Aarhus (Photo:Rolf_52/Shutterstock)
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Maria Smith
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Aarhus

The harbor town of Aarhus is off the beaten track -- so much so that it might not even be a destination except as part of an itinerary for a Scandinavian or Baltic cruise. It is the second-largest city in Denmark, yet all its main attractions are within walking distance of the port: One is never more than a pleasant stroll from parks, museums and shopping. Athletic visitors will enjoy the 30 bike stands which provide 250 bikes free of charge 24 hours a day for more energetic touring.

About Aarhus


After docking right in town, grab a bike from the city's free bikeshare program and ride to museums, parks and chic little cafes


Watch your wallet! Shopping and dining can be expensive

Bottom Line

This walkable (and bike friendly) port city is both easy to navigate and full of interesting cultural and historical sites

Find a Cruise to the Baltic Sea

The city was settled by the Vikings toward the end of the first millennium, and by 1100 was a major regional port. Aarhus later faded from prominence until the 20th century, when the railway once again made the town a center of commerce. Now, the city is back on the map as an educational and commercial center with the Danish monarch's holiday palace. It is also a lively university town (the University of Aarhus features a wonderful park and museums).

Visitors will be lulled by the charm and ambience of this compact city full of friendly, English-speaking people. The city features many interesting sights, from its medieval cathedral to the World War II Resistance Museum, that offer glimpses of the past. Whether for its shopping, culture, dining or history, Aarhus is a gem -- and a great reason to cruise.

Where You're Docked

Ships dock literally across the street from downtown. The entire city is within easy walk of the pier.

Good to Know

The exchange rate. As in most of Europe, in this day of the depressed dollar, shopping in Aarhus can be painful.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Danish kroner (DKK); there are ATM's throughout the city, but are particularly clustered around the central, irregularly shaped town square.


Danish. Almost all Danes speak English -- and are surprised when you ask if they do, responding with a polite "Of course."


Blown glass and miniature sculptures are highly unusual and (relatively) affordable. Two notable shops with unique local art and helpful sales staff are Bulow Duus Glassworks at Studsgade 14, and Galleri-Værkstedet at Studsgade 44. The Latin Quarter is a formerly seedy part of town now occupied by galleries of varying styles and price ranges. Many are located along Mollestien and Studsgade, easily reached on the way back to the dock after sightseeing.