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Aarhus was founded by the Vikings some 1300 years ago, and has been an important trading city ever since. However, it was not until the 1900’s that Aarhus really started growing and soon became Denmark’s second largest city after the capital of Copenhagen. Dubbed the cultural capital of Denmark (and proudly holding the title of European Capital of Culture for the year 2017), Aarhus has been at the forefront of defining Danish art and culture for years, which also shows through the city’s architecture and the up-and-coming designer shops and boutiques popping up across Aarhus. Denmark's second city is also very musical - once home to a burgeoning music scene (many of the nation's iconic bands started here), it now carries its cultural legacy through the annual International Jazz, SPoT, and NorthSide Festivals.
The relatively large influx of young people and students from across the Nordic countries creates a natural base for cultural activities, and there are countless cafes as well as clubs, cinemas, museums, parks and various other venues of entertainment. Each year, the town hosts several festivals and concerts including Aarhus International Jazz Festival in July and Aarhus Festuge in September—the biggest themed festival in Scandinavia.
There are plenty of eating places in downtown Aarhus. The obvious places can be found on the main streets, but by wandering around in the small side alleys, you can find other cosy eateries at sometimes cheaper prices. If you want to taste a good old Danish dish try out the esteemed Pinden Restaurant (listed below).
Scandinavians love their coffee, so locating a cafe or coffee shop does not present much difficulty in Aarhus. Sit down in one of the cosy cafes (many offer outdoor seating during the summer months) and watch the world go by.
There are many bars in Aarhus, and the vibrant student life in the city is what keeps the nightlife perky, even on week nights. Many night cafes and bars can be found by the picturesque riverside downtown, or in the narrow streets of the city centre. Many clubs offers live music on most nights of the week. Clubs sometimes charge a fee depending on the band performing.
Aarhus is a perfect location for a shopping spree with plenty of shops and shopping centres to choose from, all within walking distance. There is everything to fulfil a shopper’s fantasy with fashion, design, and trendsetting lifestyle items in exclusive and unique shops. At the same time, the laid-back attitude of the Aarhusianians and the city's slower pace also make shopping in Aarhus a stress-free experience.
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