Photo by Marcus Hansson  –  Link

Aarhus

Denmark

The second largest city in Denmark may be considerably lesser known that Copenhagen (which is 3.5 hours away by car), but what it lacks in reputation it more than makes up for in culture and intrigue. Aarhus was named the 2017 European Capital of Culture thanks to its lively events, new developments and funky museums, most notably the incredibly Instagrammable ARoS contemporary art museum. If you like the compact city centre of Stockholm and the easy-going coolness of Copenhagen, chances are you'll enjoy visiting Aarhus, Denmark's best kept secret.

Events and attractions

Sometimes referred to affectionately as the world's smallest big city, Aarhus has plenty of things to do and see at any time of year. One favourite activity among locals and tourists alike is Tivoli Friheden, the city's very own amusement park. Located about 2km south of the city centre, this theme park features 40 rides as well as games, events and food stalls. If you've got kids in tow and you're looking for a way to keep them busy, it's definitely worth spending an afternoon here.

Don't worry grown-ups; there's no shortage of adult-friendly activities in Aarhus either - from the ARoS Museum of Modern Art and its iconic rainbow walkway to the lush Botanical Gardens, the perfect place to escape into nature. While you're there, pop next door to The Old Town, a unique open-air museum that offers a glimpse into what life was like for locals who lived centuries ago. You can learn more about the city's complex past at the interactive Viking Museum, or delve into the educational exhibits at the Natural History Museum.

Food and drink

Aarhus is known as a college town, with more than 10% of its population made up of students. As such, there's a whole plethora of lively bars, restaurants and music venues to keep you entertained on your visit. Get to grips with all your food and drink options with a walk around the Latin Quarter, which has all the best hipster hangouts, cool cafes and independent boutiques.

For fancier fare, head to the Frederiksbjerg neighbourhood, which is home to first-rate delicatessens, fantastic restaurants and classic Danish pubs. In fact, the area is known as "the larder of Aarhus," and rightly so. Book a table at the intimate and super popular Møf for artful dishes made from seasonal ingredients. For a real treat, head to the Michelin-starred Restaurant Substans on Frederiksgade 74. They offer a choice of two dishes each night, as well as tasting menus and top-notch wine.

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