Aarhus (also written Århus and pronounced Oar-Hoos) is the main city on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark. With a population of over 330,000, it is Denmark's second largest city and has the youngest population.
Aarhus is known as "The City of Smiles" (Danish: Smilets By). This slogan probably started as publicity to improve the city's image, but it has nevertheless caught on. "City of Cafés" is another moniker the city wears with pride: its roster of coffeeshops exemplifies Aarhus' elegant mix of cosmopolitan city life and quaint small-town charm.
Being a university city and centre of education, Aarhus has a large student population and one of the lowest median ages of any city in Europe. The cultural scene here is always thriving: for a long time, Aarhus has been an incubator for Danish artists and performers, and it's also home to Aarhus Festuge, Scandinavia's largest cultural festival, held annually for 10 days at the end of August. But that's not the only thing that's on the rise: Aarhus, along with the East Jutland Metropolitan area for which it serves as the central hub, is the fastest-growing area in Denmark in terms of population, with a huge building boom underway and new high-rises sprouting like mushrooms on the skyline. Little wonder, then, that Aarhus was selected as 2017's European Capital of Culture, with a full slate of events on tap all year throughout the entire city and region. In late July early August 2018, Aarhus is host to the Sailing World Championships.
Aarhus City is the central district and the most active area of the city with several interesting and special neighbourhoods, including these:
- Indre by (Inner City) is the old medieval core of the city which used to be walled and gated up until 1857. A large part of the inner city is pedestrianized. The Latin Quarter is a small special quarter with cobblestone streets, low-rise buildings and old townhouses that has been preserved.
- Vesterbro, situated north and west of Indre by, is mostly a residential area. However, you'll find several major attractions including the Botanical Gardens, the Old Town museum and the main university campus.
- Øgade-kvarteret is a residential quarter immediately northwest of the Latin Quarter and also presents a unique town environment with lowrise buildings and colourful townhouses, mostly from around the 1850s-1920s. All the streets of the quarter are named after Danish islands.
- Aarhus Ø is a new residential neighbourhood on the harbourfront.
- Trøjborg is located north of the inner city that is like a small town within the city. The area was developed in the early 1900s with mostly four- or five-storey apartment blocks in brick. It used to be a working class neighbourhood. It is a somewhat quiet residential quarter but also includes a central shopping street with restaurants and a cinema.
- Frederiksbjerg is another quarter with its own charm and character. Located immediately south of the broad railway yard in the city centre, this area was developed primarily in the late 1800s and most of the original buildings have been preserved. It is a lovely mix of bustling street life, restaurants, specialty shops, small businesses and residential areas, mostly low-rise buildings and townhouses, with several small parks in between.
Aarhus Nord (Aarhus North) is a large postal district made up of the northern parts of the city. It is made up mostly of quiet residential neighbourhoods, but also has attractions such as the Risskov urban forest, Egå Engsø lake area, and some beach parks. The district also has several educational institutions, a large business park, an industrial park with light industry, and a huge regional hospital. Some of the neighbourhoods in Aarhus N, like Skejby and Vejlby, are former suburban medieval villages that have merged with the city.
Aarhus Vest (Aarhus West) is perhaps the largest postal district and includes all the western neighbourhoods of the city. Most of it is residential areas of more recent development, but some neighbourhoods, like Åby and Hasle, are former suburban villages or outlying farms that have merged with the city. There are several natural attractions in this large area, including the Brabrand Lake area and the nature site of Skjoldhøjkilen, and many opportunities for sports.
Viby and Højbjerg
Viby (officially Viby J, with J for Jutland) is a former railway town that has merged with the expanding city. It is sometimes unofficially referred to as Aarhus S (Aarhus South) along with Højbjerg, Skåde and Holme, three adjacent districts and neighbourhoods. There is some activity around the central square of Viby Torv, but otherwise these southern parts of town are predominantly residential. Marselisborg Forests and the Moesgaard Museum are the two most important attractions here.
When to go
As the seasons change, the character of Aarhus changes accordingly. In winter, outdoor activities are limited and this is primarily a time for the indoors. It is unusual for everything to be covered in metre- thick layers of snow and the temperatures are not excruciating cold normally, but daylight hours are limited, the trees stand bare, and the skies are often depressingly grey. The city is still full of people but the outdoor street life is uninspiring for most visitors, except for the Christmas period of December. The city centre is decorated, and as Christmas approaches, more street vendors sell sweet treats and comfort food like æbleskiver, pancakes, mulled wine, and sugar-glazed almonds.
Starting in Apr-May and ending with Oct-Nov, the city has more to offer. The beech trees burst into leaves around the first of May. Daylight hours and temperatures increase rapidly throughout this month. Having waited for this, citizens are quick to fill the parks and green spaces; street life shows much more intensity and diversity, and several outdoor events take place. However, Aarhus, as the rest of Denmark, is almost closed down with empty streets during Easter.
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Major attractions in Aarhus are open throughout the summer, but quite a few restaurants are closed for several weeks, though not all at once; there are still plenty of opportunities. However, if you plan to visit a specific eatery, confirm their hours beforehand. In July and August, many residents leave the city or travel abroad. University students have time off from their studies and many visit family in other cities, work elsewhere, or travel. Working people have five weeks of paid vacation and nearly everybody spends some of it during this season. For these reasons, the city centre can appear deserted in mid-July to early August and chances are that you will encounter more visitors than residents. It would therefore be a good idea to combine a visit to Aarhus with excursions to nearby countryside and attractions in the height of summer. From mid-August, things start to happen again in the city as residents return. It is still summer and soon time for the annual Aarhus Fest.
Through September the temperatures begin to cool and it gets windier, but there are still many daylight hours in the day and the weather is usually fine. From October the leaves on the trees start to turn yellow and red, and any trace of summer ends with the onset of November. September and October are also a good time to visit if you want to include outdoor and nature experiences to your trip, just bring more warm clothing. October and parts of November is a particularly beautiful time of year in the city parks and forests with all the vibrant colours of autumn.
Many Danes can be reserved towards strangers, but friendly towards tourists, and will normally be happy to give you directions and advice in good English. As Aarhus is a big city, it will hardly be a problem getting help or directions in near-fluent English.
- 1 Aarhus Central Station. Trains run once or twice an hour from Copenhagen (København) to Aarhus and take about four hours. The adult fare is kr 309-388, with an additional kr 30 to reserve a seat (July 2017). 50% discounts are available for persons 25 years old or younger (if buying a WildCard), or older than 65 years. Discounts can also be obtained by buying Orange Tickets some weeks in advance. Details on DSB's homepage.
It is also possible to catch a train to any other part of the Jutland peninsula, though connections are usually bad. Trains from Hamburg arrive several times a day, but they are expensive (€50-86 one way, July 2017). Nevertheless, if you book about two months before travelling, you can buy one of the few tickets for €30 (called "Europa-Sparpreis"). For more information check out the website of the German national railway company DB
Tickets used in trains are also usable in buses, and if you are travelling from Copenhagen, you can use your ticket for the rest of the day to get around Aarhus at no extra expense.
Buses have become an attractive way of travelling between Aarhus and Copenhagen, due to their significantly lower prices. An inter-city bus takes roughly an hour longer than an equivalent express train, but the fares are typically between 40% (standard tickets) and 90% (the cheapest Saver tickets) lower than full-price train tickets.
- Rute 1000. To Esbjerg, Kolding, København, Vejen, Vejle.
- Abildskou. From Copenhagen (Valby Station), Copenhagen Airport, Hamburg Airport and Berlin.
- Rødbillet. To and from Copenhagen (next to the Central Station), and several other Danish cities.
- Eurolines. To Hamburg, from where you can continue to any other European city.
- 2 Aarhus Airport. Aarhus airport is served by major European airlines. Flights from London Stansted Airport are offered also by the low-cost airline Ryanair. Approximately a 45-minute bus-ride away. X925 Airport buses arrive and depart from Banegårdspladsen immediately in front of the main railway station: a one-way ticket costs kr 100. Tickets are sold on the bus. Accepted currencies are Danish kroner, US dollars, pounds sterling and euro. Major credit cards are also accepted.
- 3 Billund Airport (BLL IATA). This airport offers many flight connections and is approximately a 90-minute bus-ride away. Airport buses arrive and leave from Radisson SAS Hotel, a one-way ticket costs kr 180. Tickets are sold on the bus. Accepted currencies are Danish kroner and euro. Credit cards are accepted.
The entire city is clean and well organized, which makes walking an excellent and enjoyable way to get around. The inner city has an extensive pedestrian zone, and almost every town road in Denmark has sidewalks. If you want to venture further out, several routes have been established for exercise and for leisurely strolls. Known as "sunbeams", they avoid heavily trafficked roads and includes nature experiences.
Rent a bike in Bikes4Rent or better yet, borrow a free City Bike, available at about 50 spots around the city (check the link to see a map). Insert a kr 20 coin and when you park the bike at another "bike station", you get it back. City Bikes are available from 1 April to 30 October. If you choose to bike after dark, bring your own bicycle lights; it is illegal to ride without them and you could get fined by the police if you forget.
Bike taxi services have been popping up in the inner city. Only a few bike taxis are active, so you should not expect to pick one up at every street corner. Bike taxis can usually be found at Lille Torv in the pedestrian zone near the Latin Quarter, mostly on weekend nights. They have room for two passengers and prices are comparable to taxi cabs.
Even though Denmark is very flat generally, be aware that Aarhus has some of the steepest roads in the country and they can be quite a challenge if you aren't used to ride a bicycle. However, most roads are a breeze and on longer rides, you can usually plan your route to avoid the steepest ascends if you fear the "Aarhusian Alps".
There are two bus systems in Aarhus, both operated by Midttrafik. Yellow buses serve local routes within the city limits, and Blue buses serve municipal and regional routes. The blue bus routes pass through the inner city, so if you have to go on longer journeys, you do not have to change between the two systems. X-buses are express blue buses, discernible by a large X sign. X-buses make fewer stops, are equipped with free Wifi, usually have toilets and you are allowed to eat and drink. All blue buses have limited cargo space for heavy luggage, bicycles, etc., that you can use if you inform the chauffeur.
Tickets bought on blue buses (and trains) can also be used to ride the local yellow buses, but not necessarily the other way around. On the yellow buses you have to buy a ticket at vending machines inside the bus or you risk getting fined heavily. Bus tickets for travel within the city limits are kr 20, or kr 10 if you are under 16 years of age. Tickets are also available in 10-trip tickets, that vary in price depending on how far you want to go (kr 120-220). Cheaper cards are also available for people under 16 years old. Finally there are tickets that allow you to ride all you want for 30 days, with prices depending on how far you wish to travel. For planning bus trips, it is recommended to use the official travel planner website for all Danish public transport: Rejseplanen.
You can also buy a cheap AttractionPASS which covers all bus transport within the city and entry fees for all the museums.
Night buses are extra buses and routes to and from the outlying districts and suburbs throughout the night. The fare is double the normal price.
In all of Denmark, train tickets can also be used to ride local bus lines, if you get on the bus within the time limit on your ticket.
By light rail
The electric light rail system "Aarhus Letbane" opened its first line in late 2017. The system is the first light rail in Denmark and will expand across the city and into the suburbs. Tickets for the light rail is fully compatible with the local yellow bus system and vice versa. Bicycles can be brought along on the light rail.
- Airporttaxi. Book and pay for your taxi online. 10% savings.
- Aarhus Taxa, ☎ .
- Dantaxi Aarhus, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many attractions and events in Aarhus are free, and there is an interesting street life, so even on a budget you can have an enjoyable experience.
With a history dating back to at least the 700s in the Viking Age, Aarhus holds many historic buildings, some of which are of national importance.
- 1 Aarhus Viking Museum, Skt. Clemens Torv 6, ☎ . M-W F 10:00-16:00, Th 10:00-17:00. Small Viking museum located across from the cathedral in the basement of the Nordea Bank. The museum focuses on local history during the Viking Age and most of the displayed items were excavated on site. If you are interested in Viking Age history in general, visit the large Moesgaard Museum (MoMu) south of the city. Free.
- Museum Aarhus. A permanent exhibition within the Old Town Museum opened in spring 2017. The museum displays Aarhus' history with a focus on the last 150 years, the period when it expanded from a small provincial port town to its current status of second-largest city.
- 2 Aarhus Domkirke (Aarhus Cathedral), Domkirkepladsen 2, ☎ . Daily May-Sep 09:30-16:00; Oct-Apr 10:00-15:00. The beautiful cathedral is more than 800 years old, and the longest and the tallest in Denmark. It took 100 years to build and it is the oldest building in the city, still standing. Concerts are sometimes arranged and the tower offers a good view. Behind the church is Aarhus Cathedral School, also with an 800-year history. Free (a fee for the tower).
- 3 Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), Vestergade 21, ☎ . Medieval church with an interesting crypt church in the basement. The crypt church, built around 1060, is one of the oldest stone churches in Scandinavia. Through a door on the left inside the main church you can enter a former priory with an atrium garden. Free.
Apart from the old churches, the Latin Quarter in the city center has many historic houses in a preserved environment, just walk around the cobblestoned streets and have a look. There are many niche boutiques, cafés and restaurants.
Several professional guides arrange historic walks around town.
There are a lot of museums around Aarhus, and Denmark in general, but many of them are not museums in the ordinary sense, more like themed and interactive cultural centres. The three main museums in Aarhus are The Old Town museum, ARoS Art Museum and Moesgaard Museum.
- 4 ARoS (Aarhus Art Museum), Aros Allé 2, ☎ . Tu Th-Su 10:00-17:00; W 10:00-22:00. One of Denmark’s largest museums. Be sure to check out the '9 Spaces', a maze of black-walled galleries. A work by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, "Your Rainbow Panorama", offers a splendid roof-top view of the city inside a circular walkway with rainbow-coloured windows. There is a café with dining options in the lounge area at the entrance and a celebrated high-end gourmet restaurant by the name ARoS Food Hall at the top floor of the museum. kr 120, free for those under 18.
- 5 Den Gamle By (The Old Town), Viborgvej 2, ☎ . Open-air museum village comprising a collection of 75 original Danish buildings from 1597 to 1909 gathered from all corners of the country. There are historical shops and eateries, most true to the period. A few staff members and volunteers dressed up in historic clothes adds to the ambience, and sometimes events are arranged. You can buy a round-trip horse and carriage ride through the museum's cobblestone streets or through the outside park. A new addition to the complex that's nearing completion showcases town culture and buildings from the 20th century, including a bakery, several stores, a poster museum and a jazz club. As well, for the European Capital of Culture celebration in 2017 the museum inaugurated new permanent exhibitions focusing on local history and classic Danish jewellery from the 20th century. Be sure to also spend some time in the large surrounding Botanical Garden and the new Greenhouses. kr 135, Botanical Garden and Greenhouses free.
- 6 Kunsthal Aarhus, J.M. Mørks Gade 13 (Go to Mølleparken. Kunsthal Aarhus is located across the river.), ☎ . Tu Th-Su 10:00-17:00; W 10:00-21:00. An arts centre promoting contemporary art. Built in 1917, it is one of the oldest arts centres in Europe. Nice café. Free.
- 7 Kvindemuseet (Women's Museum), Domkirkepladsen 5 (In the old former Town Hall next to the Cathedral.), ☎ . Tu Th-Su 10:00-17:00; W 10:00-20:00. Residing in the old City Hall building beside the Aarhus Cathedral, this place focuses on the importance of gender in the past and today. The Women's Museum presents changing exhibitions on the cultural history of gender and possess a fair collection of historical stuff related to women. You can look through or buy publications on former exhibitions that you missed or general books related to the role of gender. Some titles are in English. The Women's Museum has a nice old-fashioned decorated café and on Sundays, lunch is included in the entry fee. kr 40.
- 8 Moesgaard Museum, Moesgård Allé 20, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00; W till 21:00. Stupendous architecture: a vast prism of a building half-buried in a grassy hill. The central staircase provides an innovative route into human evolution and prehistory. The museum hosts large changing themed exhibitions from cultures around the world but is also a fantastic place to study Danish prehistory in particular. The main permanent attractions in this regard are an artificial reconstruction of a large nearby Bronze Age roundbarrow that you can walk inside and two finds from the Nordic Iron Age: Grauballe Man, the only completely preserved bog body, and the impressive sacrifice of weapons from Illerup Ådal. The museum re-opened in the new building in October 2014. Excellent museum restaurant and café. The large historical landscape below the museum is also worth a visit, and is free and accessible year round. kr 130 (adults), kr 110 (students and over-65), free for children 17 and under.
- 9 Museum of Ancient Art (Antikmuseet), Victor Albecks Vej 3, ☎ . Su-Th 12:00-16:00. Operated by Aarhus University, the focus of the Museum of Ancient Art's collection falls on Classical-era artworks and artifacts from Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near East, and elsewhere in the Mediterranean area. Their collection of Ancient Greek coins is one of the largest in Europe. Free.
- 10 Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisk Museum), Wilhelm Meyers Allé 210, ☎ . Daily 10:00-16:00; closed Dec 25-26 and Dec 31-Jan 1. Another museum brought to you by Aarhus University, the Natural History Museum's four fully wheelchair-accessible exhibition halls educate visitors on over 5,000 different animal species hailing from all over the world, displayed in reproductions of their natural habitats. kr 75, free for those under 18.
- 11 Steno Museum (Steno Museet), C. F. Møllers Allé 2, ☎ . Tu-F 09:00-16:00 (opens at 10:00 Jun-Aug), Sa Su & public holidays 11:00-16:00. A science museum with a focus on medicine and astronomy, with a diversity of exhibits including (among many others) a planetarium, a medicinal herb garden, a Foucault's pendulum, and historic artifacts such as old X-ray machines and surgical equipment. Lots of engaging and interactive exhibits here for both young and old. There's an onsite café serving light lunches, and a gift shop with cool educational toys for kids: chemistry sets, crystal-growing kits, star charts, etc. kr 30, free for those under 18.
- 12 Museum Ovartaci, Skovagervej 2 (Indgang 66) (Immediately North of Riss Skov forest. Take a stroll through the forest or hop on local yellow bus 12 or 17.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 10:00-16:00, Sa Su 12:00-16:00. Situated in a section of a large former psychiatric hospital, this museum comprise both a museum of the history of psychiatry in Denmark and an arts museum. The hospital was in use from 1852 till 2016 and the arts museum exhibits artworks created by patients at the hospital, with a special focus on Ovartaci, a transgender mental patient who lived here for 56 years until his/her death in 1985. You can visit the museum on your own every day of the week or attend guided tours on the first Saturday of every month (September to June) from 12:00-14:00 hours. The guided tours take 1 hour and 45 minutes and have a limited number of tickets. You are expected to reserve a place in advance, at the latest before 12:00 the Thursday prior to your visit. There is a museum shop offering art books, posters and postcards and also a café. The café is closed Saturdays and Sundays and does not accept credit cards.
The old psychiatric hospital is a notable building in itself and there is a very nice park towards the nearby coast with a great view across the Bay of Aarhus. A stroll through Riis Skov forest or a bike trip along the coast to reach the hospital is highly recommended. If you visit in the summer, also bring your bathing suit and towels; there is a small beach park below the park area. kr 50 (kr 100 for guided tours).
Aarhus Cathedral and the smaller Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), from early medieval times and in the city centre, draw many visitors, but Denmark is also known for its diversity of modern church architecture. There are several modern architecture churches in the outer districts of the city. Ravnsbjerg Kirken (Ravens-hill Church) in Viby is a monumental modernist church in red-brown brick from 1976 and with an interior clearly inspired by Norse pagan mythology. The smaller Møllevang Church near the botanical gardens is of somewhat similar inspirations. Skjoldhøj Church in the western part of town is a modern church built in 1984 in whitewashed brick. It overlooks a garden and cemetery designed by Sven Hansen who also designed the parterre garden at the concert halls. Sankt Lukas Kirken (St. Luke's Church) on Frederiksbjerg in the inner city from 1926 is a good example of neoclassical architecture with minimalistic decorations, so typical of Scandinavian design. The 35-m tower and cross is visible on most of the city's skyline. In the outer districts, many older whitewashed stone churches are former village churches, now engulfed by the expanding city.
Anyone who appreciates European architecture will find many points of interest in Aarhus, from medieval buildings to modern icons. Even though Aarhus is one of the oldest towns in Denmark, most of the inner city was erected in the 1800s and 1900s during and after the industrial revolution, and you will not find many larger structures from the 1600s and 1700s as compared to Copenhagen for example.
Modern architecture is abundant with many notable buildings such as the university campus in yellow brick, the futuristic Dokk1, the residential Isbjerget (The Iceberg) at the harbourfront, Musikhuset (the Concert Halls) and the Moesgård Museum from 2014. Notable architecture in the city also includes a bit of post-modernism, plenty Nordic functionalism and in particular historicism which is abundant. The Aarhus Cathedral begun in the 1100s is the oldest building in the city, but there are several preserved Medieval timber-framed buildings, mostly in the inner city, with the oldest dating to the 1500s.
- 13 Rådhuset (The Town Hall), Rådhuspladsen 2, ☎ . This building is considered one of the highlights of Danish architecture, designed by the famous architects Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller in cooperation with equally celebrated furniture designer Hans Wegner. Clad in grey Norwegian marble, it might appear bland to the untrained eye from the outside, but the indoor design is much more intriguing. Every Saturday from 10:00-11:30 guided tours are arranged around the interior of the building. For a fee, you can visit the clock tower and enjoy the view. There are several interesting statues around the town hall. Enjoy the dramatic bronze statue and fountain of "Agnethe og Havmanden" near the city entrance towards the Central Station. It depicts a scene from a Danish fairy tale about Agnethe who falls in love with a merman. From here you can walk through the city entrance and the Town Hall Park and observe more bronze statues and memorial stones. The park is quite lively in the summer, as people tend to flock here as soon as it gets warm enough. Don't miss the "Grisebrønden" statue (the well of the pigs) with the drooling and peeing pigs, at the Town Hall Square. You can buy good hotdogs at the Town Hall Square too.
- 14 Aarhus University (Aarhus University Campus). Designed by famous Danish architects C. F. Møller, Kaj Fisker, and C. Th. Sørensen (the latter of which designed the landscaped garden), this is another noteworthy piece of architecture. The first buildings were finished in 1933, but construction is still going on today, all adhering to a common characteristic design-code in yellow brick. Here you find the State Library, a landmark high-rise for the city, plus a cluster of museums (the Museum of Ancient Art, the Natural History Museum, and the Steno Museum) that you can read more about in the "Museums" section above. As well, the park itself is worth a visit, no matter the time of year.
- 15 Aarhus Theater (Opposite the Cathedral). If older times architecture is more your thing, you will love to study the Aarhus Theatre building inside-out. Built around the year 1900 in the Danish version of Art Nouveau (known as skønvirke), the building is crammed with architectural details from the history of theatre and the interior is even more lusciously decorated than the outside facades.
- 16 Frederiksbjerg. Historicist architecture is abundant in this neighbourhood where large scale construction of urban planned townscapes took off in 1898. Go to the square of Sankt Pauls Kirkeplads, immediately south of the central station. The square is surrounded by notable historicist apartment blocks, each with their own peculiarity. Look up, take it slow and enjoy the variety. From here, there are numerous options for the architectural walk. A stroll down Odensegade towards Ingerslevs Boulevard is a good choice.
- 17 Mejlborg. Finished in 1898, this was the first large apartment complex to be erected in Aarhus, built where the Northern city gates were demolished two decades before. Gothic Renaissance at its finest. There is no public access, but the detailed facades and metal clad onion dome can easily be enjoyed from the street. Good idea to go here by the historic street of Mejlgade and backtrack by the coastal promenade Kystvejen. Take it slow and be sure to look up, there are many more historicist waterfront buildings to experience here.
- 18 Varna Palace (Varna Palæet), Ørneredevej 3, ☎ . Another well-known architectural landmark of Aarhus, and a bit of a change of pace from the modern style that predominates over larger parts of the city, Varna Palace is a palatial Neoclassical resort pavilion designed by Eggert Achen for the Danish National Exhibition of 1909 and located in the Marselisborg Forests. It now serves as the headquarters of the local Odd Fellows Society, and there's an onsite restaurant.
Green spaces and nature
Aarhus has a few large parks and several smaller green spaces. The largest and most notable parks includes The University Park, Aarhus Botanical Gardens and The Memorial Park. The city has some nice woodlands, beaches and countryside within easy reach.
- 19 Aarhus Botanical Gardens (Botanisk Have), Peter Holms Vej, ☎ . Daily 24 hours. Founded in 1873 as a research garden for students at Aarhus University, nowadays the Botanical Gardens have been repurposed more as a pleasant outdoor space for citizens to enjoy during the warm months. However, for laypeople who may be interested in botany, there are still thousands of different species of plants on display throughout this 21-hectare expanse, all labelled in Latin and Danish. The bulk of the place is a hilly outdoor expanse of open lawns, ponds, and landscaped gardens, with tropical plants to be found in a large greenhouse complex, designed in the modernist style (of course) by the prominent architectural firm of C. F. Møller. There's a small children's playground onsite, ample facilities for picnicking, and a café in the greenhouses, serving light lunches. Free.
- 20 Aarhus University Park. The University Park at the University campus is a soothing spot of greenery in the city centre and it is open year round. It is a celebrated piece of landscape architecture with rolling hills, open lawns, large old oak trees and a couple of duck ponds. If there, be sure to visit the southern section as well, known as Vennelystparken. It is the oldest park in Aarhus, dating to 1824, and is a bit different from the main park.
- 21 Brabrand Lake (Follow the pathway along the Aarhus River from the city centre). The Brabrandstien pathway leads upstream the river all the way to the Brabrand Lake nature site in the western parts of the city. Brabrandstien is a twenty kilometre long safe and tranquil corridor of greenery perfect for hiking, cycling and rollerblading. There are several spots for picnicking and resting, and even though it doesn't feel like it, you are always close to the city and its bus lines, if you don't want to backtrack. It is not possible to bath in the lake, but you can go there by canoe from the inner city if you want some alternative action.
- 22 Den Japanske Have, Randersvej 395, ☎ . Garden May-Sep: Sa Su 11:00-16:00. Restaurant Jun-Aug: Sa Su 11:00-16:00. Located in Lisbjerg on Aarhus' northern outskirts, this is a large, authentic Japanese garden laid out in traditional chisen kaiyu style designed for promenading. There is an onsite restaurant and café (Park13). While the garden is only open for visitors in late spring and summer, larger special events, such as concerts, are occasionally arranged in the winter. Free.
- 23 Marselisborg Forests (Marselisborgskovene). A 3,700-hectare expanse of woodland stretching along the coast of Aarhus Bay south of town, Marselisborg is one of the most visited forests in Denmark. Aside from Ballehage Beach, Tivoli Friheden amusement park, and Varna Palace described elsewhere in this article, other amenities for visitors include:
- 24 Aarhus Forestry Botanical Garden (Forstbotanisk Have). Established in 1923, this arboretum at the north end of the Marselisborg Forests is small (5 ha) but packed with over 900 species of trees and bushes from all over the world. It's a pleasant place to take a load off, but it's prohibited to disturb any of the plants, and falling tree branches are a persistent danger in windy weather. Free.
- 25 Marselisborg Deer Park (Marselisborg Dyrehave). This 22-hectare enclosed section of Marselisborg serves as a low-key sort of zoo or safari park, with a few species of native woodland animals such as deer and wild boars dwelling peacefully in the hilly, not especially thickly-forested environs. The deer park is open from dawn to dusk year round, but for safety's sake it's best to avoid visiting during mating season in the autumn (Sep-Nov), and in the early summer when the does are nursing their calves (June-July).
- A trio of preserved historic water mills dating from the 16th, 17th, and the 18th centuries hearken back to the time when this land was a series of tenant farms owned by the barons of Moesgaard Manor. 26 Silistria, a former grain mill, is now the clubhouse of OK Pan Århus, Denmark's longest-running orienteering club. Skovmøllen, the oldest of the three, has again been a working mill since 2000, and also a restaurant. 27 Thors Mølle, an old powder mill, has served guests since the 1700s and is now exclusively a restaurant.
- 28 Moesgaard. A southern part of the Marselisborg Forests, Moesgaard contains a marked history trail running from the Moesgaard Museum (q.v.) right down to the beach, with reconstructed Stone, Iron, and Viking Age houses and tombs, runestones, etc. If history isn't your thing, just enjoy the beautiful and varied nature of this place; in the spring and summer, it is worth a visit just for that. If you want to eat or drink, start your tour with a meal at the excellent Aarhus Golf Club restaurant near the museum, drop in later on at the old watermill of Skovmøllen in the woods or bring your own supplies and have a picnic lunch at the Moesgaard Beach. Free.
- 29 Mindeparken (Marselisborg Mindepark, Memorial Park). This memorial park offers a panoramic view of the Bay of Aarhus. Many larger events are held here and when the weather permits, citizens flock to relax in the park area. The park is centred around an extensive lawn but has several interesting sections of different designs, including a grove of Japanese cherry trees and a flower and sculpture garden. It also contains the largest World War I memorial in the country, commemorating 4,000 dead Danish soldiers. Free.
- 30 Riis Skov. Presented to the citizens of Aarhus in 1395 by Queen Margaret I, Riis Skov is the oldest public forest in Denmark. It is a very popular (and semiwild) green getaway from the bustle of the city, on the waterfront just a short distance northeast of the city centre, next to the charming neighborhood of Trøjborg. At Riis Skov you can have a barbecue on the beach (just bring coal and food); swim, play or soak up some sun at the baths of Den Permanente; or enjoy some upscale dining in a traditional Danish setting at Sjette Federiks Kro.
- 31 Dokk1 (Dock-one, Dokken, Urban Media Space), Hack Kampmanns Plads 2, ☎ . M-F 08:00-22:00; Sa Su 10:00-16:00. This large state-of-the-art public library and culture centre at the harbourfront is the largest public library in northern Europe, and is designed as a public meeting place for all kinds of activities. Enjoy the peculiar and futuristic architecture or engage in the library's many activities. Guided tours are arranged at regular intervals. Good café and an interesting four-section outside playground (adults may try the slides too). There is a specialized toddlers' play section inside. Large subterranean robotic car park below the building. Great for kids and adults alike. The whole building is accessible to people who use wheelchairs. Free.
- 32 Marselisborg Palace (Marselisborg Slot), Kongevejen 100, ☎ . This small summer residence of the Queen of Denmark is situated just west of Mindeparken. The surrounding garden-park is fenced, but open to the public when the Queen is not in residence. It is dotted with sculptures from the private art collection of Prince Consort Henrik, the Queen's husband.
For a city its size, Aarhus offers a multitude of things for visitors to do. Public events are generally oriented for folks of all ages and budgets, so whether you're a solo visitor, a family, young, old, handicapped, on a tight budget, or in the mood to splurge, there's much to choose from.
Guided tours and sightseeing
- City Sightseeing (Hop-on-hop-off Aarhus) (Hop on at 8 spots around the city). May-July: daily 09:00-16:00. See Aarhus from an open double-decker bus. With an audioguide in eight languages you can hop on or off at 8 stops on the route around the city. Buses come and go every half-an-hour so you can spend as much time in each spot as you would like, but it takes 70 minutes to complete the circuit if you don't hop off at all. Suitable for the handicapped. €26.72, children under 16: €13.02.
- 1 Bicycle tour (Cycling Aarhus), Frederiksgade 78 (Frederiksgade is a sidestreet to the Town Hall Square), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. May-Oct: daily 09:00-13:00. Participate in a guided bike tour around the city. There are several tour themes to choose from and if you are a group of four or more people, you can design your own personal tour with the guides. The guides are all fluent in Danish and English. kr 75-299.
Theatre & performing arts
- 2 Aarhus Theater, Teatergaden, ☎ . The city's main theatre. A luscious outstanding art nouveau interior design. You can dine or have a drink or coffee at Café Hack to the left of the main entrances.
- 3 Bora Bora, Valdemarsgade 1. Bora Bora is a small dance and visual theater located in a cultural centre that was once a school.
- 4 Filuren, Thomas Jensens Allé 2. Another small niche theater with room for up to 150, located inside the large building complex at the Concert Halls. Filuren is both a theater in itself and a theater school for youth. A nice alternative thing to do if you are with children. Each play has a strictly enforced age limit (usually 3, 4, 5 or 13 years), so be sure to check out the programme beforehand. kr 65.
- 5 Helsingør Theater. A reconstructed historic theater building from the town of Helsingør north of Copenhagen, located now at The Old Town museum complex and still a working theater with room for an audience of 220. Throughout the year, you can catch summer operas, intimate classical concerts and occasional plays here. Not the most active theater in Aarhus, but certainly an interesting visit especially for aficionados of period architecture.
- 6 Teater Katapult, Godsbanen, Skovgaardsgade 3, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Inaugurated in 1995 and located today in the new Godsbanen cultural centre, Teater Katapult is probably the largest alternative theater in Aarhus. The focus here is on fertilizing, stimulating and nurturing the local scene in Aarhus, "catapulting" new talents and projects of a more offbeat bent into the limelight. Several plays are put on monthly, mostly with timely themes explored from a local perspective and presented so as to stimulate debate. kr 170 (kr 60 for people under 25 and discounts for students and pensioners).
- 7 Svalegangen, Rosenkrantzgade 21. The second-largest theater in Aarhus, located on Rosenkrantzgade just off the major pedestrian street Ryesgade.
- 8 Teater Refleksion, Frederiksgade 72. This is a good example of one of the many small niche theaters in Aarhus. Located in a tranquil backyard in the city centre, Teater Refleksion specializes in puppet and animation theater of a high international standard. Equally suited for children and adults.
Every second year in May, Aarhus is host to the International Living Theatre (ILT) festival, with the next event taking place in 2019. For a number of days, thespians from all over the world meet up here and share the universe of stage art in its broadest sense with each other and interested participants and audiences.
There are three mainstream movie houses in Aarhus, and a number of smaller niche theaters.
- 9 CinemaxX, M. P. Bruuns Gade 25 (in Bruun's Galleri), ☎ . The largest and most high-tech cinema in Jutland, showing mostly mainstream Hollywood blockbusters with Danish subtitles, some in 3D. Large lounge parlor with a candy store (no outside food or drink!)
- 10 Nordisk Film Biografer Aarhus C, Sankt Knuds Torv 15 (opposite the Catholic church on the high street near the central station), ☎ . Another large mainstream cinema with nine large screens and a 4DX film theatre. Lounge parlor with café and large candy store.
- 11 Nordisk Film Biografer Trøjborg, Tordenskjoldsgade 21, ☎ . Daily from 15:00. A smaller mainstream movie theater in Trøjborg, with five screens and a café.
- 12 Øst for Paradis, Paradisgade 7, ☎ . Showing a mix of indie and European arthouse films with some mainstream Hollywood fare thrown in for good measure, Øst for Paradis (East of Eden) comprises three stories of what is left of an old former craftman's guild complex from 1868, most of which was destroyed during the Second World War. The cinema has seven screens, equipped with state-of-the art digital technology. There is a cozy café at the cinema with newspapers and cultural magazines to browse, as well as a nightclub (Café Paradis) on the top floor.
- 13 Slagtehal 3, Mejlgade 50. If you're into horror movies, head here: these folks show them every Thursday. kr 50.
- 14 Fatter Eskil, Skolegade 25 (behind the Aarhus Theatre near the river). Tu-Sa. Housed in an old building from the 1700s in the city centre, Fatter Eskil hosts bands from Denmark in a diverse mix of genres, but mostly blues and rock. kr 40-80, usually free before 22:00.
- 15 Gyngen, Mejlgade 53. Gyngen is a music venue, restaurant and café all in one. A smaller place than Voxhall and Train, mostly featuring lesser-known bands and artists in a relaxed atmosphere.
- 16 HeadQuarters (HQ), Valdemarsgade 1. Tu-Sa from 19:00. HeadQuarters is a cultural venue for theater, dance and music located in the basement of the same old school building where Bora Bora theater is. There are usually three concerts per week on a tiny stage, as well as club and DJ nights.
- 17 Musikhuset (The Concert Hall). The largest concert hall in Scandinavia, Musikhuset has seating for more than 3,600 people in six halls with a large variety of events and concerts throughout the year: classical performances, rock and jazz concerts, operas, musicals, chamber music, as well as more intimate performances on some of the smaller stages. Good restaurant and café.
- 18 Radar (behind the Scandinavian Center and the Concert Halls). Located in the cultural centre of Godsbanen, Radar hosts many concerts and music events.
- 19 Studenterhus Aarhus (Stakladen), Nordre Ringgade (on the northern outskirts of the university campus). Built for student activities and assemblies and equipped with a cantina, Studenterhus Aarhus also hosts concerts and other cultural events, usually twice monthly. The largest stage has modern sound technology and room for 750 standing or 450 seated guests.
- 20 Tape, Mejlgade 53. The latest in a long line of concert halls to call this building home, Tape's focus is on independent organizers with a broad musical appeal, ranging from free jazz to punk to dancehall. Here you stand a good chance of experiencing many acts from the local underground.
- 21 Train (at First Hotel Atlantic). Train hosts a large variety of modern contemporary music concerts and other events, from rock, pop and jazz to hip-hop and electronica. There is an onsite lounge, nightclub and cocktail bar (Kupé).
- 22 Voxhall, Vester Alle 15 (at Mølleparken in the city centre), ☎ . A good, tightly planned schedule of mainstream rock and pop concerts, occasionally dipping its toes into other genres, Voxhall is Aarhus' venue of choice for big-name acts from abroad. A relatively small stage, but room for many people. The associated venue of Atlas is just as active, but mainly focuses on other genres, including world music and folk. Tickets are usually bought at the door, but if you're going to a major concert, buy beforehand! Nice wine and tapas bar in the building at Pica Pica.
Festivals and events
- Aarhus Festuge. The whole city is decorated for partying and filled with music, theater, food, experimental architecture, film, literature and other events during this 10-day multicultural festival held every year in late August and early September, the largest of its kind in northern Europe. Free.
- Aarhus International Jazz Festival. Held every year in the summer, following the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Hundreds of concerts, many of which are free and open to the public, with a mix of nationally and internationally famous names and local and up-and-coming talents.
- Classic Race Aarhus. An annual race and classic car festival held every May in Mindeparken.
- The Garden. A continuation of the former biannual Sculpture by the Sea — Aarhus event, The Garden is a citywide art and sculpture exhibition held every three years where the theme is man's relation to and interaction with nature. It's a three part installation: "The Future" is set up south of the city along Aarhus Bay, "The Present" is distributed throughout the city centre, and "The Past" consists of exhibitions in the ARoS art museum. The outdoor installations can be experienced in June and July while the museum exhibition runs from April through September. The next exhibition, titled Mythology, will take place in 2020. Outdoor exhibitions are free.
- Moesgård Vikingetræf. A large Viking event held every summer in July at Moesgård beach, with reenactments, markets, workshops, and living-history presentations.
- Northside. A three-day, three-stage annual summer music festival featuring a range of well-known national and international stars.
- SPOT festival. A music festival, show-casing local amateurs and up-and-coming bands for five days in early May every year. In 2018, the festival will run 9-13 May. SPOT Festival is meant as a rendezvous between the Danish and international music industries and is headquartered at the Concert Halls and the conservatory but with concerts all over town. Small and large concerts from a tightly packed programme of many musical genres. Also talks and interviews with musicians and the music industry as well as conferences and networking opportunities. In the last few years, SPOT Festival has also included films and fashion. kr 790 for everything (day-tickets are also available).
- Århundredets Festival (Festival of The Century), All over town. Århundredets Festival, or Festival of The Century in English, is a broadly appealing knowledge, art and culture festival held every year in the first half of March across the city. The festival alternates between a historical era theme and a present theme relating to current state of affairs. In 2018, the theme is La Belle Époque, a historical period around 1900 throughout Europe, before World War I turned everything on its head. The festival is arranged in a collaboration between the city's many educational and cultural institutions, Aarhus University and Aarhus Municipality, and includes a plethora of events, happenings, debates and lectures based around the annual theme. Everything is conducted in Danish as one of the festivals main purposes is to incite public debate among people and a broad engagement, but some events could be of interest to visitors who don't know the Danish language. In 2018, this comprise Danse Macabre, a multimedia show at the University, and several musical arrangements in churches, ARoS Art Museum and the Concert Halls, all with a focus on La Belle Époque in some way or another. If you understand some Danish, you might find interest in other events such as a culinary Titanic happening, a lecture about the rise and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire accompanied by Wienerschnitzl and Apfelstrudel in an old restaurant or a philosophy-bar introducing and debating Friedrick Nietzsche, Rosa Luxemburg, Sigmund Freud, Bertrand Russell and Edmund Husserl to mention just a few events.
Almost the entire coastline of Denmark consists of publicly-accessible sandy beaches well suited for leisurely activities, and the Aarhus area is no different. Beachcombers might want to be on the lookout for petrified belemnites and sea urchins, but you shouldn't expect to spot any amber in this part of Denmark.
The municipality offers real-time updates of water quality, temperature, etc., at area beaches, on a website and via a free mobile app. Be aware that there is increased wave activity throughout the entire bay whenever the catamaran ferry is passing through. The phenomenon is harmless and only lasts 5-10 minutes, but small children are sometimes frightened by this, especially when it happens on an otherwise calm day.
- 23 Åkrogen. A small unpatrolled beach located some distance north the city centre, Åkrogen's shallow, balmy, and impeccably clean waters are lovely enough that Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail rated it one of the world's ten best beaches. Åkrogen is especially popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers. Just inland from the beach is a small park with a playground for children.
- 24 Ballehage Beach. This lovely stretch of white sand south of town benefits from a stunning location nestled against the hilly greenery of the Marselisborg Forests, yet within easy walking distance of popular sights like the Marselisborg Deer Park and Varna Palace as well as a number of restaurants. Popular with swimmers, sunbathers, and picnickers, Ballehage boasts calm and clean waters, as well as amenities such as toilets and changing areas.
- 25 Bellevue Beach Park. Another popular beach in a verdant yet often crowded setting, you'll find Bellevue Beach on the northern outskirts of town just past Riis Skov, facing Aarhus Harbor in the distance. Bellevue's sands are delightfully white and powdery, and the water is shallow and balmy, but notably less clean than other beaches listed here, especially after heavy rains. Amenities includes public toilets, drinking water, trash bins, and a small kiosk. You can get a meal at the café in the adjacent Bellevuehallerne sports complex and there are several small eateries in the immediate neighbourhood.
- 26 Den Permanente. Bathhouse open dawn-dusk Jun-Aug; beach open year round. The name translates to "The Permanent", and reflects the fact that this place is as much about the indoor public bathhouse as the outdoor beach (or more; the latter is quite small). Changing rooms, showers, public toilets, and lifeguards are all provided, and Sjette Federiks Kro, located just up the hill through the forest, is the place to go for a nice traditional Danish meal after your swim.
- 27 Moesgaard Beach (Moesgaard Strand). 12 km from the city center and further south than Ballehage Beach, Moesgaard Beach is patrolled by a lifeguard during the summer months, and the water is even cleaner. There are large green areas here, a car park, toilet facilities, and a kiosk with fast food items, beverages, candy and ice cream for sale in the summer. You can reach the area by road (bicycle, car or bus) through the forests, on foot by the history trail from the Moesgaard Museum or from the beachside. If you go by bus, one option is to take Bus 31 from the Aarhus Bus Station.
There are a total of four public indoor swimming pools throughout the city that can be used most of the year. Be sure to check up, as some are closed for extensive periods in the summer. Same price at all venues: kr 45; special prices for children and groups. You can rent towels and bathing suits at some places, but it is expensive.
- 28 Aarhus Svømmestadion, F. Vestergaards Gade 5, ☎ . All week. If swimming specifically is what you want to do, this is a better option than Badeanstalten Spanien, with an outdoor pool (summer only) to go along with the indoor one. Nonswimmers not allowed. There are also two associated sports halls known as Frederiksbjerghallerne. Bring your own lock for your personal locker, or buy one at the reception for kr 25.
- 29 Badeanstalten Spanien, Spanien 1 (at the central bus terminal), ☎ . M-Th 08:00-20:00, F-Su 08:00-16:00. The pool at this renovated historic bathhouse from the 1930s hosts many families and children on weekends, but Badeanstalten Spanien is so much more than just swimming: there's a luxury co-ed wellness section (kr 85) with saunas, steambaths, spas, infrared heat lamps and other facilities. The building also houses a fitness centre, a couple of small boutiques offering massage, beauty treatments, wellness products and a café. The swimming pools are closed for renovation from 3 April 2018.
- 30 Gellerupbadet, Dortesvej 43, Brabrand (in Braband, in the middle of Gellerup Park), ☎ . W-M (Sa is for women only). If you're a family with kids, Gellerupbadet is the swimming venue for you, with special shallow heated pools and a sauna, plus a large climbing wall in the hall.
- 31 Lyseng Svømmebad, Lysengvej 4, Højbjerg, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Sa-Tu and Th. Located in the outer district of Højbjerg to the south of the city centre, this is a swimming hall complex for everybody. Three pools to choose from: a shallow one with swimming toys for the kids, a deep one with diving boards, and swimming lanes for exercise and competitions. Sauna in both the men and women departments.
In the summer from June to September you can rent canoes at the central community centre of Folkestedet and paddle along the Aarhus River for short or extended journeys.
Throughout the city there are a number of sports complexes, small and large stadiums, indoor sports halls, and several facilities for street sports. Apart from the free street-level activities, you'll need to be a member of a team to visit most of these places, but sometimes hourly rental or trial lessons are offered.
- 32 Aarhus Skøjtehal, Gøteborg Alle 9 (behind the green-roofed watertower at the junction of Randersvej and Ring 2), ☎ . Aarhus Skøjtehal offers ice skating in season, as well as occasional "ice disco" events and hockey matches. They also have an outdoor ice skating venue in the winter, in the park outside the Concert Hall. kr 45.
- 33 Ceres Park & Arena (Stadion) (on the outskirts of the Marselisborg Forests next to Tivoli Friheden). The home pitch of local soccer team AGF, Ceres Park & Arena holds around 21,000 spectators. If you're a soccer fan, don't miss a home game (played on Saturdays or Sundays) as the atmosphere is amazing during game night!
- 34 DGI-huset, Værkmestergade 17 (behind the Bruun's Galleri shopping centre), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. DGI-Huset is a sports centre of about 5,000 m² in the city centre where you can engage in many kinds of indoor sporting activities. If you're not a member of a team, you can still play badminton or football, or pay by the hour to tackle one of the large climbing walls. Children are welcome and accommodated with a special play area, and there's also an onsite café. Weekends and holidays often see discounts on admission. Free entry, courts kr 100 for an hour.
- 35 Jumpstart Adventure Zone, Sindalsvej 2, 8240 Risskov (Near the Egå Engsø lake area in the north), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Open every day and in the evening on Wednesdays. This new activity spot offers indoor snowboarding, skateboard bowls and ramps, Obstacle Course Racing, crosstraining and a trampoline park. For food and drink, frequent the onsite café, but you are allowed to bring your own water. Locker rooms and baths are under construction and not available at the moment. There is a free outside parking area for both bicycles and cars.
- 36 Jysk Væddeløbsbane, Observatorievejen 2 (behind the Ceres Park & Arena, enter from Carl Nielsens Vej), ☎ . Horse racing. kr 40.
Aarhus hosts many large sports events on the national and international levels. You may want to attend or plan your visit around one of these events.
The East Jutland region has many options for golfers. The courses are of a high quality and often situated in beautiful settings. As part of this region, Aarhus has several options:
- 37 Aarhus Aadal Golf Club, Brydehøjvej 35, Harlev, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This golf club is west of Aarhus near the town of Harlev. Beautiful countryside. 18 holes. Restaurant.
- 38 Aarhus Golf Club, Ny Moesgårdvej 50, Højbjerg (close to the Moesgård Museum and the Marselisborg Forests), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Boasting a great view of the Bay of Aarhus and the excellent bistro and restaurant UNICO (which you can visit even if you're not a golfer), the Aarhus Golf Club has 35 years of experience and more than 1,000 members. 18 holes.
- 39 Aarhus Minigolf, M. P. Bruuns Gade 25 (At Bruuns Galleri), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For something different, how about a round of mini-golf on the rooftops of the inner city? Take the elevator to the top floor of the Bruuns Galleri shopping halls at the central station to access the rooftop terrace. There is a large eatery right next to this place and a small bar outside at the playing field. Closed in the winter. kr 60.
- 40 Lyngbygaard Golf, Lyngbygårdsvej 29, Brabrand, ☎ . Located west of the centre in the district of Brabrand. Play either 18 or 9 holes, with five tees on every hole. Challenges for all levels. Onsite restaurant.
- 41 Mollerup Golf Club, Mollerupvej 7, Risskov (9km from the centre, in Risskov, on the southern slopes of the Egå Valley), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Apart from the golf facilities, Mollerup is known for its beautiful setting near the forest of Mollerup Skov and the lake area of Egå Engsø, with a view across the valley here. 18 holes. Café and restaurant.
- 42 Eventpark Højbjerg, Søren Nymarksvej 8 (Near Christian X's Vej, just beyond Ring 2), ☎ (Rush), (Eventhall). 09:00-18:00. A cluster of activity game arenas and an event venue, located in an otherwise uninteresting area of light industry in the south of the city. Rush Aarhus is a trampoline park for kids and adults alike. Every Friday and Saturday evening 20:00-22:00, Rush after Dark parties are arranged. Eventhall is a multi-purpose arena for all kinds of activity games; try to be a sumo wrestler, play bungee-basket or shoot your friends in a paintball game. Savvaerket is an event venue with occasional concerts and cultural happenings. kr 109 (1 hour at Rush) or 125 (1 hour at Eventhall).
- 43 Food markets, Ingerslevs Boulevard, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Sa 08:00-14:00. An outdoor farm and artisan market with fresh vegetables, fruit, bread, fish, meat, cheese, and some prepared foods sold by local producers. There's also a small permanent café here with good coffee. 44 Aarhus Central Food Markets and 45 Aarhus Street Food are two new indoor food markets opened in 2016 in the city centre near the central station, offering a variety of dishes and prepared food and drinks. The assortment ranges from craft beers, charcuterie and luxury porridge to Carribean and Asian cuisines. Both food courts are open every day of the week. Free.
- 46 Godsbanen, Skovgaardsgade 3 (behind ARoS and the Concert Halls), ☎ , . A new centre for cultural productions of all kinds: theatre, concerts, performance, film, art exhibitions, finders-keepers markets, and more. There is a restaurant and café here too. Even if you are not interested in participating in anything in particular, Godsbanen is worth a visit for its strange and unique architecture, particularly in the DIY commune known as Institut for (X) behind the main buildings where people tend gardens, play football, skateboard, play street sports, party and even live. The vibe is a friendly, inviting take on the anarchist "free town" — you'll find none of the decadence of Christiania here — and it might well disappear soon to make way for new construction projects, so visit now if you're at all interested. Free.
- Playgrounds. Aarhus has many small (and a few large) playgrounds in and around the city, the vast majority of which are free: Kloden at Dokk1, Legeland in Storcenter Nord shopping mall, and the outdoor playground at Mindeparken are a few. Worthy of special note are Børnenes Jord in the city centre, where indoor and outdoor playgrounds are attended by professionals who supervise kids and also arrange events, and the huge Legelandet complex in Brabrand with 5,000 square meters of facilities for kids of all ages up to 17 years (entry kr 100).
- 47 RaceHall, Hasselager Centervej 30 (Beyond Ring 2, near Eventpark Højbjerg), ☎ . Go for a go-kart race in what is claimed to be the largest indoor race track in Europe. Onsite American-style diner. kr 310-580.
- 48 , Store Torv 4 (In Hotel Royal across from the cathedral), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 24 hours, gaming tables open at 19:00. Play a round of roulette or a game of cards and hope for the big prize, take a break from the action over a cup of coffee in the Royal Café or dinner at Queens Garden restaurant, join the party at the Royal Casino Bar, or just gawk at the bronze sculptures at the main entrance, designed by local artist Hans Krull. Entry kr 70 after 19:00 (kr 20 before 19:00).
- 49 Tivoli Friheden, Skovbrynet 5 (south of the city centre on the outskirts of the Marselisborg Forests), ☎ . Check website for schedule. An amusement park with a dance floor, a large stage hosting occasional concerts and large events, and a number of restaurants serves in the park as well. kr 65, all-ride ticket kr 130.
Make no mistake about it: Aarhus is a college town. As the home of Aarhus University, the largest in Scandinavia, plus nine other institutions of higher education, Aarhus' student population numbers one out of every five residents — a statistic that certainly explains the youthful vigor in the city's dining, nightlife, and cultural scenes.
Even if you're not matriculated at any of Aarhus' colleges and universities, the city still offers a lot of informal learning activities and courses on all kinds of subjects.
- Apart from degree courses, 1 Aarhus University (AU) also offers a number of independent academic courses in English, as well as...
- Folkeuniversitetet (Folk University), which hosts lectures and seminars on many popular academic subjects, with a more relaxed and less technical tone aimed at laypeople. However, the teachers come from a rigorous academic background (many are professors at AU), and are equipped to deliver up-to-date knowledge from the forefront of research. All courses are in Danish, so this can be a good opportunity for you to exercise your language skills in an intellectually stimulating way.
- Dokk1', a new central library and cultural centre, offers a plethora of cultural events, gatherings, seminars, and discussion groups with various cultural notables.
- 2 FO-city (Frederiksgade 78C) is a cluster of buildings tucked away in a courtyard behind City Hall Square that serves as a centre for a diversity of courses in general education, meetings and conferences. There is an onsite café (Café Nicolai) and sometimes markets where the students sell their own crafts and artworks.
- FOF is a longstanding adult education program that offers all sorts of courses with qualified teachers, usually in the evening, in various locations throughout the city. Here you can learn to play guitar, cook for your baby or acquire a sailing certificate.
- 3 LærDansk Aarhus. If learning Danish is your goal, this is the place to go. The language courses that are mostly geared toward Aarhus University students, but open to all. Courses are held at both the LærDansk's offices (Paludan-Müllers Vej 82) and the AU campus.
The pedestrian zone in the city centre is the best place for shopping — and it's right outside both Aarhus Central Station and the bus terminal, so you can't miss it. It's packed with small specialty boutiques and cafés, but you'll also find larger stores too: locations of Salling and Magasin du Nord department stores; three H&M outlets; several supermarkets. The main street of Strøget is the place to go for upscale Scandinavian clothing, design and jewellery shops. There are also a number of larger bookstores where you can buy books in English, including guides and maps.
- 1 Bruun's Galleri (at the Central Station, enter by car or one of five street-level entrances including through the station itself.). Located right in Aarhus Central Station, Bruun's Galleri is the biggest city mall in Denmark. 95 shops to choose from, plus the largest and most advanced cinema in Jutland.
- 2 Latin Quarter (next to Aarhus Cathedral, bounded by Mejlgade, Nørregade and the premises of Vor Frue Kirke). Another shopping district in the old city centre, in the Latin Quarter you'll find small independent shops as well as some of the city's oldest cafés. There's something for everyone here: unique clothing, furniture and design boutiques, many with an unmistakable Danish flair (check out the Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi store for a particularly good example), storefront art galleries, record shops, tattoo parlors, hair saloons, not to mention plenty of opportunities for just soaking up the atmosphere and street life. Every year in May or September, the shops and businesses of the neighbourhood celebrate the Latinerfestival for a couple of days, with events and concerts.
- 3 Museums Kopi Smykker, Skt. Clemens Stræde 7, ☎ . M-Sa. One of only four shops in Denmark selling high-quality reproductions of original Viking jewellery. Many different varieties.
Outside the city centre, notable shopping opportunities include:
- 4 Bazar Vest, Edwin Rahrs Vej 3 (in Brabrand, 10 minutes walk from City Vest). Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. An international bazaar of 110 small shops where you can buy all kinds of imported items and ethnic food. Get yourself a meal, a haircut and your shoes fixed or what about a hookah, a real Persian carpet and a specially designed Arabian perfume? Many cuisines, from Greek and Turkish to Somalian and Indian. Good shawarmas, falafel and sweet Arabian delights. Sometimes events such as market days with special discounts or concerts with Middle Eastern artists or world music. Large parking lots. Free.
- 5 City Vest (on Silkeborgvej past the Ring 2 ring road). Located in the western part of the city, this mall has around 30 shops and cafés.
- 6 Storcenter Nord (in the northern part of the city centre near the Botanical Gardens, on Paludan Müllersvej just past the Ring 1 ring road). Around 50 shops, including a surprising abundance of cafés and a large indoor playground with room for up to 150 kids. Have your lunch while your kids play beside you. Large parking spaces in the basement and on the roof.
Self-caterers on a budget should look for a red Fakta or yellow Netto; these are the most abundant discount grocery stores in the city. Other discount options are Aldi and Rema.
Some places, particularly restaurants, assess a surcharge of a few percent extra on purchases made with foreign credit cards, due to banking fees.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||up to kr 100|
|Splurge||kr 300 and up|
Aarhus is generally known as one of the best places to eat in Denmark. However, the best places are not necessarily located at the most prominent addresses, so a bit of browsing is recommended if you have a particular interest in fine dining. Prices tend toward the low end — perfect for perennially cash-strapped university students — but that's not necessarily an indicator of quality; you can find surprisingly good food at some of these budget-priced places. Several spots have lunch offers.
With an immigrant population of around 15%, Aarhus has many opportunities for ethnic food; Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese food are the most common cuisines, and again, prices are usually quite affordable.
Most restaurants close the kitchen at 21:00, but you can usually sit back and enjoy your meal for as long as you like. At gourmet spots, it is a good idea to book a table beforehand, and for groups of five or more people it is highly recommended. Otherwise, you risk being turned down in the door, due to the unexpected workload or lack of space. Many restaurants are closed for extensive periods throughout the year; usually in the summer months or Jan-Feb, so be sure to check in advance if you plan to visit a specific place.
Barbecue and burgers
In the last few years, Aarhus has experienced a veritable "burger war", with good quality burger joints popping up everywhere, making for strong competition. As well, Aarhus has several choices for both American- and traditional Danish-style barbecue, and Middle Eastern fare such as kebab, shawarma and falafel can be had at numerous food carts stationed in nightlife districts.
In addition to what's listed below, no visit to Denmark would be complete without patronizing a Pølsevogn (sausage wagon): street vendors that sell a variety of hot dogs, sausages, and sometimes burgers. The inner city has several, including one in front of the central station and another at City Hall Square, most of which are owned by a Danish charity that donates the surplus to needy children.
- 1 Burger Boom, Østergade 14, ☎ . Daily 11:00-21:00. This new "belligerent" in Aarhus' aforementioned "burger war" is a small place right in the centre of town with a short but sweet menu of burgers (minimalist constructions of buns, meat, and optionally cheese or bacon, with a notable lack of veggie toppings) and fries (regular, sweet potato, or loaded cheese fries), sold at inexpensive prices. Burgers from kr 50.
- 2 The Burger Shack, Frederiksgade 39, ☎ . Su-W 11:30-21:00, Th-Sa 11:30-4:00. They grill a mean burger (perfectly cooked using all free-range beef) and the bowls of bite-size crispy fried chicken pieces are good too, but the best-loved item on the Shack's menu has to be their fries, served with a dusting of parmesan cheese and fresh thyme, with your choice of three dipping sauces on the side. A tiny little place that seems to do more takeaway service than anything else, though there's seating indoors at a small counter, and outside during nice weather. Burgers from kr 50, fries kr 30.
- 3 Havnens Perle, Sverigesgade 1A, ☎ . 08:00-22:00 most days. Roadhouse-style Danish barbecue place at the harbor, popular with dockworkers and other locals of a blue-collar bent. Enjoy a fresh made burger, hot dogs, fried chicken, roast pork, fish and chips, or various hot meals including traditional Danish fried pork with white parsley sauce and potatoes (kr 125), a hearty dish that calls for a big draft beer. Breakfast and lunch are served too, the latter consisting of smørrebrød (Danish style open faced sandwiches on rye bread). Plenty of room to sit outside when the weather permits. Food quality can be iffy, especially when crowded. Burgers kr 89 and up. Hot dogs kr 28. Hot meals from kr 49..
- 4 Oasen Burger & Grill, Smedegade 17, ☎ . M-Sa 11:00-21:00, Su 12:00-21:00. An often crowded place in an out-of-the-way location where the service is hit-or-miss, but Oasen makes up for this with a huge menu of tasty burgers, hot dogs and other sausages, pita sandwiches, and other grilled fare served in large portions. Burgers and other sandwiches from kr 28, sausages from kr 19.
Some of the best barbecue spots in town are American-style.
- 5 Bone's, Åboulevarden 20 (at the riverside near Europaplads), ☎ . Daily 11:00-21:30. American-style barbecue in two floors. Bone's is a family friendly Danish restaurant chain with eateries across the country. Lunch options every day.
- 6 Memphis Roadhouse, Christiansgade 32, ☎ . M Tu 16:30-20:00; W Th 16:30-22:00; F Sa 11:00-22:00; Su 11:00-21:00. Really good American-style barbecue in the southern smokehouse tradition. Lunch options on weekends.
Italian restaurants are numerous in Denmark, serving everything from gourmet dinners to fast-food options like pizza and panini. Quality ice cream was previously not a very popular sweet treat in Denmark, but that might be changing, as numerous ice cream vendors have popped up across the country. In Aarhus, this trend also includes quality Italian ices.
Pizzerias are abundant throughout the city, including the outlying districts.
- 7 Caffé Ispirazione, Ålborggade 19, ☎ . M-Tu 14:00-21:30, W-Su 09:00-21:30; kitchen closed 14:30-16:00 and from 20:45. An Italian-style café, ice cream shop, and pizzeria serving excellent pizzas starting at 16:00. Also breakfast, sandwiches and Italian tasting menus at various hours. If you're a vegetarian or organic food aficionado, this is the place for you.
- 8 De Martino, Trøjborgvej 8F (around the corner from Casa Mia, a 1-minute walk downhill toward Riis Skov), ☎ . Daily 16:00-21:30. Good quality pizzeria in Trøjborg, also serving pasta, risotto, and some authentic Italian veal dishes. Children's menu and takeaway available. kr 75-95 for pizza.
- 9 Delizioso, Silkeborgvej 243, Åbyhøj (At Silkeborgvej and Åbyhøj Square), ☎ . Daily 11:00-21:00 (Sun 16-21). A pizzeria and café-restaurant at the Åbyhøj town square. The menu is mostly pizzas and pastas, but also panini, salads and Italian meat dishes, all of excellent quality. Lunch offers from 11:00-15:00. Takeaway available. kr 85-95 for pizza.
Italian cooking is of course much more than pizza. If you're instead hungry for pasta, panini, risotto, or other Italian fare, you might try:
- 10 La Trattoria, Frederiks Allé 130, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 11:00-21:00. Italian restaurant and café with a straightforward menu of pasta, pizza and sandwiches. Dishes are primarily in the budget price range, but a few are mor expensive. Takeaway offered. Pasta dishes and pizzas from around kr 70 and lunch pizza offer for kr 40.
- 11 Pomodoro, Sankt Knuds Torv 7-9 (in Aarhus Central Food Market), ☎ . W-Su 11:00-20:00. This place opened as part of the new Aarhus Central Food Market in 2016 and serves mostly pasta, but also a few antipasti and desserts as well. The food is excellent but served "street style" for a budget price. Pastas for kr 79.
Good restaurants with a broader and more substantial Italian-inspired menu include:
- 12 AmoRomA, Vestergade 60 (in the western end of Vestergade), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily. Located in an old preserved timber-framed house, AmoRomA's owners draw on their experience operating their specialty grocery store Il Mercatino in Mejlgade for their menu of tasty Italian food served in romantic surroundings. Very good pizzas.
- 13 Gäst, Banegårdspladsen 14, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily. This Italian-inspired gourmet restaurant in the Mayor Hotel at the central station is among the best restaurants in town. Lunch and evening menus.
- 14 Restaurant Martino, Marselisborg Havnevej 46 B (at Marselisborg Yacht Harbour), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 10:00-21:30. Martino serves great Italian-inspired gourmet cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Order à la carte from their wide-ranging menu or check out their selection of seasonal two-, three- or four-course prix fixe meals. Special lunch menu is in effect from 11:00-16:00. Outdoor seating when the weather permits.
There are many options for a budget-priced Asian meal. Chinese restaurants usually offer budget-priced lunch buffets, a few à la carte dishes, and takeaway boxes. Notable also is a cluster of Vietnamese and Thai places along Vesterbrogade past Vesterbro Torv, and down Nørre Allé and Nørregade.
- 15 Com Viet, Nørregade 8 (at the northern end of Nørregade), ☎ . Tu-Th 12:00-21:00; F Sa 12:00-22:00. Large Vietnamese restaurant at the far end of Nørregade. Hot meals are typically kr 85, but several options for small dishes such as spring rolls, salads and sandwiches for kr 45 and up.
- 16 Den Grønne Papaya, Nørre Allé 23B, ☎ (30 34 62 49). Su-F 16:00-20:00. In the middle of Nørre Allé is found this tiny little place serving tasty and affordable Vietnamese food. Several dishes are vegetarian, befitting its name, which translates to "The Green Papaya". Only two tables, but thankfully takeaway is offered. Main course is typically kr 65-70.
- 17 Taste Mi, Nørre Allé 100 (At Vesterbro Torv), ☎ . 11:30-20:00. A relatively new spot serving good banh mi sandwiches for an easy budget-priced lunch or dinner, as well as Vietnamese iced coffee. kr 40 for banh mi.
- 18 INDO, Vestergade 47, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily. This restaurant has succeeded in mixing Asian and European food culture, but with a strong focus on the Asian aspects. You can have one- or three-course dinners or engage in social dining where you pick and choose from a multitude of dishes with friends or family. Super chic rooms, photo worthy servings and professional service. Main course kr 85-165.
- 19 Restaurant Lotus, Frue Kirkeplads 1, ☎ . Daily 17:00-22:00. Unlike most Chinese restaurants in Aarhus, Lotus has a decent à la carte selection of some authentic dishes to go along with the usual all-you-can-eat buffet setup — and a fine tea list to boot. Nice decor, not too kitschy. Kids' menu available. Buffet kr 179, takeaway boxes from kr 40.
- 20 Saichi, Jægergårdsgade 81 and Nørregade 28, ☎ (Jægergårdsgade), e-mail: email@example.com. M-Th 12:00-21:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00, Su 16:00-21:00. Saichi is an original Japanese restaurant and the sushi and sashimi you can get here is among the very best in town. "All you can eat" arrangements available with special discount for lunch. Also a few other Japanese dishes and a good selection of sake and shochu and of course Japanese beer. Take away discount. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant. There are two Saichi restaurants in Aarhus, one in Nørregade near the Latin Quarter and one in Jægergårdsgade on Frederiksbjerg. Sushi menus from kr 130.
- 21 Sushi Springtime, Park Allé 9 (at Park Allé across from the Town Hall), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 16:00-21:00. Possibly the best and most authentic sushi restaurant in Aarhus, with a chef and owner trained in Japan. Original Japanese teas. Best to order well in advance, preferably a day or more and especially if you're arriving with a large party, as everything is made fresh to order.
While gourmet dining in Denmark traditionally means French, the large and diverse slate of such restaurants in Aarhus ranges from Spanish and Italian-inspired gourmet cooking to seafood restaurants and New Nordic. Four places have been awarded a Michelin star and several are mentioned in respectable food guides, including the White Guide covering Nordic countries specifically.
Most larger hotels have their own restaurant, usually with decent-quality international fare at mid-range prices, and some with outstanding dining. You don't have to have a room there to eat there. See the "Sleep" section and/or individual hotel websites for details. Further out into the countryside, traditional inns (kroer) also offer culinary experiences comprising both native Danish fare as well as international gourmet cuisine, again mostly at mid-range prices.
Great quality international gourmet food can be had for mid-range prices. Even if your budget is limited to mid-range, do also check out "Splurge" restaurants, as more expensive places are known to offer special promotional discounts from time to time.
- 22 Kähler Spisesalon, M.P. Bruuns Gade 33, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily until 21:30. At this place you can choose to eat your breakfast, brunch, lunch or evening dinner, or sit for a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the atmosphere and fashionable Kähler ceramics. The menu is diverse and of very good quality, adding creative twists to the template of traditional Danish and Nordish cuisine, as exemplified by their decorated open sandwiches. These are also the folks behind 23 Kähler Villa Dining, a luxurious high-end gourmet restaurant in a mansion in Risskov serving excellent New Nordic cuisine. Three-course prix fixe dinner for kr 298, breakfast kr 80.
- 24 Latin Brasserie and Creperie, Klostergade 2, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-Th 18:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-23:00. French-inspired gourmet cuisine in the lively Latin Quarter, with excellent moûles frites with hand-cut French fries. À la carte items from kr 175; prix fixe dinners kr 275; kr 215 extra for paired wines..
- 25 Mefisto, Volden 28, ☎ , e-mail: Info@mefisto.dk. M-F 11:30-22:00, Sa Su 10:00-22:00. A small restaurant in the Latin Quarter serving simple but high-quality gourmet food for affordable prices. The menu is diverse, but emphasizes seafood (they're especially well-known for their lobster). Changing seasonal four-course meals, single dishes and tapas-style servings. Nice patio. Mains from kr 188. Lunch from kr 98.
- 26 Restaurant ET, Åboulevarden 7 (Near the end of the riverside at the harbourfront), ☎ . M-Sa 12:00-15:00 & 17:30-22:00. At Restaurant ET you can try a good variety of high-quality yet reasonably-priced specialities inspired by both classic French and Danish recipes, always with a fresh twist. Excellent choice of wines and cheese. Elegant and subdued interior design, where you can watch the chefs cook from a central kitchen. À la carte mains kr 168-278, three-course prix fixe dinners at kr 368 (not including wine). Lunch from kr 89.
- 27 L'estragon, Klostergade 6 (In the Latin Quarter next to Restaurant Latin), ☎ . Tu-Su from 18:00. Superb-quality French-style gourmet cuisine using organic ingredients exclusively (including the wine list) and locally-sourced whenever possible. Four,- five- and even six-course prix fixe dinners are offered. This is a very small place, so reservations are recommended. Special offers on Sunday evenings and from Tuesday to Thursday. Open for lunch Saturdays. Prix fixe dinners from kr 350. Pairing wine menu kr 250.
- 28 Restaurant Domestic, Mejlgade 35B (in the backyard), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Sa 17:30-21:00. Along with Hærværk, this new standout on the Aarhus restaurant scene is one of the first places in the city to hop on the "New Nordic locavore gourmet" bandwagon, and the Michelin star they earned in 2017 attests to their success on that front. Be prepared to splurge: Menus from kr 550.
- 29 Restaurant Frederikshøj, Oddervej 19-21 (in the Marselisborg Forest across from Mindeparken), ☎ . W-Sa. One of Aarhus' most exquisite gourmet restaurants, led by renowned chef Wassim Hallal whose strikingly original menus holds a star in the Michelin Guide since 2015. Stylish modern decor. From kr 700.
- 30 Restaurant Koch, Pakkerivej 2 (at the yacht harbour), ☎ . Gourmet waterfront restaurant with a fashionable decor and a limited but superb-quality menu: a large flagship gourmet menu at kr 1000 (Th-Sa), a four-course prix fixe dinner known as "The Madness" (W-Sa) at kr 495, and a notable Sunday brunch (11:00-13:00) at kr 345.
Denmark is well-known worldwide for its pork, but also produces topnotch beef. Many restaurants have steak on the menu, including some of the international gourmet spots, but a few places serve it as the specialty of the house. To enjoy the best possible steak in Aarhus, you will have to splurge.
- 31 A Hereford Beefstouw, Kannikegade 10-12, ☎ . M-Th 17:30-22:00, F Sa 12:00-22:00, Su 17:30-21:30. A renowned chain of steakhouses based in Herning and with locations across Denmark and even as far afield as Greenland and Australia, Aarhus' location of A Hereford Beefstouw sports an in-house brewery to go with its wide variety of different steaks and lamb, fish and some seafood dishes. All this goodness is served up in a spacious wood-panelled dining room that seats 160. A kids' menu is available, as is a discounted "Theatre Menu" for four (weekdays only).
- 32 Köd, Åboulevarden 23 (at the riverside near Europaplads), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 17:00-21:00, F Sa 17:00-22:00. Top-quality steak and seafood, with beef sourced from Denmark, Uruguay, the U.S., and Australia.
- 33 MASH, Banegårdspladsen 12 (at the Ritz Hotel), ☎ . Another Danish steakhouse chain, with some of the best cuisine of this type in the country as well as a very impressive wine list. A selection of fish dishes and some high-quality burgers round out the menu. From kr 265.
Traditional Danish food
Unlike the experimental and often quite expensive dining of the New Nordic Cuisine, traditional Danish food is hearty, simple, and of course old-school — and its popularity is surging on Denmark's restaurant scene these days. Special menus are served around Mortens Aften (St. Martin's Day; 11 November), Christmas, and Easter. Prices are mostly mid-range.
- 34 Den Lille Kro, Nørre Allé 55, ☎ . A cozy place situated in a somewhat quieter sector of the buzzing Latin Quarter, Den Lille Kro (the aptly-named "Little Inn") serves up a wide-ranging selection of good-quality traditional Danish food in copious portions.
- 35 Europa, Havnegade 28, ☎ . W-Sa 12:00-24:00. A small gastropub serving tasty traditional Danish cuisine. Even if you're not hungry, you can go just to imbibe from their exhaustive beer list. Red wine and homemade snaps are also served.
- 36 Restaurant Kohalen, Jægergårdsgade 152-154, ☎ . Located since 1907 near the harbour in the former slaughterhouse district, Kohalen serves traditional Danish meals in a crowded, raucous setting.
- 37 Skovmøllen, Skovmøllevej 51, ☎ . W-Su. Skovmøllen's menu comprises creative twists on traditional Danish lunches, as well as a hearty weekend brunch, served in the picturesque setting of a restored timber-framed medieval water mill in the midst of Moesgaard Forest. Online reservations are available. Lunches from kr 222.
Though some places serve vegetarian main courses or have buffet options for vegetarians or vegans, there are not many dedicated vegetarian restaurants in Aarhus. Some exceptions are:
- 38 Café Gaya, Vestergade 43, ☎ . M-Sa. A good variety of organically-grown vegetarian food, with cozy decor and occasional live music on Fridays. Gaya also serves brunch on Saturdays. All-you-can-eat lunch buffet kr 125, evening buffet kr 145.
- 39 Ganefryd, Borggade 16 (In the Latin Quarter), ☎ . Every day. Vegetarian café with many vegan and gluten-free options. The food is made from scratch with organic produce exclusively. Soup, curries, salads and burgers. Also brunch and cafe-style cake and drinks. Café Ganefryd is rather small, but everything can be had as take-away. Menus (including drinks) from kr 119.
- 40 Mikuna, Frederiks Allé 96 (near the western end of Jægergårdsgade, just across the bridge), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Sa 12:00-20:00. A dedicated vegan spot serving sustainably-sourced, scratch-made food. Sandwiches, burgers and hot stews. In the late afternoon this small place can be stuffed, but everything can be had as takeaway. Menus for kr 69-85.
- 41 MellemRum, Fredens Torv 2 (Near the square of Europaplads at the mouth of the river), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 17:00-24:00, kitchen closes 21:30. At this gourmet restaurant, you can always choose a seasonal vegetarian menu on par with the non-restricted menu, something the chefs takes pride in. Three, four or five-course seasonal menus that change every two months or so, but also à la carte. A cosy place with excellent gourmet food. Don't be afraid to bring your vegan or meat loving friends along, this place has something for all kinds. Early Bird offer: kr 275 for three-course menus if you can finish before 19:00. kr 325 (three-course prix fixe vegetarian menu).
The many cafés in Aarhus span a diverse range, from tiny holes-in-the-wall with two chairs to extravagantly decorated places with mirror rooms and waiters in fancy clothes. Some places serve only the most basic items, while other places offer lunch, evening dinners or cocktails and parties at night. So whatever you are looking for, it shouldn't be a problem to find a café that suits your taste or pocket.
The majority of cafés in Aarhus are unique, each with their own individual charm and character, and you'll find an emphasis on high-quality coffee in quite a few of them. However, national chain cafés also have a presence, with locations of Baresso, Emmerys, and Anettes Sandwich across the city and Starbucks have two cafés in the inner city as well. If you're not a coffee drinker, cafés also often serve hot chocolate and sometimes smoothies, but quality tea is only just beginning to catch on around these parts.
Take note that in almost all cafés in Denmark you are expected to contact staff yourself, usually at the desk, to grab a menu card, to place your order and when you wants to pay. This is often very bewildering to tourists, but is how things are typically done in Denmark and not a sign of rude or ignorant service.
Although there is a high concentration in the inner city, cafés can be found all over town. A few special places might be hard to discover without particular mention:
- 42 Great Coffee, Klostergade 32 H, st. (backyard) (Go to the Latin Quarter). M-Sa. This oasis for true coffee aficionados is hidden away in a backyard of a larger building complex that used to house a chocolate factory. It is not easy to spot, but some of the best things in life require a bit of effort. There are numerous spots for truly great coffee around the city, but this place is among the very best for sure.
- 43 Hos Sofies Forældre, Frederiksgade 74, e-mail: email@example.com. M-F 09:00-18:00; Sa 10:00-16:00. A comfortable change of pace from the endless rowdy bars, flashy restaurants, and trendy shops on Frederiksgade, Hos Sofies Forældre serves up tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cakes and pies, full breakfasts and lunches, and ice cream in a cozy space filled with vintage furnishings. This place is popular with groups of young mothers, which goes a long way in describing the friendly and relaxed ambience.
- 44 LYNfabrikken, Vestergade 49 (in the backyard). M-F 09:00-17:00. "The Lightning Factory" is a business incubator for small creative concerns located in a restored old factory building, with an onsite café in the loft. The laid-back rooftop terrace is a pleasant summertime oasis of seclusion in the midst of the bustling central city. The café offers beverages (good coffee), cakes and a small choice of food, plus a few books and crafts for sale.
- 45 Plantecaféen. Tu-Su. Located in the friendly DIY "free city" Institut for (X), this café is all about indoor plants and a little bit about quality coffee. Be careful not to sit on the house cat! A few other spots around the chaotic self-organised village offers various meals on occasion, just ask at the café.
- Aarhus Brædtspilscafé, Vestergade 58A and Fredensgade 38 (Go to Vestergade or the Aarhus Bus Station), ☎ , . M-Th 14:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-01:00, Su 12:00-22:00. Two boardgame cafés operated by the same group of people. Just show up and hope for a free spot or reserve a table online if you are a minimum of four people and wants to be sure. The ticket gives you access to a vast number of games, from well-known classics like backgammon, chess or kalaha to various party games, quiz games and much more intricate and elaborate boardgames like Risk, Catan or Pandemic. You can play as many games as you like for as long as you like. Sometimes game-guides introduce new games to people and you can join in if you like. The spot in 46 Vestergade focus on lightweight games while the spot in 47 Fredensgade presents more heavy and advanced games. kr 30.
Denmark has a long tradition of unique, good quality bread and confectionery. You might find it in cafés or in common bakeries across the city, but some places merit a visit for the special effort they put into the craft of baking.
- 48 Lagkagehuset, 49 Langenæs Bageriet and 50 emmerys are three Danish chains of high-end bakeries with attached café sections. Lagkagehuset and Langenæs Bageriet has a great selection of cakes which, apart from the Danish pastries of course, include cold confectioners cakes such as layercakes and creamcakes. They both have three spots across town. Emmerys is an organic certified bakery with five spots offering brunch servings, while the cake selection is more limited. All three offers breakfast and various snack foods and they are open every day of the week.
- 51 Briançon, Åboulevarden 53 (At the riverside close to Mølleparken), ☎ . Daily from 07:00. At this small but great bakery you can sometimes watch the bakers at work. A good variety of breads are always available, but the selection of cakes is somewhat limited, but changes often. They only use butter for baking here, no cheap substitutes, and Briançon is renowned for their croissants specifically, which are always up for sale. Also homemade confectionary and chocolate delights, quality coffee beans and champagne. The shop is administered by a brother and a sister since 2006 and is located at the riverside, but at a less busy place. No room for eating, but several public spots nearby.
- 52 Schweizer Bageriet, M.P. Bruuns Gade 56 (Just north of the central station), ☎ . Daily from 06:30. A modern but historic bakery open for breakfast and lunch. The menu at this pleasant little bakery is full of traditional Danish delights, including more than ten varieties of Danish pastry. Schweizer Bageriet is a small place, with only a couple of seats for eating. Good sandwiches and salads.
Aarhus has a lively nightlife, with everything from big mainstream clubs to small alternative hangouts playing niche music. Aarhus's young population fuels a major part of the partying, and the large numbers of students tend to keep prices reasonable. Legal drinking age in Denmark is 18, but some bars limit entry to those over 20 or even 23. In any case, it pays to have picture ID on you if you want to indulge in the bar scene. Prices are generally higher than in other parts of Europe, but cheaper than Copenhagen and with several budget options. Entry fees are almost non-existing. The action tends to concentrate around Jægergårdsgade, Frederiksgade, Åboulevarden, Vestergade, the Latin Quarter, Mejlgade, Nørregade, and the riverside (Åen), the latter of which is the most expensive area.
The nightlife in Denmark and Aarhus is quite safe, though occasionally plagued with young immigrants (primarily of Middle Eastern descent) who harass people, sell drugs, and engage in vandalism. These incidents might be rarer these days, but if you are a group of young males with a Middle Eastern look, be aware that you could risk being denied access to some of the more popular spots. Drinking does not limit itself to the night (or the weekends) in Danish culture, so you will not have a problem finding a good place for a cold beer, a nice drink or a glass of wine in the afternoon or even in the morning.
The most widely available Danish beers are Tuborg, Carlsberg and Ceres. With a 150-year history in Aarhus, Ceres was by many considered the "beer of Aarhus", with Ceres TOP as the flagship pilsner, but the beer is not brewed locally anymore. Most places also serve other well-known international brands, mostly on draft. Quite a few spots specialize in quality beers and craft brews, and offer a large variety for the beer connoisseur. This trend seems to have spilled over and affected many of the regular places as well.
Cocktail bars are getting increasingly popular, with most places now offering some kind of mixed drink as an alternative to the omnipresent beer. Quality whiskey, rum and gin can be had in many bars. While in Danish culture wine is traditionally enjoyed with food rather than by itself, recently a few high-end wine bars have opened and are very popular.
Many Aarhus bars change concept and/or owners quite often, some every 2-3 years or so, while other spots close and new ones emerge. This listing is therefore incomplete and may be out of date, though we've tried to limit it to places with proven staying power.
A neighbourhood with its own atmosphere, separated from the rest of the city centre by a rail yard. Frederiksbjerg's nightlife scene is a mix of traditional bodegaer and værtshuse of the type you can read about below as well as some newer and more fashionable spots.
- 1 La Plage Deux, Strandvejen 2, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-Sa from 17:30. A high-end yet informal champagne and cocktail bar at the less busy end of Jægergårdsgade, close to the harbour, hosting occasional events. Though La Plage Deux is not what you'd call a wine bar, there are a few to choose from, including a respectable variety of champagnes by the glass. kr 60 and up.
- 2 Mikeller Bar, Jægergårdsgade 61. Su-F from 14:00; Sa from 13:00. At this outlet for the renowned craft brewery of the same name, you can choose from a changing slate of 20 beers on tap — both from Mikeller and other breweries worldwide — plus a huge and ever-changing bottle list. If you're (understandably) overwhelmed, the bartenders at this cozy, chilled-out spot are more than happy to help you navigate the vast selection. For non-beer drinkers, a range of high-end spirits and cherry wine (a local specialty) are offered. kr 40 for a tap beer serving.
- 3 Peter Gift, M. P. Bruuns Gade 28, ☎ . Daily 11:00-01:00. The protoypical Danish bodega, not to mention a claimant to the title of oldest surviving bar in Aarhus (in business since 1906), Peter Gift serves a good selection of beers in a pleasant, relaxed and secluded atmosphere. A good selection of beers. Lunch is served Tu-Sa, but reservations are required. Smoking is restricted to the backyard.
- 4 Pub'en, Jægergårdsgade 62, ☎ . Daily. A local værtshus with local craft brew (Aarhus Bryghus) on tap and opportunity for a game of dart. Also Ceres TOP beer by the bottle and other beverages. Smoking allowed and a more festive vibe on weekend nights.
- 5 St. Pauls Apothek, Jægergårdsgade 76, ☎ . Tu-Sa from 17:30. This old restored pharmacy (hence the name) from 1899 now wears many hats: St. Pauls Apothek is a high-end restaurant in the early evening, a fashionable cocktail bar afterward, and a nightclub when it gets really late. Creatively conceived and artfully executed specialty cocktails come served on their own or paired with gourmet dinners.
This partly pedestrianized street brims with nightlife.
- 6 Hos Anders, Frederiksgade 25 (Below Sharks in the same building). A bar with occasional live music, mostly jazz. The audience here is usually a bit more mature. Beer kr 20.
- 7 Sharks, Frederiksgade 25 (At the first floor of Busgadehuset, a central car parking house), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily. Not only a bar but also Denmark's largest pool hall, with 26 billiard tables that pack 'em in most nights. To get away from the madding crowds, head for one of three cozy lounges where you can enjoy a beer or tuck in to a burger or a plate of nachos (the kitchen closes at 22:00). Sharks is also a popular place to catch major sporting events on TV. Pool tables kr 1-2 per minute, cocktails from kr 45.
- 8 Tir Na Nóg, Frederiksgade 40, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily. A huge Irish pub with nice decor, a festive atmosphere, live Celtic music and pub trivia on Thursday nights, and a good selection of whiskey and scotch. As at Sharks, the TVs around the bar are a popular place to catch sporting events.
- 9 Waxies, Frederiksgade 16, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily from 12:00, happy hour from 22:00-00:00. Another Irish pub closer to the river with three floors of action in a hip riverside location. Premier League football Monday and Tuesday nights, pub trivia Wednesday nights, poker Thursdays, and live music on the weekends starting around midnight. Show up early for discounted drinks and a small food menu.
Most of the cafés near the mouth of the river turn into bars and nightclubs in the late evening, but there are also many places here dedicated exclusively to nightlife. One of the busiest bar scenes in the city, the riverside can be hectic Friday and Saturday nights, attracting many young people. The rest of the week, the promenades along the river offers a more laid-back vibe. Despite the many upscale and fashionable places, there are a surprisingly ample selection of budget-friendly options in between. The nightlife scene here starts off at Immervad, the small bridge crossing the canal at Frederiksgade, and stretches all the way to the mouth of the river at the harbourfront.
- 10 The Australian Bar (A-Bar), Åboulevarden 21, ☎ . Th-Sa 22:00-05:00. A large nightclub catering to a youthful audience, with DJs, a dance floor, and occasional hip-hop concerts featuring artists from the Danish scene. The bar serves beers (including Fosters, Victoria Bitter, and other Aussie brews), shots, spirits, and champagne by the bottle, with discounted drinks every Thursday and before midnight on weekends.
- 11 Barstart, Fiskergade 28, ☎ . W-Sa from 18:00. A short walk away from the riverside, you'll find this small and easy-to-miss place clustered among a handful of similarly busy nightspots. Barstart's constantly changing drink menu encompasses many innovative specialty cocktails, but the experienced bartenders here could most likely make any classic drink you would like. Cocktails from kr 90.
- 12 Bodegaen, Åboulevarden 33. Daily. Located at the river, this hip place is only a few years old, but equipped as an iconic old fashioned bodega. Enjoy a beer and a game of darts, dice, pool (bob), or foosball (a quite popular "sport" in Denmark for young people) for a bit of fun. Ceres TOP kr 25.
- 13 Castenskiold, Åboulevarden 32, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. F Sa 22:00-05:00 (café and restaurant Tu-Sa 12:00-22:00). A cheery café and restaurant during the day and early evening, a chic cocktail bar by night with a clientele drawing heavily from Aarhus' design and fashion elite. Cocktails from kr 90.
- 14 Herr Bartels, Åboulevarden 46, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. W-Th 20-03:00; F Sa 20:00-04:00. The longest bar desk in town, serving a changing selection of excellent drinks and cocktails in a nice atmosphere. Two drinks for the price of one on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Age limit is 21 on weekends. Cocktails kr 60-90 (some are two for kr 100).
- 15 Lava, Åboulevarden 22, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Another jack-of-all-trades type of place at the riverside, Lava is a café, bistro and bar all in one. The latter identity comes into the picture on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights after 21:00, with an international wine list (including champagne by the bottle), superb rums and cognacs, and French spirits like armagnac, calvados and eau de vie for a very reasonable price. They occasionally host live music as well. Cocktails from kr 65.
- 16 London Bar, Åboulevarden 31, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. F Sa 20:00-06:00. A cocktailbar with dimmed lightning, black tiles and individual tables open for reservations. Many of the bars at the riverside attracts a very young audience, but this bar has a minimum age of 25 and a corresponding relaxed atmosphere. The cocktails are good quality, all made from scratch, half-price before 23:00. Champagne and quality liquor also available. Cocktail courses (1-2 hours) and sometimes events.
- 17 Shen Mao, Sct. Clemens Torv 17, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Th-Sa from 21:30. Table tennis is the name of the game here — no state-of-the-art high-end cocktails or trendy decor, just beer by the can, basic mixed drinks, and all the ping-pong you can play. The namesake of the bar is the Chinese-born owner who used to run the place out of his apartment. Beer cans kr 20, cocktails kr 40.
- 18 The Mexican, Åboulevarden 21, ☎ . F Sa 21:00-05:00. A Mexican-themed dance and nightclub. Coronas, Tequilas and Mexican cocktails. Tequila of the house for kr 10. Sombreros, skulls, lots of decorations and festive lighting, perfect for a dance club party.
Skolegade is an old narrow sidestreet behind Åboulevarden with a long history as a nightlife destination. Most of the action is near the south end, closest to the riverside.
- 19 Escobar, Skolegade 32, ☎ . 19:00-05:00. This is a small bar where heavy metal and hard rock music rule the day, including demo-tapes from local bands. Green chartreuse and absinthe are specialties here. Escobar is a great place to get acquainted with the local metal scene, but if you're not the headbanging type, never fear: the nonjudgmental, come-as-you-are ambience is welcoming to all. Pub quiz Monday nights with a focus on movies and music.
- 20 G-bar, Skolegade 28. Aarhus' gay and lesbian club.
- 21 Pinds Cafe, Skolegade 11, ☎ . Wednesday to Saturday. This small bar has served since 1848, but got its name from a miss Elna Pind who took control in 1936, notorious for her sharp tongue and very strict rules. Things are more easy nowadays but the old-fashioned decor clings on. The clientele is typically of the mature and relaxed kind. Smoking allowed.
As at the riverside, several of the Latin Quarter's cafés turn into festive bars in the evening, while other places serve as such all day.
- 22 Café Paradis (Den Sidste), Paradisgade 9 (in the top floor loft). Th-Sa 21:00-03:00. Bar and nightclub with beer, wine, shots, cocktails, and a lively dance floor with DJs on most nights. kr 50 entry (includes a drink).
- 23 Løve's, Borggade 14 and Nørregade 32, ☎ . Two separate buildings around the corner from each other: the former a relaxed wine bar-deli, the latter an equally relaxed wine bar-bookstore-café with occasional book and poetry readings, wine tastings, and other events. Løve's attracts a mixed and sociable crowd.
- 24 Mig & Ølsnedkeren, Mejlgade 12, ☎ . M-Sa. Beer bar with a large selection of craft beer, among the best in Aarhus. Some of the beers are brewed specifically for this place, while other are imports from around the world. The tap selection changes regularly, so there will always be new stuff to sample for beer lovers. Good vibe and bartenders who knows what beer is all about.
- 25 Ris Ras Filliongongong (Ris Ras), Mejlgade 24, ☎ . M-Sa 12:00-02:00; Su 14:00-19:00. At this cozy hipster hangout you can indulge in a great variety of beers, rums, and even hookah to the strains of the latest indie music in the background. If you are new to craft beer and don't know where to start, the Hancock on tap is the beer of the house and always a hit. No food up for sale, but you are welcome to bring your own along, if you buy a beer or two and clean up after yourself.
- 26 Under Masken, Bispegade 3 (Go to the Royal Hotel opposite the Cathedral), ☎ . Daily. This bar and café in the basement next to the Royal Casino and Hotel is owned by local artist Hans Krull. The walls here are decorated with strange tribal wooden masks, artsy pictures and miscellaneous objects from his travels around the world. Krull is a prominent artist in Denmark and you can enjoy some of his finer works by glancing at the three bronze statues outside the casino next door or his large whole-wall mural in Fiskergade nearby of a woman kissing a sea gull. On most Sunday afternoons, Krull draws large portraits at the bar, but it is a bit pricey. Be aware that smoking is allowed here and the place is often packed. Happy hour every day from 17:00-21:00 and sometimes live music.
- 27 Alberts, Store Torv 3 (at the Aarhus Cathedral), e-mail: email@example.com. Su-Th from 19:00, F from 16:00, Sa from 20:00. Alberts is a cocktail bar in an 14th-century monks' cellar at the cathedral that also serves quality beer and wine and hosts free open-mic stand-up comedy Monday-Thursday in Danish and Sunday in English. You can play dice too. Cocktails from kr 70, beer and wine from kr 60.
- 28 Bernhardt Natklub, Store Torv 3 (Go to the main square in front of the Aarhus Cathedral), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. F Sa 23:00-05:00. Dance and nightclub in the same basement as Alberts. If you are a party, it is possible to reserve your own table. Age limit is 20 on Fridays and 22 on Saturdays.
- 29 Gedulgt, Fredensgade 41 (Close to the bus station), e-mail: email@example.com. Th-Sa 16:00-02:00. If you are willing to spend some time on a nightlife treasure hunt, try if you can find Gedulgt. It is a super hip cocktail bar with the most creative drinks, but located in a nondescript backyard as some kind of secret speakeasy. Look for the green door. If you are four or more people, please preorder your cocktails. Special Colonial punches available. For groups of eight or more people, tasting arrangements can be ordered. From kr 90.
- 30 Hantwerk, Fiskerivej 2D, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Sa. Gastrobar in the northern harbour district. Great food, wine and beer and sometimes small musical arrangements. Many people go here just for a drink. The beer is brewed by the local micro-brewery Humleland in-house and served on tap and bottles. The brews are quite creative, diverse and of a great quality. Special imports are also available. Several options for wine by the glass. If you want to dine, reserve a table on-line before you go. Take note that this place does not accept cash.
- 31 Kupé, Toldbodgade 6 (at First Hotel Atlantic), ☎ . F-Sa from 23:00. Kupe could be called Aarhus' main nightclub, with a young fashionable crowd imbibing cocktails in the lounge or dancing to the tunes spun by the DJs. Age limit is 21. Beer kr 45.
- 32 SLM, Østbanetorvet 8. F-Sa 22:00-04:00. Gay leather and fetish bar.
Bodegaer and værtshuse
In Denmark, a bodega is a traditional Danish pub or bar. The bodega has a long cultural history in Denmark and is conceptually somewhat similar to an English pub, but only a few places offer meals and live music. You could warm up at one before going to a concert or a fancy club, or you can drop in for a coffee or a beer in the afternoon. It should be fairly easy to find yourself engaged in a conversation at these places, as the majority of people are here to socialize and unwind.
In the older days, when alcohol was seen as a basic thirst-quencher for the working man, bars were much more abundant. These were watering holes with the sole purpose of serving cheap beers all day, every day. The Danish word for these basic bars is værtshus, which loosely translates as "hosting-house": in other words, a place that hosts people for drinking. Times have changed, but there are still some of these places left in Aarhus, many with their own peculiar charm. They are mostly frequented by regulars, but visiting strangers are welcomed too. The crowd at these places can be a lovely mix of joyful people at times, especially weekend nights.
Ceres TOP pilsner is the de rigueur beer in bodegaer and værtshuse, but other alcoholic beverages are usually available too, along with coffee and soft drinks. An "Aarhus set" consists of a Ceres TOP with a shot of Arnbitter on the side, both beverages from Aarhus. Shots of black liquorice-flavoured vodka, often referred to as Fisk, are popular with young people.
In popular usage, the terminology can be confusing: the words værtshus, bodega, and café are nowadays often employed indiscriminately in business names, and in particular værtshus can be used for any kind of bar. To learn more about the true værtshus concept — and to learn how to differentiate between the three categories yourself — you can start your field research at these spots:
- 33 Cirkuskroen, Skovvejen 23. Every day from around noon. Located a bit outside of the central scene, close to Trøjborg, Cirkuskroen owes its name to the fact that its owners are a family of former circus performers. Accordingly, the place is decorated with clowns and old circus paraphernalia. Despite all this, the place is indeed a traditional Danish værtshus — really! Have a listen to Kim Larsen or John Mogensen at the jukebox. Smoking allowed. Beer kr 18.
- 34 Harmonien, Mejlgade 109, ☎ . Every day from 13:00. Gamers take note: apart from the cheap beer and drinks served at this traditional værtshus, you can also play snooker, darts, foosball and even try your luck on a couple of slot machines if you like. With TVs at the bar invariably tuned to the big game, Harmonien is also a great place to cheer for the home team with the locals. Smoking allowed.
- 35 Hjorten, Vesterbrogade 2 (at Vesterbro Torv). Every day from 10:00. This is another lively værtshus in the city centre, with mounted deer and other taxidermy making up the interior theme. Enjoy a game of dice here with some friends. Live music on Sundays. Smoking allowed. Beer kr 15.
- 36 Jacob Skomager, Frederiks allé 149 (Near the southern end of the long Frederiks Allé road in the Frederiksbjerg neighbourhood). Every day from 10:00. A regular værtshus with an old fashioned decor in an area with many local værtshus bars. Smoking allowed. Drop in for a cup of coffee in the early afternoon or a beer after work. You can get hot dogs at the small square opposite this place. Jacob Skomager is a character from the Renaissance play "Jeppe på Bjerget" by celebrated writer Ludvig Holberg.
Prices for hotels are generally higher than in other parts of Europe, but there are a number budget options of a good quality.
Apart from the well known hotels listed below, there are also options for small bed and breakfasts — usually located some distance outside the city centre — as well as private stays and holiday rentals.
- 1 Aarhus Camping, Randersvej 400 (4 km north of town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A campsite located in Lisbjerg, with easy access to nature. Bus lines connect easily to the city centre in about 15-20 minutes. Peak season prices: kr 87, children kr 49, pitch fee kr 25.
- 2 Blommehaven Camping, Ørneredvej 35, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In Marselisborg Forest 5 km south of the city centre lies this campsite with cabins.
- 3 Cab Inn, Kannikegade 14 (in the centre between the Cathedral and Åen), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Rooms at this newly renovated hotel are quite small, but include a TV and private shower and toilet. From kr 495.
- 4 City Sleep-in, Havnegade 20 (around the corner from Europaplads, 5& min from Central Station). Basic hostel in Havnegade in a quiet location in the city centre; functional, but rather spartan and not very clean. Dorm beds from kr 190, private rooms from kr 460.
- 5 Danhostel, Marienlundsvej 10 (in Riis Skov), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A hostel with a kitchen perfect for guests who are self-catering their meals. From kr 250.
- 6 Sleep-in Gellerup, Gudrunsvej 82, Brabrand (in Gellerup, across from City Vest), ☎ . Creative types are welcome at this small hostel, newly opened in January 2017 in a gritty but culturally and artistically rich area in the western part of the city: there's an attached gallery featuring the work of local artists, and guests can take advantage of a common room with space for creative activities. Choose from 49 dormitory-style beds with shared kitchen and bath or private rooms that sleep anywhere from one to six people. kr 170, private rooms from kr 350.
- 7 Wakeup Hotel, M.P. Bruuns Gade 27 (in the same building complex as the Central Station), ☎ . Opened in June 2017 in a super convenient location right at the Central Station, Wakeup Hotel boasts 315 nonsmoking rooms with free Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs, plus bicycle rental, lounge areas, a 24-hour reception, and a breakfast restaurant. from kr 400.
- 8 Zleep Hotel Aarhus, Viby Ringvej 4 (in Viby, 500m from the E45 motorway), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A modern high-rise hotel south of the city centre. Breakfast buffet, free internet plus free and safe parking. There is a large and cosy Chinese restaurant at the ground floor and a shopping mall right next door. kr 499.
- 9 First Hotel Atlantic, Europaplads 10 (at Europaplads), ☎ . Set in a modern high-rise building with views across the harbour and the city. Limited safe parking for a fee. Breakfast option and Italian restaurant in-house. From kr 756.
- 10 Havnehotellet, Marselisborg Havnevej 20, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A clean, modern, and completely unstaffed hotel at the pleasant Marselisborg Marina where the check-in process is entirely computerized: you can stroll out of your room and watch the sunset with a bottle of wine from the vending machine! There are a couple of restaurants and an ice cream shop nearby. From kr 650.
- 11 Hotel Ferdinand, Åboulevarden 28, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Small exclusive boutique hotel with a prime location on the riverside in the city centre. Suites and studios are large and luxurious, but few in number. On the ground floor you have a renowned brasserie and restaurant with a stylish decor, and in the backyard you have the excellent, equally stylish, and more low-key FF Aarhus restaurant. From kr 891.
- 12 Hotel Ritz, Banegårdspladsen 12, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Modern chain hotel next to the Central Station, operated by the Best Western group. Breakfast buffet and notable MASH steakhouse restaurant. From kr 985.
- 13 Hotel Oasia, Kriegersvej 27, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel Oasia is situated in a central but quiet location close to the Central Station. Rooms are smartly furnished in modern Nordic style. Nice lounge and breakfast buffet. The entire hotel is non-smoking. From kr 1195.
- 14 , Margrethepladsen 1 (at Margrethepladsen in the Scandinavian Congress Center), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Large, modern chain hotel centrally located next to the City Hall and the Concert Halls. Big breakfast buffet. Restaurant and bar Raa offers three and five-course gourmet dinners. From kr 805.
- 15 Scandic The Mayor Hotel, Banegaardspladsen 14, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. A modern chain hotel next to the City Hall and the Central Station. Large full breakfast with bread baked in the hotel's own bakery and good gluten-free and lactose-free options. A superb in-house restaurant Gäst open for lunch and dinner. 24-hour convenience store and safe car parking for a fee. From kr 940.
- 16 Comwell Aarhus, Værkmestergade 2 (at Aarhus City Towers), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Aarhus' tallest skyscraper is where you'll find this 240-room hotel with rooms decorated in modern style. Fitness, restaurant, bar and lounges. Limited options for car parking. Green Key certified. kr 1298.
- 17 Helnan Marselis Hotel, Strandvejen 25 (near Mindeparken), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Situated a bit south of the city centre, this monumental waterfront hotel was designed by Danish architects Friis and Molkte and completed in 1967. Free parking, bicycle rental, swimming pool, fitness and restaurant. From kr 1350.
- 18 Hotel Guldsmeden Aarhus, Guldsmedgade 40, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A small hotel in the Latin Quarter. A bit expensive for what you get, but it has a nice patio and good breakfast buffet. Green Globe certified and all food and drink here is organic. From kr 1345.
- 19 Hotel Royal, Store Torv 4, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Opened in 1838, you'll find this grand old hotel right in the city centre, with the iconic pair of bronze sculptures (the work of local artist Hans Krull) standing guard out front. The rooms are smartly decorated, and the onsite Queens Garden restaurant serves quality French fare at a surprisingly affordable price. There's also an English garden and casino. From kr 1645.
- 20 Hotel Villa Provence, Fredens Torv 10, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A small French oasis in the center of Aarhus, with an intimate atmosphere and brimming with character. kr 1400.
- 21 Scandic Aarhus City, Østergade 10, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Large hotel in the city centre. From kr 1645.
- 22 Scandic Aarhus Vest, Rytoften 3, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A modern six-story hotel 4 km from the city centre, with WiFi, parking, and breakfast all free. There's also a 24-hour convenience store. From kr 1354.
Kroer (singular kro) are traditional country inns of a type that has a long history in Denmark: a nationwide network of these places was laid out by royal decree beginning in the 13th century (and culminating in the 17th) in order to provide easy shelter, dining and fresh horses for the king and his entourage when travelling through the country. Others emerged in places like village halls and old flour mills to provide food and accommodation for larger gatherings and celebrations in the surrounding rural communities. Today, kroer, unlike English inns, are usually held in high social regard. If you're looking for an all-inclusive getaway in a romantic countryside setting, yet not too far away from the action of the central city, this might be the option you're looking for.
- 23 Malling Kro, Stationspladsen 2, 8340 Malling (about 12 km south of Aarhus), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Dating from 1884, Malling Kro has a superb onsite restaurant with a renowned wine list that's won the place membership in the prestigious Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs. From kr 675.
- 24 Norsminde Kro, Gl. Krovej 2, 8300 Odder (in Norsminde), ☎ , e-mail: Norsminde@norsminde-kro.dk. This historic kro boasts an outstanding high-end gourmet restaurant as well as a more informal and affordable brasserie serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert. There's also easy access to good beaches from this place. From kr 598.
- 25 Nørre Vissing Kro, Låsbyvej 122 (22 km west of Aarhus, in Nørre Vissing), ☎ , e-mail: MM@nr-vissing-kro.dk. With over 200 years of tradition under its belt, you'll find Nørre Vissing Kro in a beautiful countryside setting west of Aarhus, in the small village of the same name. From kr 845.
- 26 Sabro Kro (Montra Hotel Sabro Kro), Viborgvej 780, 8471 Sabro (12 km from Aarhus), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Unlike the stereotypical Danish kro, the vibe here is unrelentingly modern. But don't be deceived: this place can go toe to toe with the competition in terms of history, established by royal decree no later than 1855 hotels. Sabro is a rather large kro, with close to seventy double rooms, several suites with spa and other luxury facilities, and room to accommodate conferences, events, and even concerts. There's fine food at the restaurant (including weekend brunch), and the owners' efforts to operate the place in an environmentally conscious way have earned Sabro Kro the international Green Key certificate as well as a silver certificate as a TripAdvisor GreenLeader. From kr 1095.
Nearly all hotels supply free Wi-Fi and limited workspaces. Most cafés also offers free Wi-Fi for customers, but gazing into your laptop for more than half-an-hour in a café is usually disapproved and you are best advised to find another spot to satisfy your digital needs. In this case Aarhus's free municipal WiFi network, Smart Aarhus, can be freely accessed in and around most public squares, parks, and institutions, including the Urban Mediaspace of Dokk1 where finding a spot to sit around should not be a problem.
If you need to use a computer, the library at Dokk1 has several terminals for public use, with Internet access through an SMS authentication system and printing services available for a fee. Also free Wi-Fi throughout the building.
In Denmark, all newer buildings — and quite a few older ones as well — are specially equipped with ramps, elevators, lifts, and sometimes escalators to help handicapped people navigate the public space. As well, the beeping sound you hear coming from the traffic lights at some of Aarhus' busier intersections are there to help visually impaired pedestrians know when it's safe to cross. Guide dogs are allowed in most places (even in some cinemas), and personnel are unusually friendly and helpful towards the handicapped.
The homeless in Aarhus are usually harmless (to the point where you could make small talk with many of them), and aggressive begging is uncommon. Many of them earn a nominal income selling the street newspaper Hus Forbi ("House Passed") to passersby in public places.
- 4 Germany (Consul Finn Prang-Andersen), Havnegade 4, ☎ .
- 6 Italy (Consul Henning Holmen Møller), Lille Torv 6, ☎ .
- 7 Japan (Consul-General Jørgen E. Handberg), Dalgas Avenue 57, ☎ .
- 8 Netherlands (Consul Søren Lund), Sct. Clemens Stræde 7, ☎ .
- 9 Norway (Consul Heine Bach), Store Torv 1, ☎ .
- 10 Spain (c/o CFJE), Olof Palmes Allé 11, ☎ .
- 11 United Kingdom (Consul Claus Herluf), Skolegade 19 B, ☎ .
In case of medical emergency, tourists should call either 112 (the all-purpose emergency number) or the medical emergency line at +45 70 11 31 31. The main emergency centre is at Nørrebrogade 44 (Building 7), the hospital campus near the university.
There are many pharmacies (Apotek) in Aarhus, in the city centre as well as the outlying districts. Supermarkets and some shops also sell non-prescription medicine. At the Aarhus Løve Apotek near the Cathedral, medicine can be picked up at all hours.
Explore the East Jutland region with Aarhus as a base, be it day trips or longer stopovers. The region offers many kinds of activities and experiences, especially in the summertime.
- A trip through the immediate countryside around Aarhus — say, to the Jeksendalen valley southwest of town, or around Norsminde Fjord on the coast — combined with a nice meal at a roadside kro can make for a great little getaway from the city. This is best done on four wheels rather than two: many roads here are narrow, there are no bike lanes, and car traffic can be fast-moving.
- Djursland is the "nose" of Jutland immediately northeast of Aarhus, a thinly-populated rural area where folks have made a living farming and fishing for millenia — a history you can get a sense of in the preserved Medieval-era old town of Ebeltoft, or at the ruins of Kalø Castle, both part of Mols Bjerge National Park which comprises most of southern Djursland. If animals are your thing, you'll find Kattegatcentret, an aquarium in Grenå where you can swim with seals, as well as a pair of open-air zoos: Skandinavisk Dyrepark and Ree Park Safari. Also popular is Djurs Sommerland, an amusement park with thrill rides including the largest rollercoaster in Northern Europe. North of Aarhus is Randers, home to a jungle zoo as well as Gammel Estrup, a manorhouse-museum situated in one of the many castles and manors that dot the region.
- Søhøjlandet, the "lake highlands", is a scenic region of forests, hills and lakes west and south of Aarhus that's historically important as home to medieval religious orders and the birthplace of the Danish national state. Hiking is a major attraction of this region: the Aarhus-Silkeborg hiking trail leads from the city centre through a scenic landscape of rivers and lakes to the town of Silkeborg, where you'll find an impressive modern art museum and yet another aquarium — Ferskvandscentret — displaying native freshwater aquatic species. From Silkeborg you can press on to Himmelbjerget, or the Sky Mountain, one of the highest points in Denmark with an impressive view of the surrounding landscape from the red brick tower on top. Elsewhere in the region is Skanderborg, a small historic town that was once the royal family's favorite hunting grounds and later during the Second World War served as headquarters of the Danish faction of the Luftwaffe (you can explore this history at the Skanderborg Museum), and Horsens, a port town that's home of the European Medieval Festival.
- Samsø is clearly visible from Aarhus across the bay, and is accessible by ferry from the village of Hou. The pace slows on this pastoral island powered entirely by renewable energy, with golf, horseback riding, and fine dining all on offer.
- Vejle, Southern Jutland's regional capital, boasts a range of historic and art museums as well as Trekantsområdets Festuge, a 10-day regional cultural festival akin to Aarhus Festuge.
- Viborg is - like Aarhus - an old Cathedral town with an interesting townscape full of history, quirky alleyways and summertime street life. It is a work-hard, play-hard town, home of one of Denmark's most popular and dominant football teams. Viborg has been administrative capital of the entire Region Midtjylland (Central Denmark Region) since 2007.
- Denmark's third-largest city, Odense, is the birthplace of fairy-tale fabulist Hans Christian Andersen, and it plays that connection to the hilt for the benefit of tourists: the house he grew up in is now a museum, Little Mermaid statues dot the town liberally, and there are parades and monuments in his honor.
- A lively student culture rules the day in Aalborg, in the far north of Denmark, home of the eponymous University of Aalborg as well as Jomfru Ane Gade, the longest bar street in Scandinavia.
|Routes through Aarhus|
|Aalborg ← Randers ←||N S||→ Skanderborg → Hamburg|