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Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of Aarhus municipality. It is located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula, in the geographical centre of Denmark, 187 kilometres (116 mi) northwest of Copenhagen and 289 kilometres (180 mi) north of Hamburg, Germany. The inner urban area contains 264,716 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2016) and the municipal population is 330,639 (as of 2016). Aarhus is the central city in the East Jutland metropolitan area, which had a total population of 1.378 million in 2016.
The history of Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement founded in the 8th century and with the first written records stemming from the bishopric seated here from at least 948. The city was founded on the northern shores of a fjord at a natural harbour and the primary driver of growth was for centuries seaborne trade in agricultural products. Market town privileges were granted in 1441, but growth stagnated in the 17th century as the city suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish Wars. In the 19th century it was occupied twice by German troops during the Schleswig Wars but avoided destruction. As the industrial revolution took hold, the city grew to become the second-largest in the country by the 20th century.
Today Aarhus is at the cultural and economic core of the region and the largest centre for trade, services and industry in Jutland. The city ranks as the 92nd largest city in the European Union, and as number 234 among world cities. It is also a top 100 conference city in the world. Aarhus is the principal industrial port of the country in terms of container handling and an important trade hub in Kattegat. Major Danish companies have based their headquarters here and people commute for work and leisure from a wide area in Region Midtjylland. It is a centre for research and education in the Nordic countries and home to Aarhus University, Scandinavia's largest university, including Aarhus University Hospital and INCUBA Science Park. Being the Danish city with the youngest demographics, with 48,482 inhabitants aged under 18, Aarhus is also one of the fastest growing Danish cities, with an average growth of 4,000 people per annum since 2010.
Aarhus is notable for its musical history. In the 1950s many jazz clubs sprang up around the city, fuelled by the young population. By the 1960s, the music scene diversified into rock and other genres. In the 1970s and 1980s, Aarhus became the centre for Denmark's rock music fostering many iconic bands such as TV-2 and Gnags. Aarhus is home to the annual eight-day Aarhus International Jazz Festival, the SPoT Festival and the NorthSide Festival.
|POPULATION :||• Urban 264,716
• Municipal 330,639
|FOUNDED :||Established 8th century
City Status 15th century
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|AREA :||• Urban 91 km2 (35 sq mi)
• Municipal 468 km2 (181 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||Highest elevation 105 m (344 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
|COORDINATES :||56°09′N 10°13′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.6%
• Female: 50.4%
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||8000, 8200, 8210, 8220|
|DIALING CODE :||(+45) 8|
Aarhus offers an elegant mix of cosmopolitan city and quaint small-town charm, with wonderful pubs, restaurants and romantic places. Being a university city and centre for education, Aarhus has a large student population and the average age of its inhabitants is among the lowest in Europe.
The ARoS Art Museum, the Old Town Museum and Tivoli Friheden are among Denmark's top tourist attractions. With a combined total of almost 1.4 million visitors they represent the driving force behind tourism but other venues such as Moesgård Museum and Kvindemuseet are also popular. The city's extensive shopping facilities are also said to be a major attraction for tourists, as are festivals, especially NorthSide and SPOT. Many visitors arrive on cruise ships: in 2012, 18 vessels visited the port with over 38,000 passengers.
In the 2010s there has been a significant expansion of tourist facilities, culminating in the opening of the 240-room Comwell Hotel in July 2014, which increased the number of hotel rooms in the city by 25%. Some estimates put the number of visitors spending at least one night as high as 750,000 a year, most of them Danes from other regions, the remainder coming mainly from Norway, Sweden, northern Germany and the United Kingdom. Overall, they spend about DKK 3 billion ($540 million) in the city each year. The primary motivation for tourists choosing Aarhus as a destination is experiencing the city and culture, family and couples vacation or as a part of a round trip in Denmark. The average stay is little more than three days on average.
There are more than 30 tourist information spots across the city, some of them staffed, while others are on-line, publicly accessible touch screens. The official tourist information service in Aarhus is organised under VisitAaarhus, a corporate foundation initiated in 1994 by Aarhus Municipality and local commercial interest organisations.
Some interesting facts:
- Aarhus hosts the largest cultural festival in Scandinavia, known as "Aarhus Festuge" (Aarhus Festival). It is held every year for 10 days in August-September.
- Aarhus has for many years been known as a nesting box for Danish musicians and bands, primarily in main stream pop and rock music.
- Aarhus is known as The City of Smiles (da. Smilets By). It probably just started as a slogan to improve the city's image, but it has nevertheless caught on, and has for many years been a common nickname for the city, also used by the citizens themselves.
- Aarhus is known as The City of Cafés - visit the city and you will soon know why.
- Aarhus is part of the East Jutland Metropolitan area, which by far has the fastest growing population in Denmark.
- Aarhus harbour is the largest industrial harbour in Denmark. In the Kattegat sea it is second only to the Gothenburg harbour in Sweden.
- Aarhus has seen a veritable building boom in recent years, with many large scale projects. Several are already finished, but many are still being built or in the planning phase, including some tall highrises.
- Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture in 2017. This will include special cultural events throughout 2017.
- Aarhus will host the 2018 World Sailing Championships.
- The Tourist Information Office has been closed and replaced with a few information screens across the city.
Founded in the early Viking Age, Aarhus is one of the oldest cities in Denmark, along with Ribe and Hedeby.
Achaeological evidence under the Aros settlement's defences indicate the site was a town as early as the last quarter of the 8th century, considerably earlier than had been generally supposed. Discoveries after a 2003 archaeological dig unearthed half - buried longhouses, firepits, glass pearls and a road dated to the late 700s. Archaeologists have conducted several excavations in the inner city since the 1960s revealing wells, streets, homes and workshops. In the buildings and adjoining archaeological layers, everyday utensils like combs, jewellery and basic multi-purpose tools from approximately the year 900 have been found.
The centre of Aarhus was once a pagan burial site until Aarhus' first church, Holy Trinity Church, a timber structure, was built upon it during the reign of Frode, King of Jutland, around 900. In the 900s an earth rampart for the defence of the early city was constructed, encircling the settlement, much like the defence structures found at Viking ring fortresses elsewhere. The rampart was later reinforced by Harald Bluetooth, and together with the town's geographical placement, this suggests that Aros was an important trade and military centre. There are strong indications of a former royal residence from the Viking Age in Viby, a few kilometres south of the Aarhus city centre.
The bishopric of Aarhus dates back to at least 948 when Adam of Bremenreported the bishop Reginbrand attended the synod of Ingelheim in Germany. The bishopric and the town's geographical location propelled prosperous growth and development of the early medieval town. The finding of six runestones in and around Aarhus indicates the city had some significance around the year 1000, as only wealthy nobles traditionally used them. The era was turbulent and violent with several naval attacks on the city, such as Harald Hardrada's assault around 1050, when the Holy Trinity Church was burned to the ground. Middle Ages
The growing influence of the Church during the Middle Ages gradually turned Aarhus, with its bishopric, into a prosperous religious centre. Many public and religious buildings were built in and around the city; notably Aarhus Cathedral was initiated in the late 12th century by the influential bishop Peder Vognsen. In 1441 Christopher III issued the oldest known charter granting market town status although similar privileges may have existed as far back as the 12th century. The charter is the first official recognition of the town as a regional power and is by some considered Aarhus' birth certificate.
The official and religious status spurred growth so in 1477 the defensive earthen ramparts, ringing the town since the Viking age, were abandoned to accommodate expansion. Parts of the ramparts are still in existence today and can be experienced as steep slopes at the riverside and they have also survived in some place names in the inner city, including the streets of Volden (The Rampart) and Graven (The Ditch). Aarhus grew to become one of the largest cities in the country by the early 16th century. In 1657 octroi was imposed in larger Danish cities which changed the layout and face of Aarhus over the following decades. Wooden city walls were erected to prevent smuggling, with gates and toll booths on the major thoroughfares, Mejlgade and Studsgade. The city gates funnelled most traffic through a few streets where merchant quarters were built.
In the 17th century, Aarhus entered a period of recession as it suffered blockades and bombardments during the Swedish wars and trade was dampened by the preferential treatment of the capital by the state. It was not until the middle of the 18th century growth returned in large part due to trade with the large agricultural catchment areas around the city; particularly grain proved to be a remunerative export. The first factories were established at this time as the industrial revolution reached the country and in 1810 the harbour was expanded to accommodate growing trade.
Following the Napoleonic wars, Denmark lost Norway and was excluded from international trade for some years which caused a recession for Aarhus' trade based economy that lasted until the 1830s. The economy turned around as the industrial revolution reached the city and factories with steam-driven machinery became more productive.
In 1838, the electoral laws were reformed leading to elections for the 15 seats on the city council. The rules were initially very strict allowing only the wealthiest citizens to run. In the 1844 elections only 174 citizens qualified out of a total population of more than 7,000. The first city council, mainly composed of wealthy merchants and industrialists, quickly looked to improve the harbour, situated along the Aarhus River. Larger ships and growing freight volumes made a river harbour increasingly impractical. In 1840, the harbour was moved to the coast, north of the river where it became the largest industrial harbour outside Copenhagen over the following 15 years. From the outset, the new harbour was controlled by the city council, as it is to this day.
During the First Schleswig War Aarhus was occupied by German troops from 21 June to 24 July 1849. The city was spared any fighting, but in Vejlby north of the city a cavalry skirmish known as Rytterfægtningen took place which stopped the German advance through Jutland. The war and occupation left a notable impact on the city as many streets, particularly in Frederiksbjerg, are named after Danish officers of the time. Fifteen years later, in 1864, the city was occupied again, this time for seven months, during the Second Schleswig War.
In spite of wars and occupation the city continued to develop. In 1851 octroi was abolished and the city walls were removed to provide easier access for trade. Regular steamship links with Copenhagen had begun in 1830 and in 1862 Jutland's first railway was established between Aarhus and Randers.
In the second half of the 19th century industrialisation came into full effect and a number of new industries emerged around production and refinement of agricultural products, especially oil and butter. Many companies from this time would come to leave permanent iconic marks on Aarhus. The Ceres Brewerywas established in 1856 and served as Aarhus' local brewery for more than 150 years, gradually expanding into an industrial district known as Ceres-grunden (lit.: the Ceres-grounds). In 1896 local farmers and businessmen created Korn- og Foderstof Kompagniet(KFK), focused on grain and feedstuffs. KFK established departments all over the country, while its headquarters remained in Aarhus where its large grain silos still stand today. Otto Mønsted created the Danish Preserved Butter Company in 1874, focusing on butter export to England, China and Africa and later founded the Aarhus Butterine Company in 1883, the first Danish margarine factory. The industry became an important employer, with factory employees increasing from 100 in 1896 to 1,000 in 1931, effectively transforming the city from a regional trade hub into an industrial centre. Other new factories of note include the dockyard of Flydedokken and the oil mill of Århus Oliefabrik, both located at the harbour, and Frichs, a machine factory initiated in 1854.
Aarhus became the largest provincial city in the country by the turn of the century and the city marketed itself as the "Capital of Jutland". The population increased from 15,000 in 1870 to 52,000 in 1901 and in response the city annexed large land areas to develop new residential quarters such as Trøjborg, Frederiksbjergand Marselisborg. Many of its cultural institutions were also established at this time such as the Aarhus Theatre (1900), the national library (1902), Aarhus University (1928) and several hospitals.
Second World War
On 9 April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark, occupying Aarhus the following day and 5 years hence. The occupation was a destructive period with major disasters, loss of life and economic depression. The Port of Aarhus became a hub for supplies to the Baltics andNorway while the surrounding rail network supplied the Atlantic Wall in west Jutland and cargo headed for Germany. Combined, these factors resulted in a strong German presence, especially in 1944-45. The first years were peaceful in conjunction with the policies of the Danish Protectorate Government, but following the enactment of the Communist Law in August 1941, the first armed resistance and sabotage commenced, gradually growing in intensity over the years with repression and terror in response.
Small, independent resistance groups first appeared in 1941-42 but the first to coordinate with the Freedom Council was the Samsing Group, responsible for most operations from early 1943. The Samsing group, along with others in and around Aarhus, was dismantled in June 1944 when Grethe "Thora" Bartramturned her family and acquaintances over to German authorities. In response, requests for assistance was sent to contacts in England and in October 1944 theRoyal Air Force bombed the Gestapo headquarters successfully destroying archives and obstructing the ongoing investigation. The 5 Kolonne group was established with assistance from Holger Danske to restore a resistance movement in Aarhus along with the L-groups, tasked with assassinating collaborators. Resistance operations escalated from mid-1944 with most major sabotage operations and assassinations occurring in the period 1944-45. The growing resistance was countered with 19 Schalburgtage terror operations by the Peter Group from August 1944, including large-scale fire bombings and murders. The increasingly destructive occupation was compounded when an ammunition barge exploded in 1944, destroying much of the harbor and damaging the inner city. On 5 May 1945 German forces in Denmark surrendered but during the transitional period fighting broke out in Aarhus between the resistance and German soldiers resulting in 22 dead. Order was restored by the end of the day and on 8 May the British Royal Dragoons entered the city.
Post-World War II years
In the 1980s the city entered a period of rapid growth and the service sector overtook trade, industry and crafts as the leading sector of employment for the first time. Workers gradually began commuting to the city from most of east and central Jutland as the region became more interconnected. The student population tripled between 1965 and 1977 turning the city into a Danish centre of research and education. The growing and comparably young population initiated a period of creativity and optimism; Gaffa and the KaosPilot school were founded in 1983 and 1991 respectively, and Aarhus was at the centre of a renaissance in Danish rock and pop music launching bands and musicians such as TV2, Gnags, Thomas Helmig,Bamses Venner, Anne Dorte Michelsen, Mek Pek and Shit & Chanel.
Since the turn of the millennium both skyline and land use has changed as former industrial sites are being redeveloped into new city districts. Starting in 2007, the former docklands are being converted to a new mixed use district dubbed "Aarhus Ø" (Aarhus Docklands). The site of the former Royal UnibrewCeres breweries began redevelopment in 2012 into "CeresByen", a residential district with educational institutions. The former DSB repair facilities at Frederiks Plads have been demolished and are being developed into a new business district with high-rise buildings scheduled for completion in 2017. The main bus terminal is planned to be moved to the central railway station by 2018 and the current site will be made into a new residential district. Construction of the first light rail system in the city commenced in 2013, with the first increment to be finished in 2017. The light rail system is planned to eventually tie many of the suburbs closer to central Aarhus. The next phase will connect a large planned suburb west of Lisbjerg.
Accelerating growth since the early 2000s brought the inner urban area to roughly 260,000 inhabitants by 2014. The rapid growth is expected to continue until at least 2030 when Aarhus municipality has set an ambitious target for 375,000 inhabitants.
Aarhus is in the humid continental climate zone and the weather is influenced by low-pressure systems from the Atlantic which result in unstable conditions throughout the year. Temperature varies a great deal across the seasons with a mild spring in April and May, warmer summer months from June to August, frequently rainy and windy autumn months in October and September and cooler winter months, often with snow and frost, from December to March. The city centre experiences the same climatic effects as other larger cities with higher wind speeds, more fog, less precipitation and higher temperatures than the surrounding, open land.
Western winds from the Atlantic and North Sea are dominant resulting in more precipitation in western Denmark. In addition, Jutland rises sufficiently in the centre to lift air to higher, colder altitudes contributing to increased precipitation in eastern Jutland. Combined these factors make east and south Jutland comparatively wetter than other parts of the country. Average temperature over the year is 8.43 °C (47 °F) with February being the coldest month (0.1 °C) and August the warmest (15.9 °C). Temperatures in the sea can reach 17 to 22 degrees Celsius in June to August, but it is not uncommon for beaches to register 25 degrees Celsius locally.
The geography in the area affects the local climate of the city with the Aarhus Bay imposing a temperate effect on the low-lying valley floor where central Aarhus is located. Brabrand Lake to the west further contributes to this effect and as a result the valley has a very mild, temperate climate. The sandy ground on the valley floor dries up quickly after winter and warms faster in the summer than the surrounding hills of moist-retaining boulder clay. These conditions affect crops and plants that often bloom 1–2 weeks earlier in the valley than on the northern and southern hillsides.
Because of the northern latitude, the number of daylight hours varies considerably between summer and winter. On the summer solstice, the sun rises at 04:26 and sets at 21:58, providing 17 hours 32 minutes of daylight. On the winter solstice, it rises at 08:37 and sets at 15:39 with 7 hours and 2 minutes of daylight. The difference in the length of days and nights between the summer and winter solstices is 10 hours and 30 minutes.
|Average high °C (°F)||2.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.7
|Source: Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut|
Aarhus is located at the Bay of Aarhus facing the Kattegat sea in the east with the peninsulas of Mols and Helgenæsacross the bay to the northeast. Mols and Helgenæs are both part of the larger regional peninsula of Djursland. A number of larger cities and towns is within easy reach from Aarhus by road and rail, including Randers (38.5 kilometres (23.9 mi) by road north),Grenå (northeast), Horsens (50 kilometres (31 mi) south) and Silkeborg(44 kilometres (27 mi) east).
The economy of Aarhus is predominantly knowledge and service based, strongly influenced by the University of Aarhus and the large healthcare industry. The service sector dominates the economy and is growing as the city is transitioning away from manufacturing. Trade and transportation remain important sectors benefiting from the large port and central position on the rail network. Manufacturing has been in slow but steady decline since the 1960s while agriculture long has been a marginal employer within the municipality. The municipality is home to 175,000 jobs with some 100,000 in the private sector and the rest split between state, region and municipality. The region is a major agricultural producer, with many large farms in the outlying districts.
The job market is knowledge and service based and the largest employment sectors are healthcare and social services, trade, education, consulting, research, industry and telecommunications. The municipality has more high and middle income jobs, and fewer low income jobs, than the national average.
Today the majority of the largest companies in the municipality are in the sectors of trade, transport and media. The wind power industry has strong roots in Aarhus, and the larger region of Midtjylland, and nationally most of the revenue in the industry is generated by companies in the greater Aarhus area. The wind industry employs about a thousand people within the municipality making it a central component in the local economy. The biotech industry is well established in the city with many small and medium-sized companies mainly focused on research and development.
The city has become a leading centre for retail in the Nordic and Baltic countries with expansive shopping centres, the busiest commercial street in the country and a dense urban core with many specialty shops. People commute to Aarhus from as far away as Randers, Silkeborg and Skanderborg and almost a third of those employed within Aarhus municipality commute from neighbouring communities.
Several major companies have their headquarters in Aarhus such as Arla Foods, one of the largest dairy groups in Europe, Dansk Supermarked, Denmark's largest retailer, Jysk, a world-wide retailer specializing in household goods, bedding, furniture and interior design, Vestas, one of the major wind turbine producers worldwide, and several leading retail companies. In total four of the 10 largest companies in the country are based in the municipality. Since the early 2000s the city has experienced an influx of larger companies moving from other parts of the Jutland peninsula. Other large employers of note include Krifa (a trades union organisation) and 5R, a telemarketing company, while metallurgy and electronics remain important sectors.
Aarhus Municipality has 45 electoral wards and polling stations in four electoral districts for the Folketing (national Parliament). The diocese of Aarhus has four deaneries composed of 60 parishes within Aarhus municipality. Aarhus municipality contains 21 postal districts and some parts of another 9. The urban area of Aarhus and the immediate suburbs are divided into the districts Aarhus C, Aarhus N, Aarhus V, Viby J, Højbjerg and Brabrand.
Aarhus Municipality has made its Wi-Fi free and public. Known as Smart Aarhus, it can be freely accessed in and around most public institutions and from many larger public squares and parks as well, day and night.
Most larger cafés has a free Wi-Fi network.
If you need to use a computer, you can use one of many freely available stationary computers at Dokk1 library on the harbour front. They use the Ubuntu Linux operating system and you can also go online for free through an sms-authentification system. It is possible to do print outs for a fee.
Prices in Arhus
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.82|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€6.80|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€32.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€60.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€80.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€8.50|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€5.30|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€5.30|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€10.50|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.14|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.90|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€2.65|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€90.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€38.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€100.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€2.60|
62 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
276 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- Aarhus Airport. Aarhus airport is serviced by a number of major European airlines. Flights from London Stansted Airport are serviced also by the low-cost flight provider 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 DKK100. Tickets are sold on the bus. Accepted currencies are Danish crowns, US dollars, pounds sterling and euro. Major credit cards are also accepted.
- Billund Airport. 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 DKK180. Tickets are sold on the bus. Accepted currencies are Danish crowns and euro. Credit cards are accepted.
Trains run once or twice an hour from Copenhagen (København) to Aarhus and take about three hours. As of July 2015, the adult fare is DKK382, with an additional DKK30 to reserve a seat. Discounts are available for persons 25 years old or younger (if buying aWildCard), or older than 65 years—both concessions cost DKK191 (half price). 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 (around €50 one way). Nevertheless, if you book about two months before travelling, you can buy one of the few tickets for €29/39 (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 increasingly attractive way of travelling between Aarhus and Copenhagen, perhaps 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. They operate buses from Copenhagen (Valby Station), Copenhagen Airport, Hamburg Airport and Berlin.
- Rødbillet. They operate buses to and from Copenhagen (next to the Central Station) as well as several other Danish cities.
- Eurolines. They operate buses to Hamburg, from where you can continue to any other European city.
- Mols Linien. They operate ferries to Odden and Kalundborg on the north-west coast of Zealand.
Transportation - Get Around
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 road in Denmark has sidewalks. You can pick up a leaflet called "Aarhus - five historical walks". The walks are all short and you could do them all easily in a day as they are all in the city centre. If you want to venture further out, several routes have been established for both exercise and 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 fifty spots around the city (check the link to see a map). You just need to insert a DKK 20 coin and when you park the bike at another "bike station", you get it back. City Bikes are available from 1 April to 20 October. If you choose to bike after dark, remember to 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 has been popping up in the inner city in recent years. 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 the square of 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.
There are two bus systems in Aarhus, both operated by Midttrafik. Yellow buses, service local routes within the city limits and blue buses, service 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. Blue buses also include express options known as X-buses, discernible by a large X sign. X-buses make fewer stops, are equipped with free wi-fi, 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 DKK 20 - or DKK10 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 (DKK120-220). Cheaper cards are also available for people under 16 year olds. 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 Aarhus Pass which covers all bus transport within the city and entry fees for all the museums.
Night buses are extra buses and routes, transporting passengers to and from the outlying districts and suburbs throughout the night. Prices are twice 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.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
The pedestrian zone in the city centre is the best place for shopping. You cannot miss it, as you will step right into it, when leaving the Aarhus central station or arriving at the central bus terminal. It is packed with small speciality boutiques and cafés, but also larger stores like the three H&M apparel stores and the department stores of Salling and Magasin du Nord and several supermarkets. Especially the main street known as Strøget, highlights upscale Scandinavian clothing, design and jewellery shops. There are a number of larger bookstores here where you can buy books in English too, including guides and maps.
- Museums Kopi Smykker, Skt. Clemens Stræde 7 (In a narrow sidestreet to Strøget near the Cathedral), . Closed Sundays. This is one of four shops in Denmark where you can buy or take a look at high quality Viking jewellery copied from originals. There are many different kinds.
- The Latin Quarter (Go to the Aarhus Cathedral at the end of "Strøget"). The Latin Quater (so called by the locals) is a central shopping district in the old city centre. The quarter is situated next to the Cathedral, confined by Mejlgade,Nørregade and the church of Vor Frue Kirke to be precise. Here you will find small 'independent' shops and some of the city's oldest cafés. Several unique fashion boutiques with design, clothes and furniture, some with exclusive Danish design such as the Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi store. Small art galleries, vinyl record stores, tattoo and haircut saloons, all in a diverse mix. Try a piece of luxurious chocolate or outstanding marzipan at the small Summerbird store, grab a coffee or a bite to eat at one of the cafés or restaurants, go to a small initimate concert at Gyngen or just wander about soaking up the atmosphere and street life. If you're in the city in mid-September, your trip may coincide with Mejlgade for Mangfoldighed, a 1-day street party in Mejlgade. Every year in May or September, the shops and businesses of the whole neighbourhood also celebrate Latinerfestival for a couple of days, with engaging street events and small concerts.
- Bruun's Galleri. This mall has been fused with the central station. You can enter the mall by car, or one of five street level entrances, including the main one through the central station itself. Bruun's Galleri is the biggest city mall in Denmark with 95 shops and the largest and most advanced cinema in Jutland.
- Storcenter Nord (Drive along Paludan Müllersvej from the city center. It is just beyond Ring 1). Located in the northern part of the central city, not far from the Botanical Gardens, this is another mall with around 50 shops. There are an unusual number of dining cafés in this mall and a large indoor playground with room for up to 150 kids. Have your lunch while your kids play just beside you. Large parking spaces in the basement and on the roof.
- City Vest (Drive along Silkeborgvej from the city center and beyond Ring 2).Located in the western part of the city, this mall has around 30 shops and cafés. Large parking lots.
- Bazar Vest, Edwin Rahrs Vej 3 (10 minutes walk from City Vest). 10-18 (closed Mondays). Located in Brabrand in the western part of the city. 110 small shops with mostly foreign nationalities where you can buy all kinds of exotic items and food or get a haircut and a meal. Large parking lots. Free.
If you are living on a budget and needs to buy your own everyday grocery, look for a red Fakta or yellow Netto as these are the most abundant discount stores in the city. Other discount options are Aldi, Rema and Kiwi.
Be aware that some places charge an extra 3.75% when billing foreign credit cards, due to banking fees. Especially at restaurants you could expect this.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Aarhus, reaching from cheap kebab joints, to high-class dining. Aarhus is generally known as one of the best places to eat in Denmark, probably due to the large number of conferences, good quality food products from local producers, major educational institutions for cooking and food production, and strong competition. However, the best places are not necessarily located on the most prominent addresses, so a bit of browsing is recommended if you have a particular interest in fine dining. Also, be aware that most restaurants closes the kitchen at 21 hours, but you can usually sit back a enjoy your meal for as long as you like. Many restaurants are closed for extensive periods throughout the year; usually in the summer months or January-February, so be sure to check up, if you plan to visit a specific place.
The main shopping streets of Jægergårdsgade, Strøget, Åboulevarden (aka Åen, along the Aarhus River), Vestergade and Tordenskjoldsgade has many options for a meal of all kinds. The Latin Quarter is also packed with restaurants and cafés serving food.
With an immigrant population of around 15%, Aarhus has many opportunities for ethnic food. This includes Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese food as the most common options. The price range are from Budget to Mid-range and you can find good ethnic food at street vendors to fine restaurants.
The locals regularly frequent the many cafés of the city while out and about. Besides being the best option for breakfast (around DKK 45), brunch and lunch, many larger cafés serve excellent home made burgers, salads, sandwiches, soups and snacks at reasonable prices (DKK 80-150 for a meal).
As Aarhus is a city full of students, there are many budget priced places, but they can be hard to spot for the hurried tourist and a little research (or asking) is a good idea. You do not have to compromise on quality in Aarhus, even when eating on a budget. Many mid-ranged places usually have a few budget options: it can be a cheap good quality lunch, student discounts or special discount nights.
- Pølsevogn. No visit to Denmark would be complete without patronizing a Pølsevogn(lit.: Sausage-wagon). These are street vendors selling a variety of sausages (pork) and hotdogs. Some larger places also has burgers and other fast food items for sale. Try a "ristet hotdog med det hele"; a hot dog with a grilled sausage and the works, comprising ketchup, strong mustard, Danish remoulade, fried and raw onions, finished off with pickled cucumbers on top. Its messy, its unhealthy and its really good! If you are into it, you should buy a warmed Cocio chocolate milk on the side, the traditional accompanying beverage. Most places also sell red coloured boiled sausages, a Danish specialty. They are funny to look at, but some of the other sausages for sale are more flavourful. The inner city has severalPølsevogn, there is one in front of the central station and another at the City Hall Square. Most stands are owned by a Danish charity organization, donating the surplus to needy children in both Denmark and abroad. Hot dogs c. DKK 25.
- Havnens Perle, Sverigesgade 1A, . All week (8-22 most days). Located at the harbour. This place has been awarded the best Danish barbecue restaurant in Aarhus. Enjoy a fresh made burger, hotdogs, fried chickens, a slice or two of roast pork, fish and chips or various hot meals. No gourmet food! This place serve more roadhouse-style food than restaurant - ensure you check out the website before making the trip out there. Try traditional Danish fried pork with white parsley sauce and potatoes (ad libitum for DKK 125), a hearty dish that calls for a big draft beer. You can also have your breakfast here and around noon you can buy good smørrebrød (Danish style open faced sandwiches on rye bread) for lunch. Many locals and dockworkers. Plenty of room to sit outside when the weather permits. Some customers have noticed that the ability of the chefs at Havnens Perle is sometimes inadequate, especially if the workload is too great. There are many other options for budget priced grill and barbecue food in Aarhus, besides the usual international fast food chains. Danish-style barbeque in this category includes the pølsevogn stands, Gerner's Grill,Vikinge Køkkenet and several in the outlying districts like Oasen Burger & Grill in Vejlby and Mickeys Fried Chicken in Viby for example. Burger menus DKK 89 and up. Hot dogs DKK 28. Hot meals from DKK 49.
- Delizioso, Trøjborgvej 8F (Trøjborg) and Sikeborgvej 257 (Åbyhøj) (At the southern end of Tordenskjoldgade you take a 1-minute walk downhill toward the forest of Riis Skov. Delizioso at Silkeborgvej is at the Åbyhøj Square. Good opportunities for parking at both spots.). All week (16-21). Delizioso started out some years ago in Åbyhøj out of the central city, but now also has a pizzeria-restaurant at Trøjborg. Both the restaurants are very small and placed on less prominent adresses. The Italian food at Delizioso is both budget priced and of a good quality at the same time. The menu is mostly pizzas and pastas, but also risotto and some authentic Italian veal dishes available, all of good quality. Special option and price for children. Enjoy the food at one of the small restaurants, or have it as take away. Aarhus has a huge number of pizzarias, from budget to mid-range priced and of a varying quality. Most pizzarias are cheap fast food joints that can fill your stomach, but not to remember. There are however a few mid-range priced pizzarias (DKK 85-120 and up) of a good quality. This includes the Italian specialty store Il Mecatino in Mejlgade and the relatively new but very popular Piccolina opposite the cathedral school. Piccolina is run by an Italian family and has budget priced options for take away. Casa Mia on Trøjborg not far from Delizioso is a mid-range priced pizzaria that is popular with locals and in the neighbourhood of Frederiksbjerg, Caffé Ispirazione is an Italian-style coffee, ice cream and pizzaria shop serving excellent pizzas. Delizioso makes pizzas for DKK 70-85.
- Restaurant Mekong, Nørregade 10, , e-mail:[email protected]. Tu-Su 17-22. Asian restaurant with excellent quality. Good variety, special offers (2 course dinner 119 DKK) and take-away. There is also a Mekong restaurant at the other end of Nørregade, by the name of Thai Mekong. Equally good quality, price range and take-away options. Nørregade has many other restaurants, both budget and mid-range. Main course 75 DKK.
The following options have been chosen to show the diversity within the price range and only well-settled places that have proven themselves are mentioned. There are many good places that are not in the list, as there are really too many worthy spots to include. Also, quite a few splurge-level restaurants have occasional mid-range discounts.
Several larger hotels have their own restaurant and you can choose to dine there, you do not have to reside in the hotel. Most are mid-range priced and of a great quality. See the hotel section or the individual hotel websites for details. Also, Danish inns (kro) in the immediate countryside around Aarhus offer culinary experiences, both traditional Danish food and international gourmet cuisine. Many are mid-range priced and a few are on the splurge-level.
- Latin Brasserie and Creperie, Klostergade 2, , e-mail: [email protected]. All week (kitchen open 18-22 Sun to Thu, 12-15 and 18-23 Fri to Sat). located on a corner in the Latin Quarter. French inspired gourmet cusine. 3-4-5 course dinners with three course evening dinner for DKK 275 and DKK 215 for matching wines. Single dishes from DKK 175. Lunch option 12-15 hours Friday and Saturday. Good mussels with handcut chips. There is a very active nightlife in the area. Mid-range.
- Mefisto, Volden 28 (In the Latin Quarter), , e-mail:[email protected]. All week (kitchen open 11:30-22 Mon to Fri, 10-22 Sat to Sun).A small restaurant with great but uncomplicated gourmet food for affordable prices. The menu has a focus on seafood, but also includes meat dishes and has a good variety. Changing seasonal four course menus, single dishes and tapas-style servings. Mefisto is known for their lobster menus and brunch. Several options for lunch. Nice patio. Mains from DKK 188. Lunch from DKK 98.
- Mackies's Cantina (Mackie's Pizza), Sct. Clemens Torv 9 (At the Aarhus Cathedral), . All week (11:30-22). Restaurant and café, known for introducing pizza eating without knife and fork, into Aarhus in the 70's. Pizzas can be made family-sized. Also clubsandwich, burgers, salads, wraps, steaks and fries. Usually discount deals on steaks and wine for two or more. Good food in a lively unique decor and atmosphere. DKK 129 for burgers. DKK 85 and up for pizzas.
- Restaurant Lotus, Frue Kirkeplads 1 (Go to Vor Frue Kirke church in the city centre), . 17-23. A family friendly Chinese restaurant with decent a-la-carte selection of some authentic dishes and a fine tea selection. Nice decor, not too kitschy. Good all-you-can-eat buffet and special meals and prices for children. Budget- to mid-range priced. Take-away boxes from 40 DKK only. Located at the "Vor Frue Kirke" Church in a small side street to Vestergade. Vestergade has several mid-range restaurants. Buffet 179 DKK.
- Oishii Sushi, Nørregade 42 (At the outskirts of the Latin Quarter), . All week (kitchen close at 21). There are many sushi restaurants in Aarhus and at Oishii Sushi they have a "running sushi" arrangement, where you choose and pick from a rolling transport belt, just like the Japanese like it. Good variety and good quality. Also opportunity for take away with on-line ordering. When you eat sushi (or anything) in Denmark you can be sure your food has been handled by trained professionals with high hygiene standards. Next door you can try Oishii Wok, focusing on Chinese wok-style food. Both restaurants are operated by the same owner, and he also has two other oriental restaurants in Aarhus: Saichi(original Japanese restaurant in Jægergårdsgade) and Kung Fu Express (a sushi and Chinese wok take-away in Højbjerg). Cheapest menu is DKK 69.
- The Diner, M.P. Bruunsgade 42(On Frederiksbjerg, close to the central station), . All week (Mon-Wed (11-21), Thu-Fri (11-22), Sat (10-22), Sun (10-21)). The Diner is an all-American diner started by two friends in 2011. They travelled the US to find original secondhand utensils and both the interior design and the food is in the real American style, focussed on the 50's. At The Diner you can get American breakfast, brunch, sandwiches, burger and fries, beer and refreshments or just a piece of pie and coffee if you like. If you are from or have been to the USA, you probably know more authentic places, but the food at The Diner is quite good and the burgers are among the best in Aarhus, something that is not easily achieved. In the last few years, Aarhus has experienced a veritable "burger war", with good quality burger joints popping up everywhere, so there is strong competition. Some of the new quality burger spots include Murphy's Burger Joint, The Burger Joint,Grillen Burgerbar, The Burger Shack, WeDoBurgers, BurgerHut and Tommi's Burger Joint, usually with organic or locally produced meat and homemade ingredients. Among the well-established burger joints in Aarhus,Byens Burger is one of the very best spots, with catering all-night on the weekends. You can also get good gourmet burgers at many cafés, sliders at Rodizio and of course the usual fare at McDonalds and Burger King. The Diner also has a spot in Viby, a southern district of Aarhus, and in the city of Vejle. The Diner is mid-range (DKK 89 for most burgers. Fries, dips and drinks are extra).
- Le Basilic, Mejlgade 85 (Stroll along Mejlgade for about 10 minutes), , e-mail: [email protected]. Closed Sunday. At this place you can enjoy simple French inspired gourmet food for a mid-range price. Le Basilic is placed in the far end of Mejlgade, a bit away from the central scene and the concept is that you bring your own wine. The food is really good and there are many options to choose from, including three different and changing menu types; Gourmet, Seasonal and Surprise. Regular discounts on weekdays and for early dining from 17-19 hours on weekends. Three course dinners from DKK 225 on weekdays, DKK 205 for verifiable students. You can take a look at the current menus on their website so you can have an idea of what wine to bring along. If you ask in advance, the cooking can be adjusted to suit people with special needs or demands, including allergics, vegetarians and the like. Just across Le Basilic,Restaurant Olive operates with a similar concept. Mid-range.
- Kähler Spisesalon, M.P. Bruuns Gade 33 (Near Bruun's Galleri and Jægergårdsgade), , e-mail: [email protected]. All week (kitchen close at 21:30). At this place you can choose to eat your breakfast, brunch, lunch or evening dinner or just sit for a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the athmosphere and fashionable Kähler ceramics. The menu is diverse and of very good quality. Part of the menu is inspired by traditional Danish dishes, like the decorated open sandwhiches, but often with a twist. Also Nordic inspired gourmet cuisine. Quality breakfast at 80 DKK. Three course dinner for 298 DKK. Kähler also operates a luxurious high-end gourmet restaurant in a mansion in the northern neighbourhood of Risskov by the name Kähler villa dining. Here you can experience excellent New Nordic Cuisine for mid-ranged prices.
- Klassisk 65 (Klassisk Bistro & Vinbar), Jægergårdsgade 65 (About midway down Jægergårdsgade). All week (closed for a few hours in late afternoon).At this bistro and winebar you can get very good French-style food, both bistro and dinners. Casual and cheerful atmosphere, awarded for its "feel-good experience". If you like to have a peek before you decide, go have a coffee or perhaps a full brunch at the café next door by the name Kaffe 67. It would probably be a good idea to book ahead at the restaurant, as it is rather small and often full of people having a good time. Good opportunities for vegetarians. There is also an excellent seafood restaurant known as Klassisk Fisk run by the same group of people in Nørregade near the Latin Quarter. It is also French style and in the same price range. A la carte is more expensive at the seafood restaurant though and there are some splurge options too. Be aware that Klassisk Fisk does not take any cash. Lunch DKK 110-150. Three course menus DKK 295 (also a-la-carte).
- Restaurant ET (ET), Åboulevarden 7 (Near the end of the riverside at the harbour front), . 12:00-15:00 &17:30-22:00 (closed Sunday).Restaurant ET is located at a less busy place at the river side. Here you can try a good variety of excellent quality dishes, inspired by French and Danish classic recipes like Confit de Canard and Chicken Danoise, but with a fresh twist. Excellent choice of wines and cheese. Two types of three course evening dinners at DKK 358 (wine excluded), but you can also dine a la carte at DKK 150-250 for a main course. Lunch from 12-15 hours at DKK 80 and up. Prices are most reasonable for the quality. Elegant architecture and subdued interior design, where you can watch the chefs cook from a central kitchen. Restaurant ET is well-known for its reliable quality. Mid-range to splurge.
- CANblau, Frue Kirkeplads 4 (At the central square of Klostertorv), , e-mail: [email protected]. All week (lunch and evening). CANblau is a celebrated Spanish-style gourmet tapas restaurant. The restaurant is the biggest tapas restaurant in Denmark, in two floors and with furnishings that says quality. With a flagship tapas menu at DKK 328 and matching wines for DKK 248, CANblau walks the line between mid-range priced and a splurge. It is possible to buy individual a-la-carte tapas at a lower price and still feel satisfied. A very large Spanish winecard, with several gems and special imports. There is also a CANblau in Aalborg. Mid-range to splurge.
- Skovmøllen, Skovmøllevej 51 (In the forests near Moesgård Museum), . Wed-Sun. Enjoy some soothing hot chocolate, tea or coffee at the restored timber-framed medieval watermill in the midst of the forest, then stroll along the stream, winding through the forest down to the beach. Also classical Danish lunch with a twist, large brunch on weekends and gourmet 3-5 course dinners on Friday nights. Excellent quality. On-line booking option. Large lunch 225 DKK.
There are many options for a dinner splurge in Aarhus and the variety is good. The following list contains just a few selections from the Aarhus splurge scene, to cover the diversity of the city and inspire most tourists:
- Restaurant Frederikshøj, Oddervej 19-21 (Go to the seaside entrance of Mindeparken in the south of the city.), .Wed-Sat. One of Aarhus' most exquisite gourmet restaurants, led by renowned chef Wassim Hallal and located in the Marselisborg Forest across Mindeparken. Awarded one star in the Michelin guide in 2015, in part because of its originality. Stylish modern decor. 700 DKK and up.
- Restaurant Koch, Pakkerivej 2 (At the yacht and wooden ships harbour basin), . Excellent gourmet restaurant with fashinonable decor. Only three options: A large flagship gourmet menu at DKK 1000 (Thu-Sat), four-course dinner known as "The madness" (Wed-Sat) at 495 DKK (all included) and a notable Sunday brunch (Sun 11-13) at 345 DKK. The three Koch brothers also run the mid-range priced lunch and dinner brasserie of Frøken Koch just across the yacht harbour (open Wed-Sat).
- Gastromé, Rosensgade 28 (Near Casino Royal at the Latin Quarter), . Closed Sundays and Mondays. At Gastromé you can experience an inspired take on the New Nordic Cuisine at a very high level. Good local ingredients are used in abundance according to the seasons and many dishes have a strong reference to traditional classical Danish dishes, but they also serve caviar here and use ingredients like chocolate or rum and do not limit themselves by the strict dogmas of true New Nordic. The chefs calls it a "gourmet-inspired country kitchen". Gastromé is one of the best restaurants in Aarhus, opened at the beginning of 2015 and awarded a Michelin-star right after. The two restaurateurs and chefs here are quite experienced though, as they have been operating a somewhat similar restaurant at the historic Vilhelmsborg manor just south of Aarhus for many years, by the name of Det Gamle Mejeri (the old dairy). Here you can also get an excellent Sunday brunch. DKK 898 for "Half-throttle". DKK 1,398 for "Full-throttle". Wine included..
- MASH, Banegårdspladsen 12 (Across from the central station and City Hall), . All week. Aarhus branch of the lauded Danish steak house, boasting some of the city's best steaks as well as a very impressive wine menu. Also fish and quality burgers. Lunch option Mon-Fri. Beef 265 DKK and up. Vegetables, sauce and every side order are extra.
- Nordisk Spisehus, M.P. Bruuns Gade 31 (Near Bruun's Galleri and Jægergårdsgade, right next to Kähler), , e-mail:[email protected]. Closed Sunday. Here you can enjoy gourmet lunches and dinners. As a specially approved concept, Nordisk Spisehus serves menus from Michelin-star restaurants around the world. The menus are 3, 5 or 9 courses with a three-course dinner at DKK 499, and pairing wines for DKK 349; this is not a mid-range place. Every second month, both the menus and the interior design are changed. Three course dinner DKK 499, Gourmet lunch only DKK 79.
- L'estragon, Klostergade 6 (In the Latin Quarter next to Restaurant Latin), . At L'estragon you can get superb French-style gourmet food. The restaurant is very small and can only seat 22 guests at a time, so reservations would be a good idea. As L'estragon is not the only exclusive gastronomic spot in Aarhus, it qualifies for special mention because it also holds a gold certificate in organic food and a large part of the excellent wine card is either organic or biodynamic wines.The food products are often choosen from local farmers. The main criteria for L'estragons selections are always taste and quality above all though. 3-4-5-6 course dinners. Three course dinner DKK 395. Pairing wine menu DKK 315.
- Hærværk, Frederiks Allé 105 (Go to the western end of Jægergårdsgade and turn left), , e-mail:[email protected]. Wed-Sat. Here you can try out some local experimental gourmet cooking. With a focus on organic food and a firm anchor in local ingredients, the chefs at this place cooks up ever changing dishes at a fixed price. You will never know what dishes they have in mind for you, as they will make the best of what is in season, available and of a good quality, but you can be sure it will be prepared well and done creatively. This is part of the charm and deconstructed concept of Hærværk. The wines are organic or biodynamic and you can also try natural wines here, the new hip thing in the world of wines and environmental awareness. Hærværk is a relatively new place, run by four friends, three of which are chefs. Do not be fooled by the anonymous facade and ordinary adress. Five-course menu at DKK 450 and winemenu for DKK 350.
- Domestic (Restaurant Domestic), Mejlgade 35B (the backyard) (Go to Mejlgade 35 and look for Domestic in the backyard), , e-mail:[email protected]. Tuesday to Saturday (kitchen open from 17:30-21). Domestic is a new star on the restaurant scene in Aarhus. Along with Hærværk, Domestic is among the first attempts in the city to present a truly dedicated locavore dining experience in the New Nordic tradition. Recently opened in the premises of several former celebrated restaurants in a strange backyard in Mejlgade, Restaurant Domestic has already received a number of recommendations from food critics in both Denmark and abroad. Founded by experienced chefs and waiters, the culinary experience here is not cheap, but bound to be different, inspiring, local and of a high standard. Menus are DKK 500 and up, excluding beverages.
- Restaurant Seafood, Marselisborg Havnevej 44 (Go to the marina in the southern parts of the harbour), . All week 12-21 (22).Restaurant Seafood serve, as the name suggests, seafood. The food is photo-worthy when served and tastes equally as good. Menus, á-la-carte and also lunch options. Three course dinner 370 DKK.
Traditional Danish food
Traditional Danish food has seen a surge in the Danish restaurant business in recent decades. Unlike the experimental and often quite expensive dining of the New Nordic Cuisine, traditional Danish food is hearty, simple and of course sticks with tradition. Usually special dinner plans around the feasts such as Mortens Aften (St. Martin's Day 11 November), Christmas and Easter. Prices are mostly mid range.
- Rådhus Kaféen, Guldsmedgade 32, . Established in 1924, and with a central location at the City Hall Square, this is a popular restaurant both for lunch, dinners and evening meals. Portions are large and the quality is good. Authentic traditional Danish interior design. Mid range.
- Teater Bodega, Skolegade 7, , e-mail: [email protected]. With a central location next to Aarhus Theatre, this historic restaurant has served food since 1911. The name Teater Bodega is from 1959. There is a big variety in the meal plan, and the quality is good. The interior is kept in an old traditional Danish design and is an experience in itself. Mid range.
- Restaurant Pinden, Skolegade 29 (1-2 minute walk from Teater Bodega), , e-mail: [email protected]. With an old fashioned decor, this place has a varied menu for both lunch and dinner. Authentic traditional dishes, with large filling portions of a great quality. Good value for the money. Special traditional Danish lunch buffet on Saturdays. Try a snaps (Danish bitter) with your open sandwhich here. A good informal vibe. Mid range.
- Europa, Havnegade 28 (Go to the square of Europaplads and follow the road along the harbour front), . Tue-Sat. Right around the corner from Pinden is the small gastro-pub of Europa. For lunch and dinner they serve traditional Danish-style cuisine of a good quality. Good beer selection, many from draft and also homemade snaps. Red wine is also served, but beer is the best companion to traditional Danish food. This place is worth visiting just to enjoy one of their good draft beers, you are not required to dine. Mid range.
- Restaurant Kohalen, Jægergårdsgade 152-154, .Located in the former slaughter house district of the harbour, this restaurant (from 1907) serves good quality traditional Danish meals. The restaurant is very popular for loud dinner parties and it might be impossible to reserve a seat. Mid range.
- Den Lille Kro, Nørre Allé 55, . Centrally located near the Latin quarter, but at a less busy corner of the inner city, this restaurant serves traditional Danish food of a good quality and variety for both lunch and evening dinners. Portions are large. Den Lille Kro (The Little Inn) is not too big, with a cosy atmosphere, and has been popular since its opening some years ago. It was closed for about a month in 2016 due to a change of director and owner. mid range.
- Liv's Sandwich, Sønder Alle 2 (Just around the corner from the central City Hall Square ("Rådhuspladsen")), . All week. In this deli and take away, you can try a good selection of Danish open sandwiches. The prices are fair, at DKK 33 - 48 for smørrebrød (traditional open face sandwich on rye) and just DKK 12 for a håndmad. Good option for picnics. Budget.
There are not many purely dedicated vegetarian dining options in Aarhus, but some restaurants serve vegetarian main courses or have buffet options for vegetarians or vegans. Some places dedicated to vegetarian cuisine are:
- Mikuna, Frederiks Allé 96 (Near the western end of Jægergårdsgade. Just across the bridge.), , e-mail: [email protected]. Tue-Sat (12-20). Vegan restaurant and café with focus on sustainability. Good quality and variety. Everything is made from scratch. 65-75 DKK.
- Glad!, Frederiks Allé 127 (On Frederiksbjerg. 5-10 minutes walk from Mikuna.), , e-mail: [email protected]. All week (9:30-20:30). Organic certified (90-100%) diner and café. Mostly vegetarian, but not exclusively. Good variety, also with breakfast, brunch and take-away options. 55-165 DKK.
- Café Ganefryd, Borggade 16 (In the Latin Quarter), .Mon-Sat. Organic café with good variety for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free meals. Owned by the health food store Ganefryd close-by in Klostergade.
- Café Gaya, Vestergade 43, . Mon-Sat. Organic and vegetarian café with good variety. All-you-can-eat lunch buffet 125 DKK and evening buffet 145 DKK. Brunch every Saturday. Cosy decor and sometimes events and music, usually Fridays.
- Pihlkjær, Mejlgade 28, Baghuset (Go to Mejlgade 28 in the Latin Quater and look for the restaurant in the backyard), . Tuesday to Saturday (kitchen closes at 20:00). This excellent evening restaurant is located in a secluded backyard in the Latin Quarter. Pihlkjær is first and foremost a seafood gourmet restaurant, but if you talk to the chefs in advance they can cook up gourmet dinners of excellent quality for vegetarians or vegans as well. You can also have non-alcoholic beverages with your food here if you like, including teas and homemade juices. Special 3-course Theatre menu at DKK 260 (drinks excluded) with early arrival at 17:30. Book a table at least the day before. Mid-range to splurge.
Cakes and bread
Denmark has a long tradition for some unique cakes and good quality breadmaking. You can buy cakes and bread in the usual cafés or in common bakeries across the city, but some places has put a special effort into the craft of baking and is well worth a visit.
- Emmerys, Guldsmedgade (and five other sites). Every day 7-18 hours.Emmerys is a high-quality bakery, specialized in 100% organic food. It is a chain of bakeries with shops in Aarhus and Copenhagen, but it originated in Aarhus in 1918 as a pâtisserie (known as Konditoriin Danish) in Guldsmedgade. There are six Emmerys in Aarhus, with four in the central parts. They all have a nice clean but cosy decor with seatings for dining and some small-talking. Good breakfast and brunch with a good selection of cakes and breads, but also high-end foodstuff like coffee, tea, pickles, marmalade, etc. The opening hours as well as the food for sale vary a little bit from shop to shop, but all are open every day of the week. mid range.
- Lagkagehuset, M. P. Bruunsgade 34 (Where M. P. Bruunsgade crosses Jægergårdsgade). Every day 6:30 - 19 hours (18 weekends). Lagkagehuset offers breads and cakes of a high quality, but also cold confectioners cakes, including various layercakes and creamcakes, some of which are uniquely Danish. If you are looking for cakes specifically, Lagkagehuset has a broader selection than Emmerys. Lagkagehuset is also a Danish chain, but originating in Copenhagen and with only one café-shop in Aarhus. Open all days of week and with seating. Classy clean decor. Try a piece of the many kinds of Danish pastry or perhaps an Othello cake (chocolate cream layer cake of Danish origin) with your coffee or tea. In the summer of 2016, a new Lagkagehuset department opened in the northern neighbourhood of Risskov. Mid range.
- Schweizer Bageriet, M.P. Bruuns Gade 56 (On Frederiksbjerg, up the hill south of the railway station. Just opposite an Emmerys café-shop). A tasty bakery full of Danish delights - perfect for breakfast. Good sandwiches. It is a traditional bakery with only a couple of seats for eating. Excellent quality and delicious authentic Danish pastry of more than ten varieties. The range of choice for the cakes changes often. There has been a bakery here since 1897, the name of Schweizer Bageriet came in 1956.
- Langenæs Bageriet, Langenæs Allé 14 (On Frederiksbjerg, near the square of Harald Jensens Plads). 6-18 hours (all days). A large bakery with a drive-in. A broad selection of high quality baked goods, bread, buns, cakes, pastries, cream cakes, cookies, etc. Many traditional Danish cakes, including Danish pastries of course. You can stroll and take a good look at the variety on display. They also make high-end chocolate delights, including homemadeflødeboller. Nice clean decor with a section for eating. Coffee, tea, sandwhich and salads too. Large specially designed cakes for celebrations can be ordered. There are two other branches in Aarhus, one in Højbjerg and another in Risskov.
- Briançon, Åboulevarden 53, . Open from 7 every day. At this small but great bakery you can watch the bakers at work and also buy quality coffee beans and champagne. They only use butter for baking here, no cheap substitutes, but the prices are very reasonable relative to the high quality. The shop is administered by a brother and a sister since 2006 and is located at the riverside, but at a less busy place.
- Småkagehuset (Småkage Huset), Fredriks Allé 102 (Just across the bridge on Frederiks Allé), . Closed Monday and Sunday. This is another small, quality bakery. Owned and run by a couple (both bakers), this place has a large variety of bread and cakes. The name Småkagehuset means "The Cookie House" and their broad and changing selection of cakes also includes cookies. Denmark has a long tradition for some unique cookies and is well-known for its export of butter cookies. At Småkagehuset you can pick and choose you own mix of Danish cookies, includingvanillekranse, jødekager and finsk brød but also other types, like the Italian-style biscotti. If you have a hard time choosing, just take your time or simply ask the bakers themselves about their baked goods, as they also works as sales clerks and are happy to chat and explain. As a specialty you can also buy sugar-free cakes here and baked goods certified for consumption by diabetics. There are a few chairs inside and a bench outside on the pavements. mid-range.
The traditional bread in Denmark is Rugbrød, a special kind of dark and dense sourdough, wholemeal rye bread, and it is still a popular choice, especially forsmørrebrød. Common white bread, locally known as franskbrød (French Bread), is equally popular and available everywhere. Rundstykker is a special kind of crusty white bread wheat buns usually served for breakfast, in particular on special occassions or Sunday mornings. There are several kinds, but all are light in texture and the most popular are håndværker with a generous sprinkle of poppy seeds. You can buy rundstykker at every bakery and most places serve them with a spread of butter if you ask. They are eaten just like that or with cheese, cold cuts or jams of your choice.
Special cakes are made around Christmas and Carnival. Special Christmas cakes includes julekage (a large Danish pastry with marzipan, Corinthian raisins, succade and nuts), pebernødder (small peppery cookies, traditionally used for a number of games) and klejner (deep fried rhombus shaped dough, flavoured with cardamom and lemon zest and only slightly sweet) and for Carnival in February it includes a variety of fastelavnsboller (Carnival-buns), which usually comprise pastry creme filled buns with icing and flaky pastry cakes filled with a whipped cream mix and redcurrant jelly.
Coffe & Drink
The many cafés in Aarhus span a diverse range from tiny hole-in-the-walls with two chairs where you can stop and buy something to drink on your way through the city 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 in the night. So whatever you are looking for, it shouldn't be a problem to find a café that suits your taste or pocket.
Quite a few cafés have a strong focus on quality coffee. Altura, La Cabra, Great Coffee and Bill's Coffee are four exceptional places in this regard, but they get strong competition. The coffee shop chain of Street Coffee is also doing a pretty good job and you can find them at three spots in the inner city. If you do not enjoy coffee, most places also serve hot chocolate or tea, but quality tea is only beginning to catch on and you might want to visit A.C.Perch for the real deal. It is a sister to the celebrated and historic tea store and café in Copenhagen by the same name and you will not be dissappointed. Many cafés can make you a smoothie, and Juice Stop and Joe & The Juice specialize in juicing fresh fruits and vegetables.
The majority of cafés in Aarhus are unique, each with their own individual charm and character, but several Danish café chains are also present, including Baresso, Emmerys and Anettes Sandwich, and you can find them across the city. Baresso mostly focus on quality coffee, but also serves cakes, small meals and tea. With usual spacious rooms and comfortable furniture, they are a good place to sit and chat for a while or rest your legs and read a magazine. If you want something to eat, Anettes Sandwich is a better option. Emmerys is a chain of organic bakeries, but each store is also a dining café and here you can get breakfast and brunch too.
Breakfast (morgenmad in Danish) is served at most larger cafés for reasonable prices (DKK 35-80). At some spots it is buffet-style with a good variety, while at other spots it consists of a bun with cheese and jam. The bread is always of a good, filling quality. Some larger cafés also serve brunch and it is a popular treat on the weekends especially. A few places regularly arrange luxurious brunch servings, sometimes including champagne, like the Varna Palace in the Marselisborg Forests. Lunch of various kinds, prices and qualities can also be had at many cafés and there are quite a few deli-shops with healthy fast food options such as salads and sandwiches. Dining cafés with evening meals are plentiful at the riverside, but also in the Latin Quarter, including Gemmestedet, Englen, Drudenfuss, Carlton and Casablanca. The shopping streets of Jægergårdsgade on Frederiksbjerg and Tordenskjoldsgade on Trøjborg also have several good ones.
Although there is a high concentration in the inner city, cafés can be found throughout. A few special places might be hard to discover without particular mention:
- Vinylrock Café, Mejlgade 46, . 10-20 (Mon-Sat). At this place they have opened a small rudimentary café in a second hand vinyl record store. There are four other vinyl record stores in Aarhus, but Vinylrock is the only store with a café. There used to be a great café and vinyl store in Klostergade for many years, but it closed in 2015. Other places selling vinyl record includes Badstuerock and Dandelion Records, both in the Latin Quarter, Route 66 in Fredensgade and Pladekisten in Jægergårdsgade.
- LYNfabrikken, Vestergade 49 (In a backyard near the western end of Vestergade). 9-17 (closed weekends). LYNfabrikken (The Lightning Factory) is an alternative office community for small creative businesses, and it also includes a café. Located in an old factory building in a backyard in Vestergade, it has a special aura of old and new and it can be an inspirational visit to have a peek at what is stirring in the creative entrepreneurial milieu of Aarhus. The café is located in the loft of the factory, equipped with a rooftop terrace. A good place to be in the summer for a quick change of scenery and a laid back secludedness in the midst of the bustling central city. The café offers beverages (good coffee), cakes and a small choice of food. It is spacious, well-lit and you can sit here to write, read, chat, relax or glance at books and crafts for sale. LYNfabrikken can be hard to spot, so you might have to investigate a few backyards in the vicinity before you locate it. This is not a bad thing, as you will surely make other interesting discoveries. There is a small exhibition room at the street near the backyard with changing arts and crafts.
- Hos Sofies Forældre, Frederiksgade 74, e-mail:[email protected]. Open 9-18 hours on week days. 10-16 Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Comfortable old fashioned furnishing and a relaxed atmosphere. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cakes and sweet pies, breakfast plates, lunch and ice cream. Popular with groups of young mothers. Although Frederiksgade is packed with bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities, there aren't any other cafés in the immediate vicinity.
- Kakaobar (Double Rainbow Kakaobar) (In the anxillary buildings behind the Godsbanen cultural centre). Open 10-18 hours all days except Mondays. Café in the day and nightclub on late weekend nights. Kakaobar is located at the railway yard at Godsbanen and serves sandwiches, salads and hot chocolate with various flavours along with other beverages. In the warmer seasons people play street basket, skate at the bowl or just hangs out around here.
- Constantia (Café Constantia2), Norringholmsvej 32, 8260 Viby (Pass along the Brabrandstien pathway from the inner city or go to the square of Viby Torv and find your way to the Brabrand Lake), , e-mail:[email protected]. 10-17 on Sundays (May to October). This place is a great getaway in beautiful nature, but close to the city. Situated in a former farmhouse, known as Norringholm, and administered by an architect couple, Constantia is actually a Bed & Breakfast, but with a sunday café attached. The café is open 10-17 and here you can order a large brunch menu (10-12) or a selection of various small dishes (10-16), ice cream, cakes and beverages. Great applejuice. The menu changes almost every Sunday, but you can check it out on their website. It would be a good idea to book a table beforehand, but Constantia is also open to random visitors if not fully booked. Combine a visit to Constantia with a nature walk or bicycle trip to the lake area. The house is located on the eastern shores of the Brabrand Lake, beyond an allotment area and with a magnificent view across the lake meadows. There is an outdoor chessboard, a sandbox for toddlers and climbing trees for adventurous kids. From Constantia you can take a longer trip around the lake along the Brabrandstien pathway or back to the city centre along the Aarhus River, also by the Brabrandstien pathway. Both trips are good nature experiences.
Sights & Landmarks
Anyone who appreciates European architecture will find many points of interest in Aarhus, from medieval buildings to modern icons. 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 very recent Moesgård Museum from 2014. Notable architecture in the city also includes representations of architectural directions from former eras such as post-modernism, functionalism and historicism. The Aarhus Cathedral initiated 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 1500's.
Many attractions in Aarhus are free and the public space has many free facilities, events and an interesting street life, so even on a budget you can have an enjoyable experience.
- ARoS (Aarhus Art Museum), Aros Allé 2, . Tu-Su 10-17, except W 10-22. One of Denmark’s largest museums. Be sure to check out the '9 Spaces', a maze of black-walled galleries. A recent addition 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. 120 DKK, under 18's free.
- 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 to 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 the Sun is out. 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.
- Den Gamle By (The Old Town), Viborgvej 2, .Collection of 75 original Danish buildings dating from 1597 to 1909 moved to create an open-air museum village; there are historical shops and restaurants, some true to the period. A few volunteers and staff members are dressed up in historic clothes and sometimes events are arranged. You can buy a trip with an authentic horse carriage around the museums cobblestone streets or through the park. Currently a whole new section is being added to the village, showcasing town culture and buildings from the 20th century, including a bakery, several stores, a poster museum and a jazz club. The new quarter is mostly finished and can be experienced as part of the entire village. Be sure to spend some time in the large surrounding Botanical Garden and the new Greenhouses. Both are free, but not the museum. 135 DKK.
- The University Park (Aarhus University Campus). Designed by famous Danish architects C.F.Møller, Kaj Fisker (buildings) and C. Th. Sørensen (landscape garden) is another noteworthy piece of architecture. Here you find the State Library, a landmark highrise in characteristic yellow brick, Antikmuseet a museum of antique Mediterranean culture and art, a Natural History Museum, and the Steno Museum with historic collections on science and medicine. The park itself is worth a visit on its own, year round.
- Dokk1 (Dock-one, Dokken, Urban Media Space), Hack Kampmanns Plads 2, . 8-22 (Mon-Fri) 10-16 (Sat-Sun). This large state-of-the-art public library at the harbour front opened in the summer of 2015. It 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 arrangements. Guided tours are arranged with 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 too. Large subterranean robotic car park below the building. Great for kids and adults alike. The whole building is accessible to wheelchairs. Free.
- Aarhus Domkirke (Aarhus Cathedral), Domkirkepladsen 2, . May-Sep 9.30-16,Oct-Apr 10-15. The beautiful cathedral is over 800 years old, and both the longest and tallest in Denmark. Next to it, is Aarhus Cathedral School, also with an 800 year history. Concerts are sometimes arranged in the church. The tower offers a good view. Across from the cathedral is an old subterranean monks cellar. It was formerly part of the cathedral complex, with an underground tunnel, and is now a bar and nightclub. Free (a fee for the tower).
- Kvindemuseet (Women's Museum), Domkirkepladsen 5, . Tu-Su 10-17, except W 10-20. Residing in the old City Hall building right next to the Aarhus Cathedral, this place focuses on the importance of gender in both previous times and today's society. The Women's Museum presents changing exhibitions on the cultural history of gender and possess a fair collection of historical stuff related to women specifically. 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 good nice old-fashioned decorated café and on Sundays lunch is included in the entry fee.Besættelsesmuseet (The Occupation Museum) is a small museum telling the story of the German occupation of Denmark during World War II as it happened in Aarhus. This museum is situated in the same building as Kvindemuseet, but with entrances just around the corner in a small park. The old City Hall was actually used as a prison and interrogation room by the Gestapo and in this museum you can learn about how the occupation affected the daily life in Aarhus at the time. 40 DKK for Women's Museum.
- Aarhus Viking Museum, Skt. Clemens Torv 6, . M-F 10:00-16:00, except Th 10:00-17:30. Small Viking museum located in the basement of the Nordea Bank next to the cathedral. Free.
- Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), Vestergade 21, .Church with an interesting crypt church in the basement, built around 1060. It is one of the oldest still existing stone churches in Scandinavia, maybe the oldest. Through a door on the left inside the church you can enter a former monastery with an atrium garden. Free.
- Kunsthal Aarhus, J.M. Mørks Gade 13 (Go to Mølleparken. Kunsthal Aarhus is located across the river.), . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, except W 10:00-21:00. An arts centre, promoting contemporary art. Built and established in 1917, it is one of the oldest arts centres in Europe. Free (2015).
- Mindeparken (Marselisborg Mindepark) (Drive south along the coastal route.). 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 here. The park is centered 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. Many interesting places are nearby, including the Marselisborg Palace, Aarhus Forestry Botanical Garden, the Ceres Park & Arena stadium, Aarhus Racecourse and the extensive Marselisborg Forests. The Marselisborg Palace immediately west of Mindeparken is the Queen's summer residence. The small palace and surrounding garden-park is fenced, but open to the public when the Queen is not in residence. It is dotted with sculptures as Prince Consort Henrik, the Queen's husband, is an avid art collector. See the main entrance for details. Free.
- Moesgaard Museum, Moesgård Allé 20 (Bus 18 from central Aarhus starts and terminates outside the museum. DKK 20.), , e-mail:[email protected]. 10 am - 5 pm, except Wednesday 10 am - 9 pm. Closed most Mondays - see website for exceptions. Stupendous architecture: a vast prism of a building that stretches down its 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 brand new iconic building in October 2014. Excellent museum restaurant and café. The large historical landscape below the museum is also worth a visit in itself and is free and accessible year round. DKK 130 (adults), DKK 110 (students and over-65), free for children 17 and under.
If you have an interest in churches, Aarhus has quite a few interesting ones. Aarhus Cathedral and the smaller Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), both from early medieval times and right in the city center, are interesting for obvious reasons, but Denmark is also known for its diversity of modern church architecture and there are several modern architecture churches in the outer districts of the city, worth checking out too. Ravnsbjerg Kirken (Ravens-hill Church) in Viby is a monumental modernistic church from 1976 built in red-brown brick and with an interior clearly inspired by Norse pagan mythology. The smaller Møllevang Church near the botanical gardens is of similar inspirations. Skjoldhøj Church in the western parts of town is another modern movement church from 1984, in whitewashed brick overlooking 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 was built in 1926 and is a good example of neoclassical architecture with minimalistic decorations, so typical of Scandinavian design. The 35 metre tower and cross is visible on most of the city's skyline. In the outer districts, many older whitewashed stone churces are former village churces, now engulfed by the expanding city.
Museums & Galleries
Aarhus has many museums and two of the largest in the country measured by the number of visitors, Den Gamle By and ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. Den Gamle By (The Old Town), officially Danmarks Købstadmuseum (Denmark's Market Town Museum), presents Danish townscapes from the 16th century to the 1970s with individual areas focused on different time periods. 75 historic buildings collected from different parts of the country have been brought here to create a small town in its own right.
ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, the city's main art museum is one of the largest art museums in Scandinavia with a collection covering Danish art from the 18th century to the present day as well as paintings, installations and sculptures representing international art movements and artists from all over the world. The iconic glass structure on the roof, Your Rainbow Panorama, was designed by Olafur Eliasson and features a promenade offering a colourful panorama of the city.
The Moesgård Museum specialises in archaeology and ethnography in collaboration with Aarhus University with exhibits on Denmark's prehistory, including weapon sacrifices from Illerup Ådal and the Grauballe Man. Kvindemuseet, the Women's Museum, from 1984 contains collections of the lives and works of women in Danish cultural history. The Occupation Museum (Besættelsesmuseum) presents exhibits illustrating the German occupation of the city during the Second World War; the University Park on the campus of Aarhus University includes the Natural History Museum with 5,000 species of animals, many in their natural surroundings; and the Steno Museum is a museum of the history of science and medicine with a planetarium. Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus Art Hall) hosts exhibitions of contemporary art including painting, sculpture, photography, performance art, film and video. Strictly speaking it is not a museum but an arts centre and one of the oldest in Europe, built and founded in 1917.
Things to do
For its size, there are a great deal of things to do in and around Aarhus. When public events are arranged, it is customary to find ways to engage people of all ages and economic capabilities, so whether you travel alone, as a family, young, old, handicapped, on a splurge or a budget, you will find interesting activities and events to have fun with and participate in. Many places have special discounts for kids, groups, students and pensioners, and children are generally welcomed everywhere. You can spend a lot of money on great entertainment and the palette of activities and things to do in Aarhus, but many things are also public and free.
Enjoy one of the many nature offerings in and around Aarhus, all of which can be reached by foot from the city. Larger parks of interest includes Botanisk Have (The Botanical Garden), Universitetsparken (The University Park), Vennelystparken andMarselisborg Mindepark adjacent to Marselisborg Palace, the Queen's summer residence. The most popular woodlands are the urban forest of Riis Skov (Riis Forest), Havreballe Skov (Havreballe Forest) and the beautiful 8 km. stretch of Marselisborg Forests south of the city. The forests are equally suited for a hike; the old forest area around the Moesgård Museum in the Marselisborg Forests is perhaps the most picturesque. Wetlands of interest to visitors and with great opportunities for birdwatchers, includes The Brabrand Lake area in the west and Egå Engsø in the north. Both lake areas are equipped with birdtowers and has flat asphalted trails ideal for hiking, biking and rollerskating as there are no car traffic. The Brabrandstien track around the Brabrand Lake is special as it starts off from the inner city and is more than 20 km long; the first kilometres follows the Aarhus River upstream through the city. If you keep an eye out you can spot a few fruit trees and bushes with edible berries here and there along the pathway, including blackberry, raspberry and red currant in the late summer and cherries, elderberry, plums and apples in the autumn. Some of them are natural growth, while others have been planted intentionally to the benefit of wildlife and humans alike.
Theatre & performing arts
- 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.
- Svalegangen, Rosenkrantzgade 21.The second-largest theatre in Aarhus, conveniently located in Rosenkrantzgade just off the major pedestrian street Ryesgade.
- Katapult (Teater Katapult), Godsbanen, Skovgaardsgade 3, , e-mail: [email protected]. Teater Katapult is probably the largest alternative theatre in Aarhus since 1995. "Katapult" simply means Catapult and this theatre has a focus on fertilizing, stimulating and nurturing the local scene in Aarhus, catapulting new talents and projects that is less mainstream. Many plays here are firmly anchored in relevant themes in the world around us, as seen from a local perspective usually, and intends to stimulate debate. Katapult has been involved in a number of prize winning interactive dramaturgical productions. You can attend Katapults' plays several times each month at the new Godsbanen cultural centre. DKK 170 (DKK 60 for people under 25 and discounts for students and pensioners).
- Teater Refleksion, Frederiksgade 72 (Go to Frederiksgade near the City Hall Square. Look for the theater's discrete street sign). This is a good example of one of the many small niche theatres in Aarhus. Located in a tranquil backyard in the city centre, Teater Refleksion specialise in puppet and animation theatre of a high international standard. Equally suited for children and adults.
- Filuren, Thomas Jensens Allé 2 (Go to the Concert Halls). Another small niche theatre with room for up to 150 guests, located inside the large building complex at the Concert Halls. Filuren is both a scene and a school for child theatre. A nice alternative thing to do if you are with children. Each play has an age limit attached, and it is strictly enforced so be sure to check out the programme beforehand. Several plays are suited for children as young as 3 years old. Age limits are usually 3, 4, 5 or 13 years. DKK 65.
- Helsingør Theater (At the main entrance of "Den Gamle By" museum). This theatre is in the Old Town Museum in a reconstructed historic theatre building from the town of Helsingør north of Copenhagen. The building and interior is itself notable, but it is also a working theatre with room for an audience of 220, performing summer operas, intimate classical concerts and occasional plays throughout the year. Not the most active theatre in Aarhus, but certainly an interesting visit, both for experiencing the perfomances and the reconstructed interiors.
- Granhøj Dans, Klosterport 6 (Near the square of Kloster Torv in the Latin Quarter). Granhøj Dans is an international dance company with its base in Aarhus. You can attend performances at their premisses in Klosterport at the outskirts of the Latin Quarter.
- Bora Bora, Valdemarsgade 1 (Go to HeadQuarters at the square in front of the Concert Halls and Scandinavian Congress Centre). Bora Bora is a dance and visual theatre. It is located in an old school, now turned a cultural centre.
Every second year in May, Aarhus is host to the International Living Theatre (ILT) festival, with the next event taking place in 2017. For a number of days, people from the stage art scene 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 cinemas in Aarhus and a number of smaller niche cinemas.
- CinemaxX, M. P. Bruuns Gade 25 (In the shopping centre of Bruun's Galleri), . The largest and most hi-tech cinema in Jutland. Here you can watch mainstream popluar movies, some in 3D. Foreign films are not dubbed in Denmark, but subtitled. Large lounge parlor with a candy store. Be aware that it is not allowed to bring you own candy to this cinema!
- Biocity Aarhus, Sankt Knuds Torv 15 (Opposite the catholic church on the pedestrian street near the central station), . Another large mainstream cinema with nine large screens and among the most technologically advanced in the country. Lounge parlor with café and large candy store.
- Metropol, Tordenskjoldsgade 21 (Go to the main street of Tordenskjoldsgade on Trøjborg), . All week from 15 hours. A smaller local but mainstream cinema in the neighbourhood of Trøjborg. Five screens and a café.
- Øst for Paradis, Paradisgade 7 (In the Latin Quarter, next to a small sex shop), . Independent and European cinema and occasionally mainstream movies too since 1978. 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 in a terror bombing during the Second World War. The cinema has seven screens, equipped with state-of-the art digital technology. There is a cosy café at the cinema where you can talk or read about the films, browse cultural magazines or the daily papers. There is a nightclub (Café Paradis) at the loft top floor of the building.
- Slagtehal 3, Mejlgade 50. This should be your choice, if you're into horror movies, which are shown every Thursday. DKK50.
- Musikhuset (The Concert Hall).The largest concert hall in Scandinavia, Musikhuset has seating for more than 3,000 people in six halls and hosts a large variety of events and concerts throughtout the year. You can hear large classical performances, rock and jazz concerts, but also operas, musicals, chamber music and smaller intimate concerts at smaller scenes. Good restaurant and café.
- Voxhall, Vester Alle 15 (At Mølleparken in the city centre.), . Voxhall hosts many concerts of modern contemporary music with a good, tightly planned schedule. Mostly rock and pop, but not exclusively. Along with Train, Voxhall is the preferred scene for most larger rock and pop concerts. Many concerts with international bands from abroad. A relatively small scene, but room for many people. The associated venue of Atlas is just as active, but mainly focusses 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 before-hand! Nice wine and tapas bar in the building at Pica Pica.
- Train (At First Hotel Atlantic at the harbour front.). Train is equipped with up-to-date technology and hosts a large variety of modern contemporary music concerts and sometimes events. From rock, pop and jazz to hip-hop and electronica. There is a an associated lounge, nightclub and cocktailbar by the name of Kupé.
- Gyngen, Mejlgade 53 (In a backyard at Mejlgade.). Gyngen is a music venue, restaurant and café all in one. A small scene and with less room than Voxhall and Train, mostly featuring lesser known bands and artists in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Fatter Eskil, Skolegade 25 (Behind the Aarhus theatre in the lively Skolegade near Aarhus River.). Closed Sundays and Mondays. Housed in an old building from the 1700s in the city centre, Fatter Eskil is a popular music venue and bar. A diverse mix of genres with bands from Denmark. Fatter Eskil is mostly known for blues and rock. Free admission until 22 hours usually. DKK 40-80.
- Vestergade 58 (V58), Vestergade 58 (Near the western end of Vestergade). In a backyard of a beautifully restored yellow-black timber-framed merchant's house in Vestergade, Vestergade 58 has been a small popular music venue for 40 years. A good mix of genres. Both lesser known bands and international stars occasionally. V58 is also a bar and has a separate scene used for stand-up comedy nights, where you can also get yourself a brunch on Sunday mornings.
- Radar (Behind the Scandinavian Center and the Concert Halls). Located in the newly built culture centre of Godsbanen, Radar hosts many concerts and music events.
- Studenterhus Aarhus, Nordre Ringgade (At the northern outskirts of the University campus.). Built for student activities and assemblies and equipped with a cantina, Studenterhus Aarhus is also hosting cultural events and concerts. The largest scene of Stakladen has modern sound technology and room for 750 standing or 450 seated guests. Concerts every week.
- HeadQuarters (HQ), Valdemarsgade 1 (Go to the square in front of the Concert Halls and Scandinavian Congress Centre). Tuesday - Saturday (from 19 hours). HeadQuarters is a cultural venue for theatre, dance and music located in the basement of an old school, now turned a cultural centre. There are usually three concert events per week on a tiny scene, but HeadQuarters also hosts clubs and DJ nights with various themes.
If you are in Aarhus in the summer, there are good opportunities for outdoor watersports and most of the coastline of the bay is accessible and suitable for leisure activities. Most beaches are sandy and child friendly with shallow waters. With two marinas in the central harbour and with many marinas spread across the entire bay area, some tourists choose to visit Aarhus from the waterside in the summer, in their own ship.
There are four beaches worthy of special mention: The beach park of Åkrogen in Egå north of the city, Bellevue Beach Park in the city district of Risskov, the sea bath of Den Permanente below the forest of Riis Skov in the city centre and the beach park of Moesgård Strand in the south of the Marselisborg Forests. There are several other small spots inbetween. The municipality shares key information on-line about the quality of bathing waters, temperatures, etc. and the information is also downloadable as a free app for smartphones. Be aware that, every time the cat-link catamaran ferries enter and leave the bay, they cause an increased wave activity in the entire bay area. The phenomenon is harmless, but some small children are frightened by the experience, especially when it happens on an otherwise calm day. The waves appear quite suddenly; they only become noticeable when they break at the shoreline (like mini-tsunamis), lasting for 5-10 minutes. In theory you could predict it by watching for the catamarans on the water, glance at their schedule or be attentive to the increasing waves. Or you might simply choose not to care, as most people.
There are a total of four public indoor swimming halls 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, with discounts for children and groups. You can rent towels and bathing suits at some places, but it is expensive.Badeanstalten Spanien in the city centre is special for several reasons and is the only swimming-complex with a dedicated well-ness section.
- Badeanstalten Spanien, Spanien 1 (Go to the bus terminal near the harbour front), . All week (Mon-Thu 8-20, Fri-Sun 8-16).Recently renovated historic bath house, located at the central bus terminal, with a large indoor pool, spa and saunas. Many families and children in the pool on weekends. Luxury wellness section with men and women mixed, including more saunas, steambaths, spa, infrared heat lamp, a number of other facilities and occasional evening events. The complex also comprise a separate fitness-center and has a couple of small boutiques offering massage, beauty treatments, wellness products and a dining café. The building is originally from the early 1930s, it is a listed building and is a fine example of functionalist architecture. DKK 45 (DKK 85 for the wellness section).
- Aarhus Svømmestadion, F. Vestergaards Gade 5 (Go to Ingerslevs Boulevard on Frederiksbjerg in the city centre), . All week. This is a better option than Badeanstalten Spanien, if what you want to do is actually to swim. Outdoor basin too with two diving boards, but only open in the summer. You must be able to swim to use the basins here. Under renovation in 2016. Two associated sports halls known as Frederiksbjerghallerne. DKK 45 (special prices for children and groups).
- Lyseng Svømmebad, Lysengvej 4, Højbjerg, , e-mail:[email protected]. Closed Wednesday and Friday. Located in the outer district of Højbjerg to the south of the city centre, this is a swimming hall complex for everybody. Three basins. Toys for play in the water, deep pool with diving boards and swimming lanes for exercise and competitions. DKK 45 (special prices for children and groups).
- Gellerupbadet, Dortesvej 43, Brabrand (Go to Gellerup Park. Several bus lines connects.), . Closed Tuesdays (Saturday is women only).This place also offer opportunities for families and children, as well as dedicated swimmers. Special shallow warmed pools and sauna. There is also a large climbing wall in the hall. Gellerupbadet is located in the middle of Gellerup Park in the western city district of Brabrand. While here, you could also pay a visit to the Globus1 sports and culture centre near the swimming hall. Here you can find playgrounds and sports facilities. Bazar Vest is also close by. DKK 45 (special prices for children and groups).
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.
Aarhus is a centre for sports in general, not just watersports. 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, most places works through membership teams, but sometimes with an option for hourly rental or trial lessons. From a tourists perspective there are a number of interesting activities that you can engage in:
- DGI-huset, Værkmestergade 17(Behind the Bruun's Galleri shopping centre), , e-mail:[email protected]. DGI-Huset is a sports centre of about 5,000 m2 right in the city centre and here you can engage in many kinds of indoor sports activities. Most of the activity is through membership teams, but you can play badminton, football or try the large climbing walls by an hourly rent. There is also a todlers area and it is possible to exercise for all ages.The single-event rent uses a voucher system and there are regular half-price discounts in weekends and holidays. There is a café at the center, so you can have a cup of tea and see if this is a place for you. Free entry (Courts DKK 100 for an hour).
- Jysk Væddeløbsbane, Observatorievejen 2 (Behind the Ceres Park & Arena), . Go watch a horse race here. Be aware that you enter the race course from Carl Nielsens Vej. DKK40.
- Aarhus Skøjtehal, Gøteborg Alle 9 (Behind the green roofed watertower at the junction of Randersvej and Ring 2), . Ice skating is possible during the winter in Aarhus Skøjtehal. Sometimes ice-disco events, sometimes ice hockey matches. An outdoor ice skating venue is also erected in the winter in the park outside the Concert Hall. DKK 45.
- Ceres Park & Arena (Stadion) (Next to Tivoli Friheden). Located in the outskirts of the Marselisborg Forests near the Tivoli, this is where the local soccer team of AGF, plays their home games. The stadium can hold 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!
Aarhus are hosting many large sports events, both on a national and international level and you could arrange your visit in order to attend 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 nature. As part of this region, Aarhus has several options for playing golf:
- Mollerup Golf Club, Mollerupvej 7, Risskov, , e-mail:[email protected]. Mollerup Golf Club is situated in the northern outskirts of Aarhus, on the southern slopes of the broad and flat Egå Valley, officially in the district of Risskov, but close to Skejby. Apart from the golf facilities, there is a great scenic view across the valley here and it is close to the forest of Mollerup Skov and the lake area of Egå Engsø. 18 holes. The club is from 1993, but golf has been played here since 1968. Café and restaurant. 9 km from the city centre.
- Lyngbygaard Golf, Lyngbygårdsvej 29, Brabrand, .Located west of Aarhus in the district of Brabrand. 18 holes and 9 holes with five tees on every hole. Challenges for all levels. Designed by the American architecture firm von Hagge, Smelek og Baril. Golf academy and restaurant.
- Aarhus Aadal Golf Club, Brydehøjvej 35, Harlev, , e-mail: [email protected]. This golf club is located west of Aarhus near the town of Harlev. Beautiful countryside. 18 holes. Restaurant.
- Aarhus Golf Club, Ny Moesgårdvej 50, Højbjerg (Go to Moesgård Museum), , e-mail: [email protected]. Aarhus Golf Club in the district of Højbjerg is located close to the Moesgård Museum and the Marselisborg Forests. There is a great view of the Bay of Aarhus from here and the excellent bistro and restaurant UNICO, also serves for non-golfing guests, both lunch and evening meals. The golf club has 35 years of experience and more than 1,000 members. 18 holes.
- Aarhus Minigolf, Åboulevarden 52, , e-mail:[email protected]. If you dont like to leave the city, or are looking for some alternative fun, Aarhus has a minigolf club! Play in the city centre on the rooftop of Bruuns Galleri or at the three story minigolf centre at the riverside at Åboulevarden. The minigolf centre is located on top of Café Viggo and there are two bars here and room for up to 150 players. If you are a party, there are rooms for celebrating and you can order dinners. 60 DK.
- Tivoli Friheden, Skovbrynet 5, . 11-23 (varies greatly).Amusement park situated in the outskirts of the Marselisborg Forests south of the city centre. There is also a dance floor and a large scene with occasional concerts and large events. A number of restaurants serves in the park as well. Check opening days on the webpage. DKK65 / All-ride ticket DKK130.
- , Store Torv 4 (Go to the Royal Hotel at the Aarhus Cathedral), , e-mail: [email protected]. All week. Play the roulette or a game of cards and hope for the big prize. The gaming tables opens at 19 in the evening. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee in the Royal Café, dine in the hotel restaurant of Queens Garden or join the party at the Royal Casino Bar. Mid-range prices. Casino Nights with included dinners are regularly arranged. The casino can also arrange and host your birthday or a special celebration if you have the money. Enjoy the bronze sculptures at the main entrance, designed by local artist Hans Krull. Several of the histroric halls in the hotel and casino also has an interesting design. Entry DKK 70 after 19 (DKK 20 before 19).
- RaceHall, Hasselager Centervej 30, . Go for a go-kart race in what they claim is the largest indoor Race track in Europe. American-style The Diner has a department here too. DKK310-580.
- Godsbanen, Skovgaardsgade 3, . , A new centre for cultural productions of all kinds. Open workshops and events such as theatre, concerts, performance, film, art exhibitions, finders keepers markets, etc.. 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. There is also a very interesting DIY built "city" known as Institut for (X) behind the buildings. It is full of strange constructions, primarily in wood, where people tend gardens, play football, are busy at workshops, skate at the skate-bowl, play street sports and throws parties in the night. Some people lives here. The purpose of Institut for (X) is to have a free zone of unregulated creativity, and the area has a rather anarchistic free-town vibe to it, but in a friendly, inviting way. Be sure to visit this place because it might well disappear in a few years to make way for new construction projects. Located behind ARoS and the Concert Halls. Free.
- Food Markets, Ingerslevs Boulevard. 8-14 (Wed and Sat). Every Wednesday and Saturday from 8-14 a food market springs up on the broad boulevard and park of Ingerslevs Boulevard in the district of Frederiksbjerg in the inner city. Here producers from the countryside open individual stands and offers fresh produce for sale. Vegetables, fruit, bread, fish, meat and cheese. There is a small permanent café here with good coffee, but stands at the market also offers coffee, smoothies, ice cream and the like. Free.
- Playgrounds. Denmark has a high concentration of free playgrounds and Aarhus is not an exception. There are small playgrounds in and around the city and a few larger ones as well. If you are travelling with kids be sure to visit the playgrounds at Dokk1 known as Kloden and Legeland in the mall of Storcenter Nord with room for up to 150 kids. The outdoor playground at Mindeparken is also great. The play centre of Børnenes Jord (The Childrens Earth) in the city centre has both indoor and outdoor playgrounds and is perhaps the most engaging, with professionals to supervise and arrange events. All sites are free to attend. The website for this entry only shows some of the outdoor sites and is not completely up-to-date. There is also a large 5,000 m2 commercial indoor play centre in the western district of Brabrand known as Legelandet with facilities for kids of all ages up to 17 years. It has an entry fee of about DKK 100.
Festivals and events
Festivals and recurring events
- Aarhus Festuge. 10 day multi-cultural festival every year in late August, early September. The festival draws many participants and visitors and it is the largest event of its kind in northern Europe. The city is filled with music, theatre, food, experimental architecture, film, literature and other events and is decorated for partying. Free.
- Northside. 3 day annual music festival every summer with three stages. Many well-known and international stars.
- Classic Race Aarhus. An annual race and event every year in May with classic cars, including sportscars. At Mindeparken.
- Sculpture by The Sea - Aarhus (Go to Tangkrogen to start your tour). A local version of the famous Australian Sculpture by The Sea event. Arranged by ARoS and the crown-prince couple every second year, next time in 2017. Hundreds of sculptures are installed at the beach, south of the city and can be viewed here for about a month. Each event has drawn c. 500,000 guests. Guided tours for a fee. A few sculptures from previous events are now installed throughout the city.Free.
- Aarhus International Jazz Festival. Held every year in the summer, following the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. Many Danish and international stars as well as concerts with both local and up and coming talents. Hundreds of concerts, many free concerts in the public space.
- Moesgård Vikingetræf. A large Viking event held every summer in July at Moesgård beach. Viking re-enactments, markets, workshops, roleplays.
European Capital of Culture
Together with Paphos, Aarhus has been selected as European Capital of Culture 2017. Visitors and locals will get to enjoy a lot of events in the city over the year, starting with the official opening taking place on 21 January. The theme of this year will be "RETHINK", and many of the events are about doing things differently than we are used to.
The centerpiece is the harbor district which has been turned from an industrial area to a district with cultural venues and cafes including the media space DOKK1. Featuring great names from the Danish modern cultural scene, during the year you can see books and movies turned into ballets, a huge exhibition of the interaction between man and nature over the centuries, as well as various art installations. Food (and how to "rethink" it) also will also play an important role, especially during the annual food festival; indeed the Aarhus region has also been designated the European Region of Gastronomy in 2017. Also in the field of lodging and getting around there will be some new things with a "library hostel" and a long new cycle route opening.
Aarhus has a robust and lively nightlife for those who are looking for a night on the town. The city can deliver 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. Age limit for drinking in Denmark is 18 years and this is also the most common age limit imposed in the nightlife, but some places has an age limit of 20 and in a few spots it is 23 years of age. It is a good idea to have some identification on you, preferably with a picture. Prices for food and drink are generally higher than in other parts of Europe, but cheaper than Copenhagen and with several budget options. The action tends to concentrate around Jægergårdsgade, Frederiksgade, Åboulevarden, Vestergade, Latin Quarter, Mejlgade and Nørregade. The popular fashionable riverside (Åen in Danish) has a very lively nightlife with a good variety, but it is also the most expensive area. The larger hotels has lounge bars of their own in-house and some of them are noteworthy.
The nightlife in Denmark and Aarhus is quite safe. As a side note, the nightlife in Aarhus has, in the last 25-30 years, occasionally been plagued with gangs of young immigrants, primarily of Middle Eastern descent harassing people, smashing windows and bars or selling drugs. 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. Young immigrants in Aarhus have raised this situation as a matter of concern.
Many spots in the nightlife of the city change concept and/or owners quite often, some every 2-3 years or so, while other spots close and new ones emerge. This complicates a thorough description of the scene and while the lists below are not complete - not even for the general localities they intend to include - places with an earned reputation of more than just a few years has been preferred.
Drinking does not limit itself to the night (or the weekends) in Danish culture and you will not have a problem finding a good place for a cold beer, a nice drink or a glass of wine in the afternoons. Several of the spots mentioned in this section are also serving in the daytime.
The most widely available Danish beers are Tuborg, Carlsberg and Ceres. With a 150 year old 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 and most places serve them draft. Quite a few spots specialize in quality beers and micro brews in the recent decade or so and offers a large variety for the beer-connoisseur. This trend seems to have spilled over and affected many of the regular places as well. Aarhus Brewery in Viby is a local micro-brewery worth investigating. They make a good variety and is on sale in most well-assorted shops and some pubs and bars as well. There is also a small shop at the brewery and occasional events and beer tastings are arranged here. Sct. Clements Brewery across the main theatre also brews quality draft beer, to be enjoyed at their Hereford restaurant or brought home. Wintercoat is a another small local micro-brewery with all beers unfiltered and unpasteurised to maximize the flavour. With a capacity of just 4 x 800 Litres per week, this brand is not widely available, but can be enjoyed at the brewery itself in the suburban village of Sabro every Friday from 14-18 hours, at the nearby Sabro Kro and at Cockney Pubin the inner city. Guided tours at the brewery, including beer tastings, are sometimes arranged. Smaller groups and individuals can participate on select evenings and special tours for 15-40 people can be arranged.
Cocktail bars are getting increasingly popular and nearly any place could serve you some kind of mixed drink as an alternative to the omnipresent beer. Quality whiskey, rum and gin can be had in many bars. Wine would previously be enjoyed with food for the most part, but a few high-end wine bars has opened up recently and are very popular. Some cafés also serve quality wine by the glass to be enjoyed on their own.
This neighborhood is seperated from the rest of the inner city by the broad railway yard and has its own atmosphere. Frederiksbjerg is home to many regular bars (bodega and værtshus) that serves day and night and a few of the cafés here are also active in the nightlife.
- St. Pauls Apothek, Jægergårdsgade 76 (Go to Jægergårdsgade on Frederiksbjerg), . Tue-Sat from 17:30 hours. Fashionable cocktail bar in an old restored pharmacy from 1899. In the early evening this place is a high-end restaurant serving an international gourmet cuisine paired with cocktails as its specialty. Later in the evening it transforms to a nightclub. A large menu of superb cocktails served with great creativity, simply in its own league and candidating for the very best in town, if not the country. All cocktails can be made with reduced amounts of alcohol or alcohol free.
- Rar Bar, Jægergårdsgade 71 (Just across St. Pauls Apothek), , e-mail: [email protected]. All week (from 11 hours. Closes at 1 in the night Friday and Saturday). Café in the late morning and afternoon, restaurant in the early evening and lounge bar in the night. Drinks, cocktails, wines by the glass, including champagne and sweet wines. Homemade lemonades and snacks.Drinks from DKK 70, beers from DKK 40.
- Peter Gift, M. P. Bruuns Gade 28 (Near the southwest entrance to Brunn's Galleri), . All week (11-01 hours). Perhaps the oldest surviving bar in Aarhus, since 1906. Nice decor, relaxed atmosphere, secluded corners and a backyard garden. A good selection of beers. Lunch Tuesday and Saturday, but reservations are required. Smoking is restricted to the backyard. Peter Gift is a typical Danish bodega, you can read more about these places in a section below.
- Søren Bruun, Skt. Pauls Kirkeplads 2 (Go to the church square of Skt. Pauls Kirkeplads), . All week (from 11 hours). Have a beer or a drink here in a relaxed atmosphere. Søren Bruun supports the local AGF football club and here you can watch all their televised football matches, but also other sport events. Søren Bruun is a well kept værtshus and you can read more about these places in a section below. Beers from DKK 20.
- Jakob Skomager Vinstue, Frederiks Alle 149 (In the far end of Frederiks Allé on Frederiksbjerg). All week. One of several old fashioned bodegas on Frederiksbjerg. Televised football. Smoking allowed. Mixed crowd. Ceres TOP 15 DKK.
- Boulevard Cafeen, Odensegade 45, . All week (9-01).Also on Frederiksbjerg, this bodega is popular with AGF football fans (AGF is the local club) before and after matches at the Ceres stadion. Historic place from 1944 and with an old fashioned ordinary decor. Smoking allowed. The bodega is situated at the end of the long Ingerslevs Boulevard, hence the name. Enjoy a coffee or a beer here when the markets at the boulevard are open Wednesday and Saturday mornings (8-14).
- Sherlock Holmes, Frederiksgade 76, , e-mail:[email protected]. All week. Nice big pub with only-English speaking staff. Decorated with Victorian inspiration from the Sherlock Holmes novels. Good draft beers, many whiskeys and rums and a decent drinks selection. Live music Tuesday through Saturday nights and pubquiz Monday nights. Join the jam sessions here every Tuesday night if you master an instrument. Televised major sports events with an added focus on Champions League, Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup. Also NFL or most American football matches too. Tables can be booked in advance.
- Die Kleine Bierstube, Frederiksgade 75, . M-Th noon-01,F noon-03,Sa 11-03. German style bar with very good German beers, both draft and bottled. Authentic decor and dressed up staff. You can eat here too. A good mix of guests. Close to the City Hall Square.
- Tir Na Nóg, Frederiksgade 40, , e-mail:[email protected]. All week. A genuine Irish pub with nice decor and a festive atmosphere. Good selection of Irish whiskeys, but also many Scotch. Live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Good chance for some decent Irish music you can dance or sing along to. Televised major sports events. Pub quiz every Thursday night.
- Sharks, Frederiksgade 25 (At the first floor of Busgadehuset, a central car parking house), , e-mail: [email protected]. All week. While Sharks is not dedicated to drinking specifically, it is a popular spot worth mentioning in a section about the nightlife in Aarhus. At Sharks you can play pool, eat or relax with a drink or a beer in three cosy lounges. Also other games. Good burgers, milkshakes and nachos; the kitchen close at 22 hours. Major sports events are televised. Friendly atmosphere. With 26 pool tables, Sharks is the largest poolhall in Denmark. Pool tables DKK 1-2 per minute (Cocktails from DKK 45).
- 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 20 DKK.
- Waxies, Frederiksgade 16, , e-mail: [email protected].Open all week from noon. Large Irish pub near the river with three bars on three floors. Oftentimes a small selection of food and discounts on drinks in the daytime. Happy hours from 22 till midnight. Televised football events with Premier League Monday and Tuesday nights. Pub quiz Wednesday nights, poker Thursdays and live music on most weekends from around midnight. You can also play some dart here, if the place isn't too crowded. Long drinks DKK 50 (DKK 35 at happy hours).
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 the nightlife. The nightlife scene 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 harbour front. Even though this is one of the more prominent places in the city, there are actually quite a few budget priced options in between too.
- Cockney Pub, Maren Smeds Gyde 8, e-mail: [email protected].From 11 hours (Sunday only 13-19 hours). While not precisely situated at the riverside, Cockney Pub is located just around the corner of Immervad in the small parallel alleyway of Sankt Clemens Stræde. Quite small, but very active place both in the daytime and in the nightlife, with an atmosphere that change accordingly. Cockney Pub was one of the pioneering spots to offer excellent quality craft beers, both from Denmark and around the world to the Aarhusians one or two decades ago and it is still among the best places in town for quality beers. Changing selection of draft beers, bottled beers, but also top-notch whiskeys and rums. Sometimes beer festivals, introducing noteworthy brews on tap from around the world. In-house jazz concerts on Sunday afternoons.
- Bar SMIL Århus, Sct. Clemens Stræde 18 (Go to the small alley between Römer and Café Viggo), . All week (from 20 hours). With an anonymous entrance in a narrow side alley to the riverside promenade and in a basement, this place can be hard to spot for visitors. Drinks, beers and dancing, all for student friendly prices. The steep slope that houses this place is actually the remains of the old ramparts fortifying the original Viking town.
- Under the Clemens Bro bridge:
- Bodegaen, Åboulevarden 33.All week. Located at the river, this new hip place is only a few years old, but equipped as an iconic old fashioned bodega. You can find more details about Danish bodegas in a section below. Enjoy a beer and play some dart, a game of dice, carom (bob in Danish) or some table football for a bit of fun. Table football is currently a quite popular "sport" in Denmark for young people, and some places hosts competitions. Bodegaen has similar joints in Silkeborg and Odense. Ceres TOP 25 DKK.
- Sway, Sct. Clemens Torv 17, , e-mail:[email protected]. Wed (20-02 hours), Thu-Sat (20-05 hours).Branded as "Just a plain bar", this is a place for everybody to socialise and have a few drinks with friends and strangers alike. Clean and well kept place with a good vibe. The music here has a focus on indie and alternative rock music and at midnight on weekends, DJs administers the soundscape. Occasional small concerts too. Table football tournament every Wednesday at 21 hours. The tables here are French Bonzini and high quality.
- Shen Mao, Sct. Clemens Torv 17, , e-mail:[email protected]. Thursday-Saturday nights from 21:30. Ping Pong Bar, a bar and nightclub with table tennis! With no fashionable decor, but full of fun, this place was started some years ago by the Chinese guy Shen Mao. You will find it below the Clements Bro bridge, close to Fiskergade, a street running parallel to the riverside of Åboulevarden. Beer cans DKK 20, Cocktails DKK 40.
- Downstairs (Clemens Gastro & Bar), Åboulevarden 25, , e-mail: [email protected]. Friday and Saturday (17-03 hours). A large glass facade restaurant in two floors beneath the bridge. This places has housed several former venues, and in 2015 Clemens Gastro & Bar opened here. It is mostly a restaurant, but on weekends the bar referred to as Downstairs opens on the lower floor. Downstairs serve great cocktails and is known as a "gin-bar" with plenty of top-notch gin on offer. The bartenders can pair gin-drinks with your food too if you are here to dine.
- Barstart, Fiskergade 28, . Wed-Sat from 18 hours.Located under the Clemens Bro bridge, situated near four other very active nightclubs and a bit withdrawn from the riverside, this small place could easily be overlooked. Excellent cocktails, shots and drinks in a more relaxed atmosphere. Ever changing drink menu with new innovative cocktails, but the experienced bartenders here could most likely make any classic cocktail you would like. Cocktails from DKK 90.
- Herr Bartels, Åboulevarden 46, , e-mail:[email protected]. Wed-Thu 20-03,Fri-Sat 20-04. Longest bar in town, serving excellent drinks and cocktails in a nice atmosphere. Cheerful mixed crowd and two drinks for the price of one on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Age limit is 21 on weekends. The drinks menu changes occasionally. Recommended. Cocktails DKK 60-90 (some are two for DKK 100).
- Fidel's, Åboulevarden 25, , e-mail: [email protected].Th 19-03,F-Sa 19-05. Large fashionable cocktail bar lounge and dance floor at the riverside. Large Caribbean inspired cocktail menu, made and served by educated pros. Fidel's Special is one of four signature cocktails here. Also champagne and spirits by the bottle and beer. Thursday is salsa night, including salsa drop-in training in the early hours for DKK 50. Age limit 23 on weekends, 20 on Thursdays. There is also a branch in Copenhagen. Cocktails from DKK 80, shots DKK 40, sometimes two for the price of one.
- The Australian Bar (A-Bar), Åboulevarden 21, .Thurday-Saturday (22-05 hours). Large nightclub next to Fidel's. DJs, dance floor, events geared towards a young audience and sometimes concerts, usually with a chance to hear local Danish hip-hop and rap acts. Discount at the bar every Thursday and before midnight on weekends. Drinks, beers, shots, spirits and champagne by the bottle. Australian Fosters beer and Victoria Bitter. Branches in Copenhagen and Odense too.
- Noir Club, Åboulevarden 21, 8000 Aarhus C, , e-mail:[email protected]. Fr-Sa 23:00-05:00. New exclusive nightclub in the premises of many former bars and nightclubs. This place has a "picker" so you must dress up if you want to get in.
- Castenskiold, Åboulevarden 32, , e-mail:[email protected]. Fri-Sa 22-05 (café and restaurant Tu-Sat 12-22).Bright sunny café and exquisite restaurant during the day and early evening, this place changes character after dark on weekend nights to take part in the diversity of the riverside party scene. Sleek fashionable design, creative cocktails and champagne by the bottle, Castenskiold has become something of a clubhouse for city's design and fashion elite. Cocktails from DKK 90.
- ZenZa Cocktailbar (ZenZa Århus), Åboulevarden 30, , e-mail: [email protected]. Th 21:00-05:00, Fr-Sa 23:00-05:00. Zenza Cocktailbar’s main focus is high quality and good service. Here they offer a wide variety of delicious cocktails and various champagnes and spirits by the bottle. Try the signature ZenZa Exotic cocktail. ZenZa is more than ‘just’ a cocktail bar, and the party really gets started when the DJs puts on the music. There isn't much space for dancing here though. Age limits are 18, 20 and 23 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays respectively. Cocktails DKK 90.
- Der Kuhstall, Åboulevarden 22. M-Th 16-midnight,F-Sa 12-05. Large, German-style "Bier Bar" at the river.
- LAVA, Åboulevarden 22,, e-mail:[email protected]. Another fashionable multipurpose venue at the riverside, LAVA is also a café, restaurant and bar all in one. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, after 21 hours the bartenders emerges to mix cocktails and drinks. Two for the price of one. Also superb rums and as this is a Danish-French bistro, you can also have champagne by the bottle and various superb cognacs and other French spirits like armagnac, calvados and eau de vie for a very reasonable price. Several wines from various countries by the bottle. Sometimes live music events here. Formerly known as Café Svej, this places was designed and furnished by Jan Rode, who was behind a number of other high-end cafés in Denmark, including Café Casablanca and Café Carlton in Aarhus. Cocktails from DKK 65.
Skolegade is a sidestreet to the riverside of Åboulevarden, terminating near the mouth of the Aarhus River at the harbour front. It is an old narrow street with a long history of bars and nightclubs. Most of the action is near the riverside, but you can take a short walk up the street and change the scene, as it merges with Mejlgade in the Latin quarter.
- Escobar, Skolegade 32, . 19-05. This is a small bar and nightclub with a hang for metal. Apart from metal, the DJs also plays hard rock and reggae and the audience is quite mixed. Just come as you are. Film and music quiz Mondays. Try a shot of green Chartreuse or Absinthe, a specialty of this place. The owners runs a number of similar establishments across Denmark. Aarhus has a thriving metal scene and at Escobar you have a chance to meet some of the local enthusiasts. There used to be concerts here every Tuesday night with local bands, but these events have been discontinued due to lack of space and neighbor complaints. Budget.
- G-bar, Skolegade 28. Aarhus' gay and lesbian club.
- Fatter Eskil, Skolegade 25, , e-mail:[email protected]. closed Sunday and Monday. Fatter Eskil is a popular bar but also a music venue , housed in an old building from the 1700s. With its long history as music venue since 1973, it is an institution in the Aarhusian nightlife. Usually free admission until 22 hours. Fatter Eskil (Pappa Eskil) has a nice warmed patio with a grill that usually serve grilled sausages.Budget (Entry fee DKK 40-80, draft beer DKK 25 , 10 shots DKK 100).
- Meat Packers, Skolegade 23, , e-mail: , [email protected]. We-Th 21:00-03:00; Fr-Sa 22:00-05:00. American style bar and dance floor with various discounts for drinks. Four hours free beer bar for DKK 50 Wednesdays and Thursdays and discount bar all night on Thursdays. DJs from 23 hours Thursday to Saturday nights. Sometimes quiz nights.
Several of the cafés in this neighborhood turn into festive bars in the evening, while other places are dedicated to the nightlife exclusively.
- Ris Ras Filliongongong (Ris Ras), Mejlgade 24, . M-Sa noon-02,Su 14-19. Also just known as Ris Ras, this cozy and alternative bar offers a great variety of beers and rums. Danish Hancock beers on draft among others, with an exquisite and large selection of bottled beers in particular. You can smoke here and try a hookah too. Usually indie music as background music. There used to be attached locales in the basement with table football and several secluded rooms, but the basement has been closed indefinitely for security reasons by the fire department. In the daytime you can bring your own food along if you can find a free table.
- Under Masken, Bispegade 3 (Go to the Royal Hotel across the Aarhus Cathedral), . All week. Situated in the basement next to the Royal Casino and Hotel, this is a special bar owned by local artist Hans Krull. Krull is a multitalented Danish artist with a zest for travelling and he has decorated every square inch of his small bar with strange wooden masks, artsy pictures and miscellaneous objects from around the world. Krull is a prominent artist in Denmark and you can enjoy some of his finer works by just looking at the three bronze statues next door at the casino or his large whole-wall mural in Fiskergadenearby of a woman kissing a sea gull. On most Sunday afternoons, Krull draws large portraits of people at this place, but it is a bit pricey. Be aware that smoking is allowed here. Happy hour every day from 17-21 and sometimes live music.
- Heidi's Bier Bar, Klostergade 34, . 20-05 Wed-Sat. A German style Beirstube with a large beer collection and Jägermeister. Kitschy but with tongue-in-cheek. Dance on the tables to some German Schlager if you fancy. Many young people (age limit is 20). You can find Heidi's Bier Bars in many other major cities in Denmark and Oslo also has one.
- Café Paradis (Den Sidste), Paradisgade 9 (At the top floor loft above the art cinema.). 21-03 (Thu-Sat nights). Bar, night and dance club. Dance floor and DJ's on most nights. Beer, wine, shots, drinks and cocktails. Drinks from 50kr and up. Wardrobe 20kr. Sometimes referred to as "Den Sidste" (The Last One) by locals. DKK 50 entry (includes a drink).
- Løve's, Borggade 14 and Nørregade 32, . Relaxed winebar and deli at Borggade and equally relaxed bookstore, café and winebar at Nørregade just 100 yards away. The main spot at Nørregade also hosts occasional book and poetry nights, wine tasting and other events. Mixed and chatty crowd.
- Kupe, Toldbodgade 6 (In the ground floor at First Hotel Atlantic at the harbour front. Part of Train.), . Fri from 24, Sat from 23. Could be called Aarhus' main nightclub. Good cocktails and DJ's. Young fashionable crowd mostly. Age limit is 21. Entry fee.Beer 45kr..
- Bernhardt Natklub, Store Torv 3(Go to the main square in front of the Aarhus Cathedral), , e-mail: [email protected]. Fri-Sat: 23-05. This dance and nightclub is built in a former bank box in a basement across from the Cathedral. If you are a party, it is possible to reserve your own table. Age limit is 20 on Fridays and 22 on Saturdays.
- Jacob’s barBQ, Vestergade 3. Situated in one of Aarhus' oldest houses, Jacobs also includes a café, pita barbeque and a large restaurant, known for its top of the line beefsteaks. A separate piano bar at an open-air cobblestone atrium, with a small scene for occasional live music. Cosy and warm surroundings. Mixed audience.
- Vestergade 58 (V58), Vestergade 58 (Near the western end of Vestergade). In a backyard of a beautifully restored yellow-black timber-framed merchant's house in Vestergade, Vestergade 58 has been a small popular music venue for 40 years. Also equipped with a bar and a separate scene used for stand-up comedy nights. Mostly up-and-coming performers for the comedy, with free admission. Brunch served on Sundays.
- Fermentoren, Nørregade 24 (Not far from the Latin Quarter), . Closed Monday. Aarhus has plenty of opportunities to have some quality draft beer, but with more than twenty taps of different micro brews, Fermentoren probably offers the largest variety in town. The quality here is excellent and some of the beers are made by the bar itself. This beer bar also serves several bottled beers and some whiskeys and other spirits as well, so it shouldn't be a problem to find something of interest. The interior is cheap and retro with a dimmed candlelit lighting. Every time you buy a drink you get a free token if you will for a game on a retro arcade machine. No food is served here, but you can bring your own along if you buy a drink and are able to find a free table. Fermentoren started out in Copenhagen and have had this branch in Aarhus for some years now.
- Flintstone, Rosenkrantzgade 20 (Across the "Svalegangen" theatre), . M-W 13-01,Th-F 13-02,Sa 10-02,Su 16-01. A small but cozy pub in Irish style, not far from the main shopping street of Strøget. Nice and friendly staff! Good selection of beers and whiskey. Sometimes televised major sports events. Live music on some Fridays and Saturdays. Beer 35kr.
- HeadQuarters (HQ), Valdemarsgade 1 (Go to the square in front of the Concert Halls and Scandinavian Congress Centre). Tuesday - Saturday (from 19 hours). HeadQuarters is a cultural venue for theatre, dance and music but HQ also throws club and DJ nights with a broad appeal. Theme nights range from balkan music, indie and punk to soul and original disco. Have a beer or a drink here if you like, you do not have to participate in the event nights. Only entry fee on event nights.
- Double Rainbow (Kakaobar), Skovgaardsgade 3 (Go to the DIY town behind Godsbanen. Double Rainbow is at the skatebowl.). From 23 hours Fri-Sat.Nightclub and event maker at the railway yard at Godsbanen. Double Rainbow hosts DJs on weekends and generally plays electronica, techno, house and disco that you wouldn't hear elsewhere in Aarhus. The club might look a bit small from the outside but has two dancefloors with room for up to 250 people and there are plenty of room for outdoor events when the weather permits. Outdoor events includes everything from raves to barbecue grill parties. Double Rainbow is also open during daytime all days of the week except Mondays and is then known asKakaobar, serving hot chocolate with various flavours and other beverages. At this time people play street basket, skate at the bowl or just hangs out.
- SLM, Østbanetorvet 8. 22-04 (Fri-Sat). Gay leather and fetish bar.
- Peder Wessel, Niels Juels Gade 49, 8200 Aarhus N (Go to the central street of Tordenskjoldgade on Trøjborg), , e-mail:[email protected]. Everyday from 11 hours. This place is a bodega on Trøjborg and is very active day and night. You can find more details about Danish bodegas in the section below. It is one of the few spots active in the nightlife of this neighborhood. Sometimes events and live music.
Bodega and værtshus
In Denmark, bodega means a traditional Danish bar or Danish pub if you will. Bodegas has a long cultural history in Denmark and is somewhat similar to an English pub in their concept, but only a few places offers meals and live music. You could warm up here 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 if you care, 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. They were waterholes with the sole purpose of serving cheap beers on all hours and all days of the week. Times have changed, but there are still some old fashioned bars left in Aarhus, some of them with their own peculiar charm. The Danish word for these bars are værtshus. Apart from the colloquial Ceres TOP pilsner, most places could also serve you an "Aarhus set", by adding an Arnbitter on the side.
- Kurts Mor, Fredens Torv 7. Tue-Sat. Traditional bar with cheap beers. Cheap drinks on Tuesdays 10 DKK. Beer 10 DKK.
- Hjorten, Vesterbrogade 2 (On a corner at the square of Vesterbro Torv).Open most of the time. This is another lively værtshus in the inner city. Hjorten (The Deer) seems to have been visited by a taxidermist at some point, as the interior theme is clearly stuffed deers. Have a game of dice here with some friends. Smoking allowed. Beer 15 DKK.
- Harmonien, Mejlgade 109 (Go to Østbanetorvet at the far end of Mejlgade), . All week. Apart from cheap beer and drinks you can play snooker and dart here for free or spend some coins on table football or a couple of slot machines if you like. Sometimes televised football or events. Smoking allowed. Harmonien (The Harmony) is a true værtshus.
- Cirkuskroen, Skovvejen 23 (A five minutes walk from Harmonien, if you are sober). All week. Traditional værtshus a bit out of the central scene, close to Trøjborg. With a long history and formerly owned by a famous circus-family, this bar is decorated with clowns and old circus paraphernalia. Try a "circus-set" for 36 DKK. Beer 18 DKK.
Apparently the words værtshus, bodega and café are used in a rather loose and confusing way in the placenames of some spots. When you have visited a few of the places in this section, you have most likely learned how to differentiate between the three categories yourself.
Things to know
Many Danes are often 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.
When to go
As the seasons changes, the character of Aarhus changes accordingly. In the winter, the pleasure of engageing in outdoor activities is limited and this is primarily a time for the indoors. Everything is not covered in meter thick layers of snow and the temperatures are not excruciating cold normally, but the number of daylight hours are limited, the trees stands bare, stripped of their leaves and the skies are often depressingly grey. The city is still full of people but the outdoor street life is a bit uninspiring for most visitors, except for the Christmas month of December. Here the city center is decorated and as Christmas approaches an increasing number of street vendors are selling sweet treats and comfort food like æbleskiver, pancakes, mulled wine and sugar glazed almonds.
Starting April-May and ending with October, spring, summer and autumn has more to offer, when it comes to outdoors and nature experiences. The beech burst in to leaves around the first of May and the number of sunlight hours and the temperatures increase rapidly throughout this month. Having waited for this, citizens are quick to fill the parks and green spaces and the street life shows much more intensity and diversity with several smaller and larger outdoor events taking place. From mid-July to early August however, the city center can sometimes appear a bit deserted and chances are that you run into more travellers and visitors than residents. The university students have time off from their studies in July and August and many choose to spend this time away from Aarhus, visiting family and relatives in other cities, working or travelling. Working people have five weeks of paid vacation and nearly everybody choose to spend some of it at this time. Many residents change location to allotment gardens in the outskirts of the city or summer houses in the countryside, in particular on nearby Mols, while others are tending their boat and sailing with friends or family. Many people are also travelling abroad at this time. Restaurants are often closed for some weeks during this period, but not all at once and there are still plenty of options for enjoying great food around the city. If you plan to visit a specific place it is adviced to check up beforehand. Major attractions in Aarhus are still open throughout the height of summer, but it would be a good idea to combine a visit to the city with excursions to the nearby countryside and attractions at this time of year and there are plenty of opportunities to choose from. From mid-August things starts to happen again in the city, more residents are back, it is still summer, and it will soon be time for the annual Aarhus Fest.
Through September the temperatures begin to cool down and it gets a bit windier, but there are still many sunlit hours in the day and the weather is usually fine. From October the leaves on the trees slowly starts to turn yellow and red and any trace of summertime 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, 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.
In Denmark, it is easy for the physically disabled to get around on their own. All newer buildings - and quite a few older ones as well - are specially equipped for this, with ramps, elevators, lifts and sometimes escalators. With a thought for the visually impaired, the traffic lights at the busiest spots in Aarhus are equipped with beeping sounds, signalling walk or stop. Guide dogs are allowed in most places, even in some cinemas, and personnel are unusually friendly and helpful towards the handicapped.
Poverty and begging
Before the turn of the century, it was extremely rare to see anyone in Denmark begging in the streets, apart from a few native homeless people and vagabonds who often had chosen this peculiar lifestyle. In Aarhus, you will probably encounter homeless people selling the magazine Hus Forbi (House Passed). More rarely, you could perhaps also meet a few vagabonds in the summertime; easily noticeable by their clothing, pushing along a baby carriage with their dog and friends on the side. Both groups are usually harmless and do not beg aggressively. You could even have some small-talk with most of them. Since the 2000's however, Denmark has experienced an influx of foreign beggars to the larger cities. You will perhaps bump into some of these illegal immigrants on your way around the city, and they can sometimes behave quite annoying. This phenomenon does not come near the levels you might encounter outside of Scandinavia. Be aware that begging is illegal in Denmark and handing money to the first one you meet, will not make the next one hesitate.
Foreign beggars, a possible minor nuisance, are largely overshadowed by the army of trained street salespeople, known locally as "facers", that can't be avoided in Aarhus. They are everywhere in the pedestrian zone. Their goal is to sell deals on utility bills, new mobile phone subscriptions, and just about everything you had no idea you needed. The facer-troops also include young people on persistent reconnaissance for potential subscribers to all kinds of humanitarian causes. They can be harder to dismiss, but remember that even if you sign up in support for some Amnesty International campaign, it won't stop the next facer trying to get your support for the exact same cause only 2 minutes later.
Safety in Arhus
Tourists in need of medical emergency help, should call 70 11 31 31. The main emergency center is at the hospital campus near the university; Nørrebrogade 44 (Building 7) to be exact, but you would need to call the emergency line first. Otherwise, call 112 for serious non-medical emergencies.
There are many pharmacies (Apotek in Danish) in Aarhus, also in the outlying districts. Supermarkets and some shops also sells non-prescription medicine. At the Aarhus Løve Apotek near the Cathedral, medicine can be picked up on all hours.
- Hospitalsapoteket Aarhus, Bygning 17, Nørrebrogade 44 (Go to the Hospital Campus near the University),
- Jernbane Apoteket, Banegårdspladsen 8 (Just across the street from the central station),
- Aarhus Løve Apotek, Store Torv 5 (At the square in front of the Cathedral),
- Trøjborg Apotek, Tordenskjoldsgade 30 (On the main street on Trøjborg),
- Sct. Lukas Apotek, Frederiks Allé 178 (On Frederiksbjerg),
- Århus Stjerne Apotek, Funch Thomsens Gade 3 (At the square of Stjernepladsen in the northern part of town),