A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip up north to visit a friend in Aarhus. Located on the east coast of Jutland, Aarhus is the second biggest city in Denmark and is full to the brim with attractions – beaches, deer parks, bike trails, museums and art galleries, just to name a few. Since my last visit, the place has grown, with new cafes opening up, updated museums and a brand new library. In fact, next year it will be named the Cultural Capital of Europe! Fill up your purse with Danish Kroner, pack your scarf, beanie and mittens and be prepared for a cold, but invigorating, Scandinavian holiday.
1.Take a rainbow walk at the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
The AroS Aarhus Art Museum houses new and interesting exhibitions all the time. But, by far my, favourite thing about this creative space is the Rainbow Panorama, designed by Danish/Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, which has been enjoyed by tourists since 2011. Climb to the rooftop to experience the colourful 360 degree views of Aarhus in whichever hue you choose!
2. Explore pre-history at the Moesgaard Museum
This brand new museum is built into the hill and houses an extensive exhibitions, ranging from the Stone Age and Iron Age through to Viking times and beyond. With interactive displays, high-quality technology and fascinating artefacts, such as the remains of the Grauballe Man (a bog body that has been dated back to 3rd century BC), this is a must-see attraction. At the very top, you can enjoy beautiful views over the ocean and surrounding countryside.
3. Walk around the Viking Burial Mounds
A short walk from the Moesgaard Museum and you will find yourself in fields of sheep, complete with Viking burial mounds! That’s right – these burial mounds pop up casually all around the country side – a real novelty for people, who usually reside outside of Europe. How amazing it is to be so close to history from such a long time ago!
4. Meet Bambi in the Marselisborg Deer Park
Stroll around the green lawns of the Danish forest, where you can feed and pat the deers. You might even be lucky enough to see some fawns, if you come at the right time of year. Bring carrots if you want to get up close and personal with these furry creatures. Entrance is free and the location is beautiful.
5. Step back in time at Den Gamle By
This open air museum gives you a taste of what life was like in the 1800s, 1920s and 1970s, in Aarhus. Take a horse and cart down the cobbled laneways, explore the half-timbered houses and buy a snack from the bakery or sweet shop. This place is huge – allow at least half a day to really feel like you are living in another era.
6. Visit the Scandinavian Wildlife Park
Located about half an hour from Aarhus, this wildlife park is worth the drive. With large grounds, you can spend hours admiring the beautiful Scandinavian animals. Watch the eagles, brown bears, wolves and polar bears at feeding time. Alternatively, check out the reindeers, arctic foxes and wild boars. You can learn more about ways, in which you can help protect their natural habitats by reading the information signs and attending the feeding times. The park is closed over Winter, but re-opens when the bears come out of hibernation!
7. Feast on international Street Food
From Thai curries, Mexican burritos, French crêpes and Danish fish and chips, this big warehouse is filled with food trucks, communal seating and plenty of beer. It is a great meeting place, with large wooden tables and a buzzing vibe.
8. Take a stroll along Moesgaard Beach
Pack a picnic, a towel and some swimmers and spend a day at Moesgaard Beach. If you’re brave, jump in the water! On a sunny day, you can easily laze on the beach or take a walk along one of the many forested tracks – the colourful leaves are magical at this time of year and best appreciated by foot.
9. Borrow a bike and explore the city
Bicycles are, by far, the most popular way to get around Aarhus. There are bicycle lanes all over the city and through the parks, so it is easy and very safe. Just remember to rug up – especially don’t forget gloves or your fingers might freeze to the handle bars along the way.
Have you been to Aarhus? What are some of your favourite things to do here?