Known as the City of Smiles, Denmark's second-largest city is a vibrant and modern destination that offers art, architecture, museums, shopping, and outdoor activities. Here are ten must-sees and do when there.
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
This is one of the most impressive art museums in Scandinavia, and a must-see for any art lover. The museum features a variety of exhibitions, from classical to contemporary, as well as a permanent collection of Danish and international art. The museum's highlight is the Your Rainbow Panorama, a circular walkway on the roof that offers a stunning view of the city in different colours.
Den Gamle By - The Old Town Museum
This is a unique open-air museum that recreates the life and history of Aarhus from the 16th to the 20th century. You can explore the old houses, shops, workshops, and streets and meet the actors who play the roles of those living there. You can also visit the museum within the museum, Aarhus Fortæller, which tells the story of Aarhus from the Viking age to the present day.
This fascinating museum showcases the prehistory and anthropology of Denmark and the world. You can see some of the most remarkable archaeological finds, such as the Grauballe Man, one of the best-preserved bog bodies in the world, and the Egtved Girl, a Bronze Age girl buried in a wooden coffin. You can also enjoy the interactive and immersive exhibitions that bring the past to life. The museum is in a stunning building that blends with the surrounding landscape and has a sloping roof you can walk on.
The Concert Hall Aarhus
This is the largest concert hall in Scandinavia and the home of the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, and the Danish National Opera. The concert hall hosts various musical events, from classical to pop, as well as theatre, dance, and comedy. The concert hall is also an architectural masterpiece by the famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen.
This is a fun and cosy amusement park in the beautiful Marselisborg forest, within walking distance from the city centre. The park has more than 40 rides and attractions suitable for all ages, as well as shows, concerts, and events. You can also enjoy the scenic views of the forest and the bay and relax in the green areas.
This is the largest and tallest church in Denmark and a city landmark. The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and has a Gothic style with Romanesque elements. The cathedral has a rich and colourful interior, with frescoes, altarpieces, sculptures, and organs. The cathedral also has the longest nave in Denmark and a tower you can climb for a panoramic view of the city.
The Botanical Garden and the Tropical Houses
This is a green oasis in the city's heart, where you can enjoy the beauty and diversity of plants from different climates and regions. The botanical garden has more than 5,000 species of plants arranged in thematic sections, such as the rose, rock, and herb gardens. The tropical houses are four glass domes that house plants from the tropics, the subtropics, the Mediterranean, and the desert. You can also learn more about the plants and their uses in the exhibitions and activities.
The Latin Quarter
Photo by Frame and Work (Top) and Roar Paaske
This is the oldest and most charming part of the city, where you can experience the historical and cultural atmosphere of Aarhus. The Latin Quarter is full of narrow streets, cobblestones, colourful houses, cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops. You can also find some of this area's most interesting art galleries, museums, and street art.
This modern and innovative building serves as the main public library and the city's citizen service centre. Dokk1 is more than just a library; it is a cultural and social hub where you can find books, media, events, exhibitions, workshops, and spaces for learning, working, and playing. Dokk1 is also an architectural landmark on the waterfront, with a spectacular view of the harbour and the city.
Aarhus Street Food
This is a popular and lively place where you can taste the world's flavours in a casual and cosy setting. Aarhus Street Food is located in a former bus garage. It has more than 30 food stalls, trucks, and containers, offering a variety of cuisines, from Danish to Asian, from Mexican to Moroccan. You can also find bars, coffee shops, dessert places, live music, and entertainment.