Shore excursions in Aarhus in Denmark

Travelog with many pictures of several cruises to Aarhus in the Midtjylland region, the second largest city in Denmark and European Capital of Culture 2017

In 2009 we visited Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, for the first time. We were on a Nordic cruise on board the ship Costa Magica of the shipping company Costa Crociere. The second visit followed in 2017 - during a cruise again, again on board of a Costa ship. This time we were on the ship Costa Favolosa on the route "Land of the Vikings".

Cruise 2009

Date: June 10, 2009 (day 6 of the cruise)

Weather: 7 - 15 °C, sunny

Sea: few waves

Ship: Costa Magica

Cruise line: Costa Cruises (Costa Crociere)

Voyage: Norwegian Fjords

Cruise 2017

Date: July 20, 2017 (day 7 of the cruise)

Weather: sunny, later cloudy and rainy

Sea: few waves

Ship: Costa Favolosa

Cruise line: Costa Cruises (Costa Crociere)

Voyage: Land of the Vikings

Berth in the port

There is no permanent building as a cruise terminal in Aarhus. At our first visit in 2009 there was only a small tent at the pier near the ferry terminal. In 2017, the Costa Favolosa was moored at Krydstogtkay (berth 129 - 131 in basin 4). There is a permanently installed tent roof construction at the harbour exit as rain and sun protection. During the berthing period, an information stand of the VisitAarhus tourist office was open and local handicrafts and regional specialities were offered at sales stands. The live music of a local marching band created a good atmosphere. A public toilet was also available. Both berths are very close to the centre. We reached the worth seeing city centre within a few minutes by foot.

Cruise ship Costa Magica in Aarhus (Denmark)

The cruise ship Costa Magica of Costa Crociere enters the port of Aarhus in Denmark

Berth of the cruise ship Costa Favolosa during the cruise "Land of the Vikings" in 2017


A surprisingly large number of the mainly Italian and Spanish passengers of the Costa Favolosa preferred an organised shore excursion to Legoland Billund. Once again we decided to take a relaxed stroll through the city. Aarhus has a well overseeable size. The distances between the sights are pleasantly short and easy to walk. A large pedestrian zone with numerous shops, restaurants and cafés invites you to shop and relax. If you don't want to walk, you can take one of the free city bicycles for your own city tour. The red Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing buses, which are well-known from many other cities, are of course also available in Aarhus.

In Aarhus we visited among others these sights:

Åboulevarden / Vadestedet
Åboulevarden is a nice promenade and entertainment mile along the river "Aarhus Å", which flows into the harbour not far from here. The many restaurants, cafés, nightclubs and shops are very popular with both locals and tourists.

  • Promenade Åboulevarden along the Å river in downtown Aarhus (Denmark)
  • Outdoor gastronomy on the promenade Åboulevarden  in downtown Aarhus in Denmark
  • Promenade Åboulevarden in the centre of Aarhus in Denmark

Magasin du Nord
At Åboulevarden there is also a branch of the Danish department store chain Magasin with a large selection of typical Denmark souvenirs. Magasin is a subsidiary of the British department store chain Debenhams. The department store is within walking distance of the harbour and the railway station.

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
Museum with modern art installations - The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has created a 150 m long circular path high above the roofs of the city, glazed with windows in all spectral colours. Unfortunately, the "Your rainbow panoram" can only be entered in connection with a visit to the art museum. The kind of art exhibited there is of course a matter of taste. The modern building is definitely worth a visit.

  • ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus (Denmark)
  • 'Your rainbow panorama' on the roof of the ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus (Denmark)
  • 'Your rainbow panorama' on the roof of the ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus (Denmark)

Bispetorvet with the equestrian statue of King Christian the X.
The Bispetorvet Square (Bishop's Square) with the equestrian statue of King Christian X is located in the old town of Aarhus. In the background you can see the "Aarhus Teater" theatre. With 1,200 seats it is the largest regional theatre (Landsdelsscene) in Denmark. Also directly at the "Bispetorvet" you will find the Århus Cathedral (Aarhus Domkirke), which is definitely worth a visit.

Bispetorvet Square (Bishop's Square) with the equestrian statue of King Christian X.

Aarhus Cathedral (Danish: Aarhus Domkirke, Skt. Clemens Kirke)
must definitely be visited, the almost 3 m long model ship of the "Enigheden" hangs from the ceiling, model ships in churches are often the symbols of thanksgiving for salvation from distress at sea

Aarhus Theatre (Aarhus Teater)
with 1.200 seats the largest regional theatre (Landsdelsscene) in Denmark, very beautiful art nouveau building at the "Bispetorvet" square (Bischofsplatz) with the equestrian statue of King Christian X., also directly at the "Bispetorvet" you will find the cathedral of Aarhus

Evangelical Vor Frue Kirke (engl.: Church for our women)
Don't miss the fully preserved crypt below the sanctuary. Access is from the church hall. The crypt was probably built shortly after the year 1060 and is part of the previous building of the present church. Do not confuse: in Aarhus there is also a catholic (Danish Katolsk) Vor Frue Kirke.

Crypt of the Evangelical Vor Frue Kirke (Church for our women) in Aarhus in Denmark
Crypt of the Evangelical Vor Frue Kirke (Church for our women) in Aarhus in Denmark

Katolsk Vor Frue Kirke (engl.: Catholic church for our women)
The catholic Vor Frue Kirke can be found in Ryesgade, the popular shopping mile near the railway station. The Gothic church was built in 1880 and today houses the largest Catholic parish in Denmark. More information can be found at: (unfortunately only in Danish).

Dokk1 - Library and cultural center
The futuristic building made of concrete and glass is a cultural centre and the largest library in Scandinavia. It was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and opened in 2015. During the planning process, great importance was attached to low energy consumption and sustainability. There is a 2432 square meter solar power system on the roof, cool seawater is used for air conditioning and the lighting is realised with economical and durable LED lights. On the way from the cruise ships' berth to the city centre, you will pass Dokk1 directly and can make a short stop.

Dokk1 - Library and cultural center in Aarhus in Denmark

Virtual tour through Dokk1

Residential complex "Isbjerget" (Iceberg)
We did not visit the "Isbjerget" (Iceberg) residential complex directly. But during the entry into the harbour we had a wonderful view from the sea side to the buildings with an extraordinary architecture. Between 2010 and 2013, 210 apartments with a total of 25,000 square meters of living space were built on the site of a former industrial harbour. The striking buildings were designed by the architectural offices CEBRA, JDS Architects, Louis Paillard and SeARCH. Who would like to stay overnight in one of the apartments, will find for example at the holiday apartment agent "Airbnb".

Buildings of the residential complex

All photos from Aarhus

For further reviews and explanations please click on the respective picture.