Denmark’s second-largest city, Århus, is an instantly likeable assortment of intimate cobbled streets, sleek modern architecture, brightly painted houses and student hangouts. It’s small enough to get to grips with in a few hours, but lively enough to make you linger for days – an excellent music scene, interesting art, pavement cafés and energetic nightlife all earn it the unofficial title of Denmark’s capital of culture.
Århus’s main street, the pedestrianized Ryesgade/Søndergade, leads down from the train station, across the river and into the main town square, Bispetorvet. Running parallel one block west of Rysegade is Park Alle with the functionalist 1941 Rådhus (city hall), designed by Arne Jacobsen and Eric Moller (guided tours including bell tower arranged through tourist office). The square itself is dominated by the fifteenth-century Domkirke, a massive Gothic church with exquisite frescoes as well as a miniature Danish warship hanging from the ceiling. The area to the north, known as the Latin Quarter, is crammed with browsable shops, galleries and enticing cafés.