Aarhus is a city transformed. In part a legacy of 2017’s accolade as the European Capital of Culture, many of the city’s neighbourhoods have been completely regenerated with the help of inspirational architects, artists and creative chefs breathing new life into Denmark’s second city.
From 2 November 2018 it will be even easier to explore this creative hub with the news that EasyJet, Europe’s second largest low-cost carrier, is to launch its first ever twice weekly flight from Gatwick to Aarhus. Adding to the hugely popular Ryanair flight from Stansted to Aarhus.
Visitors taking advantage of the new flights will discover each neighbourhood has a personality all of its own. So, whether you’re looking for the most inspirational cuisine or the latest architecture, if you delve a little deeper you’ll find the olde-worlde cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter and the old working-class area of Trøjborg; the quiet restraint of Frederiksbjerg or the old industrial centre at Godsbanen. To the south of the city, the southern harbour region, which was once lined with butcher’s halls and coal stores to now the newest area of Aarhus, the transformed Aarhus Ø waterfront neighbourhood makes use of bridges over the water to create the illusion of the area being an actual island.
Here’s how to find your own neighbourhood tribe in Aarhus….
For younger visitors or those on a budget the old working-class district of Trøjborg, to the north of the city and close to the Riis Forest and Den Permanente beach, is now a dynamic city within the city and hums with the vibrant atmosphere created by the largely student population. Drawn to the raft of innovative cool and cost effective cafes, bars and boutiques, stand out examples include The Meat Town, a mecca for determined meat eaters in the basement of Kødstaden, a butcher’s shop on Tordenskjoldsgade. For international specialty dishes mixed with tons of organic produce try Ana Fruits and Vegetables, or time warp back to the 1970’s and have one of the best breakfast’s in Aarhus at the newly opened Stuen th.
The Latin Quarter
A great place for the picky shopper, the Latin Quarter is the oldest neighbourhood in Aarhus with half-timbered houses and cobbled streets, such as Mejlgade, which is one of the oldest, and now home to cafes, restaurants and specialities shops. Or check out the courtyards of the old buildings for well-priced restaurants and in cobbled Rosensgade where Michelin starred Restaurant Gastrome is run by chefs, Søren Jakobsen and William Jørgensen, who for several years have been behind the Old Dairy at Vilhelmsborg and Mårslet and combine the rural roots from the sister restaurant with a modern, adventurous and very personal food style.
With a mix of students, families and older people in the area, Frederiksbjerg has gone through a major redevelopment in recent years with Jægersgårdsgade and M. P. Bruunsgade, now hosting cafes and restaurants alongside speciality shops offering off-beat, avant-garde design and a popular food and vegetable market on Ingerslev Boulevard.
Aarhus K (Godsbane-kvarteret)
The creative heart of the city, Aarhus K was once the centre of industry but now hosts a great community of entrepreneurs who’ve shaped the local plans with restaurants, such as the rooftop Lynfabrikken terrace on Vestergade. For lunch try Spiselauget and pick your way through the plants and foliage over a coffee at Plantecaféen. For culture head to Godsbanen where open workshops, studios, theatres and dance halls offer pop up festivals and events. Don’t miss a photo stop at The Mølle Park on Aarhus creek and Møllestien, which is a pretty little street of colourful houses and cobblestones. Or for art lovers the area is close to the famous ARoS Museum, The House of Music and The Academy of Music.
Opened in time for the celebrations in 2017 the newest area Aarhus Ø is located right on the waterfront creating the illusion of the area being an actual island (from where the neighbourhood gets its name). The area offers a great mix of business, housing, culture and green recreational spaces.
Try the new harbour bath then stop for a craft beer at Hantwerk or pick up a classic Hot Dog or Denmark’s best ‘bøfsandwich’ (burger with gravy) at Havnens Perle, where they have resided since 1962. For those in search of fine dining Restaurant Koch is owned by the Koch Brothers who also have Det Glade Vanvid, a restaurant with an affordable all-inclusive concept where the evening starts and ends at a certain time, and everybody is served the same gastronomic experience and unlimited wine. Or stop by the wine and tapas restaurants VinDanmark, which offers wine and tapas in a relaxed setting on the harbour front.
After a day of exploring the city head for the open spaces of the Marselisborg Memorial Park, which is just below the castle grounds of Marselisborg Palace, facing out over the Bay of Aarhus. Marselisborg Palace is the summer residence of the Danish Royal family but for visitors in May and June it provides a dazzling display of blossom along a grove of cherry trees. Close by the Tivoli Friheden amusement park is a mecca for families with fun rides for all ages. Alternatively, near the city centre Tangkrogen Park is the venue for festivals and events close to shady Marselis Wood and is bounded by the beautiful Strandvejen and Marselis Havnevej. Or Varna Palæet is a beautiful classical building on the edge of Aarhus Bay with a gourmet restaurant. Close by and right on Varna Beach don’t miss The infinite bridge a circle shaped, wooden construction, by architects Niels Povlsgaard and Johan Gjødes, that was originally built in 2015 for the biennial Sculpture By the Sea event and was so beloved by locals it has become a permanent piece of art on the water.
Getting there …
Until 2 November 2018 when EasyJet commences its twice weekly flights, Ryanair has the only UK direct flights from London Stansted to Aarhus.
Alternatively, fly with Ryanair to nearby Billund from as little as £19.99 one-way. British Airways also has daily flights from Heathrow to Billund with return prices from £120. BA also flies from London City Airport and Manchester to Billund through the airline’s franchise partner Sun-Air.
It’s now even easier to explore Aarhus and the surrounding Central Denmark Region, thanks to the AarhusCARD which gives access to more than 20 museums and attractions across the city. Buy a 24, 48 or 72-hour card and enjoy discounts on shopping, free admission to the city’s public swimming pool, and free transport by bus all over Aarhus and the surrounding region, including X-buses, night buses, local trains in the city of Lemvig and airport shuttles to and from Aarhus Airport and Billund Airport.