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Jan 5, 2023

Highlights of Aalborg, Denmark

Wide panorama: Aalborg summer cityscape with most of the landmarks, Denmark

Aalborg probably isn’t the first destination you think of when visiting Denmark. However, Aalborg is one of Europe’s finest ancient cities with some of Denmark’s most impressive modern architecture. So much so, in 2019, the New York Times put Aalborg in its Top 10 Places to GoLink opens in a new tab (quite the achievement). 

Likewise, Aalborg is one of Scandinavia’s most vibrant cultural hotspots. You’ll find 16th-century castles, excellent art exhibitions, history dating back more than 1000 years, an iconic outdoor swimming pool, and a revitalized waterfront.

 

Here’s why Aalborg is becoming an excellent travel destination in Northern Europe:

1. Explore the Dramatic House of Music

Aalborg’s waterfront hosts an array of excellent modern buildings. And one of the best is the dramatic House of Music (Musikkens Hus). You’ll find diverse concert halls, five stages and various restaurants here. The educational section is located on floors 3-5 and is used by the Department of Music of Aalborg University, the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the North Jutland Conservatory of Music. 

 In the corner of the House of Music, you’ll find Musikkens Spisehus and its splendid views. The menu offers goodies before concerts, a cup of coffee, or a simple lunch to keep you full for the day. You can enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour on selected Saturdays and Sundays, where you’ll learn about the venue. 

 

Website: https://www.visitdenmark.com/denmark/explore/musikkens-hus-gdk858209

Address: Musikkens Pl. 1, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

The house of music (Musikkens Hus) panoramic view, Aalborg

2. Enjoy Street Food at the Old Furniture Factory

A trip to Aalborg isn’t complete until you enjoy street food at the classic Old Furniture Factory. The venue is Aalborg’s first-ever permanent street food market, resulting in some of the most delicious food in the area. Not only will you find Nordic cuisine, but you’ll also find 16 different cuisines from around the world. 

 

The goal of the market is simple: to build an oasis, where a cozy atmosphere and quality are the framework for the largest street food market in the area. The kitchens often serve dishes for around DKK 50 (€6.72), making it a superb spot for any budget traveler. 

 

Address: Skudehavnsvej 35-37, 9000 Aalborg

3. Learn at the Architectural Utzon Center

You’ve heard of the Sydney Opera House, right? Sure, it’s an iconic building, and a famous Dane named Jørn Utzon designed it. You can explore his exhibitions and works at the ground-breaking Nordic design and architecture museum. The exhibitions include the Utzon Gallery, a tribute to the life and career of outstanding architect Jørn Utzon. 

 

In addition, the center offers events, tours, and lectures, showcasing the excellence of his architecture. After exploring the venue, you can taste some unique gastronomy at the Restaurant JØRN. Better still, it offers guests a spectacular view of Limfjord while eating local culinary delights. 

 

Website: https://utzoncenter.dk/en

Address: Utzon Center, Slotspladsen 4, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

The Utzon Center, a cultural center located in Aalborg waterfront

4. Check Out the Views From Aalborg Tower

Without a doubt, the best views of Aalborg are from the Aalborg Tower—a 54.9-meter observation tower looking over the city. From the top of the tower, the total height is 105 meters and you can enjoy food and drinks at the restaurant. 

 

The city erected the tower on an occasion of a business exhibition: the Nordjysk Exhibition in 1933. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Hals Barre Lighthouse, but it’s always possible to enjoy 360-degree city views. 

 

Website: https://www.aalborgtaarnet.dk/Link opens in a new tab

Address: Søndre Skovvej 30, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

Panoramic aerial summer cityscape of Aalborg (North Jutland, Denmark), with Aalborg Tower (Aalborgtårnet) in the foreground

5. Swim at the Vestre Fjordpark

If you’re visiting Denmark during the warmer summer months, you should take a dip at the Harbor Paths in the Limfjord. First opening in 2017, the Vestre Fjordpark is perfect for swimming, kayaking, windsurfing, or only enjoying the sun. It’s been a popular relaxation spot for locals for 70 years.

 

Alternatively, you can relax at Stranden, the nearby beach with a large bathing area, a 50m basin, a diving board tower, and a climbing wall. You can visit Vestre Fjordpark all day and entry is free. 

 

Website: https://www.archdaily.com/881095/vestre-fjord-park-adept

Address: Skydebanevej, 14, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

6. Marvel at the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art

The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art—designed by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto—is an excellent place to see the artwork. The museum first opened in 1972, but it looks like it was built yesterday because of the renovations, which include a new cafe, shop, gallery, classrooms, and a large terrace. 

 

The museum prides itself on enabling space for wonder, immersion, and fascination. The museum has various events, exhibitions, and a restaurant if you’re feeling hungry. Check out the museum’s website for the latest events. 

 

Website: https://kunsten.dk/en

Address: Kong Christians Alle 50, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

7. Experience Wildlife at the Aalborg Zoo

The most visited attraction in Aalborg is the Aalborg Zoo. It’s open 363 days per year, with over 100 different exotic animals and educational experiences. The zoo includes zebras, polar bears, lions, and the red panda. 

 

The Aalborg Zoo is the world’s first zoo to get ISO certification. As a result, the zoo focuses on sustainability through the recycling of resources through waste sorting and the conscious choice of materials. You can hire a guided tour of the zoo if you’re visiting in a larger group. 

 

Website: https://aalborgzoo.dk/

Address: Mølleparkvej 63, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark

8. Wander Around Aalborg’s Old Town

Although Aalborg has incredible modern buildings, the Old Town is equally as impressive. It’s a mixture of old and new, enabling you to walk around cobbled streetsLink opens in a new tab, enjoy a drink at a cafe, overlook giant art murals, and marvel at the crooked street houses from the 1600s. 

 

Some of the top attractions in the Old Town include Jens Beng’s House, Hjelmerstald, and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. The main architectural style throughout the Old Town is Baroque, leaving you with many incredible photo opportunities.

Aalborg: The Perfect Quaint Summer Destination

Aalborg isn't as famous as many European destinations—but it's got plenty to offer people of all ages, despite being a small Scandinavian city with a quaint vibe.

 

From the history of the Old Town to the modern architecture near the waterfront, Aalborg is a top destination in Northern Europe and a must-see if you're visiting Denmark.

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