Great food, intriguing museums and the vast open spaces of north Jutland on the doorstep make Aalborg Denmark's perfect short break destination. Here's why you'll want to go...
North Jutland’s gastronomic scene has seen massive growth in recent years and Gastro North, a collective founded in September 2016 by five of the leading gourmet restaurants in the region, has further strengthened this position. Their aim is to attract international gourmet guides to the region and ensure the cuisine of the region is celebrated in the same way as that of Copenhagen or Aarhus.
There are five restaurants in the group. Mortens Kro, which this year celebrates its 20th birthday as Aalborg's premier modern gourmet restaurant, offers Scandinavian décor and a unique wine collection. Fusion offers an innovative cuisine and some of the best Sushi dishes on Aalborg’s vibrant waterfront. Ruths Hotel in Skagen boasts two restaurants – ’Ruths Gourmet’, offering the finest Nordic cuisine and ‘Ruths Brasserie’, serving a menu of French dishes. Vendia Gourmet, in Hjorring, combines its own quality brewed beer with a brasserie style menu and finally, Restaurant Bühlmann, in Aalborg’s legendary Hotel Scheelsminde, offering classic French cuisine with a modern twist.
Before your meal, you may want to undertake Aalborg’s legendary beer walk. With a small tasting glass in your hand, you can walk around to six of Aalborg’s pubs and the city’s microbreweries. All the locations are unique and offer a great variety of new and special beers.
The new Musikkens Hus (House of Music), located on Musikkens Plads by the Limfjord, is the new architectural beacon for the city. Only opened in 2014, it has quickly become a landmark in the city and a place where locals gather to listen to music and enjoy other cultural activities.
The Utzon Center is impressive too, located by the waterfront and designed by the world famous architect Jørn Utzon, the man behind the iconic Sydney Opera House. It is a venue that celebrates diffusion and innovation, where art, architecture and design interact with exhibition, education and conferences, as well as culinary experiences in the cosy Café JØRN.
The Museum of Modern Art was designed by Alvar Aalto and reopened in January 2016 after a one and a half year restoration, costing £16 million. The museum boasts several permanent collections, as well as other temporary ones from around the world, that have included Omer Fast’s 'Present Continuous' and an intriguing mirror-installation by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto.
Danes love to get outdoors, and a new 403-metre pedestrian and cycling bridge, known as the ‘Culture Bridge’, is the latest attraction to link the centre of Aalborg with Nørresundby across the Limfjord.
Aarlborg is already a compact and easy-to-navigate city, and the bridge is designed to make it just as easy to explore beyond the city. Check out the ‘Værket’, an old factory turned into a playground for street artists and creative types, and Vestre Fjordpark, a new outdoor pool opened in June that will offer swimming throughout the year.
If cycling isn’t your thing, the bridge opens up the option of kayaking, windsurfing and canoeing in Aalborg’s Limfjord Bay or simply take you to a lovely place to relax, only minutes from the city centre.
Cloud City is an ambitious project aimed at transform the Spritfabrikken buildings in Vestby into an exciting arts and culture district. The old spirit factories will be home to an entirely new district in the city and will feature the artwork of the visionary Argentinian artist, Tomàs Saraceno.
As the transformation takes place, a new concept in city tours has been developed to introduce locals and visitors to the new district. A 'Street Art Walk', for example, features many of the old buildings, beautifully decorated with murals created by both national and international artists. Aalborg Tours also offer daily walking, biking and food tours, or you could try GoBoat, a new sustainable picnic boat offering a unique way to explore the city’s waterways.
Denmark’s northernmost point, Grenen, is a short trip from Aarlborg. It is here that two seas meet, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat, creating a unique natural phenomenon where the ‘collision’ is clearly visible to the naked eye.
The most northerly tip of North Jutland is also home of the picturesque village Skagen, as well as long sandy beaches popular with seals and migratory birds. Indeed, the area is regarded as one of Europe’s best bird migration sites. The Skagen Grey Lighthouse features a virtual tour to discover and experience the many migratory birds that stop off in the region and surrounding areas.
September is the month for walkers to gather and lace up their hiking boots for the launch of the Skagen Hiking Festival. Open to everyone, regardless of age or hiking experience, the festival offers the chance to explore some of Denmark’s most magical scenery in the company of other walking enthusiasts.
From September 5, 2017 RyanAir will fly directly from Stansted to Aalborg. Visit Ryanair.com for more details.