. Frederiksborg is the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. In 1859 a fire badly damaged the castle. But thanks to the public and J.C. Jacobsen (the founder of Carlsberg) the castle was completely restored and reopened as the Danish Museum of National History.
The museum portrays 500 years of Danish history with a collection of portraits, history paintings, furniture, and applied art.
The estate includes the Frederiksborg Castle Chapel, which luckily wasn’t damaged in the fire of 1859. The Chapel has a gold, silver, and ebony altarpiece and a historic Compenius organ built by Esajas Compenius in 1610.
The main Castle Garden is in Baroque style, designed by J. Krieger. The lowest plateaus in the garden contain the royal monograms for Frederik IV, Frederik V, Christian VI, and Margrethe II, designed in closely trimmed hedges surrounded by dome-shaped box trees. There is a second garden in the romantic English style, with the small Bath House Castle.
Visit Frederiksborg Castle
The castle is open daily. Frederiksborg Castle lies approx. 40 minutes from Copenhagen. You can take the S-train line A to Hillerød. From Hillerød station you can walk to the castle or take the local bus (line 301 or 302).
Kronborg is perhaps best known as “Elsinore”. Because Kronborg is the Danish castle used as the setting of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s one of the most important Renaissance castles in Scandinavia.
The castle stands in a strategic position between Denmark and Sweden. During its heyday, the castle was adorned with spires, sandstone, and copper roofs thanks to the Sound Dues that sailors had to pay to pass the castle. Between 1658 and 1660 Kronborg Castle was occupied and plundered by the Swedish king, Karl Gustav. After this, the castle was no longer used as a residence. Nowadays the castle has been completely renovated and is open to the public so you can wander through Hamlet’s castle as well.
Visit Kronborg Castle
The castle is open daily between April 21st and October 24th. Between October 26 and December 30th, the castle is open Tuesday-Sunday.
In the center of Copenhagen stands the 400-year-old Renaissance Rosenborg Castle. The castle was built by King Christian IV and it was his favorite Royal Castle.
Today the castle houses a museum where you can travel through 400 years of Royal history. With the Kings and Queen’s most treasured possessions and showing their everyday life.
The King’s Garden surrounding the castle is the oldest royal garden in Denmark. The Renaissance-style garden is a popular meeting place for people living in Copenhagen.
Visit Rosenborg Castle
The castle is open to visitors Tuesday-Sunday (and Monday-Sunday in Week 26-31)
This white palace in the Jutland region is the Summer residence of the Royal family. Since the 16th century, the estate had been in the ownership of Danish novel families but in the early 20th century the state took ownership of the palace. At that time the palace was restored until it was given to (the later) King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid. Queen Ingrid loved Gråsten Palace until she died in 2000.
Today it is the Summer residence of Queen Margrethe II.
The Palace Chapel is the only building that remains from the 17th century Baroque palace built by Count Frederik Ahlefeldt. It has a grand altarpiece and approx. 80 paintings. The gardens at Gråsten are in English style with roses and perennials.
Visit Gråsten Palace
The Palace gardens and chapel are open to visitors when Queen Margrethe II is not in residence.
Visit the website →
Just outside Copenhagen stands The Hermitage. This is King Christian VI’s hunting lodge surrounded by a UNESCO landscape. The Hermitage Hunting Lodge was built in the 1730s. Here, King Christian VI could privately dine with his guests. One of the unique features of The Hermitage is the dining table which could rise from the floor into the dining hall. No servants were needed to bring the plates.
Today The Hermitage is still used by the Royal family during their hunts. The rising dining table is sadly no longer there.
Visit The Hermitage Hunting Lodge
The Hermitage can be visited through guided tour. At the moment these are only in Danish.
The Spring and Autumn residence of the Royal family. The Palace was built in 1719 as a hunting seat for King Frederik IV. Over the years the palace has been extended multiple times. King Christian IX and Queen Louise used the Palace for longer periods. Their daughters and sons-in-law represented Royal families all over Europe. And they came together at Fredensborg Palace.
Queen Margrethe II uses the Palace in the Spring and Autumn months. It is also often used for official events of the Royal family, for example, the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.
There is a large collection of sculptures in the gardens of Fredensborg Palace. Most of these sculptures are by the Nordic neo-classical sculptor, J. Wiedewelt. There are also 68 sandstone figures of Norwegian and Faroese farmers and fishermen in the garden. These were carved by the sculptor J.G. Grund and re-carved in the 1900s.
Fun fact: During state visits, the heads of state scratch their name on a pane of glass with a diamond.
Visit Fredensborg Palace
The Palace and Private Garden are open in July through Guided Tour (in English and Danish).
The Palace Gardens, The Baroque Gardens and The Valley of the Norsemen are open all year around.
The 17th century palace stands atop Frederiksberg Hill in the Copenhagen district of Frederiksberg. The palace was built by King Frederik IV. He got inspired by his travels through Europe and particularly by Italian architecture.
The Baroque palace was used as a Summer residence by King Frederik IV. But King Christian VI lived here permanently until Christiansborg Palace was completed. In the mid 19th century the Royal Danish Army Officers Academy moved into the Palace.
There are two romantic gardens around Frederiksberg Palace: The Palace Garden and Søndermarken. The gardens have lakes, canals, and a Chinese Pavilion.
Visit Frederiksberg Palace
The Palace can be visited through a guided tour on the last Saturday of the month.
The Palace Gardens are open to visitors daily
A proposal was made in 1897 to gift Prince Christian (later King Christian X) and Princess Alexandrine a summerhouse in Jutland after their wedding. The city council in Aarhus offered parts of the Marselisborg’s land for the new summer residence of the crown princely couple. It was a “gift from the people” meaning that funds for the new palace came from individual donations from the people of Denmark.
The Marselisborg was built between 1899-1902 with an English-style garden surrounding the palace. It is currently the Summer residence of Queen Margrethe II.
Visit Marselisborg Palace
The Palace is not open to visitors. But the Palace Gardens are open when the family is not in residence.
The Baroque chateau-style castle was owned by the Schack family for 300 years before it came into the hands of the Royal family. Since 1993 Schackenborg has been the residence of Prince Joachim. He lived here with his first wife Alexandra and later with his second wife Marie until 2014.
Currently the house is no longer owned by the Royal family. But the Royal connection is still present.
Visit Schackenborg Castle
The castle can be visited through guided tour and the gardens are also open for visitors. The castle also offers events and a lunchroom.
The Sorgenfri estate was acquired by King Christian VI in 1730. His son (the later King Frederik V) used the palace as his summer residence. The current Baroque palace was built in 1759 and extended in the 1790s.
King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine also used Sorgenfri as their Summer residence. Later it was rented out to other members of the Royal family.
Visit Sorgenfri Palace
The Palace is not open to visitors. But the surrounding park is open for visitors.
Former Royal Castles and Palaces in Denmark
There are also castles and palaces in Denmark with a Royal past, but that have now no more links to the Royal family. But these palaces and castles are still worthy of a visit.
For centuries Koldinghus was the most important Royal castle in Denmark. The castle was founded in the 13th century and over the centuries it has been a fortress, royal residence, and a museum.
Today the castle is a museum with a collection of furniture from the 16th century to the present, Roman and Gothic church culture, and older Danish paintings. The castle also hosts international exhibitions
The castle is open daily (10-17)
The Medieval Nyborg Castle has an important role in Danish history. King Eric V Kipping signed Denmark’s first constitution in 1282 at the castle.
During the Dano-Swedish war in 1657-58, the castle was severely damaged. Therefore most of the castle was torn down (with the stone being used for Odense Palace). Only the buildings holding grain and gunpowder are still standing. In the 20th century, the castle became a museum.
Visit Nyborg Castle
The castle is currently being restored. It will open again in 2023
Roskilde Royal Mansion
King Christian VI commissioned the building of a new palace in Roskilde. This palace was used by the Royal family when they traveled through the city or had to visit the Roskilde Cathedral.
During the English siege of Copenhagen was Roskilde Mansion the headquarters of General Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington). The mansion is now a Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Neoclassical mansion was acquired by King Christian V in 1682. He gave the mansion to his half-brother Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve. In 1766 the Neoclassical main wing was added to the house. The Gyldenløve family owned the mansion until 1794.
Today Skjoldenæsholm Castle is a hotel and conference center. The Danish film “Festen” (The Celebration) was filmed at Skjoldenæsholm.
The beginning of the castle starts with Valdemar the Great, who built a fortified tower. From 1350 the castle was expanded, turning it into the country’s strongest fortress.
King Christian II was held as a prisoner of state for seventeen years at the castle. In the mid 16th century, the castle was converted into a four-wing building by Christian III. But in the 18th century, the castle was rebuilt in the Baroque style.
The castle has been a museum since the early 20th century. The rooms show modern exhibitions about the turbulent history of Southern Jutland and the border country, the Danish King Christian II’s imprisonment at the castle, the Danish defeat in 1864, and the many Danes participating in World War I on the German side before the Reunification in 1920.
The 17th century manor house was built by King Christian IV. He built the mansion for his son Valdemar Christian. Unfortunately, Valdemar was killed during a battle in Poland and he never lived here.
The estate was gived to Admiral Niels Juel after his victory over Sweden in the Battle of Køge.
The castle is open to visitors on selected days.
The former Royal palace is named after King Frederick V’s second wife Juliana Maria. The palace was mainly used as a pleasure and hunting palace. In 1758 the palace was bought by Count Adam Gottlob Moltke, who redesigned the palace into a Louis XVI-style mansion.
Clausholm is one of the finest Baroque castles in Denmark. It was built in the 1690s by the Grand Chancellor Count Conrad Reventlow. Over the years the castle has always been restored with care for the original architecture. Therefore you can now visit an authentic Baroque castle with many original features.
The Royal connection: Anna Sophie Reventlow was abducted by the amorous King Frederick IV from Clausholm Castle. Sophie became the Queen of Denmark, but when the King died in 1730 she returned to Clausholm.
Visit Clausholm Castle
In the Summer the Castle and gardens are open to visitors by guided tour.
The 18th century palace was built for Foreign Minister Johann Hartwig Ernst von Bernstorff. In 1842 it was bought by King Christian VIII and giving it the “palace” status. But it was King Christian IX who used Bernstorff as his summer residence. The palace is one of the earliest Neoclassical buildings in Denmark.
A romantic landscape style garden surrounds the palace. And the grounds include a “Swedish villa”
Today Bernstorff Palace is a hotel and conference center.
The estate has been owned by the Crown (on and off) since the 13th century. King Frederick IV used the castle as a summer residence. But in 1703 he gave it to his younger brother Prince Charles of Denmark who extensively renovated the castle.
In the mid 19th century King Fredrick VII acquired the castle for himself and his wife Countess Danner. Their marriage caused a stir in Danish social life and they used Jægerspris as their private retreat. After his death, Louise (Countess Danner) stayed here and opened the castle as a historic house museum.
She also founded the Frederick VII’s Foundation for Poor Women from the Working Class. In the house today you can also see an exhibit about the orphanage that was founded at the castle.
Visit Jægerspris Castle
The castle is still a historic house museum. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday.
This former Royal residence was bought by Queen Charlotte Amalie in 1690. Afterwhich it got the name Dronninglund (meaning Queen Grove).
Today the castle is a hotel and conference center
A Palace named after Princess Charlotte Amalie who built the original Baroque palace. It was extended and remodeled in the 1880s for King Frederik VIII. Christian X of Denmark and Haakon VII of Norway were both born in this palace.
Since 1935 it is no longer owned by the Royal family. It is now an event and conference center.
In 1708 the castle was acquired by King Frederick IV who gave it to his wife Anne Sophie Reventlow. And in 1731 Christian VI gave the castle to his wife Queen Sophia Magdelene. She founded the “Noble Vallø Foundation for Unmarried Daughters”.
Today the mansion is still owned by the Vallø Foundation. And it is now the home of unmarried, widowed, or divorced women of noble descent.
The castle itself is not open to visiters, but you can view it from the courtyard. The surrounding park is also open to visitors.
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