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Viking Museums

My husband and I will be heading to Copenhagen in June. We're going to have 4 1/2 days in Copenhagen and 2 days in Oslo. while we are in Copenhagen we are planning on taking 1 day to visit a few sites outside of the city. I am considering 2 options:

  1. The Zealand Blitz as Rick describes it: Roskilde Cathedral, Viking Ship Museum and Fredericksborg Castle or
  2. Fredericksborg Castle and Kronberg Castle

I am leaning toward the Zealnd Blitz as the Roskilde Cathedral looks pretty nice.

While we are in Oslo we will have a chance to visit the Viking Museum there. I see it gets 2 stars vs the 3 stars the one in Roskilde gets.

For those who have visited all of the above, would you recommend option 1 or Option 2? If we do the Viking Museum in Roskilde should we skip the one in Oslo and see something else instead since we'll just have 2 days there?


Posted by
1418 posts

I didn't get to Fredericksborg or Kronberg when I was in Copenhagen, so I won't comment except to say I really loved seeing Roskilde Cathedral.

I have been to the Viking Museums in both Roskilde and Oslo. The Roskilde museum is a much better museum, but the ships in Oslo are better preserved. I think you could spend more time at the museum in Roskilde because the exhibits are more compelling.

When you're in Oslo, if you take the ferry to Bygdøy, you should certainly see the Viking Ship Museum as well as the other museums there, but with two days, I wouldn't push myself too hard to make that happen.

Posted by
16847 posts

I enjoyed all of those things and do not believe that it's possible to overdose on Viking Ships. I would leave off Kronborg Castle, remembering that Rick says it's "most impressive from the outside." (I went primarily for its "tenuous connection to Hamlet" and a nice youth hostel on the beach.)

Posted by
971 posts

I have visited all place at some point and without knowing much abut your interests, its hard to recommend one over the other.
regarding the Viking ships, I think Lane is spot on, Roskilde has the best museum, but the ships in Oslo are better preserved. Visit both.

I have always liked Kronborg more than Frederiksborg (note the spelling), because Kronborg has a bigger historical significance. Frederiksborg is just a palace (a very pretty one) whereas Kronborg has had a big military and strategic role during it's history. It's also steeped in legend. Besides the tenuoes connection with Hamlet, it's also home to Holger Danske, the legendary viking giant, who will awaken from his slumber when Denmark is in trouble.
Helsingør town is also quite interesting in itself, with a nice old town area and the highly acclaimed new maritime museum
On the other hand both Roskilde and Hillerød are fairly dull, modern towns.

You can plan your day trips with public transport on The Copenhagen Card could also be a good deal, since it includes travel on public transport, which can be quite expensive if you only buy single, one way tickets.

Posted by
3146 posts

Buy the 72 hour Copenhagen card and take 2 days for day trips outside the city: Roskilde 1 day and then another full day for the other 2. That leaves 2+ days for Copenhagen proper, enough to see the best of Copenhagen. The Copenhagen Card only provides a discount for the Viking ship museum. It's a relief to have all the transportation included with the card, just hop on.

Posted by
1534 posts

I missed all the castles in Denmark, so I can't comment on those. But I enjoyed a day trip to Roskilde from CPH. The cathedral is really worth the trip (it is UNESCO heritage site). The viking museum is well done - it focuses on "working" ships and in June they'll have more "live action" stuff going on (ship building in progress, etc.). The restaurant is decent too. I also loved the Oslo viking museum for the much better ships and interesting and beautiful artifacts (the ships were used as burial chambers). The two museums together gave a good picture of viking times and I wouldn't have skipped either.

You didn't ask, but I really enjoyed a bike tour in Copenhagen with Bike with Mike. Splendid way to spend the day.

Posted by
4818 posts

We did a great tour that included Roskilde Cathedral, Viking Ship Museum, Fredericksborg Palace and
Kronberg Castle.

The tour company was

The tour included

Kronborg Castle in Elsinore (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Roskilde Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Frederiksborg Palace in Hillerød

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde