Aarhus: European Capital of Culture 2017
Aarhus is Denmark’s second city, with a population of approximately 315,000. Located on the east coast of Jutland, it is one of the oldest cities in Denmark with a rich Viking history. Today it is a thriving university city with a vibrant energy and multiple tourist attractions within easy walking distance. The oldest part of town, the city’s atmospheric Latin Quarter, is home to a host of charming independent shops, restaurants and cafes, while the recently regenerated waterfront area, Aarhus Ø, features unique architecture and hip urban gallery spaces. The city blends old and new, with historic Viking buildings and striking modern architecture, including the waterfront library Dokk1, the city hall designed by Danish design icon Arne Jacobsen, Moesgaard museum and the unique Iceberg apartment buildings. Aarhus is surrounded by nature, with forests and beaches to the north and south, offering multiple opportunities for an active lifestyle. There are green spaces everywhere, from the city’s Botanical Garden to the University Park, plus the charming Dyrehaven, a forest reserve full of tame deer.
Aarhus is also firmly on the cultural map, with excellent museums and art galleries including the ARoS art museum and its iconic ‘rainbow panorama’, perhaps the quintessential Aarhus landmark. Den Gamle By, or ‘the Old Town’, is a fascinating open-air museum offering a glimpse into Danish life, past and present. Named European Capital of Culture in 2017, Aarhus was home to a spectacular program of events in all areas from sport to gastronomy to literature, emphasising the city’s significant cultural offerings.
Aarhus is the perfect location for a cosy break, where one can experience the essence of Danish ‘hygge’ and enjoy the city’s flourishing restaurant scene, including three Michelin starred restaurants and numerous places to tuck into artisanal coffee and cake, a platter of Danish ‘smørrebrød’ or freshly baked bread from an organic bakery. With everything within easy walking distance and excellent public transport, navigating the city could not be easier. It is the ideal place for a stroll through winding cobbled streets, a bracing walk along the beach, a cycle through the woods, an afternoon soaking up the city’s cultural attractions, or a dinner of sumptuous New Nordic cuisine – all on the city’s doorstep.
For further information, including a list of recommended restaurants and attractions, see the website of the national tourist agency Visit Aarhus.
Getting around in Aarhus
The entire city is clean, compact and well-organised, which makes walking an excellent and enjoyable way to get around. To walk from the centre of the city to the university takes approximately 30 minutes.
To book a taxi, please call this telephone number (+45) 8948 4848 or ask your hotel receptionist. There is also a taxi stand right outside the main exit of the train station and conveniently located taxi stands all over the city.
Midttrafik, the municipal bus company, runs the yellow buses in the city. The bus route number is indicated at the front and the back of the bus and the destination is displayed at the front and above the rear door. Aarhus is the only city in Denmark where passengers enter through the back door and exit through the front. Every bus is equipped with a ticket machine and a validation machine at the back of the bus. You can purchase single and multi-ride tickets.
Bus tickets for travel within the city limits (Municipality of Aarhus limits) cost 20 DKK. Ten-ride tickets are also available which vary in price depending on how far you want to go. Please check the Midttrafik website for more information on buses and city links.
Denmark is an ideal country for cycling. There are not many (very) steep hills and there are many safe cycling paths. Urban conditions for cyclists are constantly being improved. Look out for the special cyclists’ routes (cykelruter) and cycle paths (cykelstier).