An ancient city where Viking ships once sailed past on the Limfjord, Aalborg has evolved to a vibrant cultural hotspot with a spectacular waterfront of iconic architectural buildings. The New York Times recently put Aalborg in its Top 10 Places to Go in 2019. Here are 12 reasons why!
Heard of a little building called the Sydney Opera House? A Dane designed that! Jørn Utzon is Aalborg’s most famous local, and at the Utzon Centre you can explore his works and exhibitions on ground-breaking Nordic architecture and design. The Utzon Centre itself has become an architectural gem, overlooking the Limfjord on Aalborg’s exciting waterfront.
Another dramatic building vying for your love and attention on Aalborg’s waterfront is the House of Music, Musikkens Hus. This eye-catching silver icon is a meeting place for music professionals and music lovers. Amongst other things it’s the home of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and a concert venue for international and Danish artists.
No trip to Aalborg is complete without a cheap bite to eat with Danes in an old furniture factory. That’s the venue for Aalborg’s first permanent street food market; the popular local hangout, known as The Lighthouse. Head here to try food from around the world and to soak up the local atmosphere.
Designed by renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto in 1957 and opened in 1972, the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art is a recognized piece of art in itself. Inside this newly renovated icon of Aalborg, you can wander and enjoy works by well-known international artists and get to know Danish artists too.
Aalborg is a fascinating mix of old and new, where you can wander cobbled streets and enjoy a drink in a cosy local café overlooking giant street art murals or crooked houses from the 1600s! Some streets are Instagram favourites, such as Hjelmerstald. See if you can spot Jens Bang’s House, one of Aalborg’s most famous, built in 1624!
Nordkraft is a little piece of New York right in the heart of Aalborg. This vibrant cultural centre houses theatres, cinemas, food joints and exhibitions, all in the lofty guts of an old power station from 1947. It’s also a great place to get active. You can climb Denmark’s highest climbing wall right here inside Nordkraft.
Aalborg is small and easy to get around, so you’ll definitely notice the dramatic murals that set this city apart when you explore the centre. You could even put together your own walking tour of the over 50 pieces of impressive street art that adorn the city, giving Aalborg its colourful and unique feel.
We Danes love a good harbour swimming bath! Aalborg’s newly refurbished Vestre Fjordpark is an outdoor swimming spot located close to the city centre, but it feels a world away. From here you can swim, kayak or sail in the beautiful clean waters of the Limfjord or just relax on the popular wooden swimming platforms.
You should be very glad that it was too expensive to tear down the Aalborg Tower after it was built for an exhibition in 1933. It’s survived to become a unique icon of the city. It’s also an experience getting up there. Ring the bell and the elevator will come down to get you! Up at the viewing platform, there’s a bistro so you can enjoy the views of Aalborg and beyond with a drink or bite to eat too.
How many cities can claim to have their own mystical Viking burial grounds? Well Aalborg can! You can virtually step off the plane at Aalborg Airport and into the historical wonder of the stone circles at Lindholm Høje; an important Iron Age and Viking burial site over 1500 years old. Explore the museum exhibitions and enjoy the café just north of the Limfjord.
Not a mining colony in the sky (just so we don’t have a lot of very disappointed Star Wars fans when they arrive in Aalborg), Cloud City is a whole new cultural district of Aalborg built around the distillery of the famous local spirit, Aalborg Akvavit. From 2023, you’ll be able to see the world’s biggest glass artwork and enjoy a variety of cultural events.