7 Things To Do In Aarhus Denmark
Have you ever heard of Aarhus? I knew that it was selected as the European Cultural Capital in 2017 and that was about it. ⠀
Aarhus is Denmark’s second-largest city making it Copenhagen’s cool little sibling – and they’ve got a lot going on.⠀
Aarhus is pretty compact! It’s a historic city that remarkably feels like one cozy neighborhood, where all of the things to see and do are within walking distance of each other. With incredible architecture, impressive galleries, and loads of food options I was more than sold. ⠀
You can fly there direct from the UK, but I took a 3.5 hour train ride from Copenhagen so I could see the Danish countryside. ⠀
Read on to see the 7 things to do in Aarhus Denmark
7 Things To Do In Aarhus Denmark
Be Awe Struck by the Modern Architecture in Aarhus Ø
If modern Arcitecture is your thing… Head to the new area of regenerated dock area called of Aarhus Ø.
The area is separated by canals with some seriously jaw-dropping architecture designed by top architects of the area. One of the most distinctive structures is the Iceberg by the Aarhus Ø waterfront.
In July and August, you can go for a swim or hang out at the new Harbor Bath, a vibrant meeting point and oasis. The Harbor Bath is designed by the famous Danish architect Bjarke Ingels Group BIG. The triangular floating complex comprises a rectangular 50-meter-long swimming pool, a circular diving pool, square children’s pools, and two saunas. Take a walk on the elevated plan walkway, which doubles as a viewing platform overlooking the pools and water beyond. The promenade deck is open 24 hours a day throughout the year.
Warm up in the Botanical Gardens
Coco Chanel said it best.. ‘The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive.’ ⠀
This applies to travel in Scandinavia. It’s really amazing, but it’s not cheap. That said there are some amazing things to do in Aarhus that are free. Like visiting the Science Museerne Botanical Gardens in Aarhus. It’s the biggest botanical garden in the world, but it’s pretty easy to spend a couple of hours seeing all the plants and staying warm and dry if it’s a bit cooler outside. ⠀
They have brilliant tropical with a pretty amazing treehouse viewing platform where I took this London Kiwi Emma inspired shoefie. ⠀
TOP TIP: The Botanic Gardens is next to the open-air museum Den Gamle By, aka Old Town. which is worth a visit too. Unfortunately, it’s not free. ⠀
Learn abut Danish history in Den Gamle By
A list of 7 Things To Do In Aarhus Denmark is not complete without mentioning a visit to Den Gamle_By. Den Gamle By is an open-air museum devoted to the history of Aarhus and gives a great little insight into life throughout the ages in Denmark.
I learned so much about danish life through the ages. About the style of architecture and the craftwork that got its start in denmark.
But most importantly I learned the most important word in the Danish language. That’s Bageri. Yes, it means bakery… if you can’t remember that… Just look for the upside-down (IMO) pretzel sign and you know you have found one!
Gibraltargatan 3, 211 18 Malmö, Sweden
Check out the Street Food Scene
Street food is everywhere these days. Street Food Aarhus is a collection of street food traders in a warehouse. Ver similar vibe to that of Street Feast in London.
All major foods are represented.. Pizzas, Burgers, Bao Buns, Thai, Chinese, Greek and even Ethiopian. I went for a rather impressive duck confit burger and a rather delicious chocolate chip cookie sundae.
Even at lunchtime in the dead of winter, I could tell that this place would have some serious vibes on weekend nights. Deffo a part of the young hip nightlife scene.
Aarhus Street Food
Ny Banegårdsgade 46, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
Soak in all the colours of Aarhus at Aros
Some of the best views of Aarhus are from the top of Aros Art Museum. Yes, they are through rainbow-tinted glass designed by Olafur Eliasson. But that’s a very good thing. ‘Your rainbow panorama’ is a 150-meter circular walkway parched on top of the museum. It was complete in 2011 and offers 360-degree views over Aarhus. To say it’s pretty spectacular is an understatement.
In addition to the Installation in the roof, ARoS has a large art collection with works from the Danish Golden Age until today, a changing selection of which are on display in the museum halls. Alongside, themed and changing exhibitions of both Danish and international artists are presented. I spent a good afternoon wandering through the exhibitions.
Aros Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
Visit The Town Hall
Visit a town hall I hear you ask? Yes.. it’s not any ordinary town hall… It’s a Town Hall designed by Arne Jacobsen (The bunny Chair Designer). Completed in 1941, the hall’s interior features The interior features oaken parquet floors, ceramic tile floors in various patterns, bespoke designed wooden furniture, walls of glass and wood, and an incredible sweeping staircase .
Although its 75 years old, it still feels very modern, thanks to visionary Danish design. I took some of my favorite non-food photos I’ve ever taken. Not because I love my photos… just that this space was sooo incredibly beautiful.
Rådhuspladsen 2. 8000 Aarhus C
Eat Stegt flæsk
One of the dishes I’ve been dying to eat in Denmark was Stegt flæsk. It’s not exclusive to Aarhus, but it was easier to find several restaurants serving it. Surprisingly difficult to find in Copenhagen.
It’s is a dish consisting of fried pork belly served with potatoes, white sauce with chopped parsley. The dish is sometimes translated as ‘pork strips’ or ‘crisp fried pork slices’.⠀
The recipe and dish is orientated from the rural kitchens in Denmark in the beginning of 1800s – and has been a traditional everyday meal for generations of Danes.
Since the 2000s a tradition has emerged of eating stegt flæsk on election nights as a pun on the derogatory term valgflæsk (election pork) used to describe the lofty promises politicians make during their campaigns
I think it’s just delicious. I devoured it from a restaurant called Pinden. It was billed as all you can eat… but it was a struggle to finish of.
Skolegade 29, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
Other things to do in Aarhus
There were loads of other things that you can do in Aarhus. It’s such an easy city to navigate on foot. I spent 3 days there and could have spent another 2… Mainly because it was nice to spend time feeling more like a local versus the metropolitian feel of Copenhagen,
I hope that you enjoyed my list of 7 things to do in Aarhus Denmark. I’m writing a separate list of things to eat in Aarhus.. So you will have to have a look. If you do go to Aarhus, I hope you have an amazing time!