How to visit Amalienborg Palace: 6 Tips from a tour guide

by Alice

Amalienborg Palace, the winter residence of the Danish royal family, stands as a symbol of Denmark’s rich history and architectural beauty. Nestled in the heart of Copenhagen, this iconic site offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the Danish monarchy. As a tour guide, I have had the privilege of guiding countless visitors through its historic halls and beautiful courtyards. Here are six essential tips to make your visit to Amalienborg Palace an unforgettable experience.

1. Plan Your Visit Ahead of Time

Denmark’s Amalienborg Palace is a popular destination, attracting tourists from around the globe. To ensure you make the most of your visit, it’s crucial to plan ahead. Begin by checking the palace’s official website for opening hours and ticket prices. The palace is generally open year-round, but hours can vary, especially during public holidays and royal events.


Booking your tickets online in advance is highly recommended. This not only helps you avoid long queues but also ensures you have a spot on one of the guided tours. These tours offer a deeper understanding of the palace’s history and significance in Denmark’s royal heritage. Additionally, consider the time of day you’ll visit. Early mornings or late afternoons are usually less crowded, allowing for a more relaxed experience.


2. Understanding the Layout of Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace is actually a complex of four identical classical palace façades around an octagonal courtyard. Each palace has its own unique history and function. The four palaces are Christian VII’s Palace (also known as Moltke’s Palace), Christian VIII’s Palace (Levetzau’s Palace), Frederick VIII’s Palace (Brockdorff’s Palace), and Christian IX’s Palace (Schack’s Palace).


Christian VII’s Palace is typically open to the public and is used for official events and receptions. Christian VIII’s Palace houses the Amalienborg Museum, which offers a fascinating insight into the lives of the Danish royal family over the centuries. Understanding the layout of these palaces helps you navigate the complex more efficiently, ensuring you don’t miss any key attractions.

3. Witness the Changing of the Guard

One of the highlights of visiting Amalienborg Palace in Denmark is witnessing the ceremonial changing of the guard. This daily ritual, performed by the Royal Life Guard, is a tradition that dates back centuries. The guard march from their barracks through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg Palace, where the change takes place at noon.

Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, as this event attracts a large crowd. The ceremony is not only a spectacle of precision and discipline but also a significant cultural experience, offering a glimpse into Denmark’s royal traditions. The guards, dressed in their distinctive uniforms and bearskin hats, provide a photo-worthy moment and an excellent introduction to Danish royal pageantry.

4. Explore the Amalienborg Museum

Located in Christian VIII’s Palace, the Amalienborg Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Denmark’s royal history. The museum features a collection of royal artifacts, including portraits, clothing, and personal items of the Danish royal family. These exhibits provide a unique insight into the daily lives, traditions, and duties of the monarchy.

The museum also offers a chronological journey through Denmark’s royal history, from the early days of the monarchy to the present. Interactive displays and multimedia presentations enhance the experience, making it engaging for visitors of all ages. Guided tours are available and highly recommended, as they provide expert commentary and deeper context to the exhibits.

5. Take a Stroll Through the Palace Gardens

While Amalienborg Palace is renowned for its grand architecture and historical significance, the surrounding gardens and public squares also deserve attention. The Amaliehaven garden, located between Amalienborg Palace and the waterfront, is a beautifully landscaped area perfect for a leisurely stroll. Designed by Belgian landscape architect Jean Delogne, the garden features fountains, sculptures, and a variety of plants, providing a tranquil retreat in the heart of Copenhagen.

Frederik’s Church, also known as the Marble Church, is another nearby landmark worth visiting. Its impressive dome and architecture offer stunning photo opportunities, and the church’s location provides a picturesque backdrop to the palace complex. Exploring these areas around Amalienborg Palace adds another layer to your understanding of Denmark’s cultural and historical landscape.

6. Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

Visiting Amalienborg Palace is not just about exploring royal history; it’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in Danish culture. Take some time to enjoy the local cuisine in nearby cafes and restaurants. Traditional Danish dishes, such as smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) and pastries, offer a delightful culinary experience.

Engage with locals and learn about contemporary Denmark. Copenhagen is known for its friendly and welcoming residents, and a casual conversation can provide insights into Danish customs and daily life. Additionally, consider exploring other nearby attractions such as the Copenhagen Opera House or the Nyhavn harbor, both of which are within walking distance of Amalienborg Palace. These experiences enrich your visit and provide a well-rounded perspective of Denmark.


A visit to Amalienborg Palace is a journey through Denmark’s royal heritage, architectural splendor, and cultural richness. By planning ahead, understanding the layout, witnessing the changing of the guard, exploring the museum, enjoying the gardens, and immersing yourself in local culture, you can make the most of your trip. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, architecture lover, or simply a curious traveler, Amalienborg Palace offers something for everyone. Embrace these tips from a tour guide to ensure your visit is both educational and enjoyable, leaving you with lasting memories of Denmark’s royal charm.



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