When talking about Denmark, everyone thinks about Copenhagen. So do we! Why did we visit Aarhus before its bigger and cooler sister? Well, first we don’t know yet whether it’s cooler. We’ll see in the future.
And secondly, a friend of mine told me about this great museum called ARoS she visited when in Denmark. So we googled it, found it, gazed at it and extended our road trip to Northern Germany with a little bit of Denmark.
Denmark is expensive
At the very beginning, let’s talk about money. Usually, this is not a topic for Europeans when travelling. But non-Scandinavians will feel shocked when seeing Scandinavian prices. Especially when they’re not aware of the big differences.
In comparison to Germany (and many more countries) Denmark is really expensive. You have two options: You inform yourself before and find out where and how to save money. For example with discount tickets or you save money before and play hard.
The university town is said to have a vibrant nightlife. I just can’t imagine how that works with these prices: 7€ for a beer? Oh my God!
Aarhus has some star rated restaurants. If you’re not keen on that, you should still be prepared for the ‘normal’ restaurant prices. It’s expensive. We went out for dinner once. The rest of the time we grabbed take away food.
As Danish people earn more than we do, they probably think different. There are huge differences between Germany and Denmark.
City of culture Aarhus
Now the good part: Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city and said to be in competition with Copenhagen when it comes to cultural life. There are some museums, a concert hall and a lot of stylish modern architecture next to old buildings.
We cannot understand the criticism, Aarhus would have grown disharmonious. We loved the city and the annual three million visitors would probably think the same.
A little bit down the text, you’ll find all the sights, we’ve visited.
Exemplary Nordic countries
Just like in Amsterdam, people in Aarhus love bicycling. There’s perfect infrastructure for that and people use it. You will realize that when breathing the fresh air. There are several bicycle lending points everywhere in the city. It costs around three Euro to lend a bike for unlimited time and return it anywhere in the city.
Who doesn’t want to use a bike: We walked. This was kind of exhausting but a great way to see the whole city.
For another Aarhus trip, we will probably think about using those bikes.
Number 13 of New York Times list for 2016
The New York Times knows it, too. They listed Aarhus on their annual list for 2016. You can read more about it here!
What to see in Aarhus
You should plan one or two nights two see the following sights. Two nights are probably more comfy. Depending on what you want to see and how long it would take you.
For information on current opening hours and prices, click here!
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
This museum was the main reason for us to come here. Well, if there hadn’t been our plans visiting Northern Germany, we probably wouldn’t have come to Aarhus.
Anyway. ARoS’s opening was in 2004 and its focus is Modern Art. It’s the first Danish museum outside of Copenhagen. There was a controversy between the two cities, fighting about where the museum should be built.
The architecture alone is totally impressive: It starts with a stair tower inside and has six floors. They’re filled with paintings, sculptures, videos, drawings and photography.
Though, ARoS is most famous for its top with the ‘Your rainbow panorama’, a coloured glass pavilion with an all around panorama on the roof. Aside from the great view, it’s the perfect selfie location.
Not to forget: Boy. This huge sculpture of a boy can be seen permanently in the last floor. He might be a little bit shy. Who wouldn’t be when sitting there naked all the time and everyone is staring at you!
What we totally loved was the colourful fog effect in one room. Unfortunately, we forgot the name of the room or if it even has a name. You definitely have to go inside this one. Be careful, you could hurt yourself. As the view wasn’t the best, I ran into people several times. With all the luck we had, we luckily didn’t break our noses. Heart attacks might be possible, too.
Just because of this museum, the ride up to the North was totally worth it!
Den Gamle by
This is ‘the Old Oldtown’, an open air museum in the middle of Aarhus city. It was opened in 1914 and developed constantly ever since. It’s the oldest open air museum of its kind.
Historic buildings all over Denmark were removed and rebuilt here. On the one hand, otherwise teared down buildings could be rescued. On the other hand, it’s possible to show the world Danish daily life in the last centuries.
The timbered houses are totally cute and are built along the river Au. There are more than 75 historic buildings. The oldest one is from the 17th century. Only a few are from the 20th century.
‘Sea pink by Marc Moser’ and the ‘Iceberg housing project’ at the harbour
I cannot believe these huge pink sunglasses don’t get more attention. In the context of the exhibition ‘Sculptures by the sea’ Swiss artist Marc Moser contributed this 5 meter huge Wayfarer with pink glasses. Meanwhile it’s declared to be a landmark of the city.
Not far from ‘Sea pink’ there’s a beach bar, which obviously only opens when temperatures allow it. August in Denmark already feels like autumn.
In the background, not far from ‘Sea pink’, you can see the ‘Iceberg housing project’. Dream apartments in shape of icebergs. The blue glass squares on the balconies are the cherry on the top. With the building hold in white, it should underline the arctic influence.
Generally the area around the harbour is really beautiful. Judging from the houses we saw here, it’s probably a really expensive area.
Åboulevard an der Aarhus Å
Expensive gastronomy with outdoor seats meet modern design at the river Aarhus Å. Sounds stupid, but it is what it is. You can walk around and watch the amazing modern architecture here, drink or eat something or just relax.
Not far from here, there are some shopping opportunities from all around the world.
St. Clemens cathedral Aarhus
Aarhus’s biggest church is dedicated to the city’s patron, the Holy Clemens and was built in the 12th century. It was burning down in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 15th century. It’s really huge.
If we had to describe Aarhus, we would use the following words: Stylish, modern, Danish!
I think Aarhus will always remain second choice regarding his bigger sister Copenhagen. Unfortunately. Put Aarhus on your bucket list and convince yourself. We are totally thrilled about this city!
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