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W hen Aarhus was named joint European Capital of Culture for , even seasoned travellers had to reach for an atlas. One of which is its size. They include: ARoS, the contemporary art museum whose rainbow-coloured roof installation can be seen from all over town; the cutting-edge architecture of the revitalised harbour area; the gobsmacking redevelopment of Godsbanen, a goods station turned cultural centre; and the medieval streets of the Latin Quarter.
Despite its size and provincial mien, Aarhus is a lively place. Graduates now stick around for work rather than heading straight for Copenhagen. Visiting families will appreciate free entrance to city museums for unders.
Aarhus is buzzing with new bars, cafes and restaurants — many of which showcase New Nordic cuisine, including a trio of Michelin-starred restaurants. A highlight of the jam-packed calendar is Red Serpent, which promises to be the largest outdoor show staged in Denmark.
Held on the dramatic sloping roof of the Moesgaard Museum, it will feature Viking battles, fire and galloping horses — and should certainly put Aarhus on the map. The Moesgaard Museum is an essential stop, thanks to its bucolic setting in the southern suburbs and its fascinating exploration of pre-history.
The museum has a magnificent collection of archaeological and ethnographic treasures and presents them in an intelligent way. Its rainbow-coloured glass panels reward visitors with an unrivalled panorama of the city. Equally engaging is Den Gamle By , an open-air museum that explores how Danes lived in three decades — the s, the s and the s. The reconstructed market town, built with 75 historical houses relocated from around Denmark, is peopled by characters in period dress, including maids baking cakes and cobblers hard at work making shoes.