Aarhus, Denmark: what to see, plus the best restaurants, bars and hotels

The 2017 European Capital of Culture has cool museums and galleries, and a wide range of modern Nordic food and drink, all within a compact walkable city centre

When Aarhus was named joint European Capital of Culture for 2017, even seasoned travellers had to reach for an atlas. Denmark’s second city has long lived in Copenhagen’s shadow, but its cultural coronation has put a spring in its step, and increasing numbers of visitors have started succumbing to its charms.

One of which is its size. A small, compact city, with a population of just 330,000, Aarhus’s attractions are easily explored on foot or bicycle. They include: ARoS, the contemporary art museum whose rainbow-coloured roof installation can be seen from all over town; the cutting-edge architecture of the revitalised harbour area; the gobsmacking redevelopment of Godsbanen, a goods station turned cultural centre; and the medieval streets of the Latin Quarter. A bike also comes in handy for making the most of the city’s location on the Jutland peninsula. On two wheels, you’re barely 15 minutes from a forest or beach.

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