Weekend trip to Aarhus

Weekend trip to Aarhus

Confession time: I’ve lived in Denmark for almost five years and prior to last weekend, I had never been to Aarhus.

Yup. Shameful.

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I fully understand if you judge me. I judge myself! Especially since I’ve seen first-hand that Aarhus is in fact quite awesome. Denmark’s “Second City”, “The City of Smiles”, and it’s even the European Capital of Culture 2017! It’s quite obvious that I’d been slowly running out of excuses for not having visited yet.

A while back, we got a gift card for a hotel stay, which we decided to use for a weekend trip to Aarhus. It’s about a three-hour drive from Copenhagen – you can catch a train or coach, too, or even a water plane, if you’re so inclined. But we wanted to visit the boyfriend’s grandma on our way back home, and she lives about half an hour outside the city, so our choice fell on the car.

We left early Saturday morning and arrived at the hotel around noon, and promptly headed off towards the city.

 

Aarhus Street Food

We arrived in Aarhus just in time for lunch, so we parked the car and headed towards Aarhus Street Food. Similar to Copenhagen Street Food, the food stalls and trucks are placed in an old industrial building, so the market is available year-round. There’s outdoors seating and a bar as well as plenty of benches and tables inside.

We took a quick tour around the hall, and decided on our lunch menu. The boyfriend went with a curry and small spring rolls from Tuk Tuk, while I chose a three cheese sandwich from Grilled Cheese.

The Thai curry was really good, but I have to say I wasn’t as thrilled with my grilled cheese (which I’d really been looking forward to). The three cheeses used were mozzarella, gouda, and Danish “vesterhavsost”. None of these are very strong in flavor, so the sandwich ended up tasting a little bit bland, and after about half of it, it was just A LOT of cheese. I would’ve loved some sharp cheddar in there, to spice it up a notch. They do have two other varieties, one with portobello mushrooms and truffle oil, and one with chorizo, which I would think are a bit more exciting.

Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales

On our first walk around to check out the food stalls, I had spotted a sign that I couldn’t ignore. It said “Crème Brûlée Donuts”. I don’t think I need any more words to describe them – the pictures speak for themselves!

Creme Brulee Donut at Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales Creme Brulee Donut at Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales Creme Brulee Donut at Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales Popsicle at Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales

You can get these babies at a cake shop called Cheesecaken. On our way out, I grabbed a strawberry and champagne ice cream at Popsicle, because you can totally have two desserts when you’re on vacation. Feel free to quote me on this.

On Sunday, after our morning visit to ARoS Museum, we had originally planned to check out Aarhus Central Food Market, which is similar to Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne, but we found that most of the stalls were closed – whether that was due to the fact that it was Sunday, or July, I don’t know. Initially slightly disappointed, we decided that just meant we could try some more stalls at Aarhus Street Food.

The boyfriend went with classic Danish comfort food from Mormors Køkken (grandma’s kitchen): mørbradgryde, a sort of pork stew with bacon, small cocktail sausages, and loads of heavy cream. Served over rice, this is what your Danish grandma would cook for you, if you had a Danish grandma.

I opted for a veggie bánh mì from Bánh Mì Bandits, with avocado, pickled carrots, hoisin sauce, and chili. I really liked their bread, which was a bit more brioche-like than the usual French baguette. While I was away getting my sandwich, the boyfriend had found me a rhubarb lemonade, which was amazing, too.

Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales Aarhus Street Food - The Copenhagen Tales

If you’re in Aarhus, the street food market is a must-visit. They have a great selection, and the location can’t be beat. Side note if you’re on a budget: all stalls must have at least one dish for DKK 50 or under.

Aarhus Street Food   |   Ny Banegårdsgade 46, 8000 Aarhus   |   aarhusstreetfood.com

 

Walking the city

Bellies full, a little walk seemed like the obvious choice. One thing that’s really great about Aarhus is that it’s so walkable. Both days, we parked the car at a relatively central spot and simply left it there while we explored the city on foot.

From the street food market, we made our way down to the canal, Aarhus Å. It’s lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants, and is a really popular spot for a post-shopping coffee or some drinks in the evenings.

We ventured on to the cathedral, Aarhus Domkirke, where we hung out for a while browsing the flea market on the little square in front of it. The weather had cleared up considerably, and we now had blue skies with soft, fluffy clouds and sunshine.

Weekend trip to Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales Weekend trip to Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales

By the cathedral, I spotted this awesome little moped – they’re called Simson Schwalbe and were produced in East Germany from the 1960s to the 1980s. I actually used to own one just like this one, just that mine was fire engine red. I loved it – they are so fun to ride!

Weekend trip to Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales

Weekend trip to Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales Weekend trip to Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales

 

Kvindemuseet – The Women’s Museum

Just behind the cathedral, we stumbled upon the Danish Women’s Museum and impulsively decided to head on inside. It is situated in the old town hall, a beautiful old building. The museum is focused on women’s history and the fight for equal rights. There’s a really cool exhibit that’s interesting for kids and adults alike, following girls and boys born in different centuries and examining what kind of clothes they would have worn, what toys they would have had, and generally, how their lives would have looked.

On the top floor, there was an exhibit by Australian artist Deborah Kelly called “Venus Envy”, which consists of collages displayed on large banners as well as a video installation. In a participatory art piece, visitors are invited to make their own collages out of magazines, newspapers, and other images.

Kvindemuseet - Danish Women's museum in Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales Kvindemuseet - Danish Women's museum in Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales Kvindemuseet - Danish Women's museum in Aarhus - The Copenhagen Tales

I’d recommend a visit to the Women’s Museum, it’s not too huge so won’t take up endless hours, but it’s really informative and well-designed. The interactive part about girls’ and boys’ history would also be really exciting for kids.

Kvindemuseet   |   Domkirkepladsen 5, 8000 Aarhus   |   kvindemuseet.dk  |   entrance DKK 65

 

Latinerkvarteret – The Latin Quarter

From the Women’s Museum, it’s just a quick walk into the Latin Quarter, with its quaint little streets and colorful houses. This is arguably the most hip area of Aarhus, and that Satuday, it was full of students enjoying the sun with a cup of coffee or lunch from one of the cafes that line the streets.

Latinerkvarteret - The Latin Quarter in Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Latinerkvarteret - The Latin Quarter in Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Latinerkvarteret - The Latin Quarter in Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Latinerkvarteret - The Latin Quarter in Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales

We took a break at La Cabra, which all of Instagram agrees is the best coffee shop in Aarhus. Naturally, I had to try for myself, and their Americano was pretty good (although they forgot to add the milk I asked for and I was too lazy to go inside and get some). It’s also an excellent spot to sit and people-watch, if you’re so inclined.

La Cabra Coffee Roasters   |   Graven 20, 8000 Aarhus   |   lacabra.dk

On a side street, we also found the cutest little farm food store called Landmad Aarhus, which sells local seasonal produce, jams, oils, soaps, and kitchenware. They were just about to close when we walked in, but I wanted to buy everything! They have a little cafe attached to the store, too.

Landmad Aarhus  |   Studsgade 6, 8000 Aarhus C   |  landmad.dk

 

Dinner at the hotel

The gift card we had received was for a night’s stay at the hotel including breakfast and a two-course, chef’s choice dinner at the hotel restaurant.

So Saturday night, after a little rest from the day’s walking, we made our way down to the hotel’s bar for a little pre-dinner drink. Mojito for him, whiskey sour for me. Cheers!

Dinner at Montra Hotel Sabro Kro, Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Dinner at Montra Hotel Sabro Kro, Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales

Dinner consisted of a starter and a main course, both of which were pre-selected by the kitchen.

We started with a veal terrine with pickled yellow turnip, garlic mayonnaise, and salad, followed by cockerel with pear, pickled red onion, and ramson butter. Everything was really good, and service was nice as well. Seeing as we’d both had a cocktail before dinner, we simply shared a half bottle of Sauvignon Blanc over the two courses.

Dinner at Montra Hotel Sabro Kro, Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Dinner at Montra Hotel Sabro Kro, Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Dinner at Montra Hotel Sabro Kro, Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales Dinner at Montra Hotel Sabro Kro, Aarhus | The Copenhagen Tales

We really liked the hotel – it’s a classic Danish “kro” with quite a few rooms, a conference center, etc., modernized and with all amenities you could want. It’s about 13km outside of the city center, but it’s a super quick and easy drive, if you have a car. Alternatively, there are buses going from the hotel to Aarhus.

Montra Hotel Sabro Kro   |   Viborgvej 780, 8471 Sabro   |   sabrokro.dk

 

That’s about it for our first day in Aarhus – there will be a separate post on the ARoS museum up next week.

Have you been to Aarhus, or are you planning to go? What are your favorite places? Let me know in the comments, and of course feel free to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest if you found it useful!

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3 thoughts on “Weekend trip to Aarhus”

  • HI Laura, I have been following your posts for awhile. I feel guilty I never responded. I live now in New Jersey. My father was a Dane. He was in NYC as a young 1st ships engineer when Denmark was invaded. He sailed in the US Merchant Marine for the whole war. My mother was a US citizen. She was clever and became fluent in Danish. They spoke Danish in the home until I started school and then the teacher said I started yelling loudly at the other kids that could not speak Danish. I guess I thought they were deaf.

    My parents and our first son visited Denmark and connected with the family. My Danish grandmother visited several times. My Danish cousins also visited and one of my cousin worked for Maersk shipping in USA and Thailand. Last year for my 65th birthday we visited the home land. We had a wonderful time. We stayed in a modern apartment on the water Havneholmen, near Fisketorvet. I am not a fan of malls but this was convenient for groceries and coffee. Outside Fisketorvet there is street food available for a quick pickup. We brought Smørrebrød from Nyhavn and had supper on the apartment balcony. We took the boat taxi that was near by. I remembered in your blog you suggested going antiquing when you go to Rosenborg castle. Thank you, we had a great time. I have family in Copenhagen and near Helsignor. In Alsgarde. We ate in a wonderful place there too. Sorry, I can’t remember the name but it was excellent.

    We took a train to Aarhus. I loved the city too. We stayed in the Cabin. It was small but fine for our needs. Fine for a night or 2 but then we would start to quarrel : ). It was a fun city to walk around. We enjoyed the music festival. There was an interesting character playing his guitar in the walking mall at night. His music was very etherial. We ate traditional food in the Teatre Bodega. We also went to the Aahus museum- I enjoyed it a lot. We also did the “Old Village”. I did not know about the Women Museum…. Next trip.

    We went to Silkeborg and went to the Jorge Museum. It was wonderful. My fathers was a first cousin to the Danish artists Arne and Jorgen Sorensen. They all lived in the same apartment house in Armager. In our travels I remember an outstanding meal in RY- we stayed at the hotel there called Knud Hule Badehotel- Excellent. In Ringkopbing-we ate in Marie’s Sandwich shop. She served us out on the mall. We did not want for good food or beer in Denmark.

    In Helsignor we had a wonderful lunch at a unique lovely inn. We had Fiske frikadeller or herringswitc outside seating.
    Kyhns Gæstehus! “Kyhn’s Guesthouse”
    Stengade 58
    DK-3000 Helsingør
    http://kyhnsgaestehus.dk/

    We also had a wonderful meal at Skotterup Kro:
    http://www.detnyeskotterup.dk/

    I really want to thank you for your posts. They are fun. I guess I am saying keep those cards and letters coming. Karen Overbye.

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