The second largest city in Denmark at a population of over three-hundred thousand, Aarhus (also spelled "Arhus") is a university town that mixes the past and present in intriguing fashion. One can seek the open-air museum of Den Gamle By, soaking in the recreated buildings and social buzz of 19th century life, before strolling to the newly updated port, where the Light House is poised to take the title of Denmark's tallest building. One may also bask in the typically Danish architecture of the Rådhuspladsen (Town Hall Square) and then lounge in the numerous cafes and eateries along the river. Even the nightlife represents a stew of old and new, from the 13th century former monks quarters of Thorups Kaelder to the thumping superclubs that are scattered from Klostergade to Åboulevarden. If that isn't enough intrigue, then how about its location in the middle of the Jutland peninsula? Aarhus is the most centrally located metropolitan area in Denmark, making it easy to reach from a more frequent travel destination like Copenhagen and easy to leave for the forests, hillocks, and beaches in all corners of the country. How's that for intrigue? It's definitely more exciting than dusting off the old Nintendo 64.
Aarhus proves a commitment to the arts with museums like ARoS, which is known for ten floors of excellent contemporary art, and the Aarhus Viking museum located downtown. The museum in Moesgaard Forest displays a 1,700 year old body long preserved in a local bog; it's no Cro-Magnon Man, but it's sure better than what the neighborhood cat has been leaving on your doorstep. Other historic buildings include Vor Frue Kirke, Aarhus Cathedral, and the aforementioned Den Gamle By, all of which are excellent representations of Scandinavian architecture. Our culture page is the best place to find out more.
As is the case anywhere in Denmark, the cheapest way to get around is by bike, which can be rented or even gotten for free at plenty of stations around the city. Aarhus is small enough for visitors to walk between the sights, although you'll need motor-based transportation (like the bus) if you're heading out of town to nearby nature areas like Moesgaard or Mols Berge. You may also want to grab an Aarhus Card when you arrive; you'll enjoy the free bus rides and the many discounts for restaurants, activities, and attractions.
So you've gathered by now that Aarhus is no Copenhagen. Which is okay: sure, the monuments are much less famous, but you won't have to elbow tourists near every statue or under every cafe umbrella One of the youngest and fastest growing cities in Denmark, there is no lack of variety in the nightlife and eating options meant to satisfy the large university-aged population. It is also a quickly developing city, as demonstrated by projects along the waterfront that include the Light House, nudging it further and further into the country's tourism spotlight. Centering the largest landmass in Denmark, Aarhus also provides a perfect home base for windsurfing the western coast, swimming the eastern coast, biking the Limfjord, climbing the country's highest hill (Himmelbjerget) or any number of other adventures. All in all, it's a pretty easy sell, and time more productively spent than a weekend stalking friends of friends on Facebook. If you'd like to know more, browse the included activities and videos.