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Why you should visit Aarhus in 2017

Updated on March 29, 2017
Mollestein | Source

Why Aarhus?

I'm sure you have all heard of, or maybe even been to, the wonderful city that is Copenhagen. Famous for it's happy people, yummy food and a little mermaid, Copenhagen has long been a top destination for those looking for a great European city break.

However, if you've already been to Copenhagen and loved it, or you prefer visiting smaller cities with a more intimate feel, then maybe this is the year you should consider taking a trip to Aarhus. Aarhus is Denmark's second city - located on Jutland (the part of Denmark that is connected to Germany) with a population of 319,000, it is Copenhagen's smaller, but by no means less charming, younger brother.

It has never been a better time to visit Aarhus as this year it holds the honour of being the European Capital of Culture for 2017. This spring/summer there will be plenty of exciting things going on in Aarhus and the city will be bustling.

Aarhus, Denmark

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What can I do in Aarhus?

Aarhus is a port city and the harbour area has recently been transformed into a modern hub. The pinnacle of this area is the impressive Dokk1 building which is a large library and citizen's advice centre. If you head a little further down the coast from here you will reach The Iceberg - an architecturally stunning residential development. During the summer there is also a manmade beach in this area, complete with a beach bar and a beach volleyball court.

Dokk1 | Source

Aarhus' most famous landmark is the ARoS art museum. The multi-floor gallery features mainly contemporary art - a recent notable exhibition was Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs. The most famous feature of the museum is the 'Your Rainbow Panorama', a permanent feature created by Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson. Pictured below, it is a glass walkway on the top of the building that guests are able to walk through to get a 360 degree view of Aarhus.

ARoS is open every day except Monday and the admission fee for adults over 28 years old is only 120 Danish kroner. Under 28's can get in for only 90 kroner, children under 18 go free and there is concessions available for students.


If you enjoy galleries and museums then also be sure to visit Moesgaard Museum which is a huge museum about natural history and anthropology. One star feature is the Grabaulle Man - the world's best preserved bog body. Moesgaard is also visually impressive - the slanted roof of the museum is covered in grass and in the summer many people gather to see the impressive views and enjoy the sunshine.

Moesgaard Museum
Moesgaard Museum | Source

Another museum to visit is Den Gamle By which directly translates to The Old City. This open-air museum highlights Danish history and culture across three decades through the medium of more than 75 houses that have been relocated to the area from all over Denmark. Aside the houses there are also shops, bakeries and a post office so if you want to get a real taste of Danish culture, past and present, be sure to head here.

If you're lucky enough to visit Aarhus when it's sunny, then be sure to consider visiting one of the many green spaces in and around Aarhus. There are many walking and cycling routes in and around the city, have a look at Sunbeams Over Aarhus for inspiration. Also be sure to wander down to Mollestein to see the most photographic street in the city.

Where can I eat?

Copenhagen has long been famous for it's two Michelin star restaurant Noma, but Aarhus also has it's own culinary gems. There are four Michelin star awarded restaurants in Aarhus and another two that have been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand for having exceptional food at reasonable prices. So, no matter what your budget, you can afford a Michelin experience here!

If Michelin food isn't your thing then be sure to visit one of the many cosy or 'hyggeligt' (as the Danes would say!) cafes that are dotted all over the city. You can sit out in the sunshine by the canal at places like Cross Cafe or instead head to the Latin Quarter for even more dining options. A great time to visit these types of cafes is for breakfast or brunch as they tend to do yummy buffets at reasonable prices.



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