Travel: Discover Aarhus

Photo credit: Cees van Roeden

Aarhus is an ideal short break destination in Denmark

Well-known for its welcoming spirit, the university city of Aarhus is less than two hours flying time from the UK with museums, galleries, restaurants and bars and great boutique and specialty shopping.

Located on the East Jutland coast, Denmark's second largest city Aarhus is both old and young. Once an ancient Viking stronghold, this is now a modern university city with a lot to offer. On picturesque cobbled lanes, old half-timbered houses sit alongside stylish boutique hotels that offer very cool accommodation. Yes Denmark is notoriously expensive but we've put some options together that leave enough cash spare to shop in the day and party by night.

Where to Stay?

At the upper end of the range are Hotel Guldsmeden (hotelguldsmeden.com) in the heart of the old town with tranquil gardens of fruit trees and flowers, 4 star Hotel Ferdinand (www.hotelferdinand.dk) with its canalside dining and for discreet luxury with a taste of functionality and pure Nordic style lounging in Hasten beds and Theselius chairs try Best Western Oasia’s (www.hoteloasia.dk).

For more regal offerings, step back to 1838 to a time of extravagant and royal luxury in the carefully restored Hotel Royal (www.hotelroyal.dk) with its extensive collection of painting depicting rural life or head South to Malling for a night in one of Denmark’s gastronomic inns (kro) which were established in the 12th Century by King Erik Klipping along the so-called ’Kings Highway’ to provide weary travellers with a bed and hearty meal (www.mallingkro.dk).

Bunk down at the centrally located backpacker hotel ‘City Sleep-In’ (www.citysleep-in.dk) with it cosy back garden with barbecue or venture into the nearby forest, just a few minutes from the beach, for a tranquil night’s sleep in the Danhostel Aarhus (en.aarhus-danhostel.dk). With a bus stop on the doorstep and family rooms that sleep up to six people, Danhostel is an excellent choice for anyone with a limited budget.

Given its idyllic location, close to the sea and surrounded by ancient forests, camping is a great option when visiting Aarhus. With bus routes going regularly into the city centre, pitch up to Saksild Strand Camping (www.saksild.dk) or Ajstrup Strand Camping (en.ajstrupcamping.dk) for a seaside sojourn. For the best of both worlds, head into the magnificent Marselisborg Woods to DCU-Camping Blommehaven (www.camping-blommehaven.dk) with its own stretch of beach and luxurious cabins.

In addition to the wide and varying selection of individual options, visitors to Aarhus can also opt to rent their own well-equipped holiday house in the vicinity of the city through a number of companies including Novasol www.novasol.dk; take sanctuary in a traditional inn (www.krohotel.dk); make friends with the locals in a homestay, bed & breakfast or farm stay and more remarkably camp for free (or at mere cost of DKK 20) at one of the many ‘Nature Camps’ in the region - a popular choice with the cycling and walking fraternity - that offer shelter with limited facilities and no vehicles.

With prices per night starting from as little as DKK485 (approx. £60) for a double hotel room, DKK259 (approx. £33) for a hostel, DKK250 (approx. £30) for a cabin and DKK66/adult and DKK33/child (approx. £8/£4) for a campsite, this is an affordable way to spend time in notoriously expensive Scandinavia.

Getting there…?

Aarhus can be easily accessed with daily direct flights to both Billund and Aarhus Airport from where there are easy bus connections and a good range of car hire companies. More details on getting to Aarhus at: www.visitdenmark.com

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