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6 Simply Delightful Things to Do in Aarhus, Denmark

Or how to have the most relaxing time possible.

Scene on the canal during an evening winter

So you are in, or are traveling to Aarhus, and you want to know how to best enjoy your time while here. Having lived here nearly a year working as a masters student at Aarhus University, I have had my share of wandering the city looking for food. If you are looking for a guide that tells you the "Hottest Places to Club" this list won't be helpful. If you are looking for a relaxing, and perfectly contented time in the "City of Smiles" keep on reading.

1. Wander the Streets of Aarhus C

Do yourself a favor and put on some comfy shoes before taking up this suggestion. Don't worry, wearing sneakers with a dress is totally fashionable here in Denmark! You might be used to other cities which require an uptight street style, but cool sneakers and simple style are the way of the land here in Aarhus. 

Aarhus is an incredibly walkable city due to its compact design, so taking a bus to the central station and simply walking the streets is an easy way to enjoy a day in Aarhus. Be sure to wander the streets of the Latin Quarter before 4 PM, since most shops close early. When your feet need a rest, stop in the square beside Aarhus Cathedral (Danish: Aarhus Domkirke) where there are plenty of benches and stairs. Also, don't miss stopping for a beer along any of the places along the canal.

2. Visit Den Gamle By!

A worker in his shop, Den Gamle By 

Den Gamle By is a beautiful town/ living history museum within Aarhus C, right next to the botanical garden and park. The town is a collection of restored homes from the 19th century to the 1970's and features historical actors whom you can ask questions and learn from. You can wander the little town exploring the inside of every house, buy some traditional Danish pastries or candies, and photograph the picturesque water wheel on the canal. Seriously worth the visit.

3. Visit the Botanical Garden and Park

Perfect spot for a picnic :)

After spending the early part of your day exploring Den Gamle By, you'll be getting hungry for lunch and rest. Located just a grassy patch north of Den Gamle By, the botanical garden park is a nice place to bring a packed lunch. If you didn't bring a packed lunch, just inside the botanical garden is a nice cafe that serves tasty lunch dishes. After eating your lunch, enter the botanical gardens through the cafe and take in some fresh earthy air before heading back to the city. 

Inside the botanical garden from atop the tree house 

4. Eat Delicious things at Aarhus Street Food and Aarhus Central Market

Food stalls galore for every taste

Go to Aarhus Street Food for delicious diverse options for food. Here you can find burgers, curry, traditional Danish meatballs, duck fat fries, among many many more options! The vibe here is relaxed and vibrant. So come grab some beer and eat delicious food! 

To taste a diverse range of Danish (and other Nordic) delicacies, go to Aarhus Central Market. Here the environment is slightly more "upscale" but still very relaxed with stalls set up. Buy anything from craft beers, cheese, and traditional smørrebrød, to amazingly delicious porridge topped with caramel and skyr.

5. Eat Cake (or Tebirke) and Coffee

photo from: http://anneauchocolat.dk/kager/opskriften-pa-den-hemmelige-gulerodskage/

I am a huge lover of carrot cake and lemon cake, so I have tasted variations around America and Europe. Denmark wins as my favorite! Do yourself a favor and stop into any of the pastry shops or cafes and order a slice of cake or a tebirke. Tebirke is a flaky pastry with poppy seeds that is traditional to Denmark. They are so good with a latte. Denmark loves coffee, so you should enjoy some here too.


6. Buy Yourself Some Sneakers and Explore Danish style

All black with a pop of classic white sneakers! photo from: https://www.thelocals.dk/copenhagen/copenhagen-street-style/

The Danes have a seriously stylish love affair with sneakers. While they may be clad in all black outfits, they sport colorful, unique, and classic sneakers in ways I haven't seen before. Pick up some sneakers while in Aarhus, many shops in the Latin Quarter feature sneakers in addition to clothes. My favorite shoe shop is Shoe Chapter located at Badstuegade 18 kld. 8000 Aarhus C

Be sure to browse their many clothes shops too. For classic Danish wear (including the traditional sailor's black turtle neck which is a Danish staple) for men go to Soho located at Rosensgade 30, 8000 Aarhus C

For a wide range of "made in Denmark" clothing options stop into Magasin's upper floors located at Immervad 2-8, 8000 Aarhus C 

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