9 Reasons Why You Should Visit Aarhus, Denmark

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Your Rainbow Panorama
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Your Rainbow Panorama | © EHRENBERG Kommunikation / Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Aliki Seferou
20 April 2018

Boasting some of Denmark’s top cultural attractions, a great gastronomy scene and being known for its vibrant atmosphere, Aarhus can undoubtedly compete with Copenhagen. After being named European Capital of Culture for 2017, Denmark’s second-largest city was put on the map and is now considered one of the top destinations in Scandinavia. Here are nine reasons why you should visit Aarhus at least once.

It boasts some of the country’s most impressive buildings

Home to many notable modern buildings and architectural landmarks that were built centuries ago, Aarhus is a top destination for many architectural connoisseurs. Iceberg, the peculiar apartment building by the waterfront, Dokk1 the city’s newest library with the minimalist design and Musikhuset, Scandinavia’s largest concert hall with the glass façade, are only some of the city’s magnificent buildings that comprise Aarhus’ charming architectural scene.

Iceberg apartments, Aarhus Ø | © News Oresund / Wikimedia Commons

Its strong culture scene

From museums and art galleries to theatres and music halls, Aarhus’ culture scene boasts some of the country’s top cultural attractions. Modern-art lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to visit ARoS Aarhus Art Museum while history enthusiasts will be thrilled to discover Den Gamle By, an open-air museum featuring more than 75 historic houses relocated from places all over Denmark, showing how life was in Scandinavia in the past starting even before the 1900s.

Den Gamle By, Aarhus | Courtesy of Den Gamle By

A great destination for a short escape

Aarhus’ is a town with the perfect size for a short escape. Even if you only have two days, you’ll realize it’s enough time to get a real taste of the Danish culture. Whether you rent a bike or decide to use the public transportation, getting around won’t be difficult and you’ll have plenty of time left to discover the city’s top sights and hidden corners.

Aarhus' colorful houses | © Faruk Ateş / Flickr

It hosts one of Denmark’s best music festivals

Founded in 2010, NorthSide is a relatively new music festival but it has already become one of Danes’ favorite events. Not without a reason. Over the past eight years, the music festival has hosted some of the most popular international and local artists and many people travel from abroad in order see their favourite bands perform on stage and spend three days full of music, dancing and plenty of Danish beer.

Editors at Northside Festival 2011 | © Concert Photos / Flickr

Taste the New Nordic cuisine

Aarhus offers many options to foodies who want to taste the New Nordic cuisine or the traditional Danish dishes. The city brims with high-end restaurants, stylish bistros and cozy cafés while Aarhus Central Food Market is home to several stalls that serve tasty local delicacies. Take a stroll at the Latin Quarter in the heart of the city centre and Aarhus Ø, the hip upcoming district at the harbor, and discover Aarhus’ diverge gastronomy scene.

New Nordic Cuisine dish | © Johannes Jansson/norden.org / Wikimedia Commons

The beach is only a 10-minute bike ride from the city centre

Summer is one of the best seasons to visit Aarhus not only because you can enjoy almost 15 hours of daylight, but also because there are plenty of beaches ideal for a refreshing dive. The best part is that they’re close to the city centre and you can get there by bus or bike. Take a break from sightseeing and head to Bellevue beach, Den Permanente or Mariendal Beach and soak up some sun while exploring Aarhus’ great outdoors.

Sunbathe at Risskov beach in Aarhus | © Bjørn Giesenbauer / Flickr

The city’s vibrant nightlife

Aarhus has a vivid nightlife and endless choices for night-owls of all ages and styles. Classy cocktail bars, cheap bodegas, nightclubs, you name it, are all over the city. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed place to savour a cold beer or a crowded dance floor to dance the night out, you’re definitely going to find a place that suits your taste.

Fatter Eskil, music venue in Aarhus | Courtesy of Fatter Eskil

It ranked second on Lonely Planet’s ‘Top European Destinations’ list

Competing with Europe’s most touristic cities and ranking second on Lonely Planet‘s ‘Top 10 European Destinations Worth Paying a Visit’ is a great achievement. Two years ago Aarhus managed to beat some of the world’s most well-known metropolitan cities and climb on the top of the renowned guide’s list. The massive changes Aarhus has undergone over the past few years have put Denmark’s second largest city on the map so no wonder it is now considered by many a must-visit destination.

Your Rainbow Panorama, ARoS Art Museum | © Colin / Wikimedia Commons

It’s a paradise for millennials

Aarhus has some of Denmark’s best universities so many locals, as well as students from abroad, choose to move to the small Scandinavian town to enjoy student life. So, Aarhus has now become a real mecca for millennials who want to avoid the crowded metropolises. Hit the flourishing parks and popular hipster hangout spots at Aarhus Latin Quarter and mingle with the city’s enthusiastic youthful crowd.

The rooftop of ARos Aarhus Art Museum | © ptra / Pixabay

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