When talking about the Danish culture, you will most definitely stumble upon the word ‘hygge’. With no exact translation of the term in English, hygge roughly translates to ‘coziness’ and, in essence, means creating a warm atmosphere, surrounding yourself with the preferred company and appreciating the good things in life. For me, the opportunity of calling Aarhus home for six months meant embracing this idea of coziness that the Danes have so brilliantly perfected over their lifetime.
Usually overlooked because of Copenhagen’s cosmopolitan nature, Aarhus, the second biggest city of Denmark, has been off the radar of tourists for many years. But after being tagged as the 2017 Cultural Capital of Europe, it is gaining all the attention it deserves. The city boasts everything a tourist can ask for: diverse, eye-catching architecture, a great variety of cultural events, beautifully designed museums, an incredible food scene and a strong integrity in identity of the city itself. Aarhus knows that it’s still growing and is expanding its horizons, making it a dynamic and interesting city for a traveller to explore.
For me, Aarhus was the perfect amalgamation of vibrance and relaxation, art and inspiration and mostly an icon of culture and innovation.
Things to do and see in Aarhus
ARoS Aarhus Art Museum is a must-do, while visiting Aarhus. Other than the iconic rainbow panorama landmark, you get to visit a variety of non-traditional, modern art pieces, that reflect the creative sensitivity for art and innovation of the city.
The harbour area and Aarhus Ø surprises one with its contrasts. Here is where the famous Danish architecture is exhibited at its best. You see innovative architecture taking form next to rusty, metal shipping containers that are then artfully balanced with urban gardening areas, beach bars and world’s best public library of 2016, ‘Dokk1’. The entire harbour development area embodies the future of the city- to live in a socially sustainable way.
Take a stroll through the Latin Quarter, Aarhus’ oldest neighborhood, and enjoy its small allies, ecstatic street art, small boutiques and all the buzzing, cozy cafés. Make sure not to miss Møllestien, the “most beautiful street” of Aarhus.
Check out, what is going on at Godsbanen while you are there. The former train station was renovated into bar, club and studio spaces, that now offer a variety of events, food and design markets.
The old town Den Gamble By is a quite non-traditional museum, that quite literally teleports you through the different eras of Danish history. You can visit several households and dive into people’s life reaching back to the 17 -hundreds all the way up to the 70s. Right next to it is the Botanical garden, that is also worth a visit.
A little bit outside of the city, there’s the Moesgård museum, a museum dedicated to archaeology and ethnography. The ramp-looking building is impressive itself. Close-by, there are the Moesgård beach and the deer park (yes, you get to pet deer there). Both are perfect to experience some nature, while you are in Aarhus.