Aarhus sits on the Jutland peninsula between the North and Baltic Seas and is known as one of the happiest cities in Denmark. A large student population further adds to its upbeat vibe. Culture lovers can visit its world-class museums and art galleries, while outdoor types will find sandy beaches and lush forests perfect for hiking. When the sun goes down, the clubs and bars along the Aarhus River come alive with music.
Most hostels in Aarhus are in the heart of town. Options include a contemporary building with Scandi-style décor and a sunny rooftop terrace, as well as a homely hostel with an inviting backyard for sociable barbecues. Stay in a dorm if you're looking to mingle with fellow travellers or pick a double or triple room for a bit more privacy. Look out for an Aarhus hostel with a shared kitchen and handy laundry facilities.
The historic Latinerkvarteret (Latin Quarter) is the oldest part of Aarhus, with cobblestone streets lined with quaint cafés and independent boutiques. South of the centre is the foodie district of Frederiksbjerg, which is home to craft beer bars and Nordic delis serving up smørrebrød (a traditional open-faced sandwich). The Trøjborg neighbourhood has a bohemian vibe, making it popular with students and artists alike. Another top spot is the pretty street of Møllestien, where you'll find pastel-hued houses festooned with roses.
During your time in Aarhus, you can take a dip in the outdoor Harbor Bath swimming pool and go stand up paddle boarding at the waterfront. For shopping, the pedestrianised high street of Strøget is lined with big-name stores and independent boutiques. Experience traditional life in Denmark at the open-air village museum of Den Gamle By, where you can ride a horse-drawn carriage through the reconstructed streets. You can also cycle to the tranquil Marselisborg Forests, which are home to centuries-old beech trees. Bellevue Beach on the outskirts of the city has fine sands and bathing jetties.
Aarhus Airport is around 45km from the centre. From here, bus 925X takes you to the city in about 50 minutes. You can also fly into the larger Billund Airport, about 1.5 hours away by bus (route 912X). You could also take a train to Vejle, from where there are plenty of buses to Billund's airport. From the train station, the hovedbanegård, you can get to Copenhagen in about 3.5 hours, with trains leaving every half hour. To get around town, download the bicycle sharing app Donkey Republic or use the extensive bus network.