With an arresting array of architectural marvels, world-renowned street art and a glittering waterfront, Aalborg is on the ascent. Historically, Denmark’s fourth biggest city and the capital of the North Jutland region was best known for its industry, with shipbuilding and cement production a dominant presence, but a process of regeneration has resulted in a city achieving the almost impossible balance of embracing modernity while paying homage to its rich history. Viking ships once sailed up the Limfjord and ancient burial grounds lie minutes from the city centre, where timber-framed buildings stand firm alongside bold new edifices in steel and concrete.
This compact city is perfect to explore on foot, while the proximity to the wide-open spaces of the North Jutland region are ripe for discovery. A European Commission study found that residents of Aalborg were the happiest in Europe, a feeling you discover when you visit – and with the launch of new flight routes into the city over the summer, now’s the time to explore this evolving hot spot.
Best things to do in Aalborg
Wake with a cold-water dip
A popular spot in the summer months, Vestre Fjordpark is a state-of-the-art recreational area in western Aalborg that includes a large open-air swimming pool, kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing facilities, volleyball and barbecue areas. It’s also absolutely free of charge, making it a great place to start your day.
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Take a tour
Aalborg Tours cover many of the city’s popular elements (street art, history, architecture), led by guide Kenneth Pinsker, who is bursting with unusual and lesser-known facts about his home city. Visit an underground museum packed with medieval ruins, a house where women convicted of witchcraft were spotted allegedly engaged in black magic (plus a dungeon where they were subsequently held before death) and learn about a Second World War resistance group composed of local teenagers.
Admire the street art
Aalborg is now renowned as one of Scandinavia’s most important cities for street art, attracting high-calibre artists from all over the world, such as El Mac, Vhils, Martin Ron and Phlegm, to create murals. Since 2014, projects including Out in the Open and WEAART have collaborated with artists…