Must see attractions in Central Jutland

  • Top ChoiceSights in Billund

    Legoland

    Mind-blowing Lego models, fun rides and the happy-family magic associated with great theme parks have transformed Legoland into Denmark’s most visited tourist attraction outside of Copenhagen. It’s a great day outing (you’ll need a day to do it justice) and it sits smack-bang in the middle of Jutland, 1km north of Billund. The heart of Legoland is Miniland – 20 million plastic Lego blocks snapped together to create miniature cities and replicate global icons (and re-create scenes from Star Wars movies). You can’t help but marvel at the brilliant Lilliputian models of the Kennedy Space Center, Amsterdam, Bergen or a Scottish castle and you’ll no doubt vow to head home and drag your Lego out of storage to see what masterpiece you can create. In Miniland you can also do some advance sightseeing of Danish landmarks including Copenhagen’s Nyhavn, Ribe, Skagen and various royal palaces. Or take a trip in miniboats past landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis and an Egyptian temple. The reconstructions are on a scale of 1:20 to 1:40 and the attention to detail is incredible. The park’s largest piece, a model of Indian chief Sitting Bull, was built with 1.4 million Lego bricks. (The smallest piece? A Miniland dove, built from four small white bricks.) Pick up a map to assist with further exploration. The park is divided into themed areas, including Legoredo Town, a Wild West area that's home to a haunted house; Knights’ Kingdom, where a medieval castle awaits; Pirate Land, which hosts ships, sword-play and a swimming area; Ninjago World, the place to battle a ninja-loathing serpent; Adventure Land, a strange hybrid of Indiana Jones meets Egypt; Polar Land, with a roller coaster and a penguin habitat; and Duplo Land, with plenty of safe, simple rides and activities for littlies. For some downtime stop by Atlantis, an aquarium built around Lego models of divers and submersibles. For the chilled park-goer there are placid rides, from merry-go-rounds to a tranquil train ride; adrenaline junkies should seek out the roller coasters. Once the entrance fee is paid, all rides are free – the only exception is the SEAT Driving School (99kr), for kids aged seven to 13. Note that the admission price is slightly cheaper if you buy your tickets in advance online.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Aarhus

    ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum

    Inside the cubist, red-brick walls of Aarhus’ showpiece art museum are nine floors of sweeping curves, soaring spaces and white walls showcasing a wonderful selection of Golden Age works, Danish modernism and an abundance of arresting and vivid contemporary art. The museum's cherry-on-top is the spectacular Your Rainbow Panorama, a 360-degree rooftop walkway offering views of the city through its glass panes in all shades of the rainbow. The rainbow halo is the brainchild of Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist famed for large-scale, conceptual pieces. Another iconic piece is Australian artist Ron Mueck’s Boy, an astoundingly lifelike, oversized (5m-high) sculpture of a crouching boy. The museum's basement (level 0) is dedicated to international video and light art, as well as evocative installations. ARoS stages varied special exhibitions throughout the year (check the website) and also hosts the ARoS Triennial, launched in 2017. Art aside, the museum houses a fantastic gift shop and light-filled cafe on level 4 (free entry), as well as a restaurant on level 8.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Billund

    Lego House

    In the heart of Billund, Lego House is a hands-on 'experience centre' with a thoroughly brilliant design that resembles a stack of 21 gigantic Lego bricks. The centre incorporates top-quality museum displays of the company's history, plus exhibition areas and rooftop terraces. The ground level (home to eateries and a Lego shop) has free public access; access to the Experience Zones requires a prebooked ticket (with allocated entry time). The building is divided into numerous colour-coded Experience Zones that emphasise Lego's philosophy of learning through play – much planning has gone into these, and the technology is impressive (and super-fun). As you explore the zones, note the building's standout central feature: the Tree of Creativity, 15m high and built of 6.3 million Lego bricks. Opened in 2017 and seven years in the making, the building – dubbed Home of the Brick – was designed by Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels. It offers a stellar year-round reason to visit Billund (even in winter, when Legoland is closed). Check times, special events and buy tickets online; note that tickets purchased on the Lego House website are cheaper than at the venue.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Aarhus

    Den Gamle By

    The Danes’ seemingly limitless enthusiasm for dressing up and re-creating history reaches its zenith at Den Gamle By. It’s an engaging, picturesque open-air museum of over 70 half-timbered houses brought here from all corners of Denmark and reconstructed as a provincial market town from the era of Hans Christian Andersen. It also includes a recreated neighbourhood from 1974. You can take a horse-drawn wagon ride around the site and then visit each building, store and workshop to see craftspeople practising their trade. Small museums cater to different interests – the Danish Poster Museum has some fabulous retro pieces, the Toy Museum showcases antique playthings and the Gallery of Decorative Arts displays silverware, porcelain and clocks. The neighbourhood from 1974 is especially evocative, allowing you step into time-warped retro apartments and a string of businesses ranging from a hairdresser and grocery store, to a TV and hi-fi businesses stocking authentic 1970s gear. You'll even find a beloved local jazz bar that closed in 2008. The website details kid-friendly activities for visitors – these peak in July and August and in the lead-up to Christmas. Den Gamle By is 1.5km west of the city centre (a 20-minute walk from the train station); buses 3A, 14, 111, 114 and 116 stop nearby. There’s a detailed schedule of opening hours and admission prices (set according to the museum's activities) outlined on the website. Outside of opening hours you can stroll the cobbled streets for free.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Aarhus

    Moesgaard Museum

    Don't miss the reinvented Moesgaard Museum, 10km south of the city, housed in a spectacularly designed, award-winning modern space. The star attraction is the 2000-year-old Grauballe Man, whose astonishingly well-preserved body was found in 1952 in the village of Grauballe, 35km west of Aarhus. Aside from the Grauballe Man, the museum brings various eras (from the Stone Age to the Viking era) to life with cutting-edge archaeological and ethnographic displays. The superb display on the Grauballe Man is part history lesson, part CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode. Was he a sacrifice to Iron Age fertility gods, an executed prisoner or simply a victim of murder? Whichever, the broken leg and the gaping neck wound suggest his death, sometime around 290 BC (give or take 50 years), was a violent one. His body and skin, tanned and preserved by the unique chemical and biological qualities of the peat bog in which he was found, are remarkably intact, right down to his hair and fingernails. Bus 18 runs here frequently. With your own wheels, it’s a lovely drive – take Strandvejen south, then Oddervej and follow the signs.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Aarhus

    Dokk1

    Opened in 2015 as part of Aarhus' large-scale waterfront regeneration, Dokk1 is the kind of public space Danes excel at, and houses Scandinavia's largest library. It's a great building, home to countless reading nooks, a cafe, kids' play area and an information desk for visitors to the city.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Aarhus Domkirke

    With a lofty nave spanning nearly 100m in length, Aarhus Domkirke is Denmark’s longest church. The original Romanesque chapel at the eastern end dates from the 12th century, while most of the rest of the church is 15th-century Gothic. Like other Danish churches, the cathedral was once richly decorated with frescoes that served to convey biblical parables to unschooled peasants. After the Reformation in 1536, church authorities, who felt the frescoes smacked too much of Roman Catholicism, had them all whitewashed, but many have now been uncovered and restored. They range from fairy-tale paintings of St George slaying a dragon to scenes of hellfire. A highlight of the cathedral is the ornate, five-panel, gilt altarpiece made in Lübeck by the renowned woodcarver Bernt Notke in the 15th century.

  • Sights in Djursland

    Kattegatcentret

    If you fancy being just inches from a shark and in total control, you’ll love the glass tunnel at Kattegatcentret, where the focus is on surrounding sealife. At 2pm you can watch the shark-feeding session – a good way to see just why sharks are at the top of the food chain. There is also a seal pool (and feeding sessions), and a kid-friendly touchpool. Check the website for winter closing dates.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Møllestien

    While you’re exploring the old part of town, be sure to wander along idyllic Møllestien, easily Aarhus’ prettiest street – all cobblestones, pastel-coloured cottages and climbing roses.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Vor Frue Kirke

    Set back from Vestergade, the Church of Our Lady is like a Russian matryoshka (nesting doll), opening to reveal multiple layers. It was here that the original Aarhus cathedral was erected shortly after 1060. That cathedral stood until about 1240, when it was replaced by the current red-brick church, whose main treasure lies in its basement: the vaulted crypt of the original cathedral (enter via the stairs beneath the chancel), uncovered by chance in 1955 during a restoration. Vor Frue Kirke has yet another chapel, this one exhibiting early-16th-century frescoes. It can be entered through the garden courtyard – take the left door.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Tivoli Friheden

    Neither as big nor as fabulous as Copenhagen’s major drawcard, Aarhus’ Tivoli is still a fun, wholesome family attraction, full of childhood favourites (dodgem cars and a Ferris wheel) as well as newer, faster rides. You can buy a multi-ride pass (245kr, including admission) and go hard, or pay for each ride individually. The park is at the northern edge of Marselisborg woods, reached on bus 16. Check the website for the park's changing opening hours (as late as 11pm in peak summer). Friday nights from May to August see popular outdoor concerts from big-name Danish performers as part of the Fed Fredag ('Fat Friday') program.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Moesgård

    The Moesgård area, 10km south of the city centre, is a must for the Moesgaard Museum, but the area's natural attractions warrant investigation, too. An enjoyable walking trail, dubbed the ‘Prehistoric Trackway’ (Oldtidsstien) leads from behind the museum across fields of wildflowers, past grazing sheep and through beech woods down to Moesgård Strand, one of Aarhus’ best sandy beaches. Pick up a brochure and trail map at the museum. You can walk one way and catch a bus from the beach back to the city, or follow the trail both ways as a 4km round-trip. Frequent bus 18 from Aarhus terminates at the museum. Bus 31 runs in summer and terminates at Moesgård Strand.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Aarhus Rådhus

    Aarhus’ controversial town hall was co-designed by renowned architect Arne Jacobsen, a pioneer of Danish modernism, and completed in 1942. It’s clad in Norwegian marble and has a distinctive grey appearance. Jacobsen also designed many of the interiors (along with Hans Wegner) – for design buffs, it’s well worth a look inside. Anyone can pop into the building during working hours to see the lobby. Check the website of Aarhus Guiderne; the organisation generally leads a weekly guided tour of the building (usually Saturday mornings; 80kr). No booking is required, but it is worth confirming the meeting time.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Marselisborg Palace & Park

    Marselisborg Palace is a summer home of the royal family, and when they’re not in residence the public can explore the English-style grounds and rose garden (free admission). When the blue-bloods are here, watch the changing of the guard at noon from a vantage point on the road. The palace is reached on bus 19. The best way to check if the royals are in Aarhus is to ask around. Contact VisitAarhus, or check online for royal family activity (http://kongehuset.dk/en).

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Aarhus Ø

    Aarhus' docklands is a new neighbourhood that's home to some head-turning residential developments – the brilliantly spiky Isberget (Iceberg) has won architecture awards and lots of Instagram fans. The district is worth a wander for some cool sea and city views and excellent architecture. The popular summertime Strandbaren is here. Bus 33 runs out this way, but biking is a good option.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Kvindemuseet

    Denmark is a model for equality, but this hasn’t always been the case. In a fresh, engaging exhibition inside the old town hall, the Women's Museum charts women’s lives in Denmark and their hard-won achievements. It’s inspiring stuff, but it’s not just one for the ladies – families will love the hands-on kids’ exhibits in the ‘History of Childhood’ section. There’s also a pretty cafe here.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Godsbanen

    The renovated Godsbanen freight yard is an alternative cultural hub for the city; it's home to theatre stages, workshops and cafes, and hosts exhibitions, markets and events – it's well worth a look. Live music venue Radar is here.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Botanisk Have

    Behind Den Gamle By is the Botanical Garden, with its funky walk-through greenhouses (one housing a cafe) and recreated Jutland environments. Reach it through an exit from Den Gamle By or directly from Vesterbrogade.

  • Sights in Central West Coast

    Marina

    The marina is a good spot for wandering and eating. Here, old fishing huts contrast with modern development; to reach it, head down Vester Strandgade from Torvet.

  • Sights in Aarhus

    Isberget

    The brilliantly spiky Isberget (Iceberg) residential apartment block has won architecture awards and lots of Instagram fans.