Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. Originally founded by the Vikings, it sits on the Jutland Peninsula with the waters of the Bay of Aarhus lapping against its shores.
The busy port is an awesome place for a city break, effortlessly mixing architectural landmarks with excellent places to eat and drink, as well as a whole range of water activities. In this post, we’ll take a look at the best things to see and do when sailing to Aarhus.
Aarhus was founded by the Vikings and it has always had a strong maritime tradition. In the last two years, it has hosted the World Sailing Championships and the Tall Ships Race. It has been confirmed as one of the hosts of the Ocean Race 2021-22 as well!
Aarhus Yacht Harbour has a number of yacht clubs including Boat Club Krogen, Aarhus Nordhavn, Aarhus Slipway Association and others. The urban harbour area is a great place to take your first steps in sailing, and more experienced sailors can head out further from the shore if they choose to.
If you are sailing to Aarhus, have in mind that you can choose your berth spot and pay for it online. Visit Aarhus Yacht Harbour yacht clubs page for more information about different berth payment methods in its yacht clubs. Prices and amenities depend on a yacht club your boat has been docked.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Want to enjoy a water-based activity which is a little closer to shore and chilled out than sailing? Maybe it’s time you try stand-up paddleboarding – the fastest growing board sport in the world!
Not only will you find a range of sailing clubs at Aarhus’s harbour, but there are also several SUP clubs nearby. If you haven’t SUPped before, don’t worry. You’ll be able to try out beginners lessons and rent all the kit you need. There are loads of great places to paddle along the coast and in the harbour – conditions are ideal as the waters are shallow and usually calm.
Stand Up Paddleboarding is a great workout for your core while being a great way to see Aarhus’s coastline at the same time. And it’s not all about paddling – you can even do yoga on a SUP!
While there may not be a stretch of sand where you can lay down your towel and relax around Aarhus’s harbour, there are still lots of places nearby that you can feel the sand between your toes.
Den Permanente is probably the most popular beach in Aarhus. You can get there in just ten minutes from the city centre. However, if you’re looking for a beach with fewer crowds, then check out Bellevue Beach. It’s 4km north of the city centre and great for walking on. The sand is fine and there are next to no rocks!
And hey, if you have your own SUP and are confident using it, why not catch some waves at one of the many beaches in Aarhus? It’s a great way to cool off after an hour or two of lying in the hot sun!
One last option for a day at the beach is Ballehage, which is near the edge of the Marselisborg Forest. Combine visiting the beach with a day walking in the forest and exploring Marselisborg Mindepark – home to a royal palace.
You may not be able to SUP or sail on Egar Engso, but this artificial lake to the north of Aarhus is still well worth a visit. You’ll find this artificial lake in the northern suburbs of the city – this former farmland was flooded in the 1950s and is now a habitat for a number of endangered Danish species.
See the lake by taking a walk along the flat paths or better still, rent a bike. Don’t go too fast though – you might miss the birdlife around the lake. Stop off at the observation tower and look out for short-eared owls in the meadows and storks resting by the lake. The eagle-eyed may even spot a shy roe deer!
Egå Engsø is 45 minutes from central Aarhus on public transport.
The Latin Quarter
After a busy day of SUP, sailing, or hiking, there’s nowhere better in town to hit than the Latin Quarter. The oldest part of Aarhus, it dates back to the 1300s. However, its nickname came about much more recently – being compared to Paris’s Latin Quarter in the 1990s.
Here you’ll find some of the best places to eat and drink in town, lining the cobblestone streets that span out from the central square Pustervig Torv. Whether you want to experience Nordic cuisine or just kick back with a few beers, The Latin Quarter should be on your Aarhus itinerary!
While Aarhus is a great outdoor destination, you might need something to do if you’re feeling tired out or the weather is bad: we are in Denmark, remember! ARoS is one of the biggest art museums in Europe, distinctive due to its rainbow panorama circular viewing platform. This walkway gives some of the best views of the city, which you can enjoy after checking out Danish art through the ages.
Other notable cultural sights in Aarhus include Moesgaard architecture museum and Den Gamle By open-air museum. It’s great for visiting with children, with whom you can step back in time and learn all about Danish social history!
Final thoughts on the best things to do and see when sailing to Aarhus
Thanks to a combination of fascinating culture, great places to eat and drink, and a range of outdoor activities on offer, Aarhus should be a serious contender for your next best sailing destination. And remember, a coastline is a great place for beginner stand-up paddleboarders!