On Thursday, July 12th, Crystal Palace will visit Helsingör, a small town on the east coast of Denmark.
Helsingör is located on the island of Zealand and can be written in three ways, depending on where you are situated. It can be written as Helsingør (Denmark), Helsingör (Sweden) and Elsinore (English).
Those of you who were forced to read William Shakespeare at school might recognise the name Elsinore because it is the place where Kronborg Castle is located, which is the centrepiece of Hamlet.
Tickets are already on sale (over here) and cost 100 DKK (£12). They can be found here.
Helsingör will be in pre-season mode too whereas Halmstad will be on their 4-week summer break for the World Cup. At the time of writing Halmstad are 5th in Superettan after 9 games.
Getting to Helsingör
The easiest and cheapest way to get to Helsingör is with EasyJet to Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup) and from there you can take a direct train to Helsingör, which will take about 51 minutes.
For train, information visit this site: Öresundståg (it’s in English)
It is worth noting that for people in the UK, Denmark is an expensive country. Hell, for us in Sweden, Denmark is an expensive country! So if you are planning to go to both friendly games in Scandinavia I would make your base in Sweden, but I can write more about that later.
What’s to do in Denmark?
Naturally, there is too much to write about in Copenhagen itself but one thing of note is the Tivoli Gardens which is the second oldest amusement park in the world.
Tivoli is situated just outside Copenhagen Central Station, 3 stops from the airport and is worth spending a day there if you are going to be in town for a few days.
There is also Blue Planet, which is a massive aquarium situated near the airport on the east side.
On the line between Copenhagen and Helsingör is a place near Klampenborg called Bakken, which is the oldest amusement park in the world!
What’s to do in Helsingör?
The map of Helsingör above shows the three main areas of interest. In the middle of the map is the train station, which is also a harbour where boats to Helsingborg arrive and depart. The journey takes 20 minutes and they leave 3 times an hour, all through the night.
To the north-east is Kronborg Castle, where Hamlet is set and north-west of the castle is the football ground. In between the two is Öresunds Aquarium which is a small saltwater aquarium.
There aren’t as many bars as you might expect, probably 5 in total. By bars, I mean what we’d call a pub in the UK. For example, the Irish pub is listed as being only open on Friday and Saturday nights between 20.00-01.00.
So, where do people drink? As in Sweden, restaurants are where most people do their drinking so grab yourself something to eat and have a few pints.
It should be remembered that Helsingör is a very small town (or hamlet) with about 45,000 inhabitants. The town’s shops close on Wednesday’s at 12.00 and on Saturday’s at 14.00!
Why do people visit Helsingör?
People visit Helsingör for 3 reasons, well 4… One is Swedes who come over to buy cheap(er) alcohol and return to Sweden straight away. The second is people arriving by boat to travel by train into Copenhagen. The third is Shakespeare tourists visiting Kronborg Castle.
I did mention a 4th reason why people visit Helsingör and it’s a brothel! In Sweden prostitution is illegal, however, in Denmark, it isn’t. Helsingör has a brothel just outside the station called CityGirls. They have a website with their ‘menu’ and they cater for ladies and gentlemen. I know it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but when in Rome…
No, I have never visited City Girls but I know a few people who have. It is a ‘respectable’ establishment, for the most part, like you’d find in Amsterdam.
As I mentioned, Denmark is an expensive country. I wouldn’t go there to go out, though I am going to see Roger Waters in Copenhagen in August. However, I won’t be eating or drinking there. It will be in on the train and out again after the concert has finished.
The beer drinkers among you will be shocked to see that they charge about £6 for 0.4l of local beer. If you want anything exotic like a bottle of Budweiser you’ll pay a lot more.
If you decided to have a KFC fillet burger menu in Copenhagen it would set you back about £10!
But hey, it’s an experience!
Taking in both games?
For those of you who are thinking of taking in both games, I would make your base in Helsingborg (where I live), just across the water from Helsingör. I’ll be happy to meet up with any fans during your stay and show you around a little and escort you to either or both games.
Sweden is a little cheaper and you can hop on the ferry to go to the game and come back. The return trip on the ferry is about £7 and it takes 20 minutes. From Helsingborg, you can get a train directly to Halmstad, which takes 51 minutes.