Copenhagen, Denmark

I like palaces!

Denmark is a monarchy and has a collection of palaces, some are still inhabited and others have been turned into museums.

The major inhabited palaces in Copenhagen that are occupied by members of the Danish royal family is the complex around Amalienborg square. There are 4 palaces, one is the residence of the Queen and her husband, another is the residence of the Crown Prince and Princess. One palace has a series of apartments which are used by the Queen's sisters when they are in town and her second son. There's also a museum that is open to the public in one of the palaces and another is used to house official guests and for official functions.

This is the official residence in Copenhagen of the Crown Prince and Princess, called Frederik VIII's palace. It was extensively renovated after they were married and it took a few years before they occupied it.

Whilst in Amalienborg square I saw this rather cute sight. These bikes are common in Denmark to ferry young children around, these I think were going to a nearby kindergarten, there's one just behind the palaces.

About 45 minutes from Copenhagen is Fredensborg Palace, it's used by the Queen in autumn and spring. It wasn't open to the public when I visited in June, but it does open for guided tours in July and August when the royals aren't around. The palace is also used to entertain foreign guests, there's a tradition that the important guest carves their name into a glass window pane. (It's done with a diamond tip pencil, in the old days the diamond came from a lady's jewellery!)

Fredensborg palace is made up of a series of buildings, you can wander around to a certain point before you arrive at no-go zones.

The palace is surrounded by beautiful parks which are open all year round, I loved this avenue of trees!

To get to the palace you walk through the small town (village? It's not very big!) of Fredensborg, which is very pretty.

Further away from Copenhagen is Frederiksborg Castle, it's in the town of Hillerod. This isn't used by the royals anyone and is a museum, well worth making the trip out to Hillerod to see it as it has the most wonderful baroque garden. I also visited Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, it's also a museum, and interesting as that's where the Danish royal jewels are kept. But I preferred Frederiksborg Castle for its location and gardens.

To travel to Fredensborg and Frederiksborg I just used public transport, I caught the train. I had bought a Copenhagen card, and the entrance fee to Frederiksborg was included, but more importantly the cost of public transport was also included. Very useful in Copenhagen where I hopped on and off buses without worrying about how to pay!

Not a palace, something I just stumbled across and really liked.

A flower map of Europe! I particularly liked that Iceland was included, generally maps of Europe don't have Iceland. Denmark has a strong connection to Iceland as they were in a personal union until 1944, when Iceland declared its independence and became a republic. Many Icelandic students come to Denmark to do their university study.