Aarhus is Denmark's largest seaport and city on Jutland peninsula's eastern coast. It is located approx 187 km (116 ml) northwest of Copenhagen and 290 km (180 ml) north of Hamburg. The city has population around 275,000 (metro around 340,000), ranking it Denmark's second largest (after the capital Copenhagen).
Among the well-known tourist attractions are ARoS Art Museum, Old Town Museum, Tivoli Friheden (amusement park), Moesgård Museum, Kvindemuseet (Women's Museum), The city is also a great shopping destination. Most foreign tourists are from Norway, Sweden, Germany and UK. Overall annual tourist spending in the city is around USD 540 million. The average hotel stay is 3 days.
Aarhus is Denmark's largset and also one of northern Europe's biggest cargo ports (ranked 1st among the 200+ Baltic Sea cargo ports). It has country's largest containership terminal handling over 1/2 of country's container shipping traffic, 60% of the bulk cargo traffic and capacity to berth world's largest boxships.
The port is located at the mouth of Aarhus River in Kattegat Sea, facing Helgenæs peninsula (east), Samso Island (southeast) and Riis Skov forest park (north). The seaport is self-governing and financially independent company managed by the municipality. Here are handled around 9,5 million cargo tons per year. Principal export is grain. Main imports include stone, cement, coal.
The port has all 6 terminals - containership, multi-use, for bulk carriers, for tankers, ferry and cruise.
- Container terminal has pier length 1,300 km, water depth (max draft) 14 m and is served by 8 gantry cranes (3 Post-Panamax, 4 Super Post-Panamax and 1 Panamax).
- Multi-use terminal serves bulk carriers (shipping mainly coal and feedstuffs), also project cargo (wood, windmills).
- Bulk terminal serves loose cargo carriers shipping mainly grain, sand, gravel, cement.
- Tanker terminal serves ships carrying mineral oils, gasoline, molasses, also chemical tankers.
- Ferry terminal is used mainly by MOLSLINJEN ferries, serving around 1 million vehicles and 2 million passengers a year.
- Cruise terminal serves cruise ships with Baltic Sea itineraries. Cruise season runs March through November.
In 2016 was inaugurated a regular air service (via float planes) from Aarhus to Copenhagen, with flight time around 40 min (train travel time is around 3 hours).
Aarhus Ferry Terminal is currently the only alternative to Storebæltsforbindelsen (Great Belt Fixed Link) that crosses the strait between the islands Zealand and Funen. The route is served with regularly scheduled ferries since 1830. Current main ferry operator is MOLSLINJEN, with annual traffic around 2 million passengers and 1 million vehicles. Ro-Ro ships (cargo ferries) link Aarhus to Kalundborg and Finland (regular weekly service).
The port is also becomming a cruise port destination for companies operating on Baltic Sea itineraries. In 2010, the port was visited by just 2 ships with 4300 cruisers. In 2012 it handled 18 ship calls and over 38,000 passengers. In 2013 were handled 13 cruise ship calls. In 2018, the cruise port had scheduled 41 ship calls with estimated nearly 100,000 passengers.
Aarhus cruise terminal
Port Aarhus welcomes cruise ship passengers with live performances by Den Jyske Pigegarde (orchestra and dance girls aged 8-25) - usually a folk dance show. The terminal is located across the street from downtown. The quay was extensively improved in 2012.
Since 2018, cruise passengers in Aarhus are welcomed by local hosts. These are around 1300 volunteers serving as hosts for cruisers. They all wear blue t-shirts and badgets signed "ASK ME", and assist the disembarking tourists with various cultural events in the city.
Aarhus cruise port is located 3 hours from Copenhagen by bus. There are bus connections to Hamburg too. The closest airport is Tirstrup (45 min by bus).
Aarhus tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- The Old Town: or Den Gamle By can be described as a museum at open air. It comprises 75 buidings with rich historical heritage. The belong to 20 different Danish towns and have been rebuilt in this village. Some of the houses date from the 15th century. The best time to visit Den Gamle By is at Christmas.
- Aarhus Cathedral: Århus Domkirke is the longest Danish cathedral. Its length is 93 m and has seats for 1,200 people. Originally, the Aarhus Cathedral dated from the 12th century by fire destroyed it in 1330. The current building dates from 1449 and has stunning decoration.
- The Natural History Museum: or the Naturhistorisk Museum. It houses collections of stuffed and preserved animals and hominid skeletons from all over the world.
- The Steno Museum: the Steno Museet is an unique place to visit if you are interested in medicine. You can discover the development of the medicine science or visit the garden where you can explore over 350 plants used as a medicine form.
- The Customs Chamber: the Toldkammeret is located near Aarhus’s old inner harbor. Its designer is Hack Kampmann and the building dates from the end of 19th century.