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Through The Eyes Of A Local: Aarhus, Denmark

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As we move forward into another weekend, we also have another locals interview to showcase another cool city and culture. This week, we’re finding out more about Aarhus in Denmark…

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself and where you come from?

Originally, I come from a smaller town, 20 km from Aarhus and I lived in some different suburbs of Aarhus until I finally found an affordable flat in the center of the city. I think it was back in 2010 I found the flat. Aarhus is the second biggest city in Denmark, and it’s the university city, so this is where I studied, worked and had my social life.

2. What do you love most about Aarhus?

It is a new European tourist destination and has been mentioned in both Lonely Planet, The Guardian and NY Times as a must visit. In 2017, it was joint European Capital of Culture and some years ago, cruise ships started to put the city into their programme. Aarhus is with no doubt my favourite city in the world, it is not too crowded, everything is within cycling distance and forests and beaches are 20 minutes walk away from the center. There are tons of festivals, outdoor markets and events during summer and and the city is built up with a mix of old architecture and new modern architecture. If you’re into architecture and design, this city will definitely interest you. Especially after we got “Aarhus Ø”, a quarter located at the Harbour with impressive modern buildings e.g. “The Iceberg”.

Aarhus Buildings

3. Is there anything that frustrates or annoys you when tourists visit Aarhus?

Nothing really, the city is still not booming with tourists and I believe this is what the tourists enjoy as well. You notice the days when there are cruise ships because a large group of people come at the same time, but it is not something that seems to annoy people.

4. In your opinion, which places should be at the top of any visitor’s wishlist in Aarhus?

AroS, the art museum. Recognized by it’s huge rainbow panorama where you can walk around and see the city in different colors. The Old City, an open-air town museum with beautiful buildings dating back to 1550 and to the 19th century. Moesgaard Museum, a regional museum dedicated to archaeology and ethnography. The architecture of the building is impressive and the surroundings invite you to bring your picnic gear and hang around in nature and take a walk in the forest.

5. What foods must visitors eat when in Aarhus?

Aarhus has many great restaurants and The Nordic Kitchen is very popular in the world. Try Street Food, a food mecca where you can buy food from 30 different stands to either take with you or enjoy at the place. Many locals enjoy their lunch there or go there to hang out and eat with friends, colleagues and family. If you want to try the Nordic kitchen, seek places where they serve nordic inspired food like “Nordic Spisehus” or “Frederikshøj”.

6. What’s your favourite Danish word? Why? What does it mean?

Træls /trælst. People from Copenhagen do not use this word and it’s a word we use for something unpleasant. That something or someone is “træls”: unpleasant, annoying.

7. What advice would you give to somebody moving to Denmark?

Danish people are said to be a bit reserved and it can be difficult to make Danish friends. My best advice is to join sports clubs or other social free-time activities. I was in the “salsa environment” for some years and it was the perfect way to meet new friends because you can’t help but talk to people when you have to dance with them. We had many international people in this environment.


8. If you could describe Aarhus in just one sentence, what would you say?

A small big city with a mix of new and old.

9. If tourists were to know one thing about the Danish culture, what should that be?

We might seem shy or not interested, but if you ask for help we would love to help. I think our shyness is mistaken for being cold and Danes happen to talk very negatively about themselves and their countrymen. But I think you just need to have a beer or three with a Dane and then you little by little will get their trust.

10. Do you have any interesting traditions that you’d like to tell us about?

Aarhus Festuge, a 10-days long art, culture and music festival in late August. Sankts Hans Eve, June 23rd. Date of summer solstice, celebrated in many different places e.g. the University Park. We make a big bonfire, typically put a “witch” on top of it to burn, sing, drink and have a picnic with friends and family.

Thanks Nana – we’ve loved getting to know you and Aarhus better!

If you want to hear more from Nana, check out her travel blog: Patagonia Dreaming!

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Through The Eyes Of A Local: Aarhus

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