Imagine a city teeming with tremendous Nordic atmosphere, a busy market square, delightful cobbled streets filled with shops and cafes and at it’s centre, an exquisite Cathedral and open air museum, dating back to the 16th century. Now imagine miles of forests, (the Marselisborg Forests) on one side and the Kattegat sea, (cat’s throat’ in Danish) on the other. You’ve now captured a small part of beautiful Aarhus.
Tucked away on the east coast of Denmark, this charming city is a delightful surprise with botanical Gardens, wonderful ARoS Art Gallery, amazing food and visible Viking heritage. Together with the warm and welcoming Danish people, Aarhus is a great weekend destination.
A History Lesson
Dating back to the 8th century, the history of Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement. A natural harbour allowed the seaborne trade of agricultural products to be the primary driver of growth. Today Aarhus is at the cultural and economic core of the region and the largest centre for trade, service and industry in Jutland. It’s also home to Aarhus university, Scandinavia’s largest.
A city that boasts numerous architecture styles from the middle ages to present day, the centre of Aarhus is a well preserved medieval setting with some of the oldest dwellings dating back to the mid 1500s
Shopping & Eating
The pedestrianised centre makes getting around easy and the small Scandinavian boutiques scattered around, offer a distinct Nordic feel. Two main department stores ensure ample shopping, one with a rooftop cafe and garden where lunch can be enjoyed while savouring the panoramic views of the city.
In Latin Quarter, the cobbled streets are charming and as well as shops, are filled with cafe’s, bars and restaurants. Coffee, hot chocolate, Carlsberg and fine wine are all on offer to keep you hydrated while exploring this beautiful place.
The Danes, consistent in their love of exceptional food means there’s plenty of it on offer in Aarhus. From Michelin star excellence to American pizza, riverside cafe’s to rooftop charm, an Irish pub, an Australian pub and whatever your pallet desires, Aarhus will provide for it in style.
While there, I toured a distinguished men’s fashion factory and had a fascinating insight into the Danish rag trade. A house party with dear friends, people I’d never met treating me like an old friend and booming laughter to make their Viking heritage proud. An endless flow of champagne and exquisite Michelin star food served throughout the day making it a superb soiree.
Hotel Royal in the Latin District where I stayed had the oldest working elevator in northern Europe, the beautiful old lift at it’s centrepiece. The rooms were spacious and in keeping with the era of the hotel, but modernised plumbing meant lots of hot water. My room opened onto the busy market square and the service provided by the hotel staff was impeccable
Opposite my hotel stood Aarhus Cathedral, constructed in the 12th century, this simple but beautiful church is the largest in Denmark and an active party of the Aarhus community.
In Conclusion –
I loved Aarhus, the beauty and charm of Denmark is even more apparent in this fabulous city. The university makes it a lively town, full of young people and the friendly atmosphere made me want to up sticks and move there. I’ll definitely visit Aarhus again, but later in the winter I think, for I long to see it in the snow.
Ryanair fly direct from Stanstead to Aarhus and takes 1hr 40 mins.
Aarhus Tourist Information