If you like a mixture of culture, history and a friendly atmosphere then Aarhus is a great place to visit on your cruise. Situated in the middle of the Jutland peninsula Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark with a population of around 300,000. Founded by the Vikings over 1000 years ago,it is now a popular destination for many Scandinavian and Baltic cruises.
There are many key attractions in easy walking distance from the cruise port. You can even explore the city on one of the free bikes available. You might choose to explore the delightful old town with its traditional half timbered houses, some of which are home to artists. City Hall, covered in Norwegian marble, is a must for budding photographers and the wonderful gothic cathedral of Aarhus looks out over the entire city. Being over 300 feet long it is the longest ecclesiastical building in Denmark and is also situated very close to the sea. No surprise to learn that it is dedicated to St Clement who is the patron saint of sailors. The 800 year old cathedral also has many beautiful frescoes and a magnificent altarpiece.
Many people come to Aarhus to visit Den Gamle By. This is an open air museum with 75 reconstructed urban buildings, giving you an experience of typical Scandinavian dwellings. You can see the Mint Master’s Mansion from Copenhagen which was built in the early 1680s. Aarhus has many restaurants where you simply relax and sample some delicious Danish cuisine. If you are travelling with children (of any age!) you may want to visit Legoland, a very popular attraction. A stroll along the pedestrianised areas will bring you to many delightful shops, especially located in the Stroget district and the Latin quarter. You can discover unique boutiques and perhaps purchase that special souvenir of your visit.
It is a renowned centre for music, dance, theatre and opera. The Musikhuset Aarhus is the key venue for cultural events and home to the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Opera. There are several stages and even an amphitheatre with performances throughout the year. If you prefer a more contemporary repertoire then you will find the Svalegangen theatre offers all the latest dance, music and theatre. International artists perform at the Entre Scenen, an experimental artistic centre. Whatever your tastes Aarhus' theatres and concert halls are likely to have something to appeal to you.
In the summer there are various festivals in Aarhus. May sees the Aarhus Traders' Market with over 200 of the best Danish traders offering their goods for sale. The festival is enhanced with music and food being available. Then in June you can enjoy the Spot 11 Festival during which musicians from Denmark and other Scandinavian countries perform at the Musikhuset Aarhus. There are also lectures about the music. If you want to see classic paintings brought to life then come to Live Pictures of the World festival, also in June. This is a spectacular event in which live performers recreate works of art in numerous locations around the city. July sees the Aarhus International Jazz Festival with many live concerts, both indoors and in the city's squares and outdoor venues. You will meet many visiting musicians from overseas at this great event too. September is the time of the Aarhus Festival, the highlight of the calendar. The entire city pulls out all the stops with a variety of dance, music, film and sporting entertainments. It lasts a full 10 days and takes place in early September.
You can see the changing of the guard at the royal residence of the Danish Queen each day at noon. She is usually in residence in the summer and Easter and Christmas. If you like historical buildings Clausholm Castle with its parks and stables is an example of a Baroque plan, built in the 1690s. The Church of Our Lady dates to 1060 and is believed to be the oldest stone church in Scandinavia that is still standing.