Denmark’s second largest city is a cosmopolitan blend of culture, creativity and small-town community spirit. Locals affectionately call it, “the world’s smallest big city.” It was founded by Vikings in the 10th century on the eastern coast of the Jutland Peninsula, the Danish and German land that juts north from mainland Europe into the North and Baltic seas.
Aarhus is a short bike ride from both sea and forest. This progressive city is a leader in renewable energy and efficiency, and is home to one of the best universities in Scandinavia. The high number of university students means Aarhus has the youngest population in Denmark, ensuring the city of just 300,000 stays young at heart and big on new ideas.
Culturally, the city is thriving, with a number of world-class galleries and museums located within its boundaries. Visit ARoS, a ten-story art museum featuring a vast permanent collection. See Danish art spanning more than four centuries and influential contemporary art from around the world. Many of Denmark’s best-known bands and musicians call the city home. On weekends Aarhus is a great place to catch a live show.
While the population may be young, the city itself has roots dating back more than a thousand years to the Viking Age. Discover the history of the city and the Jutland region at one of Aarhus’ many museums. Aarhus City Hall offers guided tours and is renowned for its daring architecture. Step back in time at Den Gamle By, the world’s first open-air museum of urban history and culture, or visit the Aarhus Cathedral to see a great example of 12th-century architecture.
Aarhus is served by an international airport but can also be reached on high-speed train and bus from many northern European cities. Once in town the city is easy to navigate. Rent a bike or use one of the free community bikes that are dispersed throughout the city. Cycling is the best way to get around any Danish city, since the infrastructure offers a safe and efficient journey. A metro and bus system also runs throughout Aarhus.