6 lesser known places to visit in Aarhus
Are you fairly new to Aarhus? Perhaps you’ve had the chance to explore some of what this amazing city has to offer, but you’d like to see more and discover some new places?
We’ve made a list of some of the different, slightly less well-known sights in Aarhus, which hopefully inspire you to pay a visit. These may not all be the traditional choices for a tourist in the city - but they might help you find somewhere new to explore.
You might have already visited the amazing site that comprises the cultural hub of Godsbanen and the Institute for X (if you haven’t yet visited - make sure you do so!). Yet just around the corner from the busy site of Godsbanen is the relatively unknown Håbets Alle.
This was set up a few years ago as a project designed to create an alternative urban space and place of residence, primarily for vulnerable youngsters. Since then a dedicated team of volunteers has worked to see it expanded to host live music events, open a cafe, hold the ‘Under Broen’ street party, and a year-round free outdoor fitness gym for anyone to use.
Check out their Facebook page to get directions and more info.
Aarhus Kunsthal is certainly more well known that the previous recommendation, but still surprisingly overlooked by many tourists and first time visitors to the city. For many, the Rainbow Panorama of ARoS takes priority and the Kunsthal can be forgotten.
Situated just a few minutes walk from ARoS and the town hall, the art gallery first opened in 1917 and in the 90s and 2000s was extended by the architects C.F Møller - the same guys who did the Music Academy nearby.
The institution commissions, produces and presents art at an international level as well as local, regional, and international audiences. It has its focus on cutting edge art - using mediums like painting, photography, film, sculpture and video. It also has a lovely cafe and shop, so why not check it out if you are in the area?
There are hundreds of beautiful sights in and around Aarhus to get away from the city and explore nature. You may have been recommended to visit the Marselisborg deer park, the Botanical gardens, Risskov or the beautiful forests around Moesgaard?
A less well known site lies to the west of the city and is the 630 acres of lake, wetlands and meadows that comprises Brabrand Sø. Hiring a canoe from the centre of town (near Folkestedet) will take you rapidly away from the noises of traffic and towards the peaceful lake and its surroundings.
Alternatively, Brabrandstien (the Brabrand pathway), runs along the Aarhus river from the inner city and around both Brabrand Sø and Årslev Engsø - and is a great opportunity to explore the tranquil nature the lake has to offer on foot.
For those interested in history, the area around Brabrand Lake has been populated for at least 6,000 years. It was once part of a larger fjord, which gave good protection and plenty of food - so Stone Age, Bronze Age and Viking activities have all been found here - including a large shipbuilding yard.
Vor Frue Kirke
Beneath the floor of Vor Frue Kirke (The Church of Our Lady) in Aarhus is one of the most (in my opinion) beautiful sights in the city - and often remains overlooked by tourists in favour of the more imposing Domkirke in the centre of town.
This arched space of this room is one of the oldest vaulted structures in Scandinavia, and has a peaceful calm about it as soon as you enter down the stone steps from the church above. It originally functioned as a chapel, but was covered over in the Middle Ages and ‘lost’ until its rediscovery in the 1950s.
Perhaps most impressive about this space is the replica of the Åby Crucifix (see photo above), which is a gold depiction of Christ on the cross - wearing the traditional clothes of a Nordic Chieftain, possibly Odin. The original crucifix (now in the National Museum in Copenhagen) dates from a time when Christianity had first been introduced to Denmark, so the iconography and stories of the old and the new religion were being blended together.
They even hold wedding ceremonies down here - I haven’t yet decided if it’s an amazing place or slightly creepy place to hold a wedding!
Entry is free and Vor Frue Kirke is open from 10.00-16.00 on weekdays and 10.00-14.00 on Saturdays.
Ole Rømer observatory
In the south of the city is the incredible Rømer observatory, named after one of our most famous Aarhusianers, the astronomer Ole Rømer. This man is perhaps best known for his work in 1676, where he made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light - although he also invented the modern thermometer so was clearly a busy guy!
The beautiful building itself was constructed in 1911 in the Danish Art Nouveau style - specially built by the Aarhus City Council for the German astronomer Friedrich Kruger. It is now operated by Aarhus University and functions both as a research and training laboratory for the university Institute for Physics and Astronomy and a museum offering guided tours and lectures.
On a clear night, through the telescope you can see the lunar landscape in detail as well as Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and the Andromeda Galaxy.
The observatory is open during the ‘dark months’, from Ocotber- April every year. They offer presentations Monday-Friday app. 15 evenings a month.
LYNfabrikken is an amazing space right in the middle of the city on Vestergade. Apart from a beautiful rooftop terrace and coffee shop, which gives great views out over the city’s rooftops, they offer inspiring spaces within the old light factory building for rent - so if you need an extraordinary place to have an important meeting, an innovative work shop or maybe an amazing party - reach out to Lynfabrikken!
It also happens that on the 16th and 17th November, Aarhus Makers are hosting an event at this fantastic venue.
Our collective of artists, designers and craftspeople will transform LYNfabrikken into a two-day creative feast for the senses full of visual art and design, live sounds, immersive installations and festive food and drink - just in time for Christmas.
Wander through the old light factory and discover the MADE art and design market, join interactive art installations, create a Christmas craft, meet the makers in pop-up artist studios and explore live art, enjoy tasty eats and festive gløgg, and take in a full program of electronic and unplugged local music.