Aarhus is a university town located in Jutland, Denmark’s western province. It’s a very small town and there’s not a lot to “do” here that would keep someone here for days and days like Copenhagen. However, I found that to be the strength of the town. It’s quiet; there are a lot of parks to wander through (the one near the university is especially beautiful and peaceful); there’s a great music scene, and a lot of cheap food due to the universities. There are a few old churches and some museums to keep you busy between picnics in the park. It is a good contrast to Copenhagen.
Hostel prices – Hostel dorms begin at 200 DDK per night. Private rooms with double occupancy are around 1,050 DDK.
Budget hotel prices – You can expect to pay at least 550 DDK for a private room.
Average cost of food – If you are going to eat out in a restaurant, be prepared to pay around 60-95 DDK for a cheap meal while groceries will cost around 275 DDK per week. Because this is a college town, there are a lot of cheap food options around town making this making this one of the better towns in which to eat out. Avoid the restaurants by the canal in the center of town – they are expensive.
Transportation costs – Train travel across Denmark (Jutland to Copenhagen) costs around 445 DDK. Local trains and buses cost between 20-40 DDK depending on zone traveled.
Money Saving Tips
Use a hospitality exchange – There is not a lot of budget accommodation in Aarhus. It’s a small town filled with college students. The best way to save a lot of money here is to stay with a local for free by using a site like Couchsurfing.
Get a city pass – If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing and visit a lot of attractions then I highly recommend you get one of the city passes that offer discounts and free admission to museums and attractions. It comes with free public transportation and free admission to most of attractions and activities in the area.
Top Things to See and Do in Aarhus
Clausholm Castle – Built in the 1690’s, this castle is one of the oldest Baroque estates in Denmark and features many unaltered rooms. I highly recommend taking a tour of this place. It’s quite majestic.
Arhus Art Museum – Host to one of the world’s oldest collections of Danish art dating back to 1750, this museum offers an awesome variety of paintings, sculptures, and drawings. A visit here makes for a good afternoon.
Bülow Duus Glassblowers – A glassblowing workshop and store, this place is an awesome sightseeing destination as well as a great place to purchase glasswork. Craftsman are set up blowing glass on huge kilns and are more than happy to make conversation and answer questions. Something different to check out.
Dyrehaven – Known commonly as ‘The Deer Park’, this is an awesome place to catch a glimpse of fallow and sika deer, as well as wild pigs. A short stroll from downtown, this park is a shady wooded spot that offers a peaceful afternoon amongst flora, fauna, and wildlife.
Helsingor Teater – The oldest theater in Denmark features regular performances during the summer.
Round and About Århus – A three hour tour that takes you past marinas, Kalovig Boat Harbor, north to the Vosnaesgard Manor, and back south past charming old villages outside town.
Legoland – A huge town built out of Legos.. why not? A fun way for anyone to spend their day, this place is a must-see. Aarhus is where Lego originated; it was invented by a carpenter during the depression. Over 40 million Lego blocks are used within the park to display various scenes from around the world. Lots to look at and play with. You’re never too old for Lego and if you have kids, they will especially enjoy it here.
The Aarhus Festival – Taking place between August 26th to September 4th, this festival is one of the largest cultural events in all of Scandinavia. An awesome showcase of both local, national, and international artists. Art and entertainment can be found in a huge array of bars, galleries, and shops, all over the city.
Tivoli Friheden – Designed to mimic the world-renowned Tivoli in Copenhagen, this is a popular amusement park surrounded by forest. Often featuring various art shows and concerts, you will also see clowns, various rides, restaurants, and an open air theater. There is always something going on here.
Wander through Den Gamle By – Den Gamle By refers to the “old town” — an aggregation of 75 historic buildings from the 16th to 20th centuries that serve as an open-air museum. Visit some of the shops and restaurants, especially the period-appropriate ones!
Step into the Aarhus Cathedral – This cathedral dates back to the end of the 12th century. It is both the longest and tallest of Denmark’s cathedrals and is worth a quick peek.
Take a mini-historical walk – Leading down from the Moesgaard Museum are some historical trails that head toward the beach. Check out the reconstructed Viking homes, relics and runes.