Aalborg is one of the largest Denmark cities, famous for its university life and historic buildings. Since its foundation in 700 AD, the city has gradually earned the nickname of “Paris of the North.” The motto of Aalborg is “Conquer the city.”
As of 2008, the population of the city is 121.818. As a true bearer of the European lifestyle, Aalborg is a city of bicycles, they are everywhere and probably even more in number than cars. On the other hand, Aalborg is absolutely accessible for bicycles, which is why it’s meaningless to spend money on gas, if you can “drive” the city on a bike.
If you look at the city from the airplane, you will see hundreds of brown and black roofs all around the city. The houses look like they’ve been made to match each other in size and design.
This is why Aalborg is particularly stunning during the sunrise and sunset. As the sun rises or sets, it illuminates the brown roofs of the houses, which form the majority of houses, making it look as if they’re aflame. While you’re in Aalborg, take a night off, find a high place, take a bottle of wine if you’re with someone special, and enjoy the magnificent scene.
It is guaranteed to be one of the best natural wonders you will ever witness. The weather almost never reaches the extremes. The temperature stays between 20 °C and 12 °C (68 °F – 54 °F) in summer and −3 to 2 °C (27°F – 36 °F) in winter.
The most convenient departure points to Aalborg are Copenhagen and Amsterdam, as the Aalborg airport has daily connections to these cities. Other European cities with Aalborg connections are Oslo, Helsinki, London, Reykjavik, Malaga, and so on.
The Aalborg airport is only 10 minutes away from downtown, so taking a taxi from the airport will not be difficult or too expensive. In general, the taxi will cost you €8.07 as a starting price, and €4.04 per kilometer. The waiting cost is a bit more expensive, €80.71 for an hour.
Moving Around the City
Some companies like Hertz, Europcar and AVIS offer car, minicoach and station wagon rentals. Keep in mind that the majority of car rental companies are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. This is why you should make arrangements with the rental company even before arriving to Aalborg.
Where to Eat
As everywhere else in Europe, restaurants can be quite expensive. To avoid awkward surprises, you should check out the menu online or ask a friend or a local for an advice before going to a specific restaurant. You will be charged around €55 for an average meal for 2 in a not-so-expensive restaurant. In general the food in Aalborg doesn’t differ from Danish traditional cuisine.
If you are not a fan of pricey and elegant restaurants and prefer fast food instead, McDonald’s is available almost everywhere. The average meal at McDonald’s will be around €8.
If you are looking for places of interest where you will get the historical atmosphere of Denmark, you should pay a visit to Lindholm Høje, a settlement with hundreds of burials from Viking and even earlier period. In the 20th century excavations in the site revealed a Viking village and a huge number of Viking graves, which have simple rocks on top of them.
The gravestones occupy a huge territory on the field and bear triangle signs on them, which once again prove the Vikings’ admiration for water. Gravestones differ in their size and shapes. The bigger the stone is, the higher the status of the Viking was.
Archeologists have found out that gravestones for women, which are arranged in oval or circle shapes, were separated from the graves and men.
Supposedly, the Vikings left the village when the western winds started to bring sand with them. Fortunately, the sand was the main reason why the whole settlement, which dates back to 1000 AD (some graves date back to 500 AD), has been preserved to our day.
The excavations unveiled not only graves and Viking buildings, but also a great number of murals, Arab coins, and many other household items that talk of Viking lifestyle and traditions. This site will be a thrilling experience for those who are particularly interested in history, and specifically that of the Viking Age.
There is no admission fee, and you will most definitely need a car or a taxi (or a tour for tourists) to get to the settlement.
The Aalborg Zoo is one of the greenest locations in Aalborg with more than 130 animal species. It was opened in 1935 and is now open year-round, although winters are not the best time for a visit. As you enter the Zoo, you will see paths leading to different parts of the garden. They later intersect on the other end of the park.
While in some zoos the animals are caged, living in accordance with human rules, the only thing in between you and the Aalborg Zoo animals is a fence. The animals live here according to their own rules, and you are welcome to watch their natural lifestyle from the side.
The park has a very natural landscape and can be competitive to many zoos in the the world. However, it’s not the most magnificent zoo for an experienced tourist, as, for example, it doesn’t have a big butterfly room.
One of the most exciting areas of the territory is the Polar Bear Enclosure, which has 8 viewing points where the tourists can watch the bears from. Moreover, some points provide views not only to the ground and water area, but also underwater. You can see how polar bears take a bath or play with a ball.
The bears are kept in the most possible natural way. The zoo keepers have dozens of techniques to daily cheer the bears up. Very often they hide the meat to encourage the animal instincts.
If you visit the enclosure, make sure not to miss how bears, and especially cubs play with a ball. The scene will definitely put a sheer smile on your face.
There is a gift shop right next to the entrance. It offers not only souvenirs, but also T-shirts, teddy bears, postcards, jewelry, and anything else you can think of as a memory-keeper. Although you can purchase gifts before your tour through the Zoo and pick up the purchase at the end of the day, it’s advisable that you first explore the Zoo and only then go gift shopping.
This way you will know exactly what’s peculiar to this place and what will be the best memory for you. After all, souvenirs are meant to remind the best experiences we had.
The zoo has been made comfortable for visitors in all possible ways. Wheelchairs are available free of charge, and you are permitted to enter the zoo with a dog (it has to be on a leash though).
For a satisfying exploration of the area, plan at least 3 hours, if you think you might like a specific animal and do a longer observation, then consider longer timing for Plan B. The Zoo is open from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm.
And most importantly, your kids will be happy to know that besides restaurants, where they have tables both inside and outside, there is also Ben & Jerry’s in the zoo, which offers “Peace, love and ice cream.”
The Gråbrødrekloster museum is home for Aalborg’s medieval history. Interestingly, the museum is located under Algade, one of the busiest shopping streets of the city. As a result of excavations, the convert ruins display items used by medieval Danes, and not only. There are also human skeletons and half-dig buildings, and all this dates back to medieval Denmark.
The museum is open from 10.00 am to 5 pm. Keep in mind that it is closed on Mondays. There is no entrance fee, however you will have to pay for the elevator.
The design of the marvelous Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum (Kunsten Museum of Modern Art) building was finished in 1972. It stands as a pearl in the middle of a green terrace, as white as snow. Moreover, the beauty of this museum is not limited to the appearance of the outer walls made of marble.
The walls inside the building are flexible and allow rearrangements for different exhibits. The museum also includes a café, lecture room and a library.
The museum offers permanent and temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibition includes a selected collection from over 1500 paintings in possession of the Kunsten museum. One of the exhibits available at the museum now is the Water Pavilion, an interactive water sculpture located in the park. The creator of the sculpture is a well-known Danish artist Jeppe Hein.
The sculpture garden, which lies in front of the building, includes a amphitheater and a collection of sculptures.
The working hours of the museum are from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday is a day off. The entrance fee is 8 Euros for adults and free of charge for children under 18.
Helligåndsklostret or the Monastery of the Holly Ghost dates back to 1431. Besides the beautiful church, the monastery is an open-air museum for medieval frescoes and architectural techniques. If not the 21st century vehicles in front of the entrance, the climbing trees and the surrounding buildings would take any visitor back for a few centuries.
A tour into this wonderful monastery can be arranged through the tourist office. As there are a few elderly people living in the monastery at the moment, only some part of it will be open for tourists. Despite this, the mystical and historic atmosphere it creates is surely worth a visit.
Another must-see site is the Gothic-style Budolfi Domkirke (named after an English Saint Botholphus). The magnificent 12th century cathedral has come a very long way, changing and improving all the time.
For example, the wooden building has been replaced by a stone one, leaving only a few tombs from the previous construction. Furthermore, a spire, current symbol of the city, was added. The electronic bells ring every hour, reminding the city about the historic presence of the cathedral. It celebrated it’s 450th anniversary in 2004.
Budolfi Domkirke is one of those churches that amaze from the outside rather than from inside. The perfect white building forms a heavenly silhouette against the blue sky. Sometimes the soft clouds complete the stunning scene. Be sure to have your camera all ready for one of the best shots in your life.
The association, found in 1983, Aalborg festival has the fun responsibility of organizing the annual Aalborg festival. The celebration is meant to recognize fantasy by turning the city into a home for fantasy heroes.
Aalborg Festival takes place on the weekend of the 21st week, which is usually the end of May. The festival consists of 3 celebrations: Children’s Carnival (Saturday), International Carnival (Friday) and the much-expected main Carnival (Saturday).
The city turns into a volcano of color and eccentric costumes. The long-lasting habit of Danes of casual clothing is given up for a weekend. People, dressed in voluminous and flashy dresses, acting like animals, movie or cartoon heroes, and simply whatever comes to mind, fill the streets and start dancing, singing, and organizing concerts on the spot. The festival has earned the status of the largest festival not only in Scandinavia, but also in Northern Europe.
- Founded – 700 AD
- Nickname – Paris of the North
- Motto – Conquer the world
- Population – 121.818 (as of 2008)
- Temperature in summer – 20 °C and 12 °C (68 °F – 54 °F
- Temperature in winter – – 3 to 2 °C (27°F – 36 °F) in winter
- Flight Connections – Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Oslo, Helsinki, London, Reykjavik, and Malaga
- Taxi Starting Price – €8.07
- Taxi Price (per kilometer) – €4.04
- Taxu Waiting Price – €80.71
- Car Rentals – Hertz, Europcar, AVIS
- Attractions – Lindholm Høje, Aalborg Zoo, Gråbrødreklostret Museet, Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Helligåndsklostret, Budolfi Domkirke
- Aalborg Festival – founded 1983
- Festival Date – the weekend of the 21st week of the year
- Festival Events – Children’s Carnival (Saturday), International Carnival (Friday), the Carnival (Saturday)