I think back fondly on my holiday in July 2022, of which I was reminded on my Facebook over and over again last week. Especially after two years pandemic, it was extra wonderful to finally be able to just go on a week-long trip for the first time in almost three years. Between Saturday 9 July and Saturday 16 July 2022 – eight days – I travelled through four countries: The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. I used multiple means of transport: train, bus, metro and boat. All countries have excellent public transport.
Partly I was alone, but on my way I met with a former Danish colleague in Kolding and in Copenhagen also with some foreign friends, who even joined me on a few of my visits. My travel list contained a few of the wonderful exhibitions in 2022 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary to the throne of Queen Margrethe II and the 50th birthday of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, that I didn’t want to miss. I added a list of castles and palaces that I absolutely wanted to (re)visit. Denmark is one of my favourite countries anyway.
Note: While in Germany the Euro is used, in Denmark the currency is still Danish Crowns. And Sweden uses Swedish Crowns.
I decided to travel to Denmark by train. Via Hamburg I ended up in Flensburg, Germany, close to the Danish border. A lovely harbour town, but nothing royal as far as I could see.
By bus I travelled from Flensburg to Glücksburg, just half an hour drive from Flensburg. Glücksburg Castle is one of the most beautiful castles of Germany. Once this was the residence of the Ducal House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. I very much enjoyed the castle, which is also very accessible for children. One can walk around around the lake surrounding the castle, or visit a few nearby churchyards with royal graves. After the visit I took the bus back to Flensburg, and took the train to Kolding, Denmark. The train ride is only about one and a half hour, but one should check schedules to be sure the train is running. I unfortunately only had six full days, as there was so much more royal to see. But that would certainly have taken me another week.
I visited the exhibition “Mary & Kronprinsesserne” (Mary & The Crown Princesses) at the Koldinghus Castle, just a short walk from the railway station of Kolding. Very recommendable I can tell, even without one of their regular exhibitions. In the afternoon I took the train again and continued my journey to Copenhagen.
As for now the weather was wonderful, a friend and I took the train to Helsingør, north of Copenhagen, and from there the ferry to Helsingborg, Sweden. From the ferry we had a wonderful view at Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, which was on my list later on. Just outside Helsingør we visited Sofiero Castle, a former Swedish royal summer residence, which is easily reachable by bus (do take the bus into the right direction). The castle is closed in 2023, but the gardens are lovely and one can walk around for a while. Playgrounds for children too. In the late afternoon we returned to Copenhagen.
By train the same friend and I reached Hillerød. Frederiksborg Castle had another wonderful Crown Princess Mary exhibition. The castle is rather big and it takes a while to tour it. We didn’t have enough time for the lovely garden unfortunately. Alone I just managed to get to Fredensborg Palace by train in time for the last English tour of the day. The palace is only open one month a year: July. This summer residence is still in use by the Danish royal family. After my visit I took the train back to Copenhagen.
Copenhagen is a great base for travels outside the city, but only on day three in Copenhagen I stayed in town. With friends I visited an exhibition of the jewelry of Queen Margrethe II at Amalienborg – the main residence of the Danish royal family. Afterwards lunch I continued my city day with a visit to Rosenborg Castle to see the Danish crown jewels. In the evening I strolled through the city centre and walked along the waterfront to Christiansborg Palace – which was the last palace I had visited, so I decided not to put it on my list for this visit.
The days in Denmark passed far too quickly. Time for my last trip, to Helsingør itself this time. I very much enjoyed the waterfront and Kronborg Castle itself. From the castle it was only a short walk to the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark that at that moment had a really nice exhibition about the royal yacht Dannebrog. On my way back to Copenhagen I decided to hunt for a few royal graves at Sorgenfri and Lyngby, before preparing for my trip home.
It took me only twelve hours to get back from Copenhagen to my home in Groningen, The Netherlands, with a few changes of trains. I again travelled via Hamburg, Germany.