Welcome to Aarhus!
The country’s second largest city, Aarhus, Denmark, has long been overshadowed by its bigger, trendier, more famous sibling, Copenhagen. However, the 2017 European Capital of Culture is a hotspot of Scand-cool and has remained relatively under the radar, though it is beyond easy to access on the Copenhagen to Aarhus train. Charmingly compact, with every one of its many attractions just a short stroll away, this is a gem of a city which has all the great elements of a much larger city with none of the downsides.
Tourists might know the famous sights, but a worldwide local can seek out the undiscovered attractions and authentic, local favorites. This is an insider’s guide to the lesser-known delights you’ll discover once you step out of the Aarhus airport.
As you’d imagine from a Capital of Culture, Aarhus is bursting with museums, galleries, and eye-catching architecture. One of the most rewarding things you can do in the city is walk out of your Aarhus hotel and just start to wander around town, drinking in some of the best and most impressive architecture in Denmark. Don’t miss the Aarhus Theater, the Dok1 library, or the sci-fi stylings of the Iceberg apartments.
Worldwide Local Tip: Aarhus is full of amazing museums and galleries, and although the most famous are certainly unmissable, some of the more offbeat ones are also worth seeking out. The Museum Ovartaci is a fascinating exploration of the history of Danish psychiatry, while the tiny Kunsthal Aarhus offers a great look into some of the best emerging contemporary artists in Denmark.
What and Where to Eat
While Copenhagen often gets the plaudits for its hip, trendy food scene, in reality, Aarhus has it beat hands down. The Frederiksberg district is often described as “the larder of Aarhus,” and is packed with exciting, creative restaurants, stylish cafes, and edgy, vibrant bars. Check out Haervaerk, one of the best eateries in the city, with a constantly changing menu based on seasonal produce. The Aarhus Central Food Market is the perfect place to try out tasty local delicacies at one of the many food stalls.
Worldwide Local Tip: For something a little different, the vegetarian and vegan delights of Mikuna are just the ticket. Just 10 minutes from the ARoS museum, the food here is a wonderful blend of organic, meat-free recipes, and brings passion, sustainability, and flavor to Aarhus’s gastronomic scene.
Outdoors in Aarhus--Beaches!
A day at the beach might not come to mind when you think of Denmark, but the Aarhus weather gets surprisingly warm in the summer, and with 15 hours of daylight, there’s loads of sun to enjoy. One of the best things about Aarhus is that there are three beautiful beaches just a 10 minute bike ride from the city center, perfect for soaking up a few unexpected rays!
Worldwide Local Tip: The Aarhus Ø district (home to the Iceberg apartments) is one of the most up-and-coming areas of Aarhus, and its delightful waterfront location makes it a great beach alternative. It’s also where the locals come during the summer for a refreshing dip in the water, followed by a few drinks and a rousing conversation about the merits of the Aarhus FC at the Strandbaren while the sun goes down.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Many visitors to Denmark are transfixed by Copenhagen, but Aarhus packs the same amount of culture, cuisine, and hip cafe culture into a far more compact little city. As a worldwide local you’ll be able to be ahead of the curve and beat the crowds to the most charming experiences Aarhus has to offer.