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Silkeborg is a town in Jutland founded in 1844 around a paper mill (Silkeborg Paprfabrik) at the Gudenå River. The history of the place goes back to the 15th century, when a castle was located at an islet in the lake of Silkeborg. This castle gave Silkeborg its name, meaning ‘silk castle’.

The city has been proclaimed as the "Outdoor capital" of Denmark, due to its many outdoor possibilities, and events.

Being surrounded by forests and lakes, nowhere in Silkeborg is far from nature. The city is on the banks on the longest river in Denmark, (The Gudenå river), which makes water sports and activities very popular.

Get in

Old City Hall on the main square

By train from Copenhagen change at Skanderborg. Trains from Aarhus via Skanderborg run every 30 min to Silkeborg, 30 min, and continue to Herning (another 30 min).

1 Silkeborg railway station is just south of the centre, with the main bus stops outside on Drewsensvej.

Midttrafik Bus 124 runs every 30 min from Aarhus to Silkeborg, taking 40 min. The 113 also runs frequently but takes 75 min.

By road follow E45, Jutland's north-south artery, and branch off at Skandeborg through Ry.

Get around


Hjejlen [YAI-len] sails between Silkeborg and Himmelbjerget (1 hr 15 min). Bookings +4586820766. Hjejlen is both the name of the oldest boat and the company that now operates several boats. The Hjejle-boats stop at many interesting places and with a return ticket, you can go on and off. This also gives you the opportunity to ride at least once with the original steam paddleboat.


  • 1 Museum Silkeborg, Hovedgårdsvej 7, +45 86 82 14 99, . The museum is at the former Silkeborg Manor from 1767, the oldest building in town. It presents iron age archeological founds. The most famous items on display are the mummies of Tollund Man and Elling Woman, bog bodies found during peat digging in the nearby swampy area. Although aged 300 BC, the head of Tollund Man is remarkably well preserved, including a peaceful facial expression and wrinkles.
  • [formerly dead link] AQUA. Freshwater aquarium with fish, otters, birds. The big tanks can be viewed both from above outside the building and from the side, inside the building. Has touch tank where you can pet the fish. 85 kr.
  • Silkeborg art museum, Gudenåvej 7-9, +45 86825388. Apr-Oct: Tu-Su 10:00-17:00; Nov-Mar: Tu-F 12:00-16:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00. Houses the Asger Jorn collections. 50 kr.
  • Paper museum. At papirfabrikken (the paper factory).
  • Kunstcentret Silkeborg Bad, Gjessøvej 40 A-D, 8600 Silkeborg, +45 86 81 63 29, . varies. At a location of magnificent natural beauty by the Ørnsø lake surrounded by protected forests, the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad is located. The Art Centre has been established in the old spa facility that has undergone meticulous renovation. 50 kr.
  • 2 Bunker museum (in the park by Kunstcentret Silkeborg Bad). Su 13:00-16:00. 10 kr.


Silkeborg Manor
  • 1 Hjejlen. Go on a boat ride on the oldest operative paddle steamer in the world. 105 kr day pass.
  • 2 Silkeborg Kanocenter (Silkeborg Canoe rental), Østergade 36, 8600 Silkeborg (by the dam), +45 86 80 30 03. Rent a canoe, kayak or motorboat. From 125 kr for an hour, to 400 kr for all day rental. You can arrange to leave the kayaks at another stop, so it does not have to be a return trip 125 kr.
  • 3 Go swimming. All day. Silkeborg has some of the cleanest lakes of the country, and there are several good places to go for a swim, or beach activities. The most popular lake is Almind sø, where you can find bathing piers, volleyball courts, changing rooms and toilets (Free).
Bunker Museum
  • 4 Labyrinthia (Land of labyrinths), Gl. Ryvej 2, Rodelund (south along Rodelundvej). See website for opening hours throughout the year. A land of labyrinths. Also indoor puzzles as well, for rainy days. 70-90 kr.
  • 5 Himmelbjerget (You can get there by the river boats (stop: Himmelbjerget).). Conquer this towering hill of a staggering 147 metres, and feel like a king! The name "Himmelbjerget" translates as "The Sky Mountain", and it is among the highest summits in all of Denmark, located the lake high-lands region with several hilltops of similar scale. Himmelbjerget is not the highest natural point (which is assigned to the nearby spot of Møllehøjen at 170 m), but it is the most popular by far, and the sharp drop towards the lake immediately north of the brick tower on the top is indeed impressive (no kidding). The hill, and surrounding area is of great historical importance in Denmark, as the birthplace of early modern democracy in the 1800s, and it offers a beautiful nature hike. There are kiosks, restaurants, toilets next to the top. 7.50 kr entrance for the tower on top. Himmelbjerget (Q1619098) on Wikidata Himmelbjerget on Wikipedia
  • 6 Hawk show (Silkeborg Ørnereservat, Rovfugleshow og Bisonfarm), Ansøvej 14, 8653 Them, +45 - 2065 7620. A show with hawks, owls, and lots of other birds. Has a pen with bison as well.
  • 7 Golfing, Bakbjergvej 7, 8653 Them. 160-350 kr All day pass.
Jorn Museum
  • Mountainbiking. There are several good routes in the forrests surrounding Silkeborg. There are also very good bike lanes for regular bike rides. Ask in the rental shops for the best route nearby. 350 kr day pass.
  • Horseback riding, +45 20 28 46 48. Tours starting at 10:00, 13:00 and 17:00. About 40 minutes of riding in beautiful surroundings. 1 hour for 325 kr.
  • 8 Go karting, Knudlundvej 16, 8653 Them, +45 20 24 68 95. 30-minute carting for 300 kr. Indoor go kart track. All equipment is included in the rental price.
  • Watch football: Silkeborg IF were promoted in 2021 so they now play soccer in Superliga, Denmark's top tier. Their stadium JYSK Park (capacity 10,000) is across the lake 2 km northeast of town centre.


  • The main downtown store is Netto at 9 Østergade, daily 08:00-22:00.



There are several restaurants at the paper mill:

  • [dead link] Michael D, +45 88822222. The restaurant and brasserie at the Radisson hotel at papirfabrikken. Menus from 250 kr.
  • Cafe Eval, Papirfabrikken 10, +45 86803366. Good beers and tapas, pastas, steaks, and burgers. Tapas or pasta main course 70 kr.

There are also many restaurants around the main square and on the shopping streets radiating out from the main square. These restaurants meet all budget ranges and includes:

  • Restaurant Gastronisk Institut, Søndergade 20. Fine food and wine. Three tables in front for streetside eating at lunch. Reasonably priced two-course lunches (105 kr) and sandwiches. Dinners feature à la carte or fixed-price choices.

Three restaurants in Silkeborg are featuring in the White Guide; an authorative, but not complete, gastronomical guide to the Nordic countries.

  • Restaurant Piaf, Nygade 31 (In the southern parts of Silkeborg, north of the central station and west of Christian 8.s Vej), +45 86 81 12 55. W-Sa evenings. French-inspired gourmet cuisine, but with many local and seasonal delicacies to let you know you are dining in Denmark. One of the best restaurants in the inner city, with about 20 years of experience. Closed in July. Splurge.
  • Karoline Amalie (Restaurant Karoline Amalie), Uglesøvej 1, Virklund (go south by Horsensvej towards the village of Virklund, not far from AQUA), +45 23 36 40 11. Open on Friday and Saturday evenings. An international gourmet cuisine, but with many local and New Nordic inspirations. The broad selection of various cheeses from near and far is notable. Karoline Amalie has a focus on indulging the senses of its guests and a dinner here is not something to be rushed; only book a table if you are prepared to spend the evening on a dining experience out of the ordinary. The locales are furnished with roccoco style chairs and a general romantic decor; perhaps remeniscent of Parisian restaurants. As a peculiarity, Karoline Amalie only serves Austrian wines; wines the owner and head chef imports herself. Splurge.
  • Ludvigslyst (Traktørstedet Ludvigslyst), Julsøvej 248 (go to the lake of Julsø, just beyond the village of Svejbæk), +45 86 88 80 40. W-Su from 12:00 (closed M Tu). An international gourmet cuisine; simple yet elegant and cooked with great skill. Often local and/or organic ingredients. The romantic surroundings greatly enhance and broadens the experience and Ludvigslyst is by some considered among the best places to eat in the region of Søhøjlandet. Lunch and various from 12:00-15:00. Evening dinners from 18:00. Special evening menus Wednesdays. No evening dinners Sundays. Mid-range to Splurge.
View from Himmelbjerget

The region holds several Kroer; Danish inns held in high social regard where you can dine and sometimes stay. Kroer (plural of Kro) near Silkeborg includes:

  • Kongensbro Kro, Gl. Kongevej 70, 8643 Ans, +45 86 87 01 77. Historic Kro since 1663 near the village of Ans, where the Gudenå river meets the lake of Tange Sø, less than 20 km north of Silkeborg center. Dine here for breakfast, brunch, lunch or evening dinner. Stay here for all-inclusive minivacations if you like.
  • Svostrup Kro, Svostrupvej 58, +45 86 87 70 04. Another historic Kro, since 1834, about 10 km north-east of Silkeborg center. Svostrup Kro is on the bank of Gudenå, Denmark's largest river, immediately west of the beautiful landscape of Gjern Bakker. Combine your dining here with a stay if you like.


  • Bryghuset Kragelund (BK), Kragelund Møllevej 4. This microbrewery opened in 2007, offers a wide variety. All their brews are unfiltered and unpasteurised. You can buy from the brewery on Fridays 16:00-18:00 or at restaurants and eateries in the Silkeborg area and across Denmark.


Hotel Dania
  • Radisson SAS, Papirfabrikken 12, +45 88822222. Good hotel on the Gudenå river in the former paper mill. Free internet, wireless at ground level, wired in rooms(get access code, RJ45 cable at the reception). from 895 kr.
  • Scandic, Udgaardsvej 2, +45 86 80 35 33, . Nice hotel not far from the Silkeborg Langsø, 2 km or so out of town. Rooms from about 990 kr.
  • Hotel Dania. Central location.
  • Danhostel. The youth hostel with a view of the river and in the centre of town, well kept and with good standards (very often outbooked).



As of Sep 2021, Silkeborg has 5G from TDC and 4G from 3 Tre, Telenor and Telia. Wifi is widely available in public places.

Go next

  • Aarhus is the lively regional capital.
  • Herning is a textile town with several museums.
  • Skanderborg is mainly a transport and commercial hub but has museums and other visitor amenities.

This city travel guide to Silkeborg is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.